Dev Blog

Dev-Blog 110: Full Indie fun!

04/30/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearless!

Last night we had our first playtest at the Vancouver Full Indie. It was awesome getting to see your reactions to the art and gameplay of Viking Squad! Thanks to those who came by to try the game! You gave us a lot to think about.

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We were so excited that we forgot to take any pictures…So Jesse drew something to commemorate this moment!

Most if not all the feedback was positive with really great constructive criticism (this is what makes the full indie crowd great by the way) Today I’ll go over some of the feedback we received.

Lanes are a go!

Lanes were a hit, there were a few issues with overshooting a lane that we’ll be looking in to but otherwise the learning curve of lanes was very natural.

Clearer feedback when a player is hit

Many players didn’t know when their character took a hit, which health bar was theirs, or in some cases that they even had a health bar! The feedback we received in this area was invaluable, the solution isn’t one obvious change but many tweaks to systems across the board. So here are some items we will be addressing around this.

Clearer telegraphing of enemy attacks. Some enemies were better than others but this can always use improvement

Make a bigger deal when the player is hit. With so few hitpoints we need to make a bigger deal every time a player is hurt. We’re looking in to knocking players back and adding a short grace period before more damage can be received.

More effects on the health bars. This coincides with the above point, when a player is hit their health bar needs to reflect it! So we’re looking at ways to draw the players eye up to their health bar each time they take a hit, this includes making a bigger deal when players are down to one health point.

More responsive movement during attacks

A lot of players felt their character became unresponsive during certain attacks and actions. We’re looking at speeding up turn times and allowing players to continue to move/turn when they are in actions like block.

More goats!

No one said this, but it’s going to happen anyway :P

 

So there’s some of the great feedback we got from our first build! Thanks for stopping by, it’s time to get back to it.

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Twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste Caley: @caleycharchuk SlickEntertainment: @SlickEntInc

Google+: Nick: +NickWaanders Jesse: +JesseTurner Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlickEntertainmentInc

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Dev-Blog 109: Go for the eyes!

04/23/2014

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Happy hump day readers of the fearless.

It’s Caley here to talk about some tricks the enemies in Viking Squad have up their sleeves. As opposed to stuffed pages (I’m looking at you Draugr Shaman!).

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Each race has a basic set of enemies that fall under the same categories, indicated above. Fast enemies that show up in greater numbers, melee enemies that give players a tougher challenge and ranged enemies that engage from a distance. With these guys filling out the majority of fights, we looked at enemies we could create that would enhance or even change the tactics of fights when they are around. So here is a preview of such enemies.

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Draugr Shaman

The Draugr Shaman is an active enemy. He forces players off their butts. While active they cast lightning at a target, if a player does not stay on the move they run the risk of being zapped. Once threatened they warp to the other side of the screen. Again forcing players to race down the foe while dodging lightning.

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Draugr Brute

The Draugr Brute is a defensive enemy. He wields a shield to block attacks, forcing players to perform heavy or magic attacks to break the shield.

So there you have it, a preview of two new enemies that change up tactics in Viking Squad!

Until next time.

Caley_avatar64

Twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste Caley: @caleycharchuk SlickEntertainment: @SlickEntInc

Google+: Nick: +NickWaanders Jesse: +JesseTurner Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlickEntertainmentInc

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Dev-Blog 108: Even MORE character stuff! Hooray!

04/16/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome! This is Jesse here just back from PAX East Boston! I was lucky enough to pocket-pitch some people Viking Squad  and I want to thank everyone that let me talk to them about our game! We are really excited and ready to forge onward!

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This week we’ll be talking about some more main character stuff and getting you guys to know who else will be joining your voyage! As mentioned  last week, removing the “build your own viking” aspect from our game was a pretty big decision but ultimately we feel pretty good about it.

After showing the character designs to a bunch of people down in Boston it started feeling really good that we made the decision. The hammer maiden was the people’s favorite (which is great) so I’ll need to get working on the other guys as well.

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Alright! let’s check these guys out! On the left here we have our long and slender bit of viking wisdom, the bow guy! (we’ll be updating the names of course later down the road). He’ll be going through some small changes later on but this will generally be his design for the time being.

I actually got some sage advice from Darkest Dungeon’s very own Chris Bourassa while I was down in Boston showing off some stuff. The advice was great because I was having the most trouble with the archer guy and luckily Chris had some great ideas. I quickly demonstrated what I got from him here.

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He said something along the lines of, “He’s not a boxy rectangle, he’s an arrow head, he’s dangerous and fast, sweep back those horns, sharpen him up.” What was said was most likely much more eloquent (there was a lot of beers going around) but it really resonated with me so I started doing some tweaking with these white lines here! Thanks Chris!

On the right we have our shield guy! He’s a burly-ball of defensive power and represented by a circle. He’ll also be dealing icy attacks to his enemies so if you need some good control in your trio be sure to bring him to the fight! Right below is a little video of him dealing out some destruction! Things are all still in development of course but I think you guys will get the idea of what you can expect when you wield the shield.

So kaboom! That’s another weekly dev-blog in the can! We are super excited to keep on storming through our development of Viking Squad and we really hope you enjoyed this small look into our world. Until next week, keep open to feedback from amazing people and never let your ego get in the way of honest advice!

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Twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste Caley: @caleycharchuk SlickEntertainment: @SlickEntInc

Google+: Nick: +NickWaanders Jesse: +JesseTurner Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlickEntertainmentInc

Posted by: Under: Art Work,Slick Entertainment,Vikingsquad Comments: Comments Off on Dev-Blog 108: Even MORE character stuff! Hooray!

Dev-Blog 107: Main Character Re-vamps! Yikes!

04/09/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’re gonna talk a bit about what we are doing to our very cool main characters in Viking Squad! Recently we started talking about getting the most impact with our characters. Originally we were thinking that the ability to customize and “Build your own Viking” approach would be cool and let players deck out their viking to their hearts content! There were some problems that started showing up though, and we’d like to share them with you guys right here!

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By keeping the parts all working on a universal skeleton with pieces of art being created in roughly the same size we started getting a lot of similar silhouettes with our little vikings! Now this is a pretty big problem when your going to be differentiating between yourself and your pillaging pals. Brawlers make it pretty easy to get lost in the madness of the fray so this was one area we needed to address!

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With our universal skeleton system in place we would have a very hard time getting any of those kick-ass shield maidens in the game to help you pillage! Our men run on burly, goofy, simian skeletons and it just didn’t work too well when we hammered on scrappy warrior maiden parts! Plus it would totally be a bummer if the gals couldn’t whoop butt as well in Viking Squad because shield maidens are so freaking cool!

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So what we decided to do was keep the weapons locked to specific characters! This will help build relationships between the avatar and the player as well as be a lot easier to keep track of your unit. We also incorporated some coloring and shape study with each character to pull out their personality!

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Well that’s all for this week! Next week we’ll be showing you guys the characters and weapon behaviors in detail, but until then I’ll be hitting up Boston for PAX East with the Brace Yourself Crew for Crypt of the Necrodancer! Wish us luck at the Indie Mega Booth and until next time, keep cramming strong design into your characters!

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Follow us on twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste Caley: @caleycharchuk SlickEntertainment: @SlickEntInc

Follow us on Google: Nick: +NickWaanders Jesse: +JesseTurner Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

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Posted by: Under: Art Work,Vikingsquad Comments: 1

Dev-Blog 106: Enter the Dojo!

04/02/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

Now that we’ve got a good grasp on the VikingSquad concept we need a way of rapidly iterating on the key ingredient, Combat! After some humming and hawing we came up with our solution that we call “The Dojo”.

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The Dojo is a tool we’ve whipped together that lets us experiment with various attacks and enemies in real time. Woohoo! You just choose which player character you want to test along with an enemy. On the right side of the image above you can see a tree of your possible attacks, clicking on one will show the properties of that attack. Letting you tune to your hearts content. You can add new attacks and even drag existing ones around. I’ve recorded a little video of me using it below.

So with this tool we can make rapid iterations on our attacks, change button mappings, test ai and set up new characters. It can also grow over time as we implement new mechanics and ai.

Until next time!

Caley_avatar64Caley

Follow us on twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste Caley: @caleycharchuk SlickEntertainment: @SlickEntInc

Follow us on Google: Nick: +NickWaanders Jesse: +JesseTurner Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

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Posted by: Under: Slick Entertainment Comments: 2

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Dev Blog

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