Dev Blog

Dev Blog 190: Twitch Con Connections!

09/30/2015

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’ll do up a re-cap on last weekend’s very cool Twitch Con 2015! Twitch’s Blog covers the event really well right here but we’d like to talk a bit about our experience there as well!

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First off, this con was definitely not one that we were used to. Kevin Regamey and I (Jesse) Went down together not 100% sure what to expect. We were scheduled to be on a panel discussing indie games and were hoping to reinforce all of our relationships with the great streamers we’ve met in the past.

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It was a really great vibe over all at the convention, everyone was super friendly and it was really great running into everyone that’s dropped by our streams and met us at the conventions. It was also great seeing all the casters totally in their “Zone”, they moved really confidently through the halls and met all their viewers and fellow streamers with huge hugs and kind words.

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San-Francisco is also home to a huge amount of game developers so Kevin got to run into some long time friends that we always meet up with at GDC and other developer conventions. Parties and social events were handled really well and gave people the chance to catch up and make new connections as well as tear up the dance floor with new pals!

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A very HUGE thank you needs to go out to Mr. Michael Molinari who is the creator of Choice Chamber and, knowing the area, really helped out Kevin and I run into new people and figure out the area. A very cool moment is pictured above, where Mike starts imputing developer commands into the game of Choice Chamber live! It was a blast seeing the reactions of the streamer right there on the show floor as he got nailed with crazy enemies and was granted awesome power ups!

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All in all the trip was a really great time. A big thank you to everyone that caught up with us and remembered just how cool Viking Squad was at the other conventions. It really gave us new insight on just how powerful and friendly the Twitch community is and got us excited for the future of Dev-Streaming that we can be a part of!

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And speaking of streaming, today we’ll be Dev-Streaming as always right here at the offices of Slick Entertainment! Come on by and hang out with the coolest crew making Viking Squad! Hope to see you there today at 4pm-6pm!

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And that’s it for this week! Thanks again for checking up on us while we brawl out Viking Squad! A bunch of great things are on the way so stay tuned and remember to keep those conventions fun!

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

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

Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/slickentertainmentinc

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Dev-Blog 189: Watch Closely Now

09/23/2015

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Welcome back dashing, fearsome and gruesome followers

Last week Vancouvers very own Ryan Clark wrote a great post on Gamasutra about his experiences in making successful games. Being a man who shipped a decently popular game in the last year Ryan may know a thing or two of which he speaks. One thing he mentions in the article is “pay attention to what people DO” which can mean many things to many people. However in the context of game design it means knowing where to direct your attention as people play your game. Put more emphasis on a players actions more-so than their spoken feedback in order to create a better experience. Recently it just so happens we ran a booth at PAX Prime and I have a few examples of this in action for Viking Squad. Viking Squad was received well at the show but people’s reactions only told half the story.

Here are two quirks that appeared during the show, weren’t mentioned by players, and how we’ve decided to fix them in order to deliver a better experience.

Setting Expectations

As people stood around watching the game, waiting for their turn to play, it was becoming clear that without marketing not everyone was grokking the idea of lanes just from watching. Once people picked up the controller and took a few steps you could see this click, but from a viewers perspective it wasn’t immediately discernible. To remedy this we updated the animation for when a player changes lanes. They now do a little hop as if to plant themselves at the destination. Take a look below.

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Minimizing Mistakes

This next one has been teetering around for awhile, watching people at PAX sealed its fate. We use to allow players to enter in to a combo at any time, this let them experiment with their move set outside of combat. The downside being players could enter a somewhat costly combo in combat leaving them open to threats. Now players must hit a target in order to enter their combo. Guaranteeing no combo will go wasted. This is often a common mechanic in beat em ups. I just wanted a definite reason to have it in the game.

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You should also read Ryans article if you havent already. Until next time!

Be sure to tune in to Jesse’s art stream today from 4-6 pst. On Twitch

If you’re attending Twitch Con next week Jesse and Kevin are co-hosting a Indie Games Panel. Stop by and meet the beard and the bird in person!

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Caley_avatar64 – Caley

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

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

Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/slickentertainmentinc

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Dev-Blog 188: More from Pax Prime!

09/09/2015

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

So much happened at Pax Prime and we are still decompressing here at Slick so we wanted to cover another very cool event that we were lucky enough to be a part of. The Gamespot and Giant Bomb party! This was an awesome event that took place in a lounge super close to the convention center and we were invited with the help of those super cool folks over at  the Indie Mega Booth, who always hook developers up with a great time.

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Aside from being a really neat venue, this was the perfect place to see players interact with Viking Squad in a totally different environment. It was away from the giant whirlwind/meat-grinder of Pax prime and close to food, chairs and super friendly staff.

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It was a great place to alternate our show team when someone needed a recharge and it worked out super well even with the craziness of Pax constantly going on  only a couple blocks away.

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Another thing that this venue gave us was the chance to talk to fellow developers in a setting that was much more casual. Insights for each other’s games were shared and everyone’s experience benefited greatly from  it. Pictured above is Harry Hsiao (Left) and Dale Kim (Middle) discussing our lane mechanics while their own game Brigador from Stellar Jockeys is being played right behind them!

Photos credit: CBS Interactive

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So even more cool Pax stuff was already piled on us while we were there. We couldn’t of ran such an amazing booth without the incredible help of everyone here at Slick and our amazing audio masters over at Power Up Audio. It was a crazy trip, well worth taking.

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And just in case you weren’t aware, we’ll be dev-streaming today! come on over at 4pm-6pm PST and check out some of the very cool stuff we are building for Viking Squad! The whole team is tehr ready to answer questions and say hello! Be sure to bring your pals while we create our super fun brawler right before your very eyes!

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So that’s it for this week! Hope you enjoyed another look at our awesome Pax Prime 2015 experience and until next time, remember to keep those spirits high and those axes sharp!

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

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

Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/slickentertainmentinc

 

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Dev-Blog 187: PAX Prime 2015!

09/02/2015

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Welcome back, followers of the fearsome!

I am typing this from my couch at home, still tired, but very satisfied with the PAX showing we just had. We were showing Viking Squad in the Indie MEGABOOTH, and it was a lot of fun. We met many, many cool gamers, and it was a blast to see everybody enjoy our game!

We set up a go-pro to make a cool time-lapse of all the people coming through our corner of the Indie MEGABOOTH:

There was a bit of a last-minute shake-up in our plans before we went to PAX. We bought two big TV’s to show the game on, but due to some trouble with transport and border crossings, we ended up renting three Intel sponsored TV’s from the Megabooth in the last minute. Sony was kind enough to lend us three Playstation test kits, and we set up every TV with one. At first, we thought we’d just keep two TV’s as playable stations, and then have the third TV looping our trailer.  After the show opened we very quickly found out that it was a very good idea to have each TV set up as a playable station. We turned off the trailer, and turned on the game on the third TV, and each TV was basically occupied the entire duration of the show! Talk about a lucky break!

Also, the average time people had to wait to try the game was less than 5 minutes. This is a drastic improvement over our PAX East setup, where we had 1 big TV, and people lining up for up to an hour. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that people want to line up for that long, but at the same time it makes me feel bad for taking up people’s time with waiting in a line! So having three stations where everybody can play the game within minutes is great!

In other news, Ookpixels wrote a GREAT article about us this week! Eli came by our office and interviewed us, and then he did a ton of research into what we were saying. He’s a great guy, and we’re honoured he wanted to write an article about us!

Alright, that’s it for this week. We’re getting back into the swing of things now, and we’ll be back with our weekly dev-stream in a few hours! Come hang out!

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-Nick

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

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

Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/slickentertainmentinc

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January 20 2017

I almost can’t believe it: Slick Entertainment is a decade old! In the last 10 years we’ve made a bunch of great games, and I am super proud of what we’ve achieved with our small team: 4 fun games, custom C++ engine on 6 different platforms, 3 games feature online multiplayer, all hand-drawn art for […]