Dev Blog

Dev Blog 121: A Jarl most Jevil!

07/16/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’ll be diving a little into the story we are building for Viking Squad! We were interested in the idea of an evil viking Jarl that has our hero’s village in a dark grip of greed and gloom. The spooky Jarl sends the vikings out to raid and pillage over and over to quell his thirst for gold and spoils. The Jarl is corrupted by evil and the Vikings are powerless to stop his reign of cruelty. Hopefully you can band together and unlock clues during your voyage to free your village and end the Jarl’s grip on your home!

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Designing the Jarl is a lot of fun because we just wanted an evil creature to boss the players around. When you’re allowed to design big broad strokes within the framework of “obviously evil king” you can add a lot of fun things to him. I really wanted him to be slumped in his throne, like uncomfortable in his seat because he really shouldn’t be in that position so i took it literally by making him to big for the throne. I also enlarged his hands to make grabbing at treasure and other things even more exaggerated. The Green eyes are another symbol of greed and make him more soulless than our pupil sporting main characters.

With a nice big and gross beard you have a lot of mouth shapes that you can use to exaggerate his expressions like him yelling in the bottom image here. It’s a trick a lot of great shows use like the Ice King in Adventure time to name one. All in all he looks pretty spooky and with a bit of work he’ll fit right into our Viking Squad universe!

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So that’s it for this week’s dev-blog! We hope you guys have liked our quick little look into the badguys of Viking Squad and be sure to come back next week when we’ll be talking about even more Viking Squad related stuff! Until next time, keep those Evil Jarls in check!

 

Jesse_avatar64-Jesse

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: 3

Dev Blog 119: The Marauding Menace!

07/02/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’ll be checking out some of the newer enemies we have planned for our Vikings to raid and demolish!

Even though we love our ugly little Draugrs they were never meant to be the only thing you’d be pummeling. Draugrs were initially the first enemies we drew fighting our Vikings in our game documents and were easy enough to design with their hodgepodge of rusty weapons and gross, green faces. If we needed to make a Draugr seem more powerful we simply added more heads to them and made them taller! Their weapons were always crude clubs and bits of rusted metals so we never had to worry about attack animations getting too graceful or complex. This was great because it really helped us work with the puppet technology and become better at animating and making art that works best.

Here’s a quick reference sheet if you’d ever want to draw your very own Draugr army! Be sure to add staples and nails to their ghoulish bodies to really add to that un-dead feel!

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The Draugrs were designed to be a flexible enemy visually so we could test the differences with scale and attack movements. We could easily make them big oafs or little gremlins quickly and without too much design work. This was great for our early development but we really wanted to start brawling with fellow humans.

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Since the Draugrs are pretty simple mechanically, we wanted to get some enemies in the game that had combination attacks that could really damage players that weren’t careful. We decided on an enemy race we are currently calling “Marauders”. These super scary bandits wear black armor and use huge cutlasses and combination attacks to deal out the damage. Their look is an homage to the evil crew men under “Halfdan the Black” in the movie Erik the Viking. We are also playing around with the idea that they will be pillaging the map as well, taking the riches right out from under you if you don’t tangle with them fast enough!

These guys will be more advanced than our current Draugrs. Right now each Draugr has a melee attack and something else like a lunge or throwing weapon. The Maurauders perform relentless combo attacks. This means getting caught in an entire combo will decimate your health, it is also more difficult to find an opening to attack.

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So that’s it for this week! We hope you guys like our quick little look at some new enemies and ideas on our journey through the creation of Viking Squad! We’ll be pillaging out a new dev-blog next week so be sure to come back and until next time, keep your axes sharp and your helmets horned!

Jesse_avatar64-Jesse

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: 0

Dev Blog 116: A time for Skins!

06/11/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

Today we’ll be talking about the very cool tech we are using called Skin Selectors! Skin selectors are a super awesome way we can get variety in the game with our characters and their equipment. When we first started working with enemies and player characters we wanted to be able to quickly and easily change the way that they look, and Nick built this great tech to allow us to do that.

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Here we see our favorite zombie-viking foes the Medium Draugr! To keep the enemies from looking too similar we first created a base enemy, then we drew a variety of different biceps, forearms, heads, and weapons! Once we place them all in the puppet system and hook them up in the entity itself then our rag-tag group of ghoulies is ready to spawn in random configurations!

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Another great thing that these skin selectors allow us to do is work with our equipment system. We really want players to find a lot of neat stuff over the course of their voyage that they can belt onto their character. These items will change statistics as well as look very cool and different! In this image we can see that our shield guy has a few different options when it comes to his head, shoulder and weapon. These are all currently in the game as test images so we can tell how big or small we need to go to keep everything looking alright.

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So another week slays by here at Slick! We are working on a pile of new content for Viking squad and the game is looking and feeling better everyday! Thanks so much for dropping by and until next time, keep those skins selected and those helmets varied!

 

Jesse_avatar64-Jesse

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: 1

Dev Blog 115: Oh the places you’ll row!

06/04/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’ll be taking a look at some of the island themes and places you and your viking crew will end up! Destination themes are really important in Viking Squad, they contain different races of enemies and different treasures to pillage as well as add a variety to the voyage! The next few images are some rough ideas of settings that we’ve come up with so far. Everything is still in a conceptual phase but that’s what makes it so much fun to show! Attached to the small sketches of the setting is an idea of what kind of enemy would inhabit the area.

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Having our Vikings crash right into a Frost Giant infested Ice flow could be a great visual break up from the earthy tones of the islands. We are also plying around with the idea that parts of the lanes can break off and carry our players forward in a classic “elevator” brawler level. the Rough sketch of a frost giant helps us get an idea of what they’d look like in this setting. I really like the ideas of icicles being used to nail their armor together as well as their polar bear armor. Levels like this could also crash right into the players as they row towards another destination! How cool would that be?

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A forested area would be homes of some of the more earthy and rugged Viking enemies. Large stony effigies and tall trees would populate the area while tomahawk-tossing foes would jump out of wooded areas for an ambush! We’ve been working on implementing our trees into the puppet system so they have a nice sway with the wind. Heavily wooded areas could also give us a chance to get some cool god-rays in there as well as some darker canopy levels. The Hinterland area could also not have the rolling waves and we could use something else for the bottom area like cliffs or hills.

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Your journey can also take you to some dark temple caves! These places will be full of strange worshipper creatures that use arcane magics and powers. Traps and eerie glows will plague the players as they creep through these cursed caverns! We are really excited to start experimenting with lighting in underground levels like these ones. Static totems that spit venom or magic would also be fun to dodge in areas like this. Creating new zones always gets us thinking about other things to add to the game.

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So there’s just a few ideas of the places you’ll be seeing when you set off for your voyage! We are constantly coming up with new places to visit with our Vikings so we’ll be sure to show you guys what we are working on! We’ve been working hard on polishing up animations, timing, effects and a bunch of other stuff. It’s been a lot of fun so far and we are looking forward to tackling new and exciting areas!

So until next time; Keep those oars in the water and those enemy islands raided into rubble!

Jesse_avatar64-Jesse

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

Dev Blog 113: Dude-Builder! And a shout out to the Summit!

05/21/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

Last night we showed the current build of Viking Squad to a bunch of people at Full Indie! We got some great feedback and it’s always awesome to get people to play your game when it’s in the early stage of development. Speaking of the great crew that runs Full Indie there’s the super awesome, second Full Indie Summit happening soon! This one will be over 2 days (August 9-10) and will be held at Stanley Stage, 2750 Granville St, Vancouver. There’s going to be some great speakers and a whole bunch of developers there as well so be sure to get your tickets! Hooray!

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This week we’ll be taking a look at how dudes are built and put into the game! We’ll be looking at one of our favorite bad guys; the Fishbeards!

When we start designing the look of a new enemy, they are usually based off of something that’s in the editor already. Caley grabs whatever characters or puppets he can find and hooks up new behaviors to them to test them out in combat. This is kind of a proving ground phase where we can tell if the enemy idea is worth pursuing or not.

For this character that we’ll be talking about today we wanted something more substantial than the little gremlin guys but still a “smaller” type of foe.

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The first thing we do is a super fast and loose sketch! It sure doesn’t look like much but the idea is definitely somewhere in there. The second pass is done with a more refined brush and we are coming closer to how it will look. We added details like the hanging fish tasset, the gross beard bones and arm barnacles!

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Now we can start drawing every piece! Initially I drew and colored the whole character and chopped him up after but that becomes super time consuming and annoying so I just draw piece to piece and it goes by much faster. After doing a few of these characters I also figure out what we need to make them look really cool in our game. Things like those fishes on the board armor can be hooked to a physics bone and flop around as our Fishbeard attacks you! How cool is that!?

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Finally he’s all done up! The only thing he needs now is a skeleton and some animations and he’s all ready to attack our Vikings! I save out a flattened version of him to help me align the bones and graphics and then move it to a source directory it so it doesn’t take up texture space in our game.

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And that is that! Another week berzerks by here at Slick! we hope you liked another peek at our process and be sure to drop by next week where we’ll be bringing you only the finest in lane-based brawler development! Until next time, keep those bearded axes honed to a fine edge!

Jesse_avatar64 -Jesse

 

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: 2

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