Dev Blog

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: 0

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 105: Glory to the Gods! Some loose ideas!

03/26/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we are gonna talk a bit about some ideas we have for the god mechanics! We are hoping that a big part of Viking Squad will be the numerous Gods that you can worship and unlock during your voyage. Representing Gods artistically is kinda tricky, to solve this problem we’ve started characterizing our gods with enchanted stones, lashes of rope, and grim relics all over the place. We really wanted to get the primal and uneasy feel with these powerful effigies and hopefully with some clever art and effects tricks, you guys will love them as much as we do!

When you first climb aboard your rugged longship you and your crew get to each pick a different god to worship. We are hoping that these changes bleed into each other to make for interesting combinations. Some Gods could make more rare treasures show up but make the enemies harder, while another god could grant you some one use items every destination you hit. Currently the Gods aren’t implemented but we need to rough out ideas and really wanted to share this fun adventure with you guys.

Here’s the first design-doc we put together to explore some ideas. Look at that crafty viking stealing away that god!

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Here’s how we could rough out some ideas for new gods. They can end up being themed along with an enemy type like these horrible goatmen! They worship a strange and old god that grants the worshiper and his party less health but the ability to gain it back from killing foes! To liberate the Goatler’s God you’ll need to cross paths with them during your voyage and hopefully raid and pillage their boss camp! At the end of a boss camp there would be their god-rock being worshiped by some of the Goatler’s champions and you and your crew will need to hack them up and liberate that crazy rock!

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So another week slays by here at Slick! After a crazy time “Pocket-Pitching” Squad over at GDC we are inspired to get right back in the saddle and get this game worked on! So thanks as always for checking out our dev-blog and until next time, keep worshiping those strange and old gods for sweet bonuses!

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Follow us:
Twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste Caley: @caleycharchuk SlickEntertainment: @SlickEntInc
Google+ : Nick: +NickWaanders Jesse: +JesseTurner Caley: +CaleyCharchuk
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Posted by: Under: Art Work,Slick Entertainment,Vikingsquad Comments: 0

Dev-Blog 103: Barbaric Badguys!

03/12/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we are showing some of the ideas we have for the ferocious foes that you’ll encounter on your voyages!

When coming up with different enemy faction ideas we try and think what would make them unique and interesting to interact with. Factions could have unique weapons and gods that you could pillage for your own to bring with you on future raids! Some enemies could only show up under the right circumstances or be summoned by gathering the right combination of treasure!

Even though all of this is brainstorming it’s still a lot of fun to get some ideas down to get our gears turning. Currently in the game we’ve created a “generic” viking un-dead faction we cal l the draugs, based off of the very cool viking “again-walker”, or “one who walks after death”. We needed a small variety of enemies with some basic behaviors so what would be better than some simple minded Nordic zombies?

In this image we can see that we’ve used the Valknut to show just how tough these guys are currently in game. The melee axe guy is our toughest with 3 life points, ranged is a hearty 2, and the small little quick gremlin only takes one hitpoint but is still quite capable of ruining your viking’s day. These 3 enemies have done a great job at helping us get the feel for the game so far and have most likely paved the way for much more interesting and varied enemy A.Is.

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With the basics out of the way, we’ve been able to brainstorm out some new enemy factions that we’ll be showing off in future dev-blogs. The most recent is featured in our new web page title screen! We are currently calling them “Fish-Beards” and they are gross and stinking enemies that you’ll need to take down during your voyage! Here’s an image with some ideas on their preferred god and special weapon.  A fishing spear may seem like a simple weapon but we are hoping to make every weapon class bring something new to our lane based battlefield.

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So another week pillages by here at Slick! We are hard at work getting stuff into the game and we hope you like what you’ve been seeing! Next week Nick and Jesse will be down at GDC meeting up with fellow devs and checking out the Independent Game Summit. Thanks a whole bunch for checking us out and until next time, keep those axes ground and those sails full of icy winds!

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Follow us:
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: Tech,Vikingsquad

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Dev-Blog 98: Bestiary, oh so scary!

02/05/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

Another week is here and this time we’ll be hitting you guys with some more Necrodancing goodness! Next week we will be sure to have some new project stuff ready to show you guys, but until then here’s some beasties that you’ll have to dance apart in Necrodancer!

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There’s so many cool monsters and bosses and stuff in Crypt of the Necrodancer that it would be a shame if they weren’t always there for you to peek at! With that in mind we decided to do a bestiary for the game complete with cool “Bigger” versions of all of Ted’s awesome pixel art!

As I’ve mentioned before, I really do love pixel stuff. My favorite part of pixel art is the room it gives the imagination room to fill in the abstraction. In that tiny 24×24 square you are imagining a gruesome beast or even a tempting ruby! I’ve always loved doing my favorite pixel art in my own style, and now I’m super lucky because I get to do it a whole bunch. So without further ado here’s a few examples of what we have so far with some brief descriptions. Ted’s stuff is on the left and I’m on the right! Hope you like it!

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Here’s the Dirt Golem! These guys are super intimidating in game because they are so massive.  I thought I would lighten them up a bit with some flower appreciation. I’m super lucky to be working with an artist like Ted who really has no problem with me taking artistic license and putting my own spin on his creations.

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Here’s the Hellhound! I again tried to get something silly going on here so I gave this terrible beast a goofy tongue hanging out of his jaw. The exposed muscles in the pixel art reminded me of veins of magma so I took some liberties there on my own version. Super fun stuff!

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Spooky Ghost! The Ghost of Necrodancer will always be very close to me because it was the first thing I drew for those guys at Brace Yourself games! I really like the twisted up look of the ghost and tried to push the character a whole bunch to let the crew know what kind of art they’ll be getting from me. Lucky for me Ryan and Ted are both awesome so it worked out!

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So another week spooks by here at Slick! Nick will be back super soon and we can’t wait to show you guys what we are working on! Hope you enjoyed this brief look at some of the cool stuff in Necrodancer and until next time, keep those crypts clear of creeps!

-Jesse

 

 

Posted by: Under: Art Work Comments: 0

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Dev Blog

April 16 2014

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! ———- This week we’ll be […]