Dev Blog

The Size and Scale of Things to Come!

08/13/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’ll be taking a look at our experience with enemy sizes and scale! Getting everything to be the right size can be tricky but is super important to make sure everything in the world “fits” together.We have some weird enemies and what not but as long as things look like they belong we should be fine.

A trick I used at the beginning of Viking Squad development was a simple gray box template to get the basics of our characters relatively the same height. Below you can see our hammer maiden standing inside the template. There is roughed out areas that approximated character movement so we could make sure our limbs had enough play when we drew them.

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What we found later on is that standardizing every enemy into this template made everything feel quite similar when you interacted with them. We started to add smaller “Gremlin” sized enemies as well as created super large “Miniboss” sized bad-guys. Brawlers are known for their larger than life characters so we wanted to make sure the huge guys could play with the small guys and keep the graphical fidelity we were after!

Below we can see how big the Snowclaw mini-boss in relation to the small civilian. We want to make sure that the big guys are nice and intimidating when they stomp onto the screen. We are also adopting the “Bigger is always better” mantra when it comes to bosses and events in general.

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So another week brawls by here at Slick! Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out our stuff. If there’s anything you’d like to see in our next dev-blog be sure to drop a line in the comments! We are looking to add things like art streams and other fun stuff so keep a look out!

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 124: A Quick Revisit to the Foes!

08/06/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’ll be taking a quick look at some more art stuff for Viking Squad! Usually in the morning to clear away artistic cobwebs I warm up by drawing some of our existing enemies and characters to build a familiarity with them. The more I work on these guys in a bigger format the easier I can create new enemies of the same type and find out what makes them visibly interesting.

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First up here’s everyone’s favorite undead fiend! It’s our Draugr! To tackle drawing the Draugr in an action pose instead of a game asset I started seeing what were the best things to break up his miles of gross green skin. Arrow shafts, staples, and spines are what we’ve been going with thematically on these guys as well as extra heads and those spooky red eyes. I also took the tunic down to his chest making it more like a robins crest to look a little more interesting.

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Here’s a shot of those ship raiding Marauders. This design was a lot simpler and was created after some time on Viking Squad when we wanted a more “human” foe. The demon skull helmet and bone-guard sabers are what this guy uses and the head scarfs help show a lot of motion in this action pose. Since a lot of our characters are in the midst of being stabbed or bludgeoned we also added some daggers that have found their mark through his thick leather armor.

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And let’s not forget our heroes! This is a shot of our “Axes” character. It feels good to revisit our original guys with this larger format so we can focus on their personality and see what makes them interesting. Axes’ bear scarf, strange beard, and heavy plated arms are shown here as well as his wedge-shaped horns.

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So that’s it for this week! Hope you liked this quick look into some more artwork from us here at Slick! And until next time, keep those characters interesting!

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 123: Snowclaw Neighbors and Necro Dancing

07/30/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we want to share the second official race of enemies in Viking Squad. The SNOWCLAW!

Up until now most of our previews have shown the Draugr, a group of undead beings who have come back from the grave for revenge. Today we present the Snowclaw. The fun loving, friendly neighbors of Viking Squad.

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Due to their proximity and general demeanor the Snowclaw bear the brunt of Viking Squad’s raids. After years of constant tomfoolery they have had to grow a thicker fur to fight back.

Aided by their favorite beverage, Fishbier, the Snowclaw began rigid training regimens to repel any further act of attrition. Warriors rose through the ranks ready to take on the marauding menace. Any able body was either put to training or work in the Fishbier breweries. There are even stories of the Snowclaw capturing wild animals to use in defense. Now they lay in wait for Viking Squads return, throwing the odd Fishtival to pass the time.

So without further adieu here are some fun facts about the Snowclaw.

Favorite Color: Salmon

Favorite Drink: Fishbier

Favorite Neighbor: Definately Not Viking Squad

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We’ve had a riot coming up with the Snowclaw, let us know what you think in the comments!

 

We would also like to shout out to the Necrodancer team! Congratulations on launching today!

Go grab it on Steam! http://store.steampowered.com/app/247080/

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Caley_avatar64

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: Slick Entertainment Comments: 2

Dev-Blog 122: Those textures need some polygonizin’, son.

07/23/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

You may remember a blog-post I did a long time ago about the texture polygons we created for Shellrazer. If not, here it is. The system we used at the time required hand-editing of each texture, and this quickly becomes WAY too much work. Especially at the rate Jesse is able to crank out art for Viking Squad!

Now, Viking Squad is not meant for mobile devices, but we’re still generating texture polygons. The difference is that we’re only using full opaque texture polygons for viking squad, and we have removed all alpha blended triangles from most triangles that get rendered. This is mostly as a preparation for proper shadows and lighting (which I haven’t implemented yet). Also, by enabling full screen anti-aliasing, the edges of our models are really nice and crisp, especially on a 1080p TV.

The whole process of generating the texture polygons is also fully automated now. The basic algorithm is fairly simple, I first trace the outline of the mesh by checking the alpha of each 2×2 pixel block. I add edges for each edge, and connect them all together. After this step, the mesh would basically look like this:

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That’s a LOT of points! As a clarification, on the right is the image with blue circles representing the vertices, and a green triangles representing fully opaque triangles. On the left is the resulting mesh rendered. As you can see the edges get a bit blocky with this many points, something we’re trying to avoid.

The next step is to simplify the edge, while trying to retain the shape of the outline we just created. This is done by a basic edge-collapse algorithm that calculates the ‘cost’ of collapsing each edge by looking at how much it would alter the original outline. Each turn, every potential edge collapse is given a score based on how much it alters the original outline, and then the one with the lowest score is collapsed. Then another turn is started. This continues until the cost of a collapse is above a given threshold value. The end result looks something like this:

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As you can see here, the steppy-blocky edges are pretty much all gone, and they have been smoothed out into nice sharp looking edges.

The triangulation of the outline is the last step in the process. I use OpenTK in our editor (a C# OpenGL, OpenAL and OpenCL implementation), and luckily that has access to the GLUTess functions, which create a tessellation of a given outline. This works pretty well!

There’s another example, this time a tree:

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As you see, we’re generating quite a few triangles for each object, and in a whole scene this turns into quite a lot of triangles, but they are all nice and crisp and all ready for some awesome lighting (which again, I still need to implement). Check out this wireframe/solid slide able image to see how many triangles we’re putting on screen: (The second image might take a while to load, just give it some time. It’s mostly because I can’t even HTML)

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(Btw, the very cool slider thing we used in the ‘Click me’ image above is from here)

Alright, that’s it for this week. Until next time, and keep those triangles wireframing.

Nick_avatar64-Nick

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: Slick Entertainment,Tech,Vikingsquad Comments: 1

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: 4

Latest News

July 26 2012

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – July 26, 2012 – Independent development studio Slick Entertainment is proud to announce Shellrazer for iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone, released on the App Store today for a temporary launch sale of $0.99 (regular $2.99). RIDE YOUR GIANT WAR TURTLE TO VICTORY OVER THE NASTY GOBLINS!! You are a Klang Clan […]

Dev Blog

August 13 2014

Welcome back followers of the fearsome! This week we’ll be taking a look at our experience with enemy sizes and scale! Getting everything to be the right size can be tricky but is super important to make sure everything in the world “fits” together.We have some weird enemies and what not but as long as […]