Dev Blog

Dev-Blog 217: Fantastic Face Lifts and Indie shout outs!

04/27/2016

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome! We hope your week has been awesome as you check out what’s been happening on this side of the Squad!

Today we’ll be checking out some of the visual updates we’ve been giving to our beginning area. I’ve always had a problem when creating spaces that I focus too much on the details and not enough on the over all area. Eventually I’ll get really good at this but until then it’s a bunch of refining and figuring out what really fills up a space.

Typically the biggest bangs for our buck are architectural visuals that bring the whole area into check with similar shapes and directions.VS_silhouette162

Above is a quick screen grab of the first entrance you’ll see in Viking Squad. It used to have a universal door but it was a little too complex and really wasn’t that imposing. So we kept the Viking lock we normally use and beefed them up alongside some nice fat pillars and terraces. We also added even more of the green cloak statues which were a blast to draw.

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We can also flip the light around by renovating some of the closed off areas and opening them to pools of cooler light. The more important doors have also been beefed up with some universal artwork that makes the area seem much more important and memorable.


We’d also like to give a shout out to our pal Mike Molinari of Studio Bean and his new update for Choice Chamber. Choice Chamber is a super cool and unique game that you play with your twitch chat and your viewers play along by granting you items, changing the hazards, and directing the monsters!

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The new update has a bunch of super great stuff so be sure to check out on steam! Congrats Mike!


And let’s not forget that we’ll be Dev-Streaming today at 4pm-6pm PST! Come on by for some red-hot art tips and brawler-drawing goodness! It’s been a ton of fun building our Twitch community and we hope you drop by!

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So that’s it for this week! Thanks so much for stopping by!

The multiplayer is really coming together and the bosses and enemies are almost finished up! hope your week has been good and until next time, keep those starting areas visually interesting!

Jesse_avatar64-Jesse

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

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

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

Posted by: Under: Art Work,Vikingsquad Comments: Comments Off on Dev-Blog 217: Fantastic Face Lifts and Indie shout outs!

Dev-Blog 216: Light a fire

04/20/2016

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

As we work on the finishing touches of Viking Squad one area that has been receiving a lot of attention is our visual effects. Today I will break down what goes in to one of the explosions. In particular a Molotov skull that one of our draugr enemies throw!

Below you can see how the effect looks in game.

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So what exactly is going on here? Using our effect editor we can separate each part. This effect in particular takes advantage of our many different render effects which I’ll explain below.

First off we have the base of the explosion. The square shape of this helps visualize the damaging area of the explosion and reinforces the metrics/lanes of the game. This component is one of our ring effects paired with a billboard resting along the ground. The ring effect gives the explosion volume in 3d space.

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Next we have the smoke effect. This gives character and longevity to the explosion. Being frame animated allows the effect to have more expression and personality which is the trademark of all Jesse’s art!

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Then to sell the momentum we use a quick comic POW along with some lingering cinders. Again this is a scaling billboard for the POW with a particle emitter for the cinders. The POW just needs to stick around long enough for your eye to pick it up, we don’t want it to steal the show. Our particle emitters can randomly scale and shoot images in a variety of directions making each explosion unique.

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When all these elements come together you get the effect as it is in game. You can see there’s quite a bit happening in such a little explosion!

That’s it for this week be sure to catch Jesse’s Wednesday art stream today at 4pm pst.

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-Caley

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

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

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

Posted by: Under: Slick Entertainment Comments: Comments Off on Dev-Blog 216: Light a fire

Dev-Blog 215: Build O Matic Part 2

04/13/2016

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

In a small development team of three, you often end up having to take care of many different things. In the last week I spent time trying to optimize my rendering, reducing temporary memory allocations in the game-play code, fixing continuity bugs in the network code, as well as updating our build machine to include Mac OSX builds. So many different things that it’s hard to chose one to write a blog about! Well, I’ll just pick the build machine one.

I’ve written a blog about our build-machine before, but today I’ll focus a bit more on getting the OSX build working, and uploaded at the same time as our windows build.

To get Viking Squad working on OSX, I’ve been working on converting the engine code to SDL 2.0 in my ‘spare’ hours over the last few months. Since my engine already supports multiple platforms (Windows, PS4, XBox, iOS, Android, etc), I’ve been able to concentrate platform specific code in a few small areas. Adding another target for SDL2 in those spots was fairly straightforward. Luckily I’d been keeping the OpenGL renderer up to date, so once I was able to create a window in SDL2, getting it to render to the window was easy. We’re using FMod for audio and besides linking the proper libraries there’s nothing I had to do to get it running. Great!

The next hurdle was to get game-pads working on OSX. At first I tried plugging in my wired XBox 360 controller, but I quickly found out that it’s actually not straightforward at all to get that working on a Mac. Third party drivers need to be downloaded and installed, which I don’t like, so I quickly grabbed my PS4 controller, and that worked straight away. I guess I will have to try installing the third party driver to make sure XBox 360 controller work properly at some point. The process of converting to SDL2 was so smooth, that I actually converted my windows build (running D3D11) to SDL2 as well.

Now the build was working properly, the next task was to get it building on a build machine. I had an older 13″ Macbook laying around, which I re-purposed to be our brand new MacOS build drone. I upgraded it to El Capitan, and since all my build tools are written in C#, I installed Mono to see if I would be able to run my console-applications. I was a bit startled that I could simply run windows EXE’s by typing ‘mono SomeProgram.exe’ in a terminal window. It just works. Just like that, I had a working OSX based build drone!

The current build process to upload a new build to Steam is as follows:

1. Build Windows RTM game, and copy to the network drive on completion.

2. Build OSX RTM game (in parallel as step 1), and copy to the network drive on completion.

3. Run a custom Steam uploader tool after both 1 and 2 are complete.

The steam uploader tool is another C# console app that checks if the latest Windows and OSX builds present on the network drive are exactly the same build number, and copies them into the proper place to upload to steam. In this step, the windows data files are copied to the OSX build path. Once everything is in place, and verified, an external tool is called to upload the build to Steam. That’s it!

All in all this took a fair amount of time to get set up, with lots of snags and issues along the way, but it’s all working now. Putting a new build on steam for both Windows and OSX is now only three mouse clicks (one for each step mentioned above). I wanted it to be 1 click, but I guess I can can live with three.

That’s it for this week. Keep those build machines build machining!

 

And, as usual, today at 4pm there will be another Dev Stream with Jouste the Drawbarian. Don’t miss it!

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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

 

Posted by: Under: Tech,Vikingsquad Comments: Comments Off on Dev-Blog 215: Build O Matic Part 2

Dev-Blog 214: Loki animations and a Fantastic Shout out!

04/06/2016

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we are going over some of our crafty badguy Loki and his animations! I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a very good animator, luckily Nick has added a bunch of great tools that helps me get things done and every day I’m getting better!

here’s a few examples of our crafty little green guy flying around!

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We noticed that giving our Loki all 10 digits being animating really gave him more character and let us do some really neat stuff with his puppet. we also started giving him a few different “Modes”. Loki turns into a glowing sphere and also a furry ball that sheds fur all over the place. This makes his entrances a lot of fun with a big poof of hair and camera shakes. He’s really coming together and we are excited for people to battle it out with this impressive imp!

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Also we have to give a shout out to Northway Games! Local devs here that just shipped their amazing game Fantastic Contraption! Sarah and Colin Northway are super great developers that are creating amazing things in a totally new space. We also got to shout out Lindsay Jorgensen who is making the game look absolutely beautiful, Radial games who’s helping in Contraption’s development, and our very own Viking Bard Gordon McGladdery who is developing the entire soundscape for the game! Great work guys!

So if you have access to a Vive capable computer, be sure to check out the game and build something fantastic!

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Also don’t forget that we’ll be streaming today at 4pm-6pm PST! We’ve been loving showing you guys some cool Viking Squad art and development and talking with our new followers and regulars! Be sure to stop by and say hey to the crew today while we slay out some art assets!

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And that’s it for this week! We are getting closer and closer every day to our final destination so thanks for stopping by and checking out our stuff! Until next time, keep those Loki animations interesting!

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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

Posted by: Under: Art Work,Slick Entertainment,Vikingsquad Comments: Comments Off on Dev-Blog 214: Loki animations and a Fantastic Shout out!

Dev-Blog 213: Bunker Punks Shout out and Boss Cards!

03/30/2016

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’ll be checking out some of our new additions to our mini-bosses!  Our Mini-Bosses are really coming together with cool attacks and interesting challenges. We’ve found that a classic card image sliding into from really punches them up on the intro and helps bring some more interesting poses and characters to the event.

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It also means that we get to use our artwork in a stronger way as well as having a bunch of cool boss art for marketing or even Steam Trading Cards!  We starting finding that getting really interesting animations out of our enemies’ combat ready puppets was pretty challenging. It was hard to cram in goofy poses or bad ass expressions without a bunch of work involved. Going in this direction let us slam in some humor and dynamics that we just couldn’t achieve previously.

Over all we are super excited to see these big wads of art crash into the screen and hope you guys will too! Below is an example of one of our nastier bosses, The Big Mean Bat! you can see that we can make the pose a little more aggressive and add smaller details that will read really easily on a piece that size. You’ll need to be at your best to take on this guy’s flapping frenzy!

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Also we’d like to give a big shout out and congratulations to our pal Mr. Shane Neville of Ninja Robot Dinosaur! Yep! it’s that wonderful designer man that helped us make Shellrazer and his new game Bunker Punks is available on early access today! It’s been awesome having you as a peer Shane and we wish you the best of luck from the crew here on Viking Squad.

It’s a super awesome throwback to 90’s twitch shooting with a cool meta game of building your Bunker along with perma-death and Rogue-Like elements that’ll scratch that trigger-happy itch I know we all have!

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And as always we’ll be bringing you guys some Dev-Stream Art Chopping today at 4pm PST! drop by for some laughs, art, and some searingly hot art tips! Hope to see you guys there!

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So another week slays by here at Slick! thanks for dropping by and checking out what we are working on and we’ll see you all next week with more Dev-Blog goodness! So until next time, keep those bunkers stocked with punks!

Jesse_avatar64-Jesse

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

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

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

Posted by: Under: Art Work,Shellrazer,Vikingsquad Comments: Comments Off on Dev-Blog 213: Bunker Punks Shout out and Boss Cards!

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Dev Blog

April 27 2016

Welcome back followers of the fearsome! We hope your week has been awesome as you check out what’s been happening on this side of the Squad! Today we’ll be checking out some of the visual updates we’ve been giving to our beginning area. I’ve always had a problem when creating spaces that I focus too […]