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PAX South, STEAM page and more!

 

Oh man! What a week! We have so many things going on that I don’t even know where to start!

Let’s see…

First of all, this weekend we will be at PAX South!

pax

Our friends at Devolver Digital are going to take us to the lovely San Antonio, Texas. Sebastian already was on PAX prime, so now it’s my turn to travel! But that’s not all!

As one of the most amazing and bizarre-yet-on-topic promos ever, Devolver will be giving away their ENTIRE digital library of games on Steam to anyone demoing the game at PAX  while wearing a toga!

As the fine gents of Devolver Digital put it:

Okhlos will be playable at the upcoming PAX South inside the Devolver Digital booth [12059] and any attendee that demos the game while wearing a toga or tunic will receive the entire Devolver Digital library of games on Steam.

You would have to be out of your mind if you don’t steal your mother’s drapes and run to PAX to play OKHLOS!

Remember, we will be at booth 12059, if anyone reading this is going to PAX, please come and say hi! I’d love to meet all of the people out there reading our mumbling!

And wear a TOGA!

 

The second order of business,

OKHLOS STEAM PAGE is up!

Now you can go to Steam an add Okhlos to your wishlist. Spam it to your friends and family!

Okhlos on Steam

Link to the store to an amazing game on Steam

There are a few things that we’ve added to the page but they are not being shown. For instance, we have Full Controller Support, yet the web page refuses to accept our update. Same thing with Trading Cards. But you get the idea!

Also, keep in mind that the art displayed in the store page is not final. I have yet to do lots of promo art …

And along with the new Steam page, we have NEW TRAILER!

 

The trailer was done by the amazing Kert Gartner, who makes most of Devolver’s trailers. Working with him was an incredibly cool experience. Some interesting facts:

-In order for Kert to have enough clips, I captured 163GB of video.

-The reason they were so large was because all the videos were running at 60fps, 1080p.

-There were 217 individual clips.

-It took me an entire day to capture all the footage for the first iteration of the trailer. After that we had to capture a few more particular shots, which expanded the capture time over two more days.

-We had to heavy compress the videos using H264 in order to send the clips to Kert.

-We spent an entire weekend uploading videos to Box and Dropbox.

-We uploaded about 20gb worth of videos.

 

Because this is a devblog (sort of), a word of advice: As you can see, the most important part when you are working on your trailer, is having TONS of footage. You want to show different moments of the game, different aspects, features, etc. So you need footage. Maybe a 5 minutes clip of a boss fight ends being used only for 2 seconds, but when you are editing, you are working for the video as a whole, and you are gonna discard a lot. So don’t be afraid of using the scissors!

I ranted a long time ago about the peculiarities of doing an indie trailer here. After working with Kert, I can tell you that most of the things that I wrote back then are still useful.

If you can’t literally spend a week or two doing the trailer, just hire Kert (don’t know if he is taking contract work, though!).

 

Finally, on a more personal note, this week we bought our first font.

For all of my games and design work, I’ve always used free fonts, but for Okhlos we are using Dalek, which can be used free for non commercial projects. We were planning on buying the font a few weeks before the game was out, but we decided to do it now, mostly because the trailer uses it.

It feels weird to buy a font, mainly because you are buying the license. Is the kind of thing that people don’t put money into. On a high note, it also makes you think that you are a professional. It kinda resembles the first time I bought a digital game*.

On a tremendously cooler note, the Dalek was designed  by Keith Bates, which was Eccleston’s (ninth Doctor) art teacher! How cool is that?!

And look at the hidden glyph!

dalek

EXTERMINATE!

And finally, (for realsies now) this week we had two major milestones! First, it was the second anniversary that we started working with Gordon for the sound and music of Okhlos! Give him a shout out to congratulate him about the awesome work he is doing! And secondly, this post is now the 101 post we did in our page! Cool! Right!? It would’ve been amazing if we noticed that last week, for the Hephaestus update, but we missed it and now we can’t celebrate our 100th post :(

 

Well, I think those are all the news we have for now! Remember to add the game to your wishlist and come to say hi if you are going to PAX!

 

*  I had a hard time trying to recall which was the first digital game I ever bought. I think that was Scott Pilgrim vs The world. The game itself is fine, but the art by Paul Robertson is amazing. All my games before that had been physical.

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The many versions of Hephaestus

 

Hi there and welcome back to the best blog ever*!

Among the many things we have working on these last weeks, we made a full review of all the boss battles in Okhlos. We playtested them, took notes and then discussed what was working about them, what wasn’t and what we could do to improve them. It’s a lengthy process but a rewarding one. So we want to show you how we do this. And as a example, we chose to tell you about all the changes that one of those bosses has undergone: Hephaestus.

Remember him? We introduced him back in one of our very first posts about the game, where we showed you the main antagonist in Okhlos, the hateful twelve Olympian gods. Hephaestus is Hera’s son, Aphrodite’s husband, and the god of blacksmiths, artisans, craftsmen, fire and volcanoes. He made all the cool weapons and gadgets the other gods and some heroes would wield, and he even made living machines, like the bronze giant Talos. All in all, a impressive chap. But back to the game.

Hephaestus Version 1.0

By the time of that post about the Olympian gods, we had already sketched out how Hephaestus was going to look and what he was going to do. It was very simple. He would have an area melee attack, which was smashing everyone around him with his hammer, also a ranged attack, throwing a lava boulder, and finally he would summon automatons, because he made them and lots of them lying around.

Ye Olde Hephaestus

Ye Olde Hephaestus

But things couldn’t be so simple. After implementing a first version a playing a bit we found out that the battle against Hephaestus wasn’t as fun as it could be. One problem was that the combat ended up being too static. Asides from the melee attack, which you could block, there was really no reason to move the mob. The best strategy was to swarm the god and keep pounding on him, ignoring any of the enemies he summoned and never getting far enough for him to use his ranged attack. Not that much fun indeed. Hence, a new version of Hephaestus was born.

Hephaestus Version 2.0

So we had a boss battle that was too static, and a god with two thirds of his attacks rendered useless by the most simple of the player’s tactics. What’s the first thing to try if a battle against a boss is to static? Making him move! Right? Hephaestus already did move around the level, slowly, but he moved. So, make him faster? For one part that didn’t fit the theme, Hephaestus was supposed to be a crippled god, strong but not particularly nimble or agile. We even made him with a cane! But asides from that, if we made him faster the player would simply spend more time running around him, which was not particularly fun either.

Hephaestuspixel

Concept vs final Pixel Art

The solution we came up then was to set up a safe zone inside his arena, where he would go to summon his automatons. The area would be outside the mob’s reach so he could spend all the time he wanted invoking minion or preparing devastating ranged attacks. A classic villainous move! Leave the battlefield for a while, let your underlings entertain the heroes and then came back for a new round of evilness. Perfect!

Or not. Even though this solution did work, and fixed the main issue while Hephaestus was in his safe area, the rest of the combat still felt pretty much the same. It now had a nice change of pace when Hephaestus went away to summon minions, but we set out to improve it even further. A new version was on the way.

Hephaestus Version 3.0

Around the time we were working on that version of Hephaestus as I was playing Titan Souls, an amazing game, as are all game published by the wonderful folks of Devolver Digital (blatant cross promotion – blatant cross promotion – blatant cross promotion). One of the bosses in Titan Souls is Vinethesis, plant-like creature that sits at the center of the level and spins around its spiked vines around. This boss seemed to have a problem similar to the one we faced with Hephaestus. The optimal way to beat him was to stand still and way for the right moment to shoot. However, the devs had came up with a way to make the player move. Vinethesis summons a cloud of poisonous spores that follows the player, and kills him if he stands still inside it.

The battle against Vinethesis in Titan Souls

The battle against Vinethesis in Titan Souls

It was a great idea! So let’s rip it off I said … err… I mean, let’s pay homage to the great game by implementing this great solution to our problem instead of resorting to other boss fight’s tropes. And so we did. We made a cloud of flames and smoke that slowly moves toward the mob, damaging any person (or animals) that comes in contact with it. If the mob spends too much time swarming around Hephaestus, the cloud will move over him, providing him with the cover he needs to bring some minions or use his ranged attack. Sweet!

And so everything was fine and we retired to an isolated Caribbean beach where we spent the rest of our days sipping cocktails and playing cards with an old fellow named Chachingo, right? Nope, we kept on playtesting Hephaestus battle and came up with a couple of things to improve. A new version was on the way.

Hephaestus Version 4.0

You remember that Hephaestus had a ranged attack, right? Throwing lava boulders at the mob? Well, up until now, Hephaestus wasn’t really able to use it that much, so that attack never got the chance to shine. Once Hephaestus started using it we realized that the attack had some issues of its own. No shining for you.

First there was the problem of where to get those lava boulders. When we planned it we thought that since he was in a volcano level, he could just grab it from anywhere, but digging up some lava from the spot he was standing didn’t really look very well. Neither was a good idea going all the way to lava rivers at the edge of the scenario each time he wanted to make ranged attack. After a few tests we decided to go in a different direction: Hephaestus wouldn’t dig up chunks of lava to throw any more, he would now invoke a meteor shower to rain upon the unsuspecting mob. Same as effective, twice as shiny and godly.

Captura de pantalla 2016-01-20 14.38.50

The other thing we changed in this version was how and when the smoke cloud appeared. At first it was almost an autonomous entity that was there in the level, it spawned when the battle began and stayed there until you defeated Hephaestus. What we did now was integrating into Hephaestus attacks. The cloud has finite lifespan but Hephaestus can summon another one whenever he needs it. Not a huge change but something that makes things more interesting.

And, unless I am forgetting something else (which is entirely possible), those were all the changes that Hephaestus has been through until today.

 

Is this the end of the story? Probably no. We’ve just started the closed beta and started getting feedback from players so we will probably do a fifth version, perhaps even a sixth version! But we wanted to show you a little about the iterative process of designing the bosses in Okhlos. They have always been one of the biggest challenges in the development of the game so we want to make them as best as possible.

Until next time!

hephaestus

*about the development of a ancient-Greek-mob game

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Okhlos’ Closed Beta is now live!

 

Good news everyone!

If you are one the lucky and wise ones to have pre-ordered Okhlos, you now have the chance to enter the closed beta and try the game before everyone else! You will have the opportunity to gaze upon unfinished marvels, buggy bosses and misspelled hero names but at the same time you will be able to give feedback on your favorite/least favorite aspects of the game, chip in ideas and help make the game even better!

How will I be able to do that, you say? If you pre-ordered the game, check your mail! All the instructions about how to get your key are there! If you DIDN’T receive the mail, let us know. Then, all of the beta participants will have access to a super secret forum where they can share all their thoughts, info and comments about the game! How cool is that?!

If you do join the beta, a little disclaimer. Please, keep in mind that the game is not finished yet. So expect to find bugs, lots of things to polish and a few missing content we have yet to add. Also, we are starting the beta with a Steam PC version. Our plan is to soon support Mac/Linux version too, but is being a little more challenging than expected so it may take us a few more days to launch those version.

Finally, if you haven’t pre-ordered the game, do not despair.  Pre-orders are currently close, and it is very unlikely that we will open any new slots for the time being, but hang on a few more months. We are really close to announcing a launch date! Also the beta will definitely help us improve Okhlos in many ways so it will be worth the wait!

 

 

Now, to celebrate, here is a HUGE screen, showing over 200 units on screen (pure Chaos)!

MuchaGente

 

And some GIF magic about this magic moment.

LotsOfPeople

Keep in mind that this is a particularly big .Gif! It may take a while to load.

1bOkhlos

And here is the 1bit / Obra Dinn style render of the gif (I wanted to share the gif on twitter, and removing the color information really helps the compression!)

 

So, that’s all! If you pre-ordered the game, and want to try the game, check your mail!

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The New Heroes of Okhlos Part IV: A New Hope

First draft by @roketronz, final draft and editing by @pfque_ .

First of all, vote for Okhlos!


2015 Indie of the Year Awards via Indie DB
Hi gang!

After a short break we’re back to close of our Spotlight on Okhlos’ New Heroes! This will be the final installment of our four part series. (If you missed out on the first three parts, you can catch them here, here, and… here!)

It’s been a fun few posts. We learned a bit about history and Greek myth, and just how silly Hero abilities can be! We’ll probably do another post on new Heroes further on down the line, but it won’t be for quite some time.

Well, without further ado, here are today’s new Heroes!

 

Frozenatos

The name’s a placeholder, but this dude totally isn’t. He doesn’t have much to do with ancient Greece – at least not until we find some way to shoehorn him in – but we really like his special ability: he briefly freezes enemies in places!

 

frozenDude

 

We were able to implement his ability pretty quickly as we used a little work around we had set up when we made King Midas. Midas turns enemies into gold, so in order to make that work we had to create states that discarded the enemy sprite’s color information and tinted them gold.

 

hechatonchires

 

Since we had this workaround already set up, it hardly took any work to create a frozen state that turned them blue!

 

Epizelus

Epizelus is an obscure historical reference… as obscure as it gets, really. (Hint: He’s from a little founding work of Western history… The Histories.) His may be the first recorded case of a conversion disorder or PTSD – he went blind in the middle of battle for no apparent reason.

 

epizelus

 

We don’t really love the character’s look right, so we’ll probably improve it or change it rather radically as soon as we have the time. His ability is a bit silly, but it’s one we really like having in the mix:

Every time one of your units lands a critical hit, everyone in the mob heals up a little! Neat!

 

Queen Gerana

Gerana, also sometimes known as Oenoe, was the queen of the Pygmy folk in Greek Mythology. She bragged she was even more beautiful than Hera herself, and, well, guess what happened to her? That’s right, the same thing that happens to most prideful and insolent mortals who mess with the Greek gods – she was turned into animal.

In Gerana’s case, she was turned into a crane. (And then for some strange reason the Pygmies started waging an eternal war on cranes? Greek mythology is so weird!)

 

Gerana

 

Like other royalty in Okhlos, Gerana will improve the capacity of your mob, allowing you to take more units with you! So far she’s the only Queen with this mechanic. (Queen Hyppolita does something a little different.)

 

King Pyrrhus

It is common in Spanish (and a little less so in English) to refer to battles won through great sacrifice as Pyrrhic victories. That expression comes from this guy, Pyrrhus, who lost almost all his men defeating the Romans in battle. :/

Like other royalty, Pyrrhus will increase the capacity of your mob, but this time, at a high and costly price…

 

Pyrrhus

 

…We’re trying to be mysterious here, but the truth is we’re still not sure exactly what the tradeoff is going to be. :/

 

Themistocles

If you saw the movie, 300: Rise of an Empire (that’s the second 300 flick, the sequel) you know this guy already! (Also, just like us, you saw one of the absolute worst movies about ancient Greece ever made! You have our deepest sympathies, you poor sod.)

If you haven’t seen the movie (and we very much envy you that!) and you’re not up and up on your Greek history, you should know that Themistocles, despite his funny name, was an extraordinary Athenian general and politician. Also he probably had one of the silliest hats in all of Greece!

 

themistocles

 

In Okhlos his special ability will highly increase your chance to score critical hits! Try having both Epizelus and Themistocles in your mob to combo up for some crazy effects!

 

Narcissus

Narcissus was already in the game, but we didn’t feel his ability was cool enough, and it didn’t really work very well after all the changes we’d made to the gameplay.

So now this handsome hunk has a brand new ability – with his mirror he’s not only able to reflect his own beautiful face, but also enemy attacks!

 

narciso

 

…Perhaps we made him too cool.

 

 

Well, that’s it! That wraps up our Four Part Spotlight on Okhlos’ New Heroes™!

We actually have a lot more Heroes than the ones we’ve shown you over these past few weeks. I mean, just have a look at the Hero Counter:

 

heroesCount_98

 

That’s a lot of Heroes! We didn’t want to show you all of them because, well, we wanted to keep some surprises for when you actually play the game! ;D

Look forward to Kings such as Ptolemy I and Priam, and legends such as Ajax and Andromarche!

Also, if you have any suggestions for new Heroes, please feel free to drop us a line or comment below!

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Awards and changes!

Two awards, one week! Shazam! Yeah! In a span of just seven days Okhlos was shown at two different events in Buenos Aires and returned with an award from each one. SLAM DUNK!

First was the turn of the EVA (short for Exposición de Videojuegos de Argentina) which is like an Argentinean GDC. For more than a decade now the EVA has been a gathering place for developers from all over the country, featuring various workshops and a huge number of talks (this time, for instance, the keynote talk was by Brian Moriarty, of Loom fame). This year they also decided to present a small number of games with an award for Most Promising Game. Okhlos was among them. CHA-CHING!

 

12241512_10153867800504767_7659861682182215252_n

Receiving the prize at Meet The Games

Next was the turn of Meet the Game, a great event that has been growing exponentially since its debut three years ago. The focus of this event is to bring games  closer to the audience, so they had a main hall filled with videogames for anyone to play, as well a floor devoted to party games and arcades and another to boardgames. All of this while a non-stop stream of talks was taking place. But the icing of the cake was the showcase, closing the event, where from all of the games in the show Okhlos was chosen as Game of the Year. SCORE!

 

But we didn’t rest on our laurels. Not at all. After a night of getting drunk on myrrh we went straight back to work.

And speaking about work, if you are one of the followers of this blog you will know that from time to time we post a list of things we’ve added into the game. This should come as no surprise in a development blog, but what may surprise you is the insane amount of new stuff that we have added since version 0.5.0. Tons of changes! Amazing new stuff! One addition better than other! Totally radical stuff! You’ll see.

(Remember! You can click on all images to enlarge them)

botonChangelog

NEW ENEMIES!

minotauro

  • The unstoppable Minotaur, which is one the brand new sub-bosses, and came along with its labyrinth.
  • The Hydra, with its nasty lair and its many, many heads.
  • Hades (the god, not the realm).
  • The great Athena, who seems nice until she starts plowing through your mob.
  • Hephaestus, the god of volcanoes and smithing.
  • The Hecatonchires, who is ridiculouly violent.
  • Argos Panopte, the one-hundred-eyed giant. Creepy!

 

NEW TRICKS FOR OLD ENEMIES!

  • Apollo’s new healing power. He was the god of healing too, so it kind of makes sense.
  • New Posidon’s attacks. Watery stuff galore!
  • Enemy spawning portals. More enemies coming from the portal dimension!

NEW WAYS TO SPEND YOUR UNITS

  • The Unit’s Market, where you can now trade units of one type in exchange of another type.

MercadoUnidades

NEW CHALLENGES!

  • New leader-targeted hazards: the confusing smoke altar, the lavish tree trap, and the slippery tentacle trap.
  • Hades (the realm, not the god).
  • New special levels, which will some spice to your quest through ancient Greece with things like rains of arrows and

NICER LOOKING THINGS!

  • New destroyed fx for props. Breaking stuff has never looked better.
  • Units movement interpolation. Unit’s movement is now as smooth as it gets.

NEW GUY IN THE HUD THAT TALKS TO YOU FROM TIME TO TIME!

  • That’s right, Homer is here to tell you the story of the ancient Greece’s favorite angry mob

Homer

NEW WINDOWS!

  • Along with Homer came the Intro Windows, which are these:
    • Hero Intro Window. Everything you ever wanted to know about the ancient world’s greatest heroes.
    • Also the Boss Intro Window, because otherwise you might’ve missed the 30-ft tall deity stomping your mob.
    • And finally the Unit Intro Window, because even the little guys deserve an intro window (at least the first time you encounter them).

PresentacionHeroes

OLD WINDOWS (but with new stuff in them)!

  • Market Window revamp. Extra comfort for the smart hero shopper.
  • Pause Window revamp. When you need to take a break this ** will be waiting for you.

MercadoHeroesEntero

NEW SOUNDZ!

  • We just couldn’t stop Gordon from adding a Main Menu Theme and tons new sfx for the new stuff.

OLD CLASSICS WITH NEW BLING!

  • Do you remeber The Agora? Well, it’s back with collectible statues, persistent heroes hub and more!
  • After adding so much new stuff we had to update the Tutorial, and so we did.
  • The solemn black background that dominated the Main Menu for so long is gone. Now a dynamic 3D background will leave you speechless every time you open the game.

Tutorial064

Menu064

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The New Heroes of Okhlos Part III: The Heroes Strikes Back!

First draft by @roketronz, final draft and editing by @pfque_ .

 

Heroes, heroes, spam, heroes, and more heroes!

It seems like that’s all we talk about nowadays and like we’ll never run out. Well, it’s not true! At this pace we’ll run out week after next. But worry not, that’s a problem for another day – today you get to enjoy Part 3 of our amazing Four Part Spotlight on the New Heroes of Okhlos!

Our weekly Hero count is now up to:

heroesCount_64

Meaning you will be meeting 6 brand new Heroes today!

 

Hannibal

Hannibal Barca of Carthage, one of the greatest military commanders this world has ever seen, was a leading figure in the Punic Wars, a conflict that just might’ve set the course of western civilization, and he has absolutely nothing to do with Ancient Greece. He rose to prominence almost a century after the Greek Classical Era had already ended!

Buuuuuuuuuuut… he was just too COOL and BADASS to leave out! We don’t care if it’s a bit anachronistic, we want our eyepatched tactical genius in the game and by the beard of Zeus, it’s our game and we’re going to include him!

In fact, in the game Hannibal is going to have a very interesting ability with a lot of tactical potential. Any enemies within a certain area around him will be automatically slowed down, allowing for some cool mix-ups and close calls.

 

hannibal

No, this isn’t the cannibal dude played by Anthony Hopkins, this is the guy who marched elephants over the Alps!

 

[Super Slave With Multitple Arms But No Name Yet]

Slavery and serfdom were very common in Ancient Greece, and slave units are an important part of your mob in Okhlos. Rebelling against gods and society, they fight alongside philosophers and warriors to bring down the oppressive machinations of fate!

… Actually, they just mostly carry items for you….

But even the valets have their Heroes, and [Super Slave With Multitple Arms But No Name Yet] is a Super Valet Slave! This big ol’ bloke, reminiscent perhaps of a mini boss from some well-known, deadly fighting game, will be able to carry up to 4 items at once with his big strong, muscly arms!

 

brazotos

Fun Fact: [Super Slave With Multitple Arms But No Name Yet] also gives the best high-fives in all of Ancient Greece.

 

Icarus

Icarus was the son of another of Okhlos’ Heroes, Daedalus, the famous inventor of the labyrinth. (No, not that movie with David Bowie, the inescapable death-trap with the Minotaur.) Well, if you know Icarus’ tale, you know that his good ol’ pop made him a set of wax wings to fly around with, but warned him sternly not to fly too close to the sun.

Did Icarus listen? Noooooooooope.

He flapped up right there next to those beautiful sunrays, and the wings melted in the heat, and Icarus fell to his dumb, stupid, very much preventable death.

Moral of the story: the Ancient Greeks didn’t really know how the solar system worked or that the incandescent ball of hydrogen that lights our world is actually really, really, really, impossibly far away. Or that the higher you climb up in the sky the colder it gets. (Oh, and there was something in there about hubris and arrogance, but I don’t remember.)

 

 

icarus

 

By the time we dug him up for Okhlos though, it seemed like Icarus had well learned his lesson and he promised us he will never fly again. (It’s totally not because the game is already chaotic enough without some snotty kid flapping about!) We’re not sure if we believe him, but just in case, to compensate, Icarus’ Hero ability will speed up the whole mob!

I mean, just look at how cool his running animation is!

 

Icarus_corre

PUT PUT PUT, PIDGEON BOY!

 

King Nestor

So far we’ve included a King in each part of our Spotlight and we don’t want to break the habit now!

Nestor is a HUGE figure in Greek Mythology! We’re talking B-I-G! He was an Argonaut, took part in the Trojan War, fought the centaurs, and participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar! Many other heroes and important figures of Greek Mythology looked up at him for advice, and he even had a shield made of solid gold!

We’ll be honest, we haven’t quite decided what Nestor’s ability will be in Okhlos just yet. He could be a simple King unit, like the others, and raise the amount of people you can have in your mob… but the man is important, and we’re very tempted to give him an additional ability on top of that. We’ll just have to wait and see…

 

nestor

Although, you have to question the ‘wisdom’ of a man with a shield made of solid gold, a mineral as precious as it is soft and totally not protective…

 

You might or not believe this, but we actually do some research for every Hero we include in the game. We look up the character’s history and the myths told about them as well how artists have portrayed them in the past (read as: Google Images). This last bit was pretty tough for Nestor, because our searches kept getting swamped with pictures of Argentina’s ex-President, Nestor Kirchner, a very influential figure in our country at this time, since we’re nearing elections. We swear, this man must have more streets named after him than anyone else in the world!

Sisyphus

Oof, Sisyphus, once King of Ephyra, is perhaps our most miserable of Heroes. For leading a life of trickery and deceit, for repeatedly deceiving the gods, for being pompous and arrogant, believing himself more clever than Zeus, and generally just being a huge pain in everyone’s butt, Sisyphus was cursed to roll a giant rock up a hill for the rest of eternity. Every time he got it near the top, the boulder would escape from his hands and roll all the way back down. I guess when you piss of Ancient Greek Gods you lose some and you lose some.

In Okhlos, we freed Sisyphus from his eternal torment so he could join up with the mob. It seems he’s grown really fond of his rock and has decided to use it against the very Gods who cursed him… and also against anyone and everything in his way. Let’s not forget that he’s still kind of a huge jerk though, so monsters are a lot more likely to go straight after him than the rest of your units.

 

sisyphus

Go Sisyphus! Distract them with your boulder, ya  jerk!

 

Fun Fact: Sisyphus also appears in another Latin American game, Rock of Ages,  made by the amazing Chilean devs, ACE Team!

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Arachne

If you thought that the divine punishments had ended with Sisyphus, you’re dead wrong. Dear Arachne was the greatest weaver in all of Greece, and boasted that she was even better at weaving than Athena herself, the very Goddess of Crafts. As Ovid tells it, Athena was outraged by Arachne’s arrogance and challenged her to a weaving contest. But when Arachne won, demonstrating that she was indeed the greatest weaver of them all, bitter and vengeful Athena turned Arachne into a spider, dooming her and her descendants to weave for all time. (Greek Gods sure have a thing for ‘eternal punishment’.)

Just like with Sisyphus and Icarus, we managed to save Arachne from her fate, and gave her a cool Hero Ability to smooth over the transition. Arachne will cause area damage to all enemies around her.

 

aracne

There’s something to be said about having complete dedication to your craft.

 

 

Well, that’s all we have for this week folks! Tune in next week for the final instalment of our Spotlight on Okhlos’ New Heroes!

 

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New Heroes for Okhlos, Part II

This post was outlined by @roketronz, then written and edited by @pfque_ .

 

Hey gang!

Welcome to Part II of our New Heroes of Okhlos Spotlight!

As we mentioned last week, we’ve decided to turn Okhlos’ special Hero units up to 11, that’s inspired us to create a bunch of new dynamics and characters. This spotlight is meant to be a meet-and-greet, a way for us to introduce them to you and show you just how fun it’ll be to try them out!

 

Well, without further delay, let’s check on our Current Hero Count:

heroesCount_58

58! That’s six up from last week! Let’s get ready to meet them! :)

 

Panacea

Panacea is the Greek goddess of universal health and remedy. Her name literally translates as, ‘Cures All’, and she hung around on Olympus with a potion that healed the sick – it’s where we get the modern concept of ‘panacea’, a solution or remedy that is supposed to solve all problems or cure all illness. (It’s also from where we get the Final Fantasy item that removes all status ailments. ;p)

In Okhlos she’ll revive your fallen units strewn around the battlefield.

 

panacea

You see? All better now! Up and at ‘em, Tiger! :)

Ernestos

You might or might not know Daniel Benmergui, a friend of ours who’s appeared on the blog before. He’s made a few games like Today I Die, I wish I Were the Moon, and Storyteller… and won the IGF 2012 Nuovo Award, I guess? He’s currently working on Ernesto, a cool puzzle game about charting paths through dungeons. It’s a game we like a lot and we wanted to make a little tribute to it in Okhlos. So here’s he is, our brand new Hero, Ernestos!

Ernestos will allow the mob leader to draw a path behind them as they move across the level. This path will last only a limited of time but during that time enemies will not be able to cross it, herding them off to one side!

 

ernestosCamino

If all goes well, Ernesto and Okhlos should actually be launching very close to one another! :)

 

Pygmalion

Pygmalion was a Cyprian sculptor who carved a statue out of ivory so beautiful and lifelike that he immediately fell in love with it. The statue, Galatea, was later given life and they smooched and had a kid or some such cliché thing. (Pygmalion is also a play by Bernard Shaw, from which they then made the movie, ‘My Fair Lady’, I guess?)

In Okhlos, our love-struck sculptor will occasionally summon badass, combat-ready Galatea to punch some serious monster butt with her ivory fists!

galatea

We like to think of her sort of as the equivalent of an ancient Greek battle robot.

 

King Agamemnon

King Agamemnon of Mycenae or Argos, depending on your sources, was the commander of the united Greek armies during the Trojan War. He doesn’t differ too much from the other King units in Okhlos – he increases how many units can join your mob – but he was just too cool not to mention here!

 

agamemnon

He was also the father of Electra… you know, the one that Jung named the Freudian complex after…

 

Hipparchia

Hipparchia of Maroneia was a Cynic and one of the most well-known women philosophers from ancient Greece. (Despite not being given top-billing traditionally, there’s actually more of them than one might think!) Hipparchia’s Hero ability will make enemies drop items, and as she’s also a philosopher unit, you’ll be able to play as her!

 

hipparchia

Cynic 4 Life!

 

Deianira

Deianira – whose name also translates to ‘man destroyer’ – was the wife of super-famous demi-god, Heracles, and she was said to “drive a chariot and practice the art of war.” She sounds like a badass! But also she maybe accidentally killed Heracles by smearing the blood of this centaur dude, Nessus, inside his lion-skin shirt? Oops! Talk about clumsy!

(I guess the centaur’s blood was poisonous or toxic??? How was she supposed to know? That’s not a reasonable thing for a person to assume!)

So, anyways, inspired by that little “accident”, we thought it’d be appropriate if Deianira’s Hero ability caused ongoing bleed damage to enemies when they get hit. Kinda like how rogue classes work in some games.

…wait, does this mean we can put rogue-like on the back of the game box now? Wait, we’re not going to have a game box, are we? That’s not something a digital game can have, right? Can you like, download a game box?

 

deianira2

You know,  just in case, maybe try not to have Heracles and Deianira in your mob at the same time…

 

And, THAT’S THEM!

Thanks for coming by and meeting our new Heroes! We’ll have a brand new batch next week when we put up Part III of our New Heroes of Okhlos spotlight! See you then! :)

 

 

 

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The New Heroes of Okhlos, part I

Hi gang! How’re you folks doing? Here at Coffee Powered Machine we’re as swamped as always! We’re busy, busy, busy! But that’s never stopped the DevBlog train from rollin’ on and it’s not going to stop it now! Choo choo!

628

As you might’ve heard (since we can’t stop bragging about it!) we got to go to PAX Prime this year! Well… Sebas got to go, anyways. I couldn’t get my stupid visa paperwork done in time so I had to stay here…

*GRUMBLE-GRUMBLE*

mr.grumble

Self-Potrait of the Artist

 

From everything Sebas tells me, PAX was great, and showcasing the game to the crowds was a really amazing experience and opportunity. Personally, I’m really grateful Okhlos had a showing there and that so many new people got to see the game!

…But at the same time, not getting to go to PAX and having to stay here in Buenos Aires to keep working while Sebas partied and got to see Seattle…

Well, let’s just say I had a lot of anger and frustration to churn and channel into a productive outlet.

So, good news! With all that productive energy I’ve written up a four-part spotlight on Okhlos’ Heroes!

Rejoice! :D

Heroes

Heroes, as you may already know if you’ve been keeping up with the DevBlog, are Okhlos’ special units. Each one of them is unique and once you recruit them they’ll change the mob in their own particular way. Originally we designed these changes to be subtle, so as not to break the game’s balance nor distract too much from the carefully constructed flow of the game’s base mechanics…

But then we remembered this game was supposed to be FUN!

So we threw all that caution to the wind and decided once again that if we were going to make a game about a chaotic mob then it was going to have to be chaotic! We turned those damn Heroes up to 11 and made sure they were just as destructive and chaotic as the rest of the game!

So we’ve been designing a lot of Heroes! How many Heroes? Well, here’s a fancy graphic we made for the sole purpose of letting you know!

heroesCount_52

I bet you wish YOU had a fancy graphic now, don’t you?

 

52! That’s right! And we’ve come up with so many weird and wild and beautiful things. Some ramp up your stats wildly, others introduce entirely new mechanics to the game, others change enemy behavior, and some just explode! But there’s a lot more than that! That’s the thing – there’s so many of them and they’re all so different from one another that it’s hard to generalize.

That’s why we’re spotlighting them here!

We want to show off our favorite Heroes so that you can get a good feel for them. This is the first part of our four-part spotlight, showcasing individual Heroes and all the beautiful, terrible things that they do to make Okhlos unique and a Whole Riot of Fun™!

Paris

Paris, Prince of Troy! You remember that whole squabble about the Trojan War and that giant wooden horse?

Kind of his fault a little bit.

When we first put him in the game his ability was fairly passive. All it did was influence the range of aggression of some enemies. Well, we scrapped that and turned things up a little!

Paris’ new ability gives every Hero in the mob a chance to land a one-hit-kill! Depending on how the dice roll, their attacks might straight out kill an enemy just like THAT!

However, it comes with a cost! Paris is one of a few Heroes who will actually REDUCE the amount of people you can have in your mob. It’s an important trade-off that we’ve been experimenting with and it’s resulted in a lot of very interesting strategies and tactical play. A small mob with a few powerful Heroes can really pack a punch!

Paris

Paris never actually got to see the French city of Paris, as it was built many centuries after his death. :(

 

Asuracenturos/Gordon

These new Heroes are styled after two we’d already included in the game – Orpheus and Elviros. Like them, they’re both musicians.

Asuracenturos is inspired by the tortured and very misunderstood Celt musician, and Gordon well… by our very own composer and musician – Gordon! :)

Their music will pump up the stats of all nearby units giving them a strong in boost in combat.

Asuracenturos

Asuracenturos – pictured here without a boar or a hammer flying at his head.

V7O8-jgr

Gordon

Can you spot the 10 differences we’ve hidden in these two pictures?

Empedocles

Empedocles, who spoke of the elements, who spoke of Love and Strife! He’s one of the new philosopher Heroes.

His ability will create a force-field around your main character, negating the first attack dealt to them. This field recharges every X seconds, thus helping to prevent a lot of extra damage and perhaps saving you from that dastardly finishing blow!

Like with Paris, having Empedocles with you will reduce the amount of people you can have in your mob – but it’s well worth it!

(Philosopher Heroes like Empedocles are of particular note because once you buy them they’re permanent! At the beginning of a new game all the philosopher Heroes you’ve bought will be right there waiting for you and you’ll be able to select them to be part of your initial mob.)

Empedocles

Speak to me of of universal laws~ Speak to me of love and strife~

Glitchos

The Missingno of our game!

 

idleGlitcho

Glitchos (working name) is one of the coolest Heroes of this new batch. If they’re in your mob, each time a unit dies it will EXPLODE, harming all nearby enemies! The damage dealt will depend on the unit’s stats and the explosions will be rendered in beautiful gigantic pixels!

GlitchExplosion

Glitchos forms part of a particular subset of Heroes which, as you might have noticed, don’t actually have any historical basis or relation to ancient Greece. We’ve had a lot of fun with these and it’s allowed us to come up with a lot of fun, weird characters. Keep your eyes peeled for them in the following parts of out spotlight! :)

Sophocles

Sophocles, the playwright and tragedian!  Writer of Oedipus and Antigone and a bunch of other miserable people.

Like Paris and Empedocles, this Hero will lower the amount of people you can have with you in your mob, but in exchange, every time you kill an enemy the entire mob’s max HP will increase!

“Overpowered FTW!”, as we’re sure Sophocles himself would have said.

Sofocles

Sophocles, fine tuning the lean-mean-bleak-machine that was his writing.

King Philip II

King Phillip II of Macedon is often overshadowed by his son – you know the one, no?

His name was Alexander… the Great… and he conquered most of the ancient world before he turned thirty? Remember that guy? No big deal, right?

Well, King Phillip was a cool dude all in his own right. He did things.

I mean, he must have done some things! I’m sure of it.

Well, I’m not sure sure of it. But it’s very probable… right?

Well, anyways, in Okhlos, like most kings in the game, he increases the amount of people you can have in your mob. That way you can wreck even more havoc and chaos across Ancient Greece!

See? I told you he did things!

PhilipII

So, like, it turns out King Phillip II actually did do a whole bunch of things – and someone wrote all them down! :0

 

Oh, and last but not least, before we go – someone wrote us a Wikipedia page! You have no idea how exciting that is for us. :)

 

This was all for this week! Keep tuned for the next three exciting installments of our Heroes Spotlight!

 

This post was written by @roketronz, then edited, rewritten, and doubled in length by @pfque_ .

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In Fork Parker we trust

Great news everyone! As some of you might have heard, we signed a publishing deal with the fine folks of Devolver Digital. The intrepid men and women who helped bring into the world games like Hotline Miami, Broforce or Talos Principle are now going to help Okhlos see the light of day (and they will have to deal once again with senseless violence, pixel art and deep philosophical questions).

devolver-logo

What does this mean for the game?  For starters, we know this deal will help us make Okhlos a more polished game, by increasing the QA and localization efforts for instance. Their knowledge and expertise will also make the launch as smooth as possible.  Then, and perhaps most important of all, it will help us focus on making the game instead of spending time talking about the game and promoting it. So, win-win for everybody!

They are not ones to waste time, so what was the first thing they did? Bring Okhlos to PAX Prime!

PAX_Okhlos_04

Needless to say it was a great experience. We had the chance to show Okhlos to many, many people, and also got to meet a few who already knew and loved the game. It was four days of frantic activity but very fruitful. So we are extremely happy that they made room in the Devolver booth for an angry mob of ancient Greeks.

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Sketchfab to Unity using 2D Toolkit

Hey there! This week we are gonna talk about our interactive dioramas, show how the 3D meshes mix with pixel art. Particularly we are going to talk about how we made them.

A little history

It all started at the time we were about to launch our  Greenlight campaign. We wanted to do something cool, and show little bit more of the game, but we knew that demos hurt sales, so we our first approach was to do some sort of teaser, something were you could feel how the 3D / 2D worked together, without showing too much gameplay. Not long we ended up with a few prototypes.

The first prototype was a sandbox-oriented single level. To test it, we reached out to a few people that had never played Okhlos before. Their response was not very good. They felt that the lack of objectives was very confusing. We iterated a bit more on this, but we always landed in similar places. Another problem was that were quite a lot of mechanics to learn and not that much chance to include a tutorial in a pickup-and-play single-level teaser.

ImagenSandbox

ideally, you could choose different units to test different mob configurations

So we discarded this prototype, and the sandbox approach, and we started exploring some more goal-oriented prototypes.

Not long after that we landed in a Colosseum mode, where the player would have to battle wave upon wave of enemies. This turned out to be pretty enjoyable, but we still had the problem of a lack of some kind of tutorial. We figured out that we couldn’t throw the user into the level without some basic concepts. Finally, we discarded this prototype as well. It was fun but far from perfect. In addition to this, we were concerned that some players may get the idea that the whole game was going to be that way, merely fighting endless waves of enemies.

Also, at that time, we ran into a new problem: Chrome dropped support of Unity’s web plug-in. The teaser had always been aimed to be played in a browser, so this was definitely a setback.

The bright side of this was that, due to the nature of the Colosseum mode, we had the chance to focus more on the combat mechanics. We learned more than one thing doing this and we took them to the main game. Yay us.

ImagenColiseo

This is an editor view of the combat area in the second teaser

So, the clock was ticking and we wanted to do at least something before launching our Greenlight campaign. That’s when we had the idea of using Sketchfab.

 

Why Sketchfab?

We really wanted to show how pixel art and 3D worked together, and there were few options to achieve this (making an .exe was almost out of the question. Nobody downloads tech demos).

Sketchfab, unlike Unity, runs with HTML5 (I think), so we had no browser compatibility problems. Also, you don’t need to install any plugins to view a Sketchfab model in your browser, it’s pretty straightforward. Finally, Sketchfab has Unity support, which was also a plus for us, since we could use everything we already had set up in Unity to build these scenes faster (as opposed to building them from scratch in 3DSMax).

Unity + Sketchfab

In order to do be able to upload a model to Sketchfab from Unity you first have to download the lastest unity package from the Asset Store.

Plugin

We installed the package in Okhlos’ main Unity project. We had a few compatibility problems with some things, but for the most part deactivating things did the trick. The main problem we had, was that we couldn’t make a windows standalone build if we had the package content in the directory. This was particularly annoying, but deleting the Sketchfab folder is literally one key down (and a left arrow key, and an enter). So it’s not so bad.

Once we installed the Sketchfab exporter we found out that, even though some things were cool, others were very annoying:

  • You CAN’T see how the model looks in Sketchfab until it is online.
  • Automatically, every model is made public for any user to browse. As an artist, I hate this.
  • There are lots of little problems with some textures and geometries.
  • If a shader you are using is not supported, your model will look like a Kandinsky.
  • The plugin is pretty basic, and there is almost no support on the web about using Unity + Sketchfab.
  • You have to set an awful amount of things in the Sketchfab web editor because the Unity Settings are not imported (billinear/point, alpha channel, etc).

Clearly, this tool is not designed specifically to export any unity object, and we are stretching what you can do with the platform, so is not like all of this is particularly Sketchfab’s fault.

 

So, how do we start?

Doing a Pixel Art Diorama

Starting is easy. You only have to put the pieces together. I suggest creating a prefab, so as not to lose information (Unity is notorious for not being that trustworthy with the scene information). Once you have the prefab, you have to select it in order to export it (alla “Export Selected” in max), but it will only export things in the scene, not in the project folder.

Seleccionado

I really don’t know the amount of polys Sketchfab supports, and because all our buildings are low poly, we didn’t have any problems with the poly count.

Another thing I recommend, is giving the model some context. In our case, because of the Diorama approach, we put a plinth to push the idea a little bit further. Basically you don’t have to do anything like this, you only have to do something pretty, and preferably not very big, the navigation in the Sketchfab viewer is not fantastic. It is not impossible, but I can’t imagine using the tool as a level navigator (but of course you can do something like that!).

Now that you selected the object, you have to export it with the Sketchfab window. There are not many options here.

ExporterSketchfab

Once uploaded, it will appear in your user models.

Subido

Then, you can edit a few things regarding the materials, annotations, camera, and post effects. All of these are easily tweakeable.

I would’ve loved if this was all you needed to know, but because we use 2D toolkit for the sprites, the process is quite more complex.

2Dtoolkit considerations

Exporting geometry is easy. Technically, the sprites in 2D toolkit are simple geometry as well (planes), but we had to do A LOT of experimentation to get it right.

First of all, as I said before, if Sketchfab doesn’t like your shader, it can turn your model into garbage.

monstrosity

Oh god! Kill him! Kill him!

You have to use (while you export at least) a basic shader. Also, keep in mind that every time you create an atlas in 2dtk, it will create a texture and a material (usually called Atlas0, because of reasons). So, if you have multiple atlases, all with different names, but you kept the default name for the materials and textures(Atlas0), Sketchfab will think that they are all the same material, and you will not be able to change them. A workaround for this is naming each material and texture differently. Don’t worry, this brings no trouble at all to the project, you will still be able to update your atlas and it will keep the new names.

atlas0

You should rename all of these.

Once you do this, you will be able to use multiple atlases for the model, using the same atlases that you are currently using in the project. You’ll need to set the alpha channel of each texture, which is a pain. Also, because of the pixel art nature, you’ll have to set all the textures into Nearest (Point in Unity) (they are usually in Billinear in both). This means that it will do no interpolation in the image, and will show every pixel as is.

settingmaterial

Take a look at the transparency configuration. Also, you should switch it to Point (Nearest)

These are mostly the considerations you have to know using 2DToolkit in Sketchfab. However, if you take a close look at the sprites, you’ll notice some imperfections. We couldn’t find a way to fix this, but because they only show in a few sprites we decided to live with them.

errores

Here, Aristotle had a harsh hair cut. And Plato lost his feet.

So there you have it! You can play with the model settings for cool post effects, lights, etc.

 

 

 

Hope you found this info useful!

 

A little disclaimer, I’m not affiliated to Sketchfab in any way (or to Unity, but that’s more obvious). I just liked the tool, and we had a few questions regarding how we made the dioramas.

 

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