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50 Shades of Manticore

So we had a couple of days off this week, thanks to Carnival (yes, that’s totally a legitimate and valid reason!) and I took off to spend them in the rural and wilder part of the country. While I was there I started drafting up the first few mini-bosses of the game.

 

We already had the designs for the monsters, but I took on the task of translating them into pixel art, and when you do that they usually change a lot. Drawing and illustrating are very different from creating something through pixel art. They are basically two different languages, and you have to know the strengths and weaknesses of each one if you want to do good work. You also have to realize that things are going to change a lot going from the concept art to the sprite.

I worked on three mini-bosses that will all have very similar mechanics. They are the Manticore, the Sphinx, and the Chimera. Here are the sprites I made for them:

NOTE: Keep in mind, in order to fully enjoy them in all their pixel glory, you should open the images and see them in full size.

The Manticore

updateManticore

As you can see, the body started off looking more like a greyhound’s, so I riffed off of the Nemean Lion to give it more shape and complexion.

The wings were a real pain. I thought I could just use the wings from the Harpy, but I soon realized that the two creatures keep their wings in very different positions when they’re idle and relaxed, so I ended up having to change them a lot. I started with white wings, changed them to black wings, and then somehow ended up with a completely different set of bat-like wings.

(Luckily, I was able to recycle that set of white wings and use it for the Sphinx. Otherwise they would have been a huge waste of time.)

The tail was pretty straight forward, as was the cloth that adorns the Manticore’s body.

As you can see, we took out the horn for the final version, as people would not stop pointing out that it looked phallic. (We are obviously very mature and professional here at CoffeePoweredMachine…) We also changed the face a little and we think it’s a bit more badass now, although maybe it looks a bit like Abraham Lincoln?

 

The Sphinx

 

UpdateSphinx

The Sphinx came together pretty quickly. We had planned from the beginning to use the same body for all three mini-bosses so that we’d only have to make a single running animation for all of them, and as such we just took the body of the Manticore and gave it a palette swap for the Sphinx. We also recycled some of the wings that we had discarded earlier while making the Manticore, so all I really had to work on were the torso, the jewels, and the snake.

The torso was by far the most difficult part here. I had to decide where the torso would emerge from the body, how the arms and shoulders would be angled, and I had to create a lot of other small details that were ignored – or rather, neglected – in the first draft. We used Artemis as a base for the size and proportion of the Sphinx’s torso.

We ended up scrapping the Sphinx’s arms altogether and just made the wings pop out from her shoulders.

I also had to raise the snake-tail a bit more as the wings were covering it up.

Finally, I just threw a lot of jewels on there, because, you know, reasons.

 

The Chimera

UpdateChimera

Similarly to the Sphinx, the Chimera came together pretty quickly, mainly because the body was already done.

I struggled on two points with this creature:

The first was the head. The fire mane is going to take quite some time to animate, and working on fire has always been my kryptonite.

The second thing, as you might be able to tell, was the tail. I wanted to use the same snake as I’d used on the Sphinx, just to save us the time of animating another one, but it looked really boring. My second attempt didn’t come out much better, if you look on the sprite sheet it’s really rather ridiculous – it’s just a regular lion tail with the head of a snake.

In the end I went back and stuck to the original concept, and I ended up with this weird Rockewellian [~obscure art joke] snake-tail.

 

 

Final results

manticoreChimeraSphinx

 

And ta-da! This is how they turned out!

 

 

This post was written in a hurry by @roketronz and then, as always, it was edited and proofread by @pfque_!

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Okhlos Goes to London (Simbolically, we are poor)

EGXRezzedFiltro

We are thrilled, exhilarated and ecstatic to announce that Okhlos has been selected to be part of the Leftfield Collection 2015, and as such will be at the EGX Rezzed event in London, next month. One of the biggest events in Europe! Handpicked to part of a prestigious collection! Wow! It’s such an honor not only to be part of the collection, but also to do it among such amazing games as the ones chosen this year. You can see the full list here and check for yourself how awesome the games are looking!

As for our part, we are working right now on a exclusive new version that will be playable at the event. It will have tons of new content and we will try to have as polished as possible. We are adding new enemies, new hazards, new hud and even new mechanics we have trying out. We aim to have to best version so far, in order to give everyone at the EGX the chance to experience Okhlos at its best.

So remember, if you are in London from March 12 to 14, go and play Okhlos at the Leftfield Collection!

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Atlantian Problems Part Quatre, The remnant

We’ve already discussed Atlantis: here, and here, and here! We should stop milking the same old cow, and we promise that this will be the last update about Atlantis for a while (we still haven’t talked about Poseidon, but that’s another subject altogether!). However, there is one thing we have yet to talk about. The Hazards. Those things that sometimes annoy you, sometimes kill you, and other times make something else kill you because you were avoiding the hazards in the first place.

 

The hazards

In the hazards department, Atlantis will have:

Whirlpools

Whirlpools attract nearby units and then, after some swirling, hurl them violently.  We haven’t finished working on this hazard yet, so they might change a lot, because we still have no idea if they are fun or not.

whirlpool

As you can see in the .gif below, we are having some issues with what we like to call z-fighting (boring people calls it Z write order * booooring *). The reason for this is that, as we said in a previous update, the water material is transparent/vertex lit, and the whirlpool material is a custom shader by 2dtk called BlendVertexColor. Evidently, they don’t get along quite well, and when they are moving, they often forget which one is above the other (Oh, you! Silly shaders!).

whirlpool

Anyway, we haven’t solved this yet, but we all trust in Sebastian’s expertise with shaders.

 

Seaweed

The seaweed reduces the units’ speed when they walk through them (which can be soooo annoying).

algasss

We already got a glimpse of this at Delphi, where you had a different kind of difficult terrain hazard – the mud patches – and they proved that they can generate a lot of fun situations!

 

Greek Fire

The legendary Greek Fire was said to burn even on water. We took this, stretched the definition a little bit , and we ended up with a perfect fit for Atlantis. We were then able to put fire hazards literally everywhere in the sunken city and have it completely justified by the setting!

fuegoGriego

One of the little twists that Okhlos’s version of Greek fire has is that even torches are made of it so if destroyed they can transform into a hazard! Touching the fire will, as expected, burn you and your units in a nasty way. So, DON’T touch the big green fire!

 

Well, that’s it for this week, and for Atlantis for a while!  I have no clue what we’ll talk about next week!

 

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Atlantian Problems Part Trois, The Revenge

Hey gang! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

We’ve been super busy here doing a lot of planning for Okhlos and we now have a much clearer road-map for development going forward, including dates and milestones we want to hit. Let’s hope we manage to stick to them!

Our last update – Water in Okhlos – seems to have been pretty popular, and we couldn’t be happier about it. We’d put the update up on Gamasutra as well, apart from up on our website, and it was featured on the front page!

Today, in Atlantean Problems Part Trois, the Revenge we’ll talk about the enemies you’ll encounter in Atlantis. If you’ve missed Part I and II of our ongoing Dev Blog feature on Atlantis, you can catch up on them here and here.

 

The enemies

Being the brilliant and original developers that we are, we decided that our visual theme for Atlantis is – you guessed it – aquatic! The enemies for these levels have thus been redesigned accordingly in order to transmit that watery vibe.

Atlantean Cyclops

atlanteanVsOlympianCyclops

These are the basic melee units for Atlantis. They’re violent and their devastating blows mean a world of hurt for the mob and its leader. (Hint: that’s you!)

We used the original base of the Olympian Cyclops (from earlier on in the game) to design the new Atlantean Cyclops, which made the whole process far easier than it would’ve been otherwise. The club still looks kinda boring though, so we’ll probably end up redesigning that as well.

Atlantean Gigantes

AtlanteanGigantes

These Atlantean giants, while also melee units, will strike with powerful area attacks that will hit the whole mob at once. Gigantes means giant in Greek, and it’s where the word Gigabyte comes from.

Nymphs

nymphsVarias2

The Nymphs are a new unit we designed specifically for Atlantis! As you can see above, they were kinda tricky to design, and we went through quite a few different iterations before we arrived to a version we were truly happy with.

Being forest spirits, Nymphs are usually linked to Aphrodite, and in the game they’ll be making the most of their charm as they run around and convert pedestrians into enemies!

 

NymphCorre_DraftNymphCorre

In the animation above you can see that between our original draft of the Nymph and its final version we’ve added two extra frames. These give a little more air time to her skipping, and make it seem more natural and relaxed.

Mermen

Triton

These Tritons/Mermen shoot water blasts!

As you can see, our first iterations of the mermen were fishier and less humanoid, but the combination of blue and green made it very hard to see them against the background of the stage, so we ditched that design altogether. We haven’t animated the water blasts yet, but they’ll very likely shoot out from the weird staff the Mermen are holding. (And not from their mouths, although the idea is very tempting.)

 

Lamia

Lamnia

Careful – the Lamia will devour pedestrians and will poison units in your mob! You’ll have to be quick about dispersing the mob when that happens, otherwise the poison will spread onto other units and soon the whole mob will be doomed!

Truth be told, we haven’t integrated the Lamia into the game yet, so we don’t really know what to expect from them right now, but between them and the Nymphs, no pedestrian is safe! It might be a good idea to grab them as quick as you possibly can before they’re eaten – or worse – charmed to fight against you!

 

 

So this is it for this week! We hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into the enemies you’ll be encountering in Atlantis. Next week we’ll have Part IV of our Dev Blog feature on Atlantis. It’ll be our last update to focus on this game world, and we’ll be talking about the perils and hazards that inhabit it. We hope to see you then!

As always, this article was proofread and edited by you friendly neighborhood  @pfque_!

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Atlantian Problems part II

 

Happy New Year and welcome back! This is our first update of 2015 and we hope you’ve all had a great start to your year! Here at CoffeePoweredMachine the work never stops, and we’re still chugging away on the Atlantis levels, which we first showed you in our last update.

Back then, when we introduced Atlantis to you, we also talked about its ornaments and it’s foliage, and you guys gave us a lot of great feedback! Thank you very much for all your thoughts, we’re going to keep working hard on those details to make sure it look just right!

Okhlos’ water

The composition of the water in Okhlos is quite simple: it’s a plane.

waterPlane

The water is above the actual ground of the game… duh.

It’s a plane above the actual ground of the level, so the units, buildings, and enemies never interact with it. The ground is the one that posseses all the physics components, so it still handles all the collisions itself. The water is just a mesh child of the ground.

The water has a transpartent/diffuse material, and there isn’t much more to it than that. We don’t reduce the opacity of the texture, we just change it in the materials settings. This gives us much more control, and, since we’re working directly on the final look as we make changes, we can just do it all within Unity instead of having to export out a texture for every tweak we want to make.

matProp

“Agua” in spanish means water :P

As far as water within other objects goes, all the water in streams and containers was made in 2DToolkit, which makes animating it so much easier and gives us far more versatility.

agua

 

As you can see from the picture above, almost all the water streams for the objects are made using sprites. We animate them frame by frame. 2DToolkit has an incredibly useful pipeline for this kind of work. We still need to export the sprites, but we change their sizes, shapes, and orientations very quickly, and we can see the results almost immediately.

barrilbebedero

 

waterFountain2

This fountain has 8 different sprite animations, just to illustrate the versatility of our system.

fuente

The only real problem we had with this approach was that we had to change the material of the water within the objects to differentiate it from the water plane. The water has an Additive Vertex color material, which is why it almost seems to glow.

 

 

The cascading water, as we mentioned before, is a sprite animation, but the ripples are produced using Unity’s particle system.

waterFlow

It’s actually a pretty simple effect, it’s just a looping particle that throws instances every now and then.

Captura de pantalla 2015-01-07 11.07.37

With just a few tweaks we can apply the effect to a character. We just need to change the Emission from Time to Distance, and the simulation space to local.

waterRipplesCharacter

The buildings

The buildings, fortunately, were pretty straight forward to make. We added some moss and a strange glowing pattern that we thought exuded a certain Atlantean look.

buildings

 

We added the obligatory moss, following in a looooong tradition of water levels.

As for the edges of the level, we got rid of those old fashioned mountain bases and we replaced them with water walls that have ancient Atlantean runes! So cool!

water

 

Oops… this update ended up being a little long, didn’t it? We still have at least another update to write about Atlantis, talking about enemies and hazards, but there’s also so many other things we want to talk about! We’re still not quite sure what we’ll focus on for next week, but stay tuned, it’ll definitely be exciting!

See you all next time, and happy new year!

As always, this article was proofread and edited by @pfque_!

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Okhlos: A year in review (2014)

Hey! How’s that we are not writing about Atlantis? That will have to wait a little longer (as it happens with almost all things this time of the year). Instead, we wanted to share what we thought were the coolest moments of this year.

A huge thanks!

First of all, this year we were overwhelmed by the amount of support we received. By our supporters (fans is a such a strong word!) and our colleagues. We usually post all this stuff in three different places: our blog. TIG, which is an amazing forum for developers, and IndieDB. We got so many wonderful comments, helpful feedback and lots of cheers from these communities.

Also, lots of tweets, shares and a plethora of nice words from our friends. We really got the chance to see the best part of the industry this year.

2014-2

 

Best of 2014

-We started our year with a full press coverage in RPS and Kotaku

-We had major HUD changes (and we are still making more!)

-We had our own take on prefab inception

-We had a good amount of Lets Play

-Gordon joined the team as our musician/sfx guy/Canadian friend

-We made things harder

-We now have a cool Trailer

 

-The trailer’s making of was featured in Gamasutra

- We turned down three different publishers offers! All of them included upfront money, so it was very difficult to say no! (and we didn’t  write an update about it)

- We received private funding! And now we can eat! (and we didn’t write an update either)

-We added Sparta, Ephesos and Atlantis to Okhlos’ world roster!

-We went to a lot of events!

-The last part of the year, we worked very hard on improving the gameplay! (We are preparing an update about it!)

-We met and chat with Adam Saltsman and Rami Ismail (and they played Okhlos!)

 

So, in short, it was an amazing year for us, and we hope that 2015 will be even better. It will definitely be the year we release Okhlos, so at least, we can expect that we will live interesting times.

 

Thanks again for reading, and liking, and tweeting, and sharing the love!

 

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Atlantian Problems Part I

Hey gang!

We’ve been doing a lot of work on the core mechanics of Okhlos and we’re experimenting with quite a few things, some of them a little weird. It’s quite intensive, and coding for all these tweaks and new ideas has been taking up a lot of Sebastian’s time, so in the meanwhile I’ve been designing Atlantis, one of our new game worlds.

We know three basic things about Atlantis: It was circular, it was fictional[citation needed], and it was somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

People tend to imagine Atlantis as an underwater city, since it sank into the Ocean, and we’re running with similar imagery. We’ve ditched the circular part, and are working with the idea that people kept living on it, despite the humidity.

Decorations and ornaments

As we’re running with a water theme I did a few quick google image searches to help me set the mood. I think we ended up with some good design constants for the city:

stock-vector-illustration-featuring-elements-commonly-associated-with-underwater-scenes-194520425

I still regreat not using the dolphin

We’ll have a lot of coral and ferns around the buildings, and tridents as ornaments on the roofs and higher floors.

Ornaments

Foliage

We’re having an ongoing problem designing the foliage and we still haven’t decided how to address it.

These are our current options (any and all feedback is welcome!):

  • No foliage.

As a soaked, inundated city, there should be no foliage. This is a simple approach, and although it makes sense it’s a bit boring. It definitely lacks something.

fol1

 

  • Rocks, Ferns, and Coral Everywhere.

This option adds quite a bit to the visuals but is rather messy, to the point where it’s not pleasant to the eyes. (Keep in mind, the bamboo is a separate element, and not part of the foliage we’re discussing here.)

fol03

 

  • Ferns and Coral only

This last option still adds some flair, like the option B, but we took the rocks out of the equation. It looks better and a bit less cluttered, but it still doesn’t feel quite right.

fol2

We’re going to try a few other things for the foliage and we’ll come up with some more options, but we welcome your opinion on the matter. If you want to see Atlantis within the context of the game, there’s a few screenshots below!

 

screen1

screen2

These screenshots were taken from the No Foliage Option

 

This is it for this week, but there’s still a ton of things about Atlantis that I’d like to talk about in the near future! We’d love to hear your feedback about this new game world, so please let us know what you think!

This article was proofread and edited by @pfque_!

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Regaining Control – Aftermath

Hey guys! These last few weeks have been very busy for us here at Coffee Powered Machine.

We’ve shown our game at three (3!) different exhibits in just as many weeks, and let us tell you – after almost a whole month without weekends, we’re exhausted! We’ve been so busy we didn’t even get a chance to put up an update last week.

The events were great though, and we got a lot of great feedback from the people who tried out Okhlos at the various shows. We now have a ton of data to work with as we head back into development. Thanks to any of you who came out and gave our game a shot! Seeing you guys play the game and talking to you has been incredibly helpful.

As you might remember from our last update, we had been talking about implementing a new control scheme for Okhlos. We had proposed three different schemes: the non-zero option, the alternate keyboard option, and the mouse option.

 

EsquemaTodos

 

We got a chance to test out these different control schemes at the various exhibits and have learned a lot from our experiments. Below you’ll find a short break-down of each of these exhibits and what we managed to learn.

The Events

These were the events in where we showed Okhlos.

EVA

EVA is short for Exposición de Videojuegos Argentinos, or Argentine Videogames Expo. It is the principal videogames event in Argentina, and it’s mainly oriented towards developers.

We exhibited Okhlos 0.4.1 during EVA, the same build we sent off to the IGF, and used our original control scheme.

The biggest problem with this build was that the players didn’t realize they had to keep holding the second analog stick in position in order to attack. The QTEs also proved problematic as it’s hard to push the face buttons when you’re supposed to be holding the second analog stick at the same time.

MEET THE GAME 2

Unlike EVA, Meet the Game is more of a public event where people get a chance to meet developers and try out their games. One of its goals is to facilitate one-on-one interaction between developers and players. It’s still a small event but there’s a lot of potential in the format and we hope it’ll grow.

We showed two different versions of Okhlos at Meet the Game, each one sporting a different control scheme. We showed one with the non-zero joystick layout (scheme 1 in the chart above) and a second one with the mouse layout (scheme 3). We were particularly interested to see how people would feel about controlling the game with a mouse. We had only tested the mouse internally up until that point and hadn’t had a lot of time to tweak its controls.

 

notebooks

Thanks to Marisol Estevez for the picture!

We found out some very interesting things.

Players had an easy time with the non-zero joystick scheme, and had no problems attacking enemies throughout the demo. They used the second analog stick to adjust the position of the mob whenever necessary and had no trouble hitting the face buttons during the QTEs. It’s still far from perfect though and we’re still very tempted to eliminate the QTEs altogether.

What really amazed us though was how positive the reaction to the mouse scheme was. People really liked it a lot! We were told it felt quite intuitive, which is great! The only problem was that we didn’t map an action to the left mouse button, which, as it turns out, is what players naturally tried first and wanted to use. I guess using the mouse just makes people feel like they’re playing an RTS!

TRIC VI

I still don’t know what this event was about. It was some kind of scientific or academic tournament endorsed by the IEEE? Maybe it’s just because I’m the graphics guy but I really didn’t get it.  It wasn’t as cool or as crowded as the other events but we managed to test out the keyboard scheme nonetheless.

Seeing how the attendees (all two of them!) reacted to the keyboard controls we concluded it was a very good control scheme for the game. We changed it a bit from how it’s shown in the graph above – instead of using the Del, End, and Page Down buttons for items we went with the 1, 2, and 3 keys which are much closer to WASD. We realized not all keyboards have Del, End, and Page Down buttons close to the arrow keys.

10626422_1962326810572963_7462021763699652972_o

Thanks Yiyo Flauros for the picture!

 

Overall, we gained a lot of data from each of these events. I think we almost nailed the keyboard control scheme, but it seems Okhlos still has some game-mechanic issues that we have to resolve before we can perfect it

To the drawing table, again

We had a long session with Daniel Benmergui on Friday in which he helped us test out and think through some of our base mechanics. We tried some quick changes, analyzed the flow of the mob, ran through our challenges, and at the end of the day we asked ourselves whether our game is robust enough as it stands right now or whether we have to keep working and tweaking its mechanics.

The conclusion we came to was that that we need to keep exploring our base mechanics. We have a cool concept but it’s just not enough. As Daniel said, we need to start thinking in verbs. In the current build you gather, you run, you attack, you solve QTES and you use items. We need to add more verbs to that. And as for removing QTEs, that would make our gameplay even simpler than it already is, so we can’t really afford to just yet. Not until we’ve built something more robust.

It was a great experience talking with Daniel and we came out of it with a huge list of changes we want to make. We’re thinking of removing any unnecessary numbers, changing a great part of the HUD, axing the bureaucrats, reducing the options available in the market, and changing the dash. That may seem daunting, but I think one of the things that Daniel helped us corroborate is that doing something original, something that hasn’t been seen in any another game, is very difficult, and we’re on good track to making it happen.

We also had an interesting experience with our sound designer, Gordon, @jouste  and @Nelsormensch. We had a video chat with them while they played Okhlos, which was a little weird but very cool! We weren’t sure if we should be looking at them or at the screen – they had to turn the laptop around for that – but once it started we were able have a good conversation, even in my rusty English.

Their suggestions were very similar to Daniel’s on most things, but they were nonetheless very helpful. Talking about your game always is! We’re very thankful for their feedback and now have plenty of work to keep us busy for quite a while!

That’s more or less it! I will continue to work on new worlds for Okhlos and Sebastian has already started conducting weird experiments with the mechanics. We’ll see what come out of all that and we’ll let you know!

This article was proofread and edited by our new collaborator, @pfque_!

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Regaining Control

Even though we are currently making lots of progress with the game, adding content as if there was no tomorrow, there are still a few key issues we need to address. One of them is controls. And digging a bit deeper, we can also divide the issue into two problems we have to deal with: Teaching players how you should handle the leader and mob’s movement, and finding an alternative control method.

hazardNEW

Testing can be so much fun if you are not the one following the flag

Our idea is that the game should play kind of like a twin stick shooter. You control the leader with one stick and the mob the other. However, this is not so easy to convey to new players. It takes some time to get the hang of it, some players even play for quite long without nailing it. We tried different ways to transmit this to the players, through tutorials and the like, but now we are going to test if we can solve this by changing the control scheme a little bit.

EsquemaNuevo_00

Current control scheme

The second issue is that, until now, the only way to properly play the game is with a controller. You can play it using the keyboard (that is what we do most of the time while testing it) but it is not the most comfortable thing in the world. You may end up having to press five or six keys at a time. Our plan is then to give players more options, but we don’t even know if it is possible to have the same experience as using the controller with the keyboard (or another device). To find out if it is, we are going to carry out a series playtesting sessions with different control schemes.

So far, I’ve mentioned these control schemes a few times, but what exactly are them, you may wonder. Well, here they are:

  • Scheme N°1

Nowadays, you control the mob with the controller’s right stick. If you move the stick, the mob will move in that direction and destroy anything nearby. If you release the stick, the mob returns to its original position, around the leader. With this control scheme we change that. If you move the mob to the right and then release the stick, the mob will move to the right and remain there until you move it elsewhere. Granted, this may not be so much a different control scheme as a change in the mechanics but we have the hypothesis that this may affect the way people use the controller, making it easier to master. We will see if that is the case.

  • Scheme N° 2

We wanted the controls to feel like those of a twin stick shooter, so instead of reinventing the wheel, the first thing we did was looking into what other PC twin stick shooter had done. It wasn’t long before we ended up going back to The Binding of Isaac. It’s controls are basically those of dual stick shooter using the keyboard, and it plays and feels great, so we set out to test a control scheme very similar to the one The Binding of Isaac uses.

Isaac sure could've used the help of an angry mob down there

The control scheme of the original The Binding of Isaac

You move the leader using “ASDW”, the mob using the arrows and dash with the “Space” key. The only difference in our control scheme ended up being the keys bindings for the items. While Isaac has only two items (the bombs which you use pressing”E ” or “Shift” and the cards with the “Q”), we have three different items, so we decided to go with “Delete”, “End” and “Page Down” instead of “E” and “Q”. Those three keys are usually placed together, and they should be right next to your right hand (which will be most of the time over the arrows), that’s why we thought they would be a good choice.

As a side note/disclaimer, I feel inclined to point out that the game will have the option to set the key bindings in any way the player wants (you can already do that in the current build). But we want the default key setting to be best it can possibly be, that is why we are devoting time to find the perfect key setting.

  • Scheme N°3

Last but not least, scheme number 3 once again turns to the wisdom of PC twin stick shooters. Which is the control scheme of choice in 99% of those games? Mouse + keyboard! So we are giving that a shot. You move the leader with the keyboard (either ASDW or the arrow keys)  and the mob using the mouse. You use items with the mouse buttons (left, right and middle mouse buttons), but you could easily swap the buttons for the keys from scheme 2 if you don’t believe in multiple mouse buttons.

It may be worth mentioning that this is not the first time we have tried using a mouse and keyboard combination. However, we never playtested it (I played for a little while and then dropped it because it felt odd), so now we are going to have a bunch of people play it and let them know how they felt, before making any decisions.

 

Now you know what we are going to be playtesting, but when? Who?  How? Well, in a few days there will be a local games event called Meet the Game, where, as the name suggests, there will be people, there will be games, and they will meet. We are going to take that opportunity to use those people as guinea pigs and playtest the different control schemes. So, join us next time, when we will let you know how the playtesting session went out and which conclusions we reached!

bannerMeet

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Introducing Ephesos [Part 2]

Last week, we started talking about Ephesos, Okhlos’ new world, and we left a few things out. This week, we are gonna solve that.

ENEMIES

We have some new enemies for Ephesos. Mainly the Centaurus and the Forest Giants. Granted, Forest Giant is a silly name, but they are powerful enemies, we promise!

gigante

This is the second Gigante (Giant) we introduce! The first one was the shield bearer. And we still have a few more to show!

The Centaurs, on the other hand, they are a very different enemy.

CentaurA

For starters, Centaurs will search for you, and try to trample you. So, their attacks are continuous and in line.  You’d better try to dodge them, because they will not stop even if they hit a unit.

Another thing that they have, is that they can crash with the buildings, and this hurts them. This was something that came from the early prototypes, and we don’t know if it’s a good fit for the current state of Okhlos (having changed so much since then).

HAZARDS

In the subject of hazards, the new ones in Ephesos are these kind of bear traps. These traps will hurt any unit that walks on top of it.

ArtemisTrap

Also, there is a new variation of the exploding barrel hazard, but they involve only graphical changes.

ARTEMIS

Artemis is Apollo’s sister, so in character design terms, it was pretty easy to develop her.

You can see that she has lots of things reminiscent of Apollo. And we translated some of the yellow elements to green ones, in order to push the nature theme a bit further.

ArtemisApollo

Artemis also has a few special attacks, like filling the stage with traps, and shooting arrows like his brother. It’s very likely that she’ll have a third attack, but we haven’t done it yet.

As for the stage where she is, we are currently using a placeholder, but she’ll definitely have a version of the Temple of Artemis, and a huge open area for the battle. As one of the cool things about her is that she places traps, having terrain covered by buildings, thus not being able to place traps there, can nerf that. As with Ares, this boss is much more enjoyable with an open terrain where you can fight her. Obviously, we can’t just put a blank chunk, we have to decorate it!

ArtemisChunk

Well, that’s pretty much Ephesos. We still have a lot of work to do here, but with all this, you can get a grasp of how it will feel like!

 

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