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Non-game media coverage is amazingly funny

Hey there!

 

As you might already know, a few days ago Okhlos won the Best Gameplay award at the Brazil Independent Games Festival (mandatory weekly braggin). This was huge news for us. We spent almost a week in Brazil, São Paulo, and enjoyed the heck out of the festival. We are working on update about our whole experience there but that is not what I want to talk about today.

 

At around the same time we got back home, local newspapers picked up the news, which is also awesome. As expected, they gave a nationalistic twist to the news. “Argentina Wins Videogame Award”. So far, so good. The thing is that one the news outlets that posted about it is the second largest newspaper in the country, with a print-run in the hundred of thousands and over a million online followers. As you might expect, there were tons of comments everywhere.  We got lots of nice comments and words of encouragement, but, at the same time, some people started trash talking the game. And not just the game itself, but also pixel art and independent games in general.

 

Why the hate? You can argue that internet will always be full of trolls and haters, but on the subject of these comments, our friend @antennariagames said something that made a lot of sense: “[...]I want to emphasize (again) that the comments here are not criticism of the game, it is not about “you always get criticized” (which is true), but it’s about that there are too many people who think they know about videogames because they play them, but they don’t know about the existence of an independent movement, and they don’t know to evaluate it in terms of expression, only in terms of production. An independent game to them is garbage, and when it gains artistic relevance, and even economic relevance, it might seem so absurd to them that they end up banging their heads against the wall because they can’t cope with the idea that this movement exists and it is something real (get out of the tupperware effect)”. 

 

So, we are totally OK if you don’t like our game. We are totally cool if you hate pixel art and don’t even want to try the game. We don’t pretend to exercise a homogenized taste. And we deal with negative comments in the best possible ways. But some of the comments here were so ridiculous that we had to do something. So we took the best ones, and we put Monty Python characters in it.

 

Now, before reading the comments, keep in mind that:

A) We didn’t reply to any of these messages. We let the love flow.

B) This is not about taste or aesthetic choices.

C) The game is not available yet, so none of these people played the game. They only watched our (year old) trailer.

 

That being said, here are the comments’ highlights!

chiste_1

 

Chiste_2

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For the young ones, this is a screenshot of a colecovision game. As you can see the comparison is absurd. I don’t use so much magenta. Nor black.

 

chiste_3

 

chiste_4

 

 

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Brazil, here we go!

As some of you may have heard, this week  in  São Paulo, Brazil, the largest indie gaming event of all of South America is taking place:  Brazil Independent Games Festival. This is exciting news for any indie game developer in the region, but we are particularly excited because out of more than almost 700 entries, Okhlos was selected as one of the finalist, and is running for the Best Gameplay category!

 

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In this category, we are competing against these fine videogames:

 

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build by Alan Hazelden & Benjamin Davis

 

Klang by Tinimations

 

Big Action Mega Fight! by Double Stallion Games

 

Circa Infinity by Kenny Sun

 

Most of the games haven’t been released yet (just like Okhlos) so we haven’t had the chance to play them yet. We are looking forward to give them a go at the festival. However, based on the trailers alone, you can already say it will be a very tight match!

Once again, thanks to the people of Big Festival for choosing Okhlos as a finalist! Wish us luck!

Brazil, here we go!

 

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Dragon ball Pixel Art tribute, Okhlos style

Hey there! It’s been a while since we did one of these posts! Last time, we did a tribute for the always amazing Discworld series, remembering the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett. Now, it’s time for a Dragon Ball tribute.

Most of us grew up with the show or manga alongside. We enjoyed a lot the wonderful adventure vibe of the first series, and the everlasting, sometimes boring, fights when they run out of scripts. With this humble tribute, I tried to capture the essence of the first part of the manga. That sense of awe and wonder, filled with mysteries and charismatic characters.

Here are two graphics, one in chronological order, and the other grouped by characters variations.

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Remember to click to enlarge them!

_08Final

 

So, this is it for this week! We have some great news that we will share with you soon, so stay tuned!

With love, @roketronz

 

 

PS: I’ve been spamming them all week in smaller chunks via Twitter/Facebook. The original sets are these:

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_05Torneo

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A Matter of Morale!

Hey gang! How’re you fine folks doing today?

Welcome back to the fantastic, bleeding-edge, always on-time Okhlos dev-blog!
This week we want to talk about two little things: the Mob Mentality Meter and the Morale stat. They’re two elements of the game that you might’ve noticed by this point but that we’ve never really talked about or explained. We’re going to fix that today and tell you a little bit about how we’ve pared them down and combined them to make the game even better!

The Mob Mentality Meter!

You’ve definitely seen this one if you’ve been looking at our screenshots, watching the videos, or tuning in to the Let’s Plays! Also known as the ‘Mob Meter’ or the ‘Mood Meter’, the Mob Mentality Meter is the little bar at the top of the screen that denotes how much energy and furor your mob has:

coolparty

It was a cool pool party for the Cool Mobs at my school!

 

Depending on how many units you pick up, how many enemies you kill, and how much property you destroy, the meter will go up and down throughout play. The game starts you out at ‘Cool Mob’; from there the more chaotic and unruly and big the mob gets, the more the bar fills up, passing through Reckless Mob, Frenetic Mob!, and finally MEGA CHAOTIC MOB!

Originally the idea was that each of these stages would award you a small damage bonus and these would start adding up to make an important difference in the game. We haven’t gotten around to implementing that yet and the idea is still on the table – we’re unsure if it’ll make it in at all – but we do have a very tangible reward in the game for making it all the way MEGA CHAOTIC! :
You get to demolish and tear down buildings and just raze everything to the ground!

destruccion

We may have sunk a few hundred hours into Rampage as children. Can you tell?

Nothing is really quite as satisfying as that, don’t you think?

However – not everything is fun and games and destroying houses! You’ve also got to be careful your mob doesn’t get bored! A mob that hasn’t smashed anything in a while or found new recruits is likely to become a Depressing Mob, and as we all know – depressing mobs are no fun! No one wants to be part of a depressing mob. Units will slowly start leaving your mob if you’ve become Depressing, so you better find something to smash or a new recruit to liven up the place – and you better to do it quick!

 

depressingmob

Sure, misery loves company, but misery also likes going back home to curl up on the couch and binge on Netflix.

 

The Morale Stat
Now, unless you’ve been paying reaaalllllly close attention, you probably don’t know about this one. It’s one of the more obscure and hidden-away stats in the game, and compared to Attack, Defense, and HP, it’s harder to puzzle out what it does for your units.

Morale is the stat that determines how likely your unit is to abandon the mob when things get tough. When a big hulking enemy puts its foot down and tries to intimidate you, Morale is what determines whether a unit flees in terror or sticks it out to fight for you. When you’ve run off to the other side of the map and a unit has lagged behind, Morale determines whether it runs after you to catch up or whether it shrugs its shoulders and finds something easier to do.

(We also have a few hazards that deal with and affect morale… but we’re not quite ready to talk about those yet. Stay tuned in to our devblog for this juicy secret! ;p)

moraleStat

 

The Problem

So, nifty little systems you might say, right?

Right!

However, something was bugging us the other day. We were watching Sparrow’s excellent Let’s Play! of Okhlos’ Sparta level when we noticed something that made us rethink how these two mechanics work and interact together.

Let us explain:

It’s purposefully difficult to raise your Mob Mentality in Sparta – definitely harder than it is in Delphi. That’s part of the challenge of the stage, and Sparrow was struggling with it for a bit. His mob was getting depressed and he struggled to keep the meter up at ‘Cool Mob’.

Searching for a way to keep his people happy and motivated he came across ‘Parmendies’ in the game’s shop – a philosopher unit that raises your Morale by 25%. He made the obvious association: ‘Morale is what raises your Mob Mentality!’

We immediately slapped our foreheads.
1275389857_naked-gun-facepalm

Seeing it play out in front of us, that association makes complete sense! Morale is the word one would use to talk about one’s confidence and zeal in the face of hardship and opposition. If there were a stat that raised the Mob Mentality Meter it should totally be called Morale.

But there isn’t. And it’s not.

So Sparrow paid the hefty price for Parmenides thinking his Mob Mentality would boost up and he would be rid of his pesky problem, and then, well… nothing changed.

This was our fault. Our handy-dandy list will illustrate why:

  • The word ‘morale’ is confusing.
  • The stat isn’t intuitive to understand.
  • It’s used very little.

So, burdened by this great dilemma, we huddled together, talked it over, and put our brains to work on a solution.

The Solution!

Well, it was pretty easy actually. We figured Sparrow was actually kinda right. The Morale stat should totally boost the Mob Mentality Meter.

So now it does.

This not only gets rid of the meddlesome confusion and makes the game more intuitive, but it also adds functionality to a stat that wasn’t really seeing much use. That’s great! With a very simple change we actually improved the game on several fronts and reinforced our game mechanics by consolidating them!
Hurrah! Who ever said this game development thing was hard! :D
(Just kidding – this stuff is terrifyingly hard and difficult and oh god there’s so much math and nothing is ever really done and we have to test and test and test and it takes ages and aaaaaaaaaah someone please save us! D:)

 

Well, this was our insightful, bleeding-edge, desperate plea for help this week! I hope you’ll join us next week for a bit more fun and misery! Meanwhile, check us out on Facebook and twitter, your likes and follows help us a lot! And please throw @pfque_ , our resident writer, editor, and translator some peanuts for penning this beautiful blog post while we were busy making games! (And not binge watching E3 pressers~ ;D)

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Apollinarian Problems

Hey there!

Another week where we’ve been tirelessly working on Okhlos. We are preparing a few juicy updates about all the new things we are doing, but in the meantime, to avoid radio silence, so we thought that it would be cool to create another diorama to spread the word.

If you like Okhlos dioramas, you can go here! (I’m thinking of making a new page just for these)

Anyway, here it is! Enjoy!

 

See you next week!

Roque

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