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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:


Meaning you will be meeting 6 brand new Heroes today!



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.



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!



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



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.)





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!





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…



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!


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.



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!




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.



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:


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



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.



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


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!



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



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!


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!



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



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!



Cynic 4 Life!



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?



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



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!


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…



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, 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!


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



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



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


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.)


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


The Missingno of our game!



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!


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, 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.


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!


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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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Once uploaded, it will appear in your user models.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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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!





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.









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