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… and Greenlit!

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In only 6 days OKHLOS has been Greenlit! That’s huge!!! Thanks all of you for your incredible support! This couldn’t have been possible without you!!

(and sorry for the pun)

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Announcing Greenlight and Pre-Order!

Good news everyone! We’ve just launched Okhlos’ pre-order and Steam Greenlight campaigns! The pre-order campaign is full of amazing tiered rewards and super cool 3D dioramas to explore! You can view it right now at http://okhlos.com and vote for Greelight here.

Got Steam installed? Click here to open it directly on Steam!

  What’s in the pre-order campaign? Besides buying the game in advance, it’s an opportunity for anyone to become involved with the game. Through the campaign’s lower tiers players can gain access to Okhlos’ closed beta, which we’ll be announcing soon, and to its Original Soundtrack, created by A Shell in the Pit. Through the higher tiers you will have the chance to become one of the game’s characters, either as an angry mobster or one of its leaders!

 

More about Okhlos Digital Edition

You will get a digital, DRM-Free copy of the finished game upon release (PC, MAC, and Linux) at a 33% discount plus a Steam key when Okhlos is made available on Steam. You will also get access to the game’s closed beta which will be announced soon. (You’re also getting an additional 0.3333333333…% discount which we weren’t even going to mention, but we thought you should know just how nice we are. ;p)

 

More about Okhlos Orpheus Edition

Turn up your speakers! Blow out that boom box! Wake up the neighbors with your 5.1 surround sound system! If you pick this option, aside from a digital, DRM-Free copy of the finished game, a Steam key, and access to the closed beta, you will also get a digital copy of Okhlos’ Original Soundtrack by A Shell in the Pit. Take the sound of the mob along with you wherever you go! KAPOW!

 

More about Okhlos That's me! Edition

Have you always wanted a chance to stomp your foot in Zeus’ big, ungrateful face? Well, here’s your chance! Send us a photo and we will turn you into a game unit! You’ll have the chance to become a citizen, fighter, defender, slave, or even a bureaucrat! You’ll rampage your way across ancient Greece as part of the mob, delivering chaos and mayhem upon your enemies*, striving to defeat and overthrow the tyrannical gods! You’ll be included in the game’s Encyclopedia with your name and everything! Careful though, only 100 people will be able to snag up this opportunity of a lifetime, so don’t hesitate or it’ll pass you by!

 

*Some chaos and mayhem, as well as some clobbering, stomping, and frying , may also be delivered onto you.

 

More about Okhlos Socrates Edition

There is nothing more exhilarating than being a part of a righteous mob that delivers great vengeance and furious anger upon its enemies… or is there? Only one thing can top being part of a rowdy, devastating mob – and that’s leading a rowdy, devastating mob! If you pick this option you will be one of the 30 lucky people to be included in the game as one of Okhlos’ philosophers – the mob’s leaders! Can you imagine the power? The pure, unlimited power!?* 

 

 

* Power limited by the mob, technical limitations and the rules and regulations of the state of Massachusetts. The chances of your character getting clobbered, stomped or fried will also be considerably high.

 

Do you have questions about the pre-order tiers? Check our FAQ page and/or contact us!

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Hey you! Grab that Item!

Hey gang!

You might be asking yourselves where we’ve been these past few weeks, and I really wish I could tell you, but the truth is: we’ve been working on some really exciting super secret stuff for Okhlos! We can’t tell you about it just yet, but rest assured that what’s coming will be really, really cool!

Unfortunately though, all this exciting super secret business has been taking up a lot of our office hours and leaving us exhausted, so we’ve been far too tired to keep up with updates here on the dev blog. That’s why we’ve been so quiet lately. We’re starting to wrap up Okhlos and as we’re getting closer and closer to the finish line we’re realizing that, sadly, there’s so much to do that we just won’t have as much time for updates as we did before.

/Brutal Honesty Mode: OFF

That said, there are still plenty of updates to come – and some very interesting ones at that! – so worry not, ye faithful reader.

GRABBING ITEMS

As you know, in Okhlos, items are temporary power ups that you use in the heat of the moment to help you through tough spots.

For example:

Say you’re surrounded by cyclops – throw a bomb! Blow ‘em up to smithereens!

You’re about to get hit really hard by a harpy – use an Aegis to make yourself invincible for a little while! Don’t put with that bird-brain!

In Okhlos, most of the humor – much like the rest of the game – hinges on the premise that you’re trying to control an unruly mob and that as such, things will get messy. We use the mob and its different units to poke fun at the nonsensical structures of society and social class and to make fun of how even in the midst of chaos and anarchy everybody sticks to their assigned roles and positions, no matter how hypocritical or terrible they might be. One of our units, in fact, is the slave, or servant. They are the only unit in the game that can carry items. (Because I’m sure the philosophers are too busy thinking to do any heavy lifting, right? Bastards.) They can each carry up to one item and if you run out of empty-handed ones then you won’t be able to pick up any more items until you’ve used one up.

By looking at your mob you should thus be able to see how many items you have, what items they are, and how many spots you have left for picking up new ones. The slaves aren’t particularly powerful units on their own, but they are essential to playing well and getting through the levels. You’ll definitely want at least a few of them around for those really tough situations.

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Slaves carrying items. circa IV BCE

 

Aside from holding items, up until now slaves have also been the only unit that’s been able to pick them up! This meant that in order to get an item you had to walk over it with a slave unit. (The slave itself didn’t have to be empty-handed – as long as you had one slave unit that was free to carry the item, any slave could pick it up and it would instantly pop into the free slave’s hands.)

This, however, was a bit of a pain. There is no way to manipulate units individually in the game, so getting a slave to walk over the item could take several attempts, wasting time and effort and frustrating the player with a menial task. Sometimes the player would try a couple of times unsuccessfully and just assume they didn’t have an available slave, when actually, they did! It just wasn’t intuitive; a lot of players took a while to clue in to the mechanic, and would naturally try to pick up items using the leader unit instead. This player behavior continued despite tutorials and the player’s level of experience.

After some thinking and a few helpful suggestions from our friendly translator and editor, Pablo, we decided: What the hell? Why fight it?

So we’ve changed things around! Now the leader unit is now able to pick up items and pass them on to available slaves all on their own!

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Now if you see an item and you have an available free slave, you can grab it easily and without any hassle!

And if you don’t have any available slaves, now the game will tell you so!

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What do you guys think of this change? It’s definitely less ‘realistic’ than picking up items with slave units directly, but it’s a lot more intuitive!

(And thankfully for us we were never aiming for realism in the first place!)

(Wow, could you imagine?!)

Well, that’s us for this week! Please write us! Follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook! Send us your love! We need it! We crave it!

 

The first draft of this post was banged out quickly by @Roketronz and then slowly and lovingly groomed to beautiful adulthood by @pfque_. That poor unlucky sod.

(He also makes games, you know? You can try out his latest one here – it’s a tiny twine game about a faucet that was made for Twiny Jam.)

Drip by @pfque_

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A Discworld Pixel Art Tribute

UPDATE: Now with desktop resolutions!

As some of you may already know, Sebastian and I are big Terry Pratchett fans. Which is why there have always been a few winks to his work in Okhlos. Like this one:

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Unseen University’s Librarian statue in Okhlos :O

So, when I found out about his passing it really struck me, and drove me to do a Pixel Art tribute, in Okhlos’ Style, to one of the most interesting fantasy universes ever: Discworld. From that moment on, I’ve drawing characters and posting them on twitter, so you might’ve seen some of them already.

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Ankh Morpork City Watch

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The Silver Horde

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The Wizards “Now you see it, now you don’t”

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Death

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The witches and Lancre folks

 

But here is an exclusive: The final version with all the characters!

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After that, having finished the pixel art, I decided to give it a twist and printed the hell out of them! So now we have little Discworld pixel art companions!

 

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I hope you enjoyed this atypical post. Next week we will continue posting about Okhlos, we promise!

 

UPDATE: Here are the Desktop resolutions! Enjoy!

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Put some verbs in your game!

Hey gang!

It’s been a while since we last talked! (Actually… we kinda talked last week.)

Last weekend we had the great honor of showing off Okhlos’ at the EGX Rezzed event in London! Well, actually, we weren’t there personally, but the game was! It was an amazing opportunity for Okhlos and we want to give a big thanks to Dan Da Rocha, Cissy, and Dom for taking care of our little game during its trip to England and for helping us make this happen! It almost felt like we were there ourselves!

We also wanted to thank our Swedish friends at Glitchnap (who were at EGX Rezzed showing off their own game, Sentree) for offering to babysit Okhlos and keep an eye on it. Even though we didn’t up needing their help thanks to Dan, Cissy, and Dom, the gesture itself and the willingness to help meant a lot to us! You guys are amazing!

And one last round of thanks to the EGX Rezzed Leftfield Collection staff for selecting Okhlos and inviting us to show our game at their event! We were very proud to present there and to be surrounded by so many other great games! If you happened to see the game there, please let us know! We’d love to hear your impressions.

Well, our British adventure and all those thanks aside, at the end of the day this is still a Devblog [citation needed] and we have to spend at least a little time talking about the nitty-gritty – the hard and dirty business of game developing. This week we talk about verbs. In particular, all the great new ones we’ve introduce into our game!

(To tell the truth, these verbs have been in the game for quite a while now, but Sebastián made me realize that we’d never actually talked about them here!)

The idea of adding more verbs actually came from Daniel Benmergui. He was trying out our game and playtesting it yet again (poor, poor fella) and he told us that while it was good that we were tweaking and balancing the elements we already had, there still weren’t enough things for the player to do. There weren’t enough verbs!

Daniel began asking us hard questions. What actions should the player be able to perform? Should there be more of them? If so, what should they be? Finding the answers actually took a lot of time and work, but we think we’ve got it right with these new verbs.

Please note that we are  not talking about the current verbs in Okhlos, only the new ones!

Attack!!

This may seem pretty obvious, but there’s actually a catch to this one. We already had an attack action before, but it was linked to moving. When you moved the mob, the mob would automatically attack whatever it ran up against. With this new approach, now the mob can move without attacking and can attack without moving. This creates interesting new scenarios and options that we couldn’t have had before! (Yay for us!)

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Protect yourself!

The complementary opposite of the previous verb – this verb makes your units block attacks! Defending yourself from an attack makes everyone in the mob all stop at once, which might make them easier targets for a little while, but at least the enemies’ attack will hurt a whole heck of a lot less!

I have to admit, the animations for this one are real cute. :3 You know what wasn’t cute though? Going back through all 100+ units in the game and designing a brand new blocking sprite for each of them! It was torture! D:

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Disperse!

Disperse! Finally! All the new verbs are cool in their own way, but this one is my favorite. This action makes all the units scatter and spread out. You can use it to escape, to attack several enemies at once (so cool!), and for a couple of other things we’ll explain below:

In previous updates we talked about plagues and poisons. In order to stop them from spreading through your mob and infecting everyone you’ll have to disperse your units until the compromised members heal themselves or die off.

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Up until we thought of the disperse action, philosophers were the only units that could recruit more units. Now, however, everyone can! This is actually how the earliest prototypes of Okhlos worked – every unit could recruit more units – but back then it felt a bit too chaotic to us and it seemed that players would have a hard time knowing who they were recruiting. However, we’ve reconsidered our opinion since then and we’ve come to two conclusions:

1. Being able to disperse but still having to grab each unit one-by-one felt pointless and overly complicated.

2. Chaotic is good enough for us!

 

We adapted the negative units to this change in the recruiting mechanic. We’ve nerfed their negative effects now that they’re harder to avoid.

The sense of chaos feels good, it feels right for the game, but we’ll probably have to work a little more on letting the players know what units they’re adding to the mob in the middle of all that mess.

And those are our new verbs! What do you guys think? Please let us know, we’re always happy to hear your feedback!

Thanks again to everyone who helped us with Okhlos’ little trip to London, it was a great formative experience for our growing game!

See you all next time!

This post was written – poorly – by @rokentronz and soundly beaten into proper shape by @pfque_

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The Return of the Changelog – EGX Rezzed Version

It’s that jolly season once again. That magical time, when families gather merrily around the repository  and share amazing tales of commits of old. Yes, it is changelog season again.

If you remember our last changelog we had left off at  Version 0.4.0. There have been four versions since then, leading to version 0.4.4., the version we sent to the EGX Rezzed, but we are going to sum them all up here for dramatic reasons.

The biggest addition in these versions was probably Atlantis, something  you may have guessed from the last series of posts and we won’t repeat here. However, a lot of other things found their way into the game while Atlantis was resurging from the depths, and here they are. Without further ado, we present you the changes from versions 0.4.1 up to 0.4.4. :

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Hero Cages

Once in a while, while you are travelling through the monster-infested streets of Delphi, Ephesos or Athens you may run into a cage made of reinforced bronze. What is inside the cage? A random hero eager to join the mob if you destroy the cage! What are you waiting for? Free Adromeda and let her wreck havoc with the rest of the gang! Let Galen loose and wait for the healing to begin! The power is in your hands!

More Units

Roque has put his mad pixel art skillz to use and now he have new female defenders, warriors and philosophers!

Color Tint

Back in the old days, units in the mob would change their color like chameleons. Then they didn’t. And now they do again. We use the color tints basically for feedback. When a unit is attacked it is painted red for a couple of frames. If it gets infected with the plague (Plague? Which plague? Well, keep reading below and you will find out). And if they leave the mob, they get greyed. It’s an instant feedback and very hard to miss. For the win.

Lifebars

Units have always had a certain amount of hit points. Bad guys would hit them and they would lose hit points until eventually they would die. So they have always had a health stat that could be represented with the ubiquitous health bar. However, we never liked the idea of having to micromanage each unit, so that is why we chose not to show the life bars. You shouldn’t worry that much about individual units, you should care about the mob as a whole. Also, having a health bar per unit would mean that there would be a zillion health bars onscreen, making everything very cluttered. And it was this way until quite recently, when Roque had the idea of showing lifebars of the units but only when their health is below a certain threshold. What this does is give you a very quick feedback of the current health status of the units in the mob. And how cluttered the UI becomes, corresponds to how worried you should be about them. If you see only a life bar or two, they won’t bother you too much, and you wouldn’t have to worry too much either. But if the screens starts getting filled with lifebars, then you are in trouble and should start looking for some healing pronto.

Slow Motion Effect

Because Okhlos is so next gen. Or so 1999. I am not sure. But the certain thing is that now when the leader dies, it will trigger a cinematic slow motion effect that will let you locate the new leader more easily in the middle of the mayhem (and if a leader died, chances are there was lots of mayhem going around).

The Plague

We’got a new hazard, the plague, which damages units and spreads throughout the mob if the units are too close to each other (much like you would be expect from a plague). If we are to be accurate, the plague is not technically a hazard, it is more like a new status for the units, the plagued status, that can be triggered by some hazards (plague infested chunks of meat spread throughout the map, for instance) but also by the attacks of some enemies. The idea of the plague came up while we were testing some changes in the core mechanics, and it eventually grew until becoming a full fledged feature as it is now.

Pathfinding System for the Enemies

– Is there a house between you and I? - said the cyclops - That will no longer stop me from clobbering you. I now have the ability to go around it!

The Phantom Mob

We have a new item! We have been calling it the Phantom Mob item so far, although it has absolutely nothing to do with the Phantom Menace (we solemnly swear that there won’t be any Jars Jars. Well, we swear there most likely won’t be any Jar Jars. Disney has been making very tempting offers…). Back to the item. What it does is create a squad of phantom units that join the mob temporarily. You use it and … BAM! You now have a bunch of spectral guys ready to kick ass for you. At least for while, until they return to the aether from where they came from.

 Lots of new Voice Effects

Yup. You can now listen to the mob roar, cheer, scream and yelp as they go around doing mob things. Gordon made a bunch of them and he keeps on making even more so get ready to listen to the sound of the mob in all its glory!

 And the rest of the changes that do not deserve a separate paragraph (mostly because if they did, this post would end up way too long, much like this title)

  • Units now jump a little when they join the mob (it would seem they are very enthusiastic about the prospect of an becoming part of an angry mob).
  • More juicy on prop and building destruction.
  • Tutorial stage completely revamped.
  • The way to stop Apolo’s special attack has changed (much more intuitive now).
  • The mob now has an onscreen stats showing the accumulated attack power, defense, speed and HP of all the units.
  • Hero presentation FXs.
  • New minimap graphics.
  • The camera now gives you a little more room in the distance in which you move the mob.
  • Enemies now hate props a bit more.
  • The mob no longer has an onscreen stats showing the accumulated attack power, defense, speed and HP of all the units.Artemis has a new special attack.

In addition to this, as always, there was a fair chunk of bug fixes, tweaks and minor additions that we won’t even mention, plus a couple of big changes that deserve a separate update so stay tuned for them!

 

Finally,  do you remember that Okhlos was going to be showcased at the EGX Rezzed, as part of the Leftfield Collection? Well, that is happening right now! So, what are you waiting for? Go, go, go!

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