Saturday, December 28, 2013


photo of updated ui and how it would look on a phone 

So I'm just posting an intermediate update to the project and explaining some of the stuff I've been working on.  So Tim and I were deciding what style we were going to go ahead with.  I was 50/50 on just doing the old style or doing a new one that might go by quicker.  Actually sort of wanted to do the old style just so we could reuse the enemies we already made, but Tim decided that he liked the comic book style at this point and I also liked it as well so we decided to make the prequel in a different more serious tone.  I guess this makes sense also because the game is more hack and slash action game that has a more simple premise of just stacking up Erik the Red's achievements in life, rather than the goofy brotherhood adventure save the world game the other was.

For the characters theres a bit of stuff I need to finish up and I would like at least one more enemy, im shooting for the ranged dps fireball thrower to give variety to the melee minion.  The goblin is an edit from the previous goblin and I just referenced Mike Mignola's style for Hellboy and his tone is just a lot darker and sharp contrast, angles, and flatter feel.  

So the game takes place on a miniscule 3 screens.  The first level is designed to be simple for the prototype so there were no platforms or ground angles.  I hope that if we get the gameplay going, animations in, and get a nice prototype by the end of winter i can add more background/levels in this 3 screen format like a forest, an ice level, a volcano level, playing with platforms and maybe environmental dangers.  I did all this in about 2 days and I'm pretty sure i can near finish in 3-4, so adding new levels wont be too hard for extra content, i just want to focus on getting this one done first for our winter goal.  I tried to set up the 3 screens in a sort of arc in the sense that the first screen will contain the entrance to Luis's bar (which the player can enter after missions to go to the tutorial/shop) and establish the viking village.  The 2nd screen is an intermission/transition and then the last screen is the entrance to the goblin forest which would be the second level.  My goal was to make the backgrounds a bit less saturate/cooler/darker so that the characters will pop out without any lines surrounding them.  We will hafta play the game at some point to establish if there is things we need to do to make the characters pop better.  I'm definitely still playing around with the values and how much black to put, but i think the more black the better, as is evident in a lot of Mignolas compositions.

Also sketched up roughs of spine movement for the 3 attack combo that will be achieved by linking.  Essentially the player will be rewarded with stronger attacks if they combo their attacks at the right time by pushing "A" at the correct time, rather than mashing it.  My goal is that we smooth this combo out for the first version of the game and get the linking system down and then we can add a currency program where the enemies drop viking treasure (similar to castle crashers) and the player can buy other weapons skins for swords and axes that also have different linking combos.  I think its a cheap way to add replayability to the game and give the players an extra goal for completing levels.  It may be at some point possible to only beat certain bosses with certain items requiring the player to maybe farm a lower level to get treasure, only a bit, no one likes excessive farming T_T.  Which leads me to UI

I touched briefly on the art for UI in the background shot with the characters in it but those were only the attack buttons "a" and "b" and then the DPad.  On my list of things is

The health/beard meter outliner/displaycase
The Portrait in the style of the game
The Portrait for the enemy counter on the side
KILLING SPREE style text! (getting frankie to do awesome viking voiceovers for it)
A Map of the world! (This i think is later down the line but i think we can even put it now just to show what
we plan to do and then lock the other locations like castle crashers or mario style)
Menu - I know tim has a lot of menu options that will all have to me art'd out

The bar area- 2 screen background, using luis as a template and just changing up the style a bit to match
Sky change- during differnnt stages i might change the sky color to just give the levels a little variety

Erik- cleaning him up, fixing the shield up, adding a blocking view and possibly new arms for ranged weapon
Goblin- pretty much done at this point, just cutting up and cleaning up
Shaman Goblin - Getting him styled up and doing a fireball sprite for tim (impact sprites as well)

Design out the sword for Erik - sprites for impact and also the combo sprite effects
If all goes well with teh linking id like to definitely add an Axe to his arsenal with similar effects
Lastly im thinking of a way to do a bow in spine, ranged attacks should be limited and ammo can be picked
up as drops, might be essential to take down ranged creeps and later bosses (thinking jumping and shooting)
anoterh weapon im thinking is chain and grappling hook which could be fun to design and think of mechanics for

Like i said the weapons and enemy variety as well as level design is what can keep this game maintainable and add content.

Wow that was a lot to say, but these are my plans for the next couple weeks.  I think its been a good last week of work and keeping this pace I believe we will end winter break with a playable game :D

Friday, December 20, 2013


Hey guys!

After two weeks being at IGG, I realized there are a lot of things that the viking team isn't doing, and that is why it takes us so long to make our game. During my first day, I was told that there was absolutely no art work done for the project/game  yet that I was to be working on, but he had everything organized in a way where there was no question about what this game was about or what was missing.

-The first thing he showed me were mock ups of what he wanted to game to look like. He took images/buttons/icons from other games and placed them exactly where the REAL assets would go. But, he did that for every lvl, pop up screens, UI, etc he thought there would be. So even tho he just copied and pasted stuff together, after flipping through the pasted images, you'd have a clear idea of how many lvls, pop ups, enemies, weapons, buttons there would be in the game. Doing concept then wouldn't be a challenge because you'd know exactly where that piece would go in the game, the only thing to discuss would be the style.

-He took an existing game and closely based it off that.

- He made a list of everything single asset that needed to be in the game. He also did this for characters and BGS and handed them out. All this was done after doing the mock ups. There was a total of over 100 assets for the game that was listed out.

-Lastly he just divided up the work. My team only has two artists and one lead. If we can do if, you guys can!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Design Thoughts for Saga of Erik


So most of the people who've worked on The Brothers Erik either got jobs or are busy with BFA work, which is cool but it means development is gonna slow down. So the people left (Me, Chris, and partly Luis) are working on a mobile game using the old (modified) assets for a prequel game over the winter.

People are gonna be really upset that I used ms paint again

The Hero

The game will revolve around Erik the Red, father of the Eriksson brothers, and him and his badass lonesome wrecking face and pillaging cities.

First pass of design sketches Chris

Gameplay is going to be derived from these two games, I'll be trying to quickly re-engineer them and when that's done add and adjust mechanics to give it a sense of itself.

Zombie Diary by Mountain Lion

Third Blade by Com2uS

Check them out here:
 Zombie Diary and Third Blade

Core Essential Mechanics

1) Control Scheme-
will either be a virtual dpad or thumbstick, with compatibility with physical controls. Apparently there's a pretty huge dislike for virtual controls so designing an alternative will be a priority.

For now the controls will be move left, right, jump, and crouch using the dpad/thumbstick, and either a virtual button setup on the right or touch and swipe enemies for combat.

A slightly less terrible control scheme that probably won't be used

Combat is currently designed to revolve around three key mechanics, Combo-Timing, Dodge-Rolling, and Countering.

There will be two ways to combo [A] attacks, chaining your combo, which means that a weaker attack animation will automatically be cancelled and combo'd into a follow up attack, but if timed correctly attacks can be combo'd during a specific time window in which Erik will glow or flash for more powerful, rewarding attacks that are flashy and have cool particles (and gain more beard meter).

The player will also be able to roll, to quickly move out of danger, but has a fairly long recovery animation. This will be used to avoid large smashing enemy attacks, some projectiles, or avoiding being cornered.

Additionally the player will also be able to counter attack certain types of attacks by tapping a certain icon that appears between him and certain melee attacks that will soon hit him to avoid and deal damage, and create space between him and his attacked.

2) HUD and GUI
Health Meter, pretty standard and doesn't need much explaining. Beer and meat replenish your health and and can be picked up off enemies or found.

Special Meter, I want to call it the Beard Meter and have it extend off the beard in the player portrait. It's the number of special moves you can preform consecutively at a given time, the [B] button in the bottom right will preform a special attack. Special attacks can be selected using a round dial which you slide, the selected attack will be highlighted in the [B] area. Beard Meter is gained through killing enemies, consecutive comboing, and [A] button fighting, just like in real life.

Objective, your goals for the level will be listed in the top right.

3) Monster Instantiation
Waves of enemies will be spawned in waves of 5±3 enemies on either the left or right side of the screen. 

The wave will either be all on the right or all on the left. 

The waves will be generated 2/3rds of the time from the right, and 1/3rd if time on the left.

I'm hoping to make this game slightly goal oriented, so reaching the far right end of the map will give you a reward, so to hinder the player's success most waves will be spawned from the right.

Types of enemies will be randomly generated from the available pool of potential enemies.

Avoiding synchronized characters will be avoided through variance in movement speed, jump height, random calling of animations and offset instantiation times.

Optimization and avoiding garbage collection will be attempted by first generating a pool of enemies at the load screen, which will consist of all possible enemies on screen at a single time during the level, enemies will be placed off screen in the pool and moved to and from the active level when called and killed, with their variables being reset on return to the pool. All pooled enemies and environment assets will be deleted on completion of the level while returning to the menu to avoid noticeable slow down during garbage collection. I'm pretty unsure how efficient this will be so expect this implementation to be changed and slow down release. Nevermind.

4) Maps
Not 100% sure on gameplay at this point but assuming we're sticking with the simpler design maps will be backgrounds with no affect on gameplay and have no player interaction until we get ahead of ourselves.

Environments will be designed in 5 layers,
  1. Foreground, a layer for objects at a depth in front of the player, that parallaxes quickly across the screen. ex: poles, shadowed things, shrubs.
  2. Midground, a layer for objects at a depth the same as the player. that moves at the same speed as the player. ex: the ground, enemies.
  3. Background, a layer for objects at a depth directly behind the player. that parallaxes slowly. ex: trees, walls, buildings.
  4. Far Background, a layer for objects at a depth far behind the player, that parallaxes very slowly
  5. Skybox, the sky, clouds, and distant mountains, that parallaxes minimally.

5) Goal/Challenge Oriented Levels
A list of goals and challenges in the game that will be used to instantiate levels.
  1.  Defeat ___ enemies.
  2. Survive ___ waves, or for ___ minutes.
  3. Kill ___ in ___ time.
  4. Kill ___ groups of enemies (2+) with Beard Meter.
  5. No health drops.
  6. No beard meter.
  7. Fisticuffs
  8. Giant enemies
  9. Defeat ___ enemies in ___ attacks without dying (Infinite Beard Meter/No Meter)
  10. Escort a lantern and protect it from swarms of enemies at the end.

6) Rewards/Progression

7) UI and Interface

The user interface will loosely function as shown in the above diagram, with the green section to be extended at a later time.

Extended Potential Mechanics

1) Swipe AoE Executions-
When enemies reach a health threshold an Icon will appear above their heads which can be dragged and swiped to preform a large attack that immediately executes enemies in a nearby area.

2) Challenger Enemies-
Big enemies with large sweeping attacks that you either duck or jump to avoid, and sweet spots

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Final bat sketch and mushroom ideations

The this my revised sketch of the sine bat. Looking at the legs now, it reminds me too much of pokemon so I'm going to change them. Ill try to get this guy painted soon.

Here are some ideations for the mushroom. In Norway there is a mushroom called the destroying angel. The idea is that the enemy mushroom is going to look innocent/seductive? but is actually quite damaging. My favorite at the moment is number 4. I might decide to give it big googlely eyes.