Red Knight Games will soon be running a Kickstarter campaign for Grapple Knight and like any campaign lots and lots of research and preperation is needed, even more so than we initially thought! Over the past few weeks I have been working to learn as much as I can about what makes a campaign successful and why some others failed, trying to take lessons from the best while avoiding some of the pitfalls that other campaigns had fallen into. Below I created a draft of the initial rewards and prices that we have been able to establish so far. Because we are huge believers in the idea that the public should have a more powerful say in the direction that certain aspects of game development take, we want to make this list public so that you, the people that will be playing and hopefully buying our game can give us your ideas and feedback so that when the campaign does launch, it will be as good as it can be.
Category Archive: Dev Diary
Games are a continual cycle of iteration; destroy, rebuild, improve. If something isn’t working visually, or goes against the core mechanics and flow of your game, it might be time to go back to the drawing board, or wacom tablet in my case. Phil Fish remade the artwork for Fez at least three times during its development. It was after Supanova that we decided that the game needed to go through this process. We needed to engage our players more, and give them something else to do besides grappling and fighting. So a huge whiteboard was borrowed, ideas were hashed out, arguments exchanged and the team collectively redesigned Grapple Knights core mechanics from a new perspective. You can read a more in depth article about this redesign here.
This redesign also included a complete overhaul of the artwork, from scratch, to bring the game up to a better standard that would give us a benchmark to work off. In this article, I’ll be going through my experiences of learning pixel art, some of the decisions I made when reworking the art, and the tools I used to help me get there.
Programming Grapple Knight has been an interesting experience due to it being the first commercial title I will have worked on, as well as the first game I will have coded using Unity. In this article I’ll talk about the programming behind some of the gameplay and visual effects.
Springs are what is used to simulate the rope physics of the grappling hook chain. Below is a basic equation for calculating a springs force, this equation can be further simplified or expanded by applying forces based on how much the springs are allowed to change direction, or altering parts of the equation such as how the attracting/repulsing force scales based on distance between its masses.
Mv = Mass2.position – Mass1.Position
Fv = Mv.Normalised x (Mv.Length – SpringLength) x SpringConstant
With the opening of Steam Greenlight coming in 2 weeks, we wanted to get a build of Grapple Knight ready for it’s release, to be amongst the first of games to be put up on display. Not exactly the biggest time frame to really push our game to the next level, but at the same time, none of us saw what had to be done. I wouldn’t really say we underestimated ourselves, after all with the game as it was, we saw ourselves getting the game in shape in that time for Greenlight no worries. What we did next threw our 2 week time frame out the window, but was a step we couldn’t ignore taking.
Part 2 of the Grapple Knight Redesign Dev Story, PART 1 HERE!
First and foremost, we switched our priority to the PC platform. This was because if we truly wanted to invoke that sense of nostalgia, players needed to feel it with a controller in their hands (or keyboard if that’s how you rolled back then). Additionally, it gave us some breathing room if we were ever to make changes that could potentially complicate the game on the mobile platform. In a nutshell, we wanted freedom to make the game we wanted without platform and core gameplay fighting for design priority.
Supanova Sydney (16th to 17th of June) marked the first time we had ever publicly showcased ourselves as a company along with our first title Grapple Knight. While our appearance at Supanova was a success (you can read about it here), some of you may have heard that the demo you were playing was a redesign. I’m here to explain our decision to go along with what we did, and with the new implementation of choosing what build of the game you can choose to play on our website hopefully it’ll shed some light visually as to why.
“Never again,” we said, “No more late nights,”.
Nope. Nope, nope… /sigh. We did it again anyway. Although, it wasn’t all for nothing, by staying up to 6:40 am the morning of the Blackberry World Jam Sydney on the 12th of June, we were able to have a playable prototype of our second project. We present to you: O-Gami!
8th of July, tis iFest Sydney day! Yet, there we were, working into the morning. Fret not however, it wasn’t as bad as Supanova (which you read here!), we didn’t stay up until 5 am :D. Unlike Supanova, we didn’t have the day prior to setup our station so we had to wake up at 6am to get ourselves ready to make it into the city, build out the game, grab the gear and then get it over to the AIE (Academy of Interactive Entertainment) Sydney Campus.
Firstly a very big thank you to everyone for making our presence a success at Supanova, our first public showing. Be sure to watch the entire video! But it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine, at least not at the very beginning, let me explain why…
Saturday the 16th… D-Day… or rather, SN-Day? Whatever lol. We were up until 5 am the morning of Supernova Sydney getting our demo to a playable stage. The game had undergone a complete design overhaul and we were rushing to get it done before then to test its viability.
Yesterday, we had the amazing opportunity to meet legendary game designer, Warren Spector. Warren has worked on titles such as Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Thief and Deus Ex. Passing through Sydney on his way to the Game Masters convention in Melbourne, he was kind enough to drop in to our shared office and check out some of our games!
Having Warren play Grapple Knight was awesome and slightly daunting , but hearing what he had to say about it was very enlightening. A lot of the things we have planned for the game were ideas he had suggested to us and as we explained our plan of attack putting Grapple Knight out there as a game and product, he told us we were on the right track. It was very humbling to be able to meet him in person, Adam even brought along a friend who is a long time fan of Warren and his work. We want to thank Warren for taking the time to come and visit us, it was a great experience!