Author: zachary

Die Zombies! A 200 Word RPG

Last week, we learned of a cool contest, the 200 Word RPG Challenge. The contest is exactly what is sounds like. You must make a tabletop RPG using no more than 200 words. We thought the idea was fun and decided to try our hand at making one.

The game isn’t that complicated and the test plays we had while designing it were pretty fun and often intense. Our game isn’t focused with stats or anything, just some quick fun with dice. So without further ado, here is our entry. You can thank my son for the punny title.

Die Zombies!

Can you survive the zombie apocalypse? Guide a band of plucky survivors to the last remaining secure settlement.

A game for two players. One controls the zombie encounters and rewards, the other controls the team of survivors.

Player 1 gets one d10 and 1 d6. Player 2 gets 5 survivor tokens and two d6s.

Play starts with player 1 describing the encounter, and rolls the d10 to determine the number of zombies encountered, a roll of 0 is 10 zombies. Both players roll for initiative with 1 d6 each. If player 1 rolls high, it is a surprise encounter. If surprised, player 2 rolls only one d6 during this encounter, if not, player 2 rolls 2 d6s.

During the encounter, both players roll their d6s. Players compare highest rolls. If Player 2 wins, ties going to Player 2, one zombie is killed. If Player 1 wins, one survivor token is killed.

If all zombies are killed, Player 1 describes what they win, either food, ammo, medicine or even additional survivors. Play moves to the next encounter. If all survivors die, the game is over. If Player 2 wins 10 scenarios, they win the game.

A Humbling Look Back And A Sobering Look Forward Into 2018

New Year ResolutionsAs I write this, I can look at the blog feed of this site and see that the second article is the 2017 New Years post about what we had planned to do in this year. I am a bit ashamed in what didn’t happen this year and know that I could have done better.

There are lots of excuses I could lay out about why I didn’t make any progress on any of those goals, but that would be exactly what I shouldn’t be doing. Instead, I am looking at this past year and deciding to make a change in my life for the better.

Back in 2014, I attempted the One Game A Month challenge. It wasn’t bad. I successfully completed 6 games, even if not all of them were good. It did feel great to make that many games and get them out there. I learned a lot, tried some new things, and had fun. That was the primary goal of that challenge. I would have loved to have actually made 12 full games.

This year, I want to do that again. But I am going to do it differently. Instead of trying to make 12 games of different genres and play styles, I am going to focus on only one play style, top-down action adventure games. These will be 12 Zelda like games. They certainly won’t all be swordplay and action, but they will all follow the same constraints.

The purpose of this particular challenge is to get me back up and running as a game developer and actually build up a set of classes, tools and libraries that will help me start work on Shattered Star: Prelude and Shattered Star. I really feel good about those games and feel that they would do well in the current indie game climate.

In addition to this goal of creating 12 games this coming year, I will be running a Patreon campaign to support the effort. As a perk to supporting this effort on Patreon, you will get the games earlier than the public, you will get to see the development process in action, and depending on your backing level, you may get to contribute creatively in some fashion.

Once a game is done, it will also be published to our itch.io store and posted for sale. I don’t plan on using any other store front at the moment, but I do want them all to be available for purchase. This will provide another avenue for people to support this effort to make 12 games this year.

In addition to this, I really want to do another conference. With the sad news that Super! Bitcon won’t be happening this year, we will instead like to shoot for the XPO conference that happens in September. That way, I will have more games to show off and will be able to have a greater impact on the success of this challenge. If I can have 9 games ready to go for that event, then I would be exciting.

I will also continue work on the Simple Site Builder and add some additional features for the free version as well as make some premium features. I would like it to be a tool available to as many game developers as possible. I think it could be very helpful for many people.

That is what I want to do this year. I want to do better this year than any year before it. I know I can do this. So here’s to a great 2018.

Announcing The Simple Game Site Builder

Simple Game Site BuilderIt has been a long time everyone. I have been working on a few things over the last few months, and I am finally ready to announce one of them. So here goes. Announcing the Simple Game Site Builder. This simple tool will help you get a clean and professional looking game site up and running in a matter of minutes.

A couple of weeks ago, I read a great article by Justin Carroll about the need to have a clean and well structured site to sell your game. Inspired by this article, I set out to make an easy to use tool that will give you a great looking site to sell your game. All you have to do is update the included game_info.xml file, put your images into the images directory, upload everything to your web server and the site takes care of itself.

See Simple Game Site Builder In Action
See Simple Game Site Builder In Action

There are some great features for this too.

  • Use either a link to the location you are selling your game, or use the embed code from your store of choice.
  • Include your trailer from whatever site is hosting it using their embed code.
  • Display any number of images and features.
  • Build a subscriber list for your company by including code from services like Mail Chimp.
  • Point people to all your social media locations.
  • Easy linking to your presskit()
  • Include analytics tracking code.

We have also made the Simple Game Site Builder available to you under the MIT license for open source software. You can use and modify this code for any need you have. We have also made the code available on Github. If you want to contribute to the project, you can do so there. You can also see this tool in action over at the ManlyBoy site.

Simple Game Site Builder Github RepoDownload Simple Game Site Builder Zip

Happy New Year Resolutions!

New Year ResolutionsWith 2016 behind us and 2017 before us, we have the need to set new goals for the new year. This is something that we failed to do at the beginning of 2016 and it sure had an impact on what we accomplished this year. Frankly, that is not much. Instead of looking back and feeling bad about what didn’t happen, we, instead, want to look forward to what we want to do.

This year, we have a booth at Super! Bitcon, the local gaming convention run by the great guys at Oklahoma Retro Gamer Society. We had a lot of fun at 2014’s S!BC and had a good show. So I wanted to set us with another deadline for having a good gaming show. We won’t be doing another game jam, but we will show off a game or two. We really want to finish Shattered Star: Prelude and we hope having this deadline will get me there.

Once that is done, we will begin serious development on Shattered Star. This game has been in pre-planning for a long time and we really need to get it going. So once Prelude is done, we will have a good base to build on to bring the main game to life.

Those are the two biggest goals for this year and we hope that it will all work out. We have some other small game ideas we would like to play with, but we think the main focus should be on these main games. We do have other goals too.

We want to post more on this blog and on social media to build hype for our games. We really need to build our fan base and drive interest for the games. We think these games can be really successful if we can drive that interest early. We have already started and just need to keep it up.

We also want to create more videos. These will be development vlogs or something else similar. No strict plans for this, but something that we think could help build interest in the long run.

Finally, we want to support more of the tools we use. This includes contributing to the development of HaxeFlixel or paying cash to those who maintain the tools we use.

We Are Proud To Support HaxeFlixel, You Should Too

haxeflixelWe at Divine Knight Gaming love our tech. We use some great technology to help us make our games and we advocate for any developer to try them out. We have done what we can to advocate for these technologies and have even made some modest contributions to the underlying software. After all that, we were excited for this latest opportunity to support HaxeFlixel.

A couple of weeks ago, HaxeFlixel contributor Lars Doucet of Level Up Labs launched a crowdfunding campaign to provide financial support for HaxeFlixel. Using the contributions from this campaign, HaxeFlixel will be able to hire, full time, one of the engine’s founders, Alexander Hohlov, for a full year. His job during that year will be to work on nothing but the HaxeFlixel game engine.

The goal was to raise $3,000 and match that with another $3,000 Lars and other developers and founders managed to raise. This $6,000 is enough to hire Alexander, who is a Russian resident, full time for a year providing a raise as well. In a massive show of support, this campaign raised the needed $3,000 in well less than a day. As of today, they are just shy of hitting 200% in contributions.

We at Divine Knight Gaming are proud to put in what we can toward that goal. We have backed the campaign for $15, a modest sum. We would have loved to contribute more but are doing what we can with what little we are making at this time. As we become more successful, we hope to be able to provide more meaningful contributions in both time and money.

We recommend that anyone interested in indie game developers and the engines they use to consider backing HaxeFlixel. Not only will you ensure that game developers have continued access to a quality game engine, but you also have a chance to score some great indie games upon the completion of the campaign.

Shattered Star: Testing Charnette’s Walking Animation

Over the weekend, Willis sent me the completed walk animation for Charnette. We have already seen her sprite in an earlier update, but we now have a completed walk animation.

Charnette Walk Animation

You see it here, but how does it look in action? Well, I put it into a quick tech demo to test it out. You can see that here:

Now that we have this animation done, Willis is busy working on a new set of animations. I am still working on Shattered Star: Prelude and should have more to show soon.

Enter Boss #1 In Shattered Star: Prelude: The General

Meet General VenetiaThe world of Shattered Star is full of villains and monsters. What good would a game like this be without a great cast of antagonists to defeat? Each game in the series will feature a whole lot of boss monsters to keep you busy.

Enter General Venetia, King Larost’s (we’ll learn more about him later) most trusted soldier. She has been loyal to Larost since long before he seized power. She was instrumental in defeating the true king’s private guard in order to dethrone him.

General Venetia wields a powerful ball and chain which she swings at her opponents. With this weapon she can crush boulders let alone her enemies’ heads. The trust Larost holds in Venetia led him to enchant her weapon to act as one of four keys needed to enter the most secure areas of Larost’s castle.

When you first meet Venetia, she takes you down and locks you in the dungeon. However, you soon get a second chance to take her on. Venetia’s armor makes fighting her difficult. While your sword is sufficient for the battle, something more precise would make thing go a whole lot easier.

Boss Concept Art: Light And Space Demons

While I am plugging away at Shattered Star: Prelude, Willis is busy with concept art and game art for Shattered Star itself. That game will have a total of 8 bosses and one final boss. It will also have some mini-bosses here and there as well.

Willis has sent me the first pieces of concept art for two of these bosses.

First up we have our space demon, Nova. She has control over the space around her, through which she can teleport and even manipulate gravity itself. If the player is not careful, she will end up crushing you or trapping you in difficult spaces.

Space Demon, Nova: Concept ArtNext up we have the light demon, Aurora. She has the power to manipulate light. She uses this power to create lasers and orbs of light to torment and blind her opponents. She may not look like much, considering she isn’t much taller than most monsters the player fights, but she is highly deadly.

Light Demon, Aurora: Concept ArtWillis is busy creating more art for the other characters in the game. Keep an eye out here, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Google+ for more.

Shattered Star: Prelude And Our August Goals

Shattered Star: Prelude by Divine Knight GamingHello everyone. We are sorry to have been away for so long. We have been working, at least as much as we can. While things are slow going, we are planning some great things in the near future.

First off, We want to assure you that we are working on our our primary game and have finally decided on a name. Charnette will star as the heroine in Shattered Star. We really like this name and find that the title describes a core aspect of our game really well.

We would also like to announce that we are working on a prequel of sorts, more of a prelude really. Shattered Star: Prelude is the story of Charnette’s ancestor who defeated the evil wizard and shattered the original gem which gave the wizard his power. This shattered gem is what gives the evil demons of Charnette’s world their powers.

SS:P is going to be a simple game. It takes place in a single castle with 4 generals and the evil wizard king that the hero must defeat. We have been working on the design of this castle and some of the bosses and monsters recently. We thought we would show you the initial design and layout of the castle.

Castle Basement, First Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor

As you can see, there are three floors and a basement. There are also four towers. Each tower houses one of the four generals and the rest of the castle will have a number secrets to explore.

We have already started preliminary design of the castle. Each colored section is a separate level map. Below you can see the first area of the castle, the courtyard.

Castle Courtyard

You can also see that this castle is going to be a lot larger than the map of DK Adventure. You can see that one below. The courtyard is over twice as large as the whole of DK Adventure.

DK Adventure Dungeon

As for what you can expect of us this month, we plan on getting the preliminary design of all rooms of the castle done by the end of the month. We will also strive to have one boss and a few monsters animated. If we can, we will try to get that boss and the player in the game and interacting.

We also plan on taking part in this month’s Game Boy Jam. This is a 10 day event to make a game styled after the old school Game Boy. Since SS:P is going to be done in the style of the Game Boy, We thought this would be a fun exercise.

So there you have it. Some news, some plans and some cool stuff coming your way. We will be keeping you posted. We will be posting more regular updates here, on Twitter, on Facebook and Google+. We will also have a screenshot every Saturday. So keep and eye out.

Official Release Of ManlyBoy And Early Access To Glug Cave

ManlyBoy LogogAfter a great showing at Super! BitCon, we have made a number of updates to ManlyBoy and have released ManlyBoy for download via Itch.io.

Among the updates we made are a number of bug fixes to DK Adventure, more story elements to the end of the game and boss fight, some edits to the opening story section, a method to skip the story, four new and larger mazes for Amazing Mazes, top ten score list for Amazing Mazes and Space Battles. There is also a method to alternate between full screen and windowed mode and exiting the game via the escape key. Lots of good stuff there.

This is the official release and we likely won’t add much if any content to it. If we get a lot of downloads, we may add some more content to support our fans, but we don’t have any plans for it at the moment.

Glug Cave Title Screen

 

We have also made our first build of our Super! BitCon game jam game available, Glug Cave. This is the early version of the game and is missing a lot of features we wanted to add. It also has a number of significant bugs but nothing that will break the game.

We will continue development on this game and let you know as we add updates to it. We would like to see this game completed and made available for everyone to enjoy. In the mean time, download what we have and try it out. Also, you can send us feedback on what you would like to see in the game.

The games are available to download for free for Windows and Linux. We will add Mac support as soon as we can get a Mac computer to build and test on. You can also pay for the games if you want. Itch.io has a great pay what you want system. If you want to see more and better games from us, sending a few bucks our way will go a long way toward helping us. Paying us some money will also help speed up development of Glug Cave. That would be great.

So there you go. Give our games a download and share the love with your friends and family.