2014: Recap and The Year Ahead

Looking ahead into a new year, it’s often beneficial to look back and reflect on the past year. 2013 was a good year – lots of new designs, art and code got done. It was a very foundational year – the frameworks established this year will act as the basis of many more games to come.

While there weren’t any releases in 2013, progress was made on multiple projects. Near the end of 2012 I drafted a number of designs and did a lot of pixel art, finding the style and producing some quality pieces to act as a style guide across multiple projects. In early 2013 my daughter arrived and plans had to be adjusted accordingly, but development kept ticking along. Tons of animation work for Pixel Viking got sorted and a few drafts of the environmental art were shuffled in and out.

In the summer I redesigned the website and learned enough CSS to build a new theme that accomplished more of what I wanted with the site – something I was hesitant to take the time to do but was well worth it in the end. Of course, almost immediately things changed again.

In September I returned to full-time dayjobism in IT which restricted development time considerably from what it had been and I’ve returned to the world of commuter development. Despite the change in available hours, progress on a number of projects has continued.

September was also the first month I attended Torontaru, which is a bloody good time. Getting to chat with folks from Capy, Metanet, XMG and many other studios/indies was a really great experience. Plus it’s good to get out of your own head an talk with your peers about development and non-development topics. Also beer. I highly recommend it to anyone in the Greater Toronto Area.

The rest of the year was fairly uneventful. Lots of back-end systems building and tech stuff for use and re-use in projects to come, more art and lots of design/planning.

So, what’s coming up in 2014? Well, with a little luck, lots! An early version of Pixel Viking should make an appearance later this year, and a smaller game is currently getting close to wrapping up. There may or may not be one or more projects in early design/planning phases as well. There may or may not be some art/screenshots coming for any/all of these. Maybe. If you behave.

And for now, that’s all the news that’s news.

Announcing: Pixel Viking

Archaic Studios is proud to announce Pixel Viking, a 2D action-roguelike platformer. Take control of a pixelated Viking and embark on a voyage of adventure, danger and treasure.

Interviewing himself, John Lethbridge, chief Cog and Founder of Archaic Studios, had this to say, “Pixel Viking combines my passion for both games and history. There’s an incredibly rich historical record to be found in the Viking sagas that’s gone mostly unexplored in games. I want to tap into that, to provide an experience that makes you feel you’re a legendary warrior on a long and dangerous journey.”

After the player creates and customises their Viking – by giving them a name, selecting their tunic and hair colours and, most importantly, their beard – they are given a goal that will shape how their adventure unfolds. Whether they are sent to raid distant shores and amass wealth or charged with slaying a fearsome Frost Giant, each voyage will be a new experience.

“Every journey has a goal. Each goal will affect what kinds of levels you see and how they play out. Combining that with procedural level generation allows for all kinds of unique experiences. While you may have been in a pitched ship battle before, if you’re hunting a troublesome Frost Giant, you might find the ocean has now frozen over – completely changing the dynamic of the encounter.”

Pixel Viking is coming to Windows PC, Linux and Mac. For the latest information and development news, follow @TheVMan_ on Twitter.

Site Re-Launch

The new site design is finally done and active! Many hours were spent hand-crafting new CSS and lovingly pushing pixels about, before mashing it all together and extruding it into a shiny new website.

Welcome, do come in!

The result is much more streamlined and easy to update. Gone are the featured images which, while an amusing feature, were entirely too much work to bother with when just wanting to bang out a quick dev update or news bite, and that also means that this should also mark the return development and project updates.

There will also be an exciting official announcement coming up as well. Probably about a game or some such thing. You do like games, don’t you?