Category Archives: Blog

Helvetii DevBlog #5: Spring stroll

Hello friends !

Oh gosh, it’s been a month ! My apologies for having basically missed an entry, things have been quite busy here for reasons also unrelated to the game, but things are nicely underway ! I have gone back to the drawing board for a few visual things related to future levels and am currently assigning the specifics to each “room” of the first level in the game.

Also Zelda and Nier: Automata…yeah there was that. (Also, go play Nier: Automata, it’s really good !)

In any case, I did not want to leave you guys with nothing at all for an even longer period of time ! Shame on me ! So I decided to do a little something special and shoot a few vids during my latest reference expedition as I was trying to find some new fresh ideas for my visual designs. Furthermore, near my home are a few remaining roman ruins. A paltry reminder of the region’s past, if we compare to the more significant ruins in other regions of ancient Gaul. Still, since I haven’t been there in years, my memory needed a little exercise.

Bridging the gap

I do these “reconaissance” excursions quite often. Not only as pure research, mind you, but to help myself fight against a particular issue regarding this game.

Looking at these locationsis a good exercise to somehow imagine not only how it was back then, but how I can fill the rest with imagination. How much fantasy I can insert is up to debate as I don’t want it to become a complete fabrication.

Recently, I’ve been having trouble for the visual design of the second level, which does take place near the Geneva lake (or the Leman, as we call it). What type of housing. What type of mood,. What kind of people would live there.

While there is still research to be done, just walking here and there is a good enough exercise to simply”soak-in” the palce internally.

Helvetii is not a historically accurate game. It borrows a lot from the people the places and the myths as well, but still mixes it up to write its own fiction. I hope I can balance both in the end !

(And thanks to my friend Redish Blues for his comfy tunes !)

 

Helvetii DevBlog #4: The Tatzelwurm

Hello everyone !

I hope you had a good time these last two weeks ! Sorry for being two days late on this one ! I was at GDC for the very first time, and had loads of fun meeting a whole bunch of devs and showing my games around, including Helvetii. There are some very exciting things regarding that which I can’t talk about just yet, but stay tuned either here or on my twitter !

Anyway, this week I thought I’d do a short blog tackling one of the creatures of Helvetii. There are many myths and legends, old and new from which to pick and choose from when making a game about the “local” culture. One of them that sprung almost immediately when I started doing research on this project, especially on native monsters to the alps, was the Tatzelwurm.

The Tatzelwurm in history

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“A shepherd in the Innschweiz encounters a Tatzelwurm” (Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, 1723)

There are a few different takes on the origins of the Tatzelwurm, also known as Tatzlwyrm (which roughly translates as “Pawed Worm”). Mostly, it seems that part of its inspiration could be nordic in origin (The lindworms, or wyverns, wingless bipedal dragons. In italian, the Tatzelwurm is named “Basilisk”, a name we are more familiar with in our popular culture).

The general consensus is that the Tatzelwurm roams the mountainous landscapes of the alps (from France to Switzerland and Austria, but several other areas like Germany and Italy are also included). It is described as a large and stubby snake/lizard-like creature, and usually reported to have a round face resembling a cat. Lastly, it is said to be extremely venomous, either through its bite or by toxic fumes accompanying it.

As far as “official” myths being told around Switzerland and our neighbours, the Tatzelwurm is one of the few ones that actually is fairly common (more so in the german speaking parts than here. I had to look up a few cryptozoologists websites to get more information on them). But I had a few testimonies from friends from the east that they did indeed hear of the Tatzelwurm as kids. The game’s very own sound designer, Rahel M., apparently heard it from her grandmother.

The creature keeps being referenced several times throughout the 18th and 19th century when it was even considered fact that it indeed existed.  It appeared in the swiss almanac and there are several statues in Switzerland, Germany and Austria depicting the monster. Even up to very recently, there are reports of sightings of “strange, big lizards” roaming the mountains, either discarded as lost monitor lizards or just fabrications.

One of the most vibrant stories is documented on the cryptid wiki

“The first tale is that of a young girl who was working on a Swiss farm. While chopping down bean poles she accidentally disturbed the burrow of a Tatzelwurm and was attacked. The Tatzelwurm in this account was described as being of a gray coloration and about the size of a common domesticated cat with a fleshy hairless body and possessing only two front legs. According to the story the Tatzelwurm glared at the girl and she ran away describing big bright eyes to intense to meet.”

The existence of the creature was never truly proven. The believers would say that it went extinct a long time ago. Others theorize that the Tatzelwurm is in fact a variant of some rare salamander like the Gila Monster (however the Gila Monster is not really native to the alps, bur rather South America. But it would explain the venomous fumes of the Tatzelwurm, as the Gila monster is extremely venomous). In any case, some of the folk still believe to see odd, slinky creatures moving along the mountain crevices, and preying on their livestock.

The Tatzelwurm in Helvetii

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The TatzelWurm (Concept Art)

It was fairly obvious that the Tatzelwurm would be featured in Helvetii due to how iconic this monster is, even amongst other cultures. The awkwardness of how this creature was “composed” made it a pretty interesting challenge to try and come up with a design.Most of the elements gathered from the different stories were kept (stubby lizard body, cat face) but with an added sinister tone of “decay” as to fit most of the visual of helvetii.

Helvetii has a lot of visuals that represent overgrowth and the implacability of nature at that time. A lot of the creatures encountered are being ruthlessly taken over by an ever-so wild force, and at the height of its strangeness lies the Tatzelwurm. An absurd creature the size of a cow, which despite its grotesque appearance is a frightening foe.

A living carcass being kept away from death by unspeakable sources, the Tatzelwurm relentlessly hunts for food, only to be kept hungry by a cruel twist of fate. Its pale, slithering skin dotted with patches of dark fur flashes only for a moment before it rushes its prey. And while its strength might not kill you outright, the toxic fumes that accompanies it will make short work of most who try to defy it on its turf.

The Tatzelwurm will probably one of the first animated bosses to be in the alpha of the game, so look forward to see more of our slittery friend in action !

Anyway, that’s it for this week’s devblog, shorter than the others but sometimes you gotta keep it nice and short ! See you in two weeks for more information about the world !

Helvetii DevBlog #3: Myth upon myths, and before Switzerland

Hello friendos !

It’s been two weeks and it’s tuesday. You know what that means ! It’s a new Helvetii Dev Blog !
I hope y’all enjoyed the last one. Truth be told, there’s a lot more to say about the intricacies behind the mechanics and I feel like I’ve only grazed the surface. But as development goes on, they will also get more defined and I’ll get back to them in due time !

But right now, and as promised, it’s time to reach to the other main inspiration behind the game, and that is the story behind the Helvetian tribes and a few of the myths surrounding them.

This subject is pretty vast so, again, this will be kind of an introduction to the matter rather than a full-blown exposé (plus despite my research, I am not historian myself). I also need to keep some material for certain bosses and enemies which will be closely tied to said lore !

In any case,talking about this game and the lore inspiration behind it raised a few eyebrows with even some of my local colleagues. The story of the Helvetii is not a very well-known one, and seldom mentioned even in our own history classes (in fact I have little memory of ever learning about them before this moment while I was at school.) Granted, the Helvetic tribes are a story before Switzerland, and doesn’t reach most of the country too (The eastern parts of the country may have different origins)

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“Romans passing under the yoke”(1858) by Charles Gleyre. The painting depicts a defeated roman legion, with warchief Divico overlooking the procession

“The Helvetii, fiercest of the gauls”

The Helvetii were not a single tribe, but rather a group, or confederation, or celtic tribes spanning through Gaul, spanning from the west of the Geneva Lake to the upper reaches of the Jura region, and into even what would be called the Swiss-german territory of Bern and Basel (approximately).  Some of the tribes were for instance the Tigurini (from where Divico hails), the Rauraci,  or the Tugeni.

Written history references them mostly between around 110 BC to 50 BC. First for fleeing the migrating the northern tribes (at least, it is speculated) under Orgetorix, the current chieftain. Secondly mostly during the Gaulish War, with the back and forth between the Helvetii tribes and Julius Caesar.

After that, the history of the Helvetii becomes succinct at best. Caesar refers to the Helvetii during his time against them as one of the fiercest enemies he has faced. Granted, it is widely speculated that the reason for this “praise” is mostly to make his own accomplishment shine through even more (And Caesar has quite a few amusing stories regarding his ego).

This is why digging through the history of this agglomeration of tribes was somewhat of a fun and curious exercise. Even in Switzerland, this long-gone part of our history is seldom mentioned. We’re way closer to the myth of Switzerland (the Grütli, the battle of morgarten, William Tell and other stories who may or rather may not have really happened according to our historians).  And it has proven to be quite tricky to find conclusive information about the actual myths, beliefs and stories around the Helvetii.

In fact, if one wants to look at them, they might try their luck with stories of their other celtic cousins.

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“Mythology of Ancient Switzerland” by R. Christinger and W. Borgeaud, probably one of the most important book for my research

Quite frankly, if we’re looking at the Helvetii alone, the information is pretty sparse. Most of their recorded history comes from Roman testimonies and a few isolated things here and there from Gaulish sources. However, it is by looking at the larger picture of what composed these tribes and their “cousins” that we get to see a larger picture of the various beliefs and mythologies behind not only the Helvetii but Celtic and Germanic tribes at large…and even far off cultures like early Indian culture.

“Mythology of Ancient Switzerland” not only details the observation and old beliefs of the men and women who treaded here millenias ago, but correlates the different cultures who, despite having no real connection between them, seem to all fall to similar beliefs. How many cultures embraced their own version of “Epona”, the horse protector deity, spanning from Ireland to Greece and India under different names. Similarly, all cultures seem to have deities related to the hunt, water, fire, and many things that seemed a necessity or just a huge part of the life of women and men at the time. While it doesn’t always give precise information on detailed mythologies, it allows to narrow down similar myths that touched these different cultures due to their environment.

There are, for instance, a few theories on a “Bear cult” that spanned across celtic/Gaulish regions. The veracity of such findings is still being discussed today, but there are numerous hints found through the entire swiss territory.

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Dea Artio, the bear lady

“In 1832, we found in Muri, near Berne, two small statues belonging to an ensemble that, once reconstituted, presents itself thus: a base that bears the inscription “deae Artioni Licinia Sabinilla; a sitting woman holding a cup in the right hand and with an altar on its left, mounted with a basket of fruits. Across it, an oak from which a big bear is descending to face the woman-deity, relatively smaller in size”

Bear divinities, like many other of their kind, span multiple cultures. What makes it interesting for the Celtic tribes and the Helvetii is that a lot of their culture was also borrowed from the Greek, including their language which can sound oddly similar at times.

“What can the oak mean ? Maxime de Tyr says that an elevated Oak is akin to a statue for Zeus: “The celts honor Zeus, the celtic representation of Zeus is an elevated Oak”” We do know that druids took a lot of interest in oaks. It would then be presomptuous that the Oak represented in the statue found in Muri would just be an ordinary representation of a tree

From here on out, you can also look at similar myths like the northern berserkir, which in a way is a variation of the traditional werewolf (in berserkr, ber = bear, and serkr = skin/envelop/shroud).

How it translates into my work is that I carefully look at the distinct “needs” of these tribes and how they relate to it. Once the reading is done, I then try to create original concepts based on these notes, with a particular “celtic/Gaulish” touch based also on visual research. Then repeat the process. What is interesting in all of this is not much the “why” but more of the “how”, which helps to add more depth to even benign scenes.

Divico, the warchief, but not necessarily the hero

It’s hard already to find conclusive information on the Helvetii belief system. It’s even harder to find out about some of the personalities. Among the few that come up often, we know of Orgetorix (Warchief from 100 BC), Nammeios, a druid and envoy, and Divico, who notably defeated the roman legion under Lucius Cassius, Piso, and Publicus, sent by Caesar to root the Gauls from the lake’s shores.

He then got his ass kicked by Caesar years later during the Gaulish wars, trying to join Bibracte and the rest of the gaulish tribes.

There isn’t much known of Divico, the actual man, apart that he was apparently a pretty fierce warchief (there’s also apparently a statue of him in the federal palace in Berne, but I’ve never went to check). Hence my research had to be a bit different on him.

Eventually, I stumbled upon the book “The Helvetii Saga” by Pierre Latrigue.

What is interesting in this book is the depiction of not only Divico but the Druid Nammeios, another of the rare named figures of that time who will also be present in the game. In Latrigue’s book, Divico is painted as a somewhat ruthless individual with a mind driven by conquest, while Nammeios is a more grounded, calm individual.

It is not to say that this depiction of Divico will be the same in the game (especially because the Divico from the game will be younger, and less “experienced”), but the contrast it offered with the usual golden depiction of such figures was interesting enough for me that it offered a suitable mould for the character in itself.  Some of the events he participated in will also be a part of his backstory in the game itself.

But as far as I’m concerned, my own take on Divico will be an in between the “official” version and Latrigue’s version.

From Celtic to Germanic, and slightly anachronistic

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Tschaggata masks, part of a traditional getup for a carnval in the valleys of the Lotschental

I am almost at the end of this blog (yes yes I know, it’s been a bit long isn’t it ?) but as a final word: While there is a lot of material among celtic mythology to work with,I think that, as also a celebration of more modern swiss myths, occasionally picking among other cultures such as germanic ones, and even more “out-of-place” things will also help Helvetii (The game) into forging its own mythology around the mythology.

One of the great pleasures of this game is unearthing and reworking old legends and showing them to the world. There are certain things, like the Tschäggätä of Lotschental which would find a nice place among the beasts and darkness of the Helvetii world. And the idea of bringing this to people outside the country brings me great joy

Each enemy, boss and location will be built around old myths with a new coat of paint. The reinvention of the Helvetii mythos is not only an exercise in creativity but a good way to show fellow countrymen and others the treasures we have slept upon for a long time now !

And some of these creatures won’t be too pleased by you awakening them

 

Helvetii Dev Blog #2: “Forever games”

Hello everyone !

I hope you enjoyed the first dev blog from two weeks ago !

After polling some of you on potential subjects for today on twitter, it seems the majority wanted to know more about the direction of the actual game design and some of the mechanics ! So now, let’s dive into what’s the plan to make Helvetii’s wheels turn ! Bare in mind this will not go into the fine details of combos/invul frames and a full moveset list (That’ll be later, my darlings !), but rather the inspirations behind my choices.

(Sidenote: Since there were also a lot of people interested in the mythology behind the game, the next dev blog in two weeks will touch upon that, so take heed!)

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Test for air strikes in the early prototype

Around 2011, Edmund McMillen released a new game called “The Binding of Isaac”, a biblical-themed (with a lot more scat) top-down game where you play as a little boy running from his mother, in a series of randomly generated rooms with randomly generated items and against randomly generated bosses. Each playthrough is somewhat new but always with a set of consistent rules. It went on to sell gangbusters, got an expansion, a remake, and said remake got a bunch of expansions. Legends say Edmund can now afford even more extravagant beards.

This game, among others like Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, Crypt of the Necrodancer, or even recent variants like Darkest Dungeon  and many others have spearheaded the resurgence of a style of gameplay called Roguelite (inspired by the 1980’s game Rogue, sharing some similarity in terms of gameplay).

I became enamored by games like Binding of Isaac or Spelunky which I have been playing almost religiously for a very long time, completing them to the brim (at least BoI on Vita, and Spelunky as well, even putting some extra challenges on myself).

I also like the term “Forever games” to qualify them, as they’re effectively games you could continuously come back to and have a go without it feeling exactly the same (at least, in theory). In essence, they’re also pretty close to old arcade games: they’re made for quick plays, bursts of gameplay in short sittings.

But with a lot of playtime comes a problem. The better I got at it, the more frustrated I was with the mechanics. For example, Binding of Isaac’s inherent mechanics reward the player less and less the better he gets (there are “angel rooms” for instance which, while harder to get to and require you to pass on better items, do not reward you as much most of the time). The randomness of it also can completely ruin a play through, as some items are clearly not in your favour if you have an aggressive play style. Other games like Rogue Legacy also had similar failings the more you played it. Spelunky, while almost perfect in its design also became old after a while as there wasn’t a lot of flexibility in how you would traverse the game.

All in all, the feeling I had mastered past what the game had to offer was incredibly frustrating. I felt I could do more if only it allowed me, but also I knew that the inherent design would never really fit this kind of play style, or rather it would be entirely dictated by the randomly generated attributes I would get during a game, rather than by my very own skill. Even with the knowledge that extra expansions came out, what I saw of them basically just added more to the core game but without fixing that issue I was fighting with. The play style was just not matching.

On the other hand, there are character action games.

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Oboro Muramasa Rebirth (PS VITA)

“Even in shooting or action games, if you know that you can just kill this guy this way, but maybe if I could try to do it a little bit cooler, or a little more interesting. Maybe there’s a bit of, ‘hey, I’ve got the gallery behind me and I’m going to show off some play that you’ve never thought of,’ but there’s also the element of showing off to yourself and creating your own play style. I think that had a lot to do with the games I played when I was younger, and that really came to the forefront in DMC.”

-Hideki Kamiya (From his IGN interview)

While maybe not the most profound thing ever said by a game designer, this quote by Kamiya resonates a lot with me and how I perceive action games.

Games like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, Odin Sphere, Ninja Gaiden, Bloodborne or Nier. The beauty they communicate to me, apart from their respective art style and the tightness of their mechanics, is how they represent almost what’s “purest” in terms of video game interaction. You can play through an action game like Metal Gear Rising knowing the levels by hand but it’s your skill and play style that really dictates the flow. In return, the feedback of that flow will push you to be more creative. For someone who works better with implicit rather than explicit narratives, this concept has always been very attractive to me. If the pace is well done, your own psyche will start to meld with the actions of your character (a more visual metaphor would be like the “linking” process that happens in Pacific Rim, for instance) In turn, the game rewards you with a variety things: flashy effects and sounds, maybe stronger attacks to keep your momentum going or simply a scoreboard going up and up. In a sense, there are also “forever games”. You can go back to them at any point and see how you can improvise your way through a level one way or another, despite their more rigid set of rules and levels. However, they do take some more involvement.

By this point, you probably get the idea: “Well you’re probably talking about meshing the core concept of a roguelite game with action game mechanics ? Is that it ? And wouldn’t that be messy with all this RNG bullshit ?”

Let’s break this down quickly !

Meshing between genres: The balance of skill and RNG

The first thing to take into account is that Helvetii’s goal is to push you to improvise with what you have, but never outright punish you. At heart, it will be an action game. What control you have over your character is ultimately what will make you succeed (or fail), regardless of what upgrades you picked up.

However, what interested me in the rogue lite aspect, particularly in the style of Binding of Isaac, is the randomization of rooms and challenges. Making conscious decisions as to how much risk you want to take. Hoarding or spending some of the limited resource you have and taking that extra risk for that extra reward. Plus the pleasure of never quite knowing what’s ahead of you (without it being unfair), so you must rely on your skills and knowledge to get by.

There is also the added incentive of a roguelite’s faster pace. Helvetii will be a hard game and will take some time beating in full (hopefully !). Your tries are limited, the bosses are challenging and the levels full of danger. But that also means it will have the advantages of being fast to pick up. Eliminating a lot of the faffing to get straight to the point (with some fluff for those who want it, but never really obstructing)

Most of the upgrades and items planned for Helvetii offer a net benefit in most case. If there is ever an item with a price, it will also come with a major boost. And all of them serve to give the player more flexibility over a moveset which already allows a good deal of actions.

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Diagram of Divico’s moveset in the early prototype

The point of all this blabber: To have the variety and uncompromised skill-driven mechanics of an action game, with the added content, pace and replayability of a roguelite. The key to all this of course will be a careful balance of items (there assuredly won’t be as many items as BoI for instance, but the work will go towards all of them being useful), movesets and a lot, LOT of playtesting.

In addition to that, there will be extra things (as in, unrevealed characters and power types) which should bring some nice spice to the formula…


There is still a lot to be said of the actual details on the gameplay. How certain items will work, powers, hidden stats and moveset. But I must keep a bit for future blogs and surprises for the public ! Although I keep feeling of having missed some crucial points

If you have any specific questions, to not hesitate to ask them on twitter at @kpeclet ! I will answer them in a future blog

In any case, you might already have caught a glimpse of things to come on twitter recently. I hope you all enjoyed this read, and see you next time for a glimpse at the mythology behind Helvetii !

-Kevin

 

Helvetii Dev Blog #1

Good evening/Morning good people !

I decided to dust off this old blog and portfolio (don’t wander too far, you’l l see a LOT of old stuff…I’ll probably have to update the rest of all that as well soon !) to write the first out of hopefully many devblogs for my current projects.

And if you’ve been following me on twitter (which this is where you probably come from since i’ll link this there later), you’re probably aware of what I’ve been working since the end of summer 2016. I have been posting since pretty regular updates (except for end of december as I had to ..you know…attend festivities. Also because I had to work on side stuff). But now with the current switch to the final engine, I thought it would be a good time to formally introduce myself and my project, “Helvetii” to all ya’ll.

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Divico, main character of Helvetii

 

SO ! First off, hi everyone ! My name is Kevin Péclet, as you probably kinda guessed already from this website. I’m from Switzerland, and have been doing art stuff for about 10 years, and gamedev stuff for about 5. I have been working on several small things, my biggest project to day is the still-in-development game  Starfallen, as well as the smaller but equally as fulfilling Splash Blast Panic. Both projects have been incredibly fulfilling and taught me a lot about game development through the years. I also participated in a bunch of game jams (finished my 5th global game jam just yesterday) and also just draw random stuff from big nerd fantasy stuff to weebtrash like the garbage human being I am.

However, for a while I have been yearning to accomplish a project of my own vollition and who would come from my own inspirations. Like probably everyone who is into game dev, I sit on a lot of projects in my mind from horror to RPGs and more casual, fun stuff. But of all of them, the one that spurred me on into action is this action game, now called Helvetii, about Helvetian/Gaulish mythology.

Now I won’t go into the fine details and tech specifics of what Helvetii is just yet (I’m saving this for future dev blogs) but to give you a broad image: It was born of both my love of 2d action games, especially the kinds done by Vanillaware (Dragon’s Crown, Muramasa Rebirth and recently the great remaster of Odin Sphere), but also a will to explore a specific setting and mythology I think is still pretty absent from popular culture in general.

Years ago, in fact at one of the first swiss-french dev meeting we had when the dev scene started to grow around here, we jokingly talked about what type of “Swiss inspired” game we could make. The suggestion was mostly to make a point of our usually not-so-exportable-culture. Orson Welles in Citizen Kane said ” In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” An exageration of course, but still not that far from the truth. Even most of us natives don’t bring up our own mythology and culture that much. Most of what comes to mind are cows, edelweisses, cheese with holes and an unhealthy sense of superiority to all our respective language-neighbours.

However, the idea kinda stuck with me, and I got more into it and thought back to what is technically not “Swiss” history but gaulish. The Helvetians, a tribal group of gaulish warriors who once tread the lands before us, way before the grütli.  The interesting thing to me is that there isn’t much that we know or associate with in our modern culture about the Helvetii tribes.  There are few stories and fewer notable characters and in our history classes, the roman era is usually quickly glazed over before the teacher eagerly presses on to the actual creation of what is Switzerland today, which is more teutonic in heritage than Gaulish if you look at its core (until the western cantons started to join at least).

Even moreso, gaulish and celtic mythology as a whole is not incredibly present in the video game landscape. For all our love for nordic, japanese, general medieval or even slavic culture in our artform, the Gauls are seldom remembered. Henceforth, my itty brain starts to work. I also take the time to set foot again in libraries and ask my old economics teacher for books about pre-roman helvetian mythology and the game starts forming in my mind.

That was about…3 years ago.

 

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First sketches of Divico, back in 2013. Way scrawnier back then than he is now

You can guess it took me a while to actually get ready to tackle such a project which I thought was important to me. Work finally started around august 2016 while I was at Gamescom presenting Splash Blast Panic. Since then, work has been going steadily and I even have a small prototype made on Clickteam fusion as to just give me a cleared idea of the direction I wanted to go in. You probably saw several updates of this on twitter, and you can even check some of it on my youtube channel right here.

Today, I now have a programmer at my side and have moved on to Unity and production in earnest has started (while I really love Clickteam fusion, and all my love to the team and I have high hopes for 3.0, I needed a more advanced engine). With this, let me detail what are the plans for this year when it comes to Helvetii, starting with the immediate future.

MOVING TO THE NEW ENGINE AND BUILDING THE TEAM

The whole game is now being made in Unity which was a good middle ground in terms of tech and accessibility for a 2D game, considering I work with the incredibly talented Nils Ole Timm from Starfallen who I shall introduce in a next blog very soon. While the code has to be made from scratch as none of the work from CTF is usable, the art is already there for the most part for a functional game, which means it should take a short time to actually have the game running on its new legs, with improvements. This will also allow me to devote more time on the art and design, which are more of my domains than coding.  Coding aside, I am also getting in talks for music, sound and possibly marketing in the future, with already some leads. I know it’s usually an annoying part for most indie devs but I wish to be prepared this time around.

I am still hesitating to release the prototype of the CTF project (as really it’s a visual showcase more than anything else). But if people are really interested in the future, it would be fun to just release it as is in all its jankyness just for an early look. At least, I would like to share it with some of the Clickteam community, also to show what is possible with what some people would call a weak engine.

I am not gonna give an exact estimate of when we’ll be able to see Helvetii again in a playable state, but hopefully end of winter or early spring is easily a possibility (don’t forget we are doing this with no money and on our free time).

Which leads us to

PREPARING FOR THE SUMMER CONVENTION SUPER SLAM

The semi-short term plan is to have Helvetii ready FAST.  At least in a playable demo state with all the core elements of gameplay ready.

If my previous projects in game dev taught me anything, it’s that taking too long can absolutely kill your endurance and interest in your own work . Making games is not necessarily hard most of the time as it is time and mind consuming, even when it is your favourite pet project ever. Hence why the prototype was also made before moving into actual productions: to already have assets and a design ready to go before getting into it, allowing us to work faster.

All in all, this mindset should allow the game to be already in a good playable state by the time big conventions like Gamescom, Pax West and TGS bring their heads up. Hopefully I get to show it there ! But most of all, I am excited to share this universe which I hope to make unique in its own way.

Anyway, I know this is kinda unrelatable to most people, but finally, let’s talk about

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A scene from the Clickteam Fusion prototype

FUTURE BLOGS AND CONTENT SHOWCASE

The immediate work is gonna focus on bringing in more assets like enemies, backgrounds, and finalizing everything for the core gameplay. But there’s also gonna be quite a bit of research on mythology and lore which I already have been doing for some time now.  Interestingly enough, there is a lot of overlap between gaulish, celtic and even indian (as in, from india) culture. So I will start introducing those starting with the next blog, as well as an introduction of my partner in crime Nils Ole Timm ! I will also quickly start detailing the gameplay mechanics of this action game.What I can say right now, is that it’ll be an “Action Roguelite game” (and for those sighing at roguelite, WAIT WAIT DON’T GO YET PLEASE IT’S GONNA BE GREAT, THE GREATEST)

Expect me to write two of these blogs of month (not always this long tho cuz I’m a lazy cupcake sometimes) However, expect a faster pace for the first ones as there is a lot of ground to cover with what’s already been done. And I do take feedback through my twitter constantly so if you have any particular interest about the game, let me now !

As for tonight, that’ll be all from me and I hope you enjoyed my ramblings, and my occasional spelling mistakes. This type of communication is all new to me, and I hope we’ll all enjoy this ride together as I try, first and foremost, to make a game that will inspire ya’ll and make you have fun, as well as discover some new things from a small dev in a small, boring country that makes coockoo clocks

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New blog

So this has been actually floating around for a while

Hello there. I’m Kevin Péclet. I’m a small independent developer from Switzerland, who has now been working for about…a year or so on Starfallen (previously known as Otherworld, as my portfolio still currently says at the time of writing this).

It has been a while since I have been cogitating starting a blog, mostly as I never thought that the random ramblings of some nobody who doesn’t aspire much to be more than that (a rather discrete person in the world of independent games developement as well as the internet in general) would interest a lot of people.

But being in this kind of privileged situation also allow me to express a few things, mostly for other people and aspiring devs in situations similar to mine (if you find yourself in a region/country with low game dev presence, you have trouble starting up a project or just don’t know how to start). I also like talking about video games like a huge nerd I guess (ongoing industry stuff, releases, some favourite games of mine) and I will be updating on the random art I do, for myself or projects i’m working on.

I do not know how frequently I will update this. I will make sure though to keep it at least…once a month ? I hope. Also apologies first for any english readers if I do any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Apologies to my francophone friends too, as I won’t be writing these in french.

Feel free to also bother me on twitter (@kpeclet)

H-here I go, I guess !…

-K. P.

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