Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rated A, for Aztecs

Good news! We just sent out reviewable versions of the game to all relevant age rating offices. That's ESRB for the US, PEGI for Europe, USK for Germany and AGCB for Australia. They will check out our game, and then tell us how old you will have to be to enjoy our game. Hey, we think it's fun for everyone, but they might disagree. 

We're estimating it will be rated at 10/12+, depending on the rating system. So now we'll have to wait for those to return back, while we polish up the game a little more. It's mostly our coder, hammering out the latest bugs and implementing the messages required by Nintendo.

So hang in there! We're nearly done!

Friday, February 20, 2009

User testing done!

Well, for now. Maybe we'll hold another round in a few weeks. 

But first we're going to try and break the game ourselves. Just to see what happens if players only build one unit and then eat the Wii Remote. Those players should lose pretty badly. Well, after the first two/three levels anyway. Those are meant to ease people in. 

We also want to make sure that there aren't any cheap tricks, cheats or shortcuts through our levels, that our Achievements are actually achievable and simply that our game stays stable enough to be running for hours and hours of use. So for us that means playing playing playing playing playing playing playing play... Oh you get the picture.

Last week we also decided that we'll be going to the GDC to promote our game! It was a pretty tough decision, since travelling to San Fransisco doesn't come cheap. But we recieved some help from the kind folks at the Dutch Game Garden and the NLGD. Now we'll have to think up some crazy stuff to do there so we can get some attention for our game. Maybe you guys have some ideas for us?

And finally, we got a look at the article about us in Edge magazine, and it turned out awesome! It will be featured in the March edition, which should be in the shops soon. I've always been a big fan personally, so it's nice to see us featured pretty big in there. And the game also receives half a page, filled with praise so that should help getting the word out.

Monday, February 16, 2009


We have just put a brand new trailer up on the yootoobz to feast your eyes upon. It took some work to put it together, credits to the spielberg-esque editing qualities of the Ralfinator. Thats the guy in charge of all our promo-vids (amongst other things), and this won't be the last you'll see of his work! This new trailer showcases the campaign story mode that will be a big part of the game. We're very excited to give you all a taste of what the campaign is going to be like.

Looking for a job in the games industry?

Then take a look over here. It's a new site made solely for jobs and internships in the Dutch games industry. Last friday we were at the modest but nice launch event hosted by the guys at control, which is a magazine about game development in the Netherlands. 

It will probably take a while before the site takes off, because it has a fairly specific task. But once it does, it should be extremely useful to us as a developer. We already get the occasional job or internship request, and we love those, even though we can't take in everybody.

At the moment we're only looking for art and coding interns. So if you're in one of those fields, and looking for an internship, send us an email. Maybe we ought to put up some adverts for those positions on that site. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tien voor taal

We recently got our ingame texts back from the talented Multilinguinies™ at U-trax.  The first thing we did was paste the texts into our game, to see how they work. Unfortunately, some texts turned out a little too long, so we'll need to enlarge some of our buttons and text balloons to fit it all in. It's our own fault, since we just recently decided to make the ingame font a little bigger for readability.

But apart from those small technical niggles we're very happy with the results! It's funny to see your own texts back in a language you hardly comprehend. You know what he says, you just can't read it. But thanks to our high school language classes and some help from google translate, we can conclude that the translated versions of the game will be just as fun as the original languages we wrote them in. Here are some highlights from the French and German translations:

French  - English

1. Roc fort                           - Rick rolled
2. Tour operator   - Fourtification
3. Roc'n'roll  - Boulder mode

1. An achievement you get for destroying the enemy castle using the rolling boulder spell. (see our trailer)
2. An achievement you get for keeping four towers alive during a level where you're flooded by enemies.
3. A special mode around the boulder spell.

German  - English

1. Kochen mit Knochen                          - Cooking by the book
2. Behalt doch das doofe Heer                - Keep your lousy army
3. Artenschutz für Wikinger                    - Lost vikings

1. An achievement you get for finishing the campaign about hot sauce.
2. An achievement you get for not mindcontrolling the enemy army in one of the campaign levels.
3. An achievement you get for saving some Viking units from getting sacrificed.

Good luck figuring out the translations!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Local WiiWare meet

Last night we met up with the guys from Two Tribes, the same guys responsible for the Wiiware game Toki Tori. We were introduced to them at last years' GDC by our audio partner, Sonic Picnic. They are doing the audio for their games as well as ours, so that's a nice coincidence.

If you haven't played Toki Tori yet, you should. It's a puzzle game in which you need to guide a small chick through levels filled with puzzles and enemies. Luckily he carries some tools that help him along the way. Every level has a solution, but finding it becomes pretty hard, pretty fast. So bring your brain, because finally finding that solution is immensely satisfying. The press gave it pretty rave reviews, and rightfully so. The first version of Toki Tori was a Gameboy color game, which was a bit overlooked because it came out around the time that the Gameboy Advance came out. So it's great that everybody got another chance to play it on Wiiware. They also made Rubik's world on Wii and Worms 2 on DS, amongst other things. Anyway, Two Tribes has been around a lot longer than Ronimo games, so they also had some cool insights and fun stories about the early days. Luckily, they also seemed to like Swords & Soldiers a lot and they gave us some really useful technical tips.

While speaking about Swords & Soldiers, it's really getting close to finished now. We recieved the translations back from our translating partner, U-trax. We made the English and Dutch versions ourselves, but now our game is playable in French, German, Italian and Spanish, too! They also did a great job on translating the jokes. Most of the times this means that the translators have to think up new jokes, so we're lucky that they have some very funny people working at U-trax. We'll give you some examples in a future post.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Look into me eye...

Today we have a new update for you: the Axethrower unit of the Vikings and the Mindcontrol spell of the Aztecs. Both of these offer viable alternatives to brute forcing yourself through the enemy defenses.

Axethrowers are especially powerful in packs, and are also able to enter the defensive towers built by the Vikings, making them a powerful part of the Viking defenses. Mindcontrol, on the other hand, is a nasty trick which provides the Aztecs with the ability to take over any enemy unit they desire. So don't be surprised if  your own units turn out to be your worst enemies in a battle against the Aztecs.

Head to the factions page to check them out!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Come try and balance our game

We've played our game as much as humanly possible in an attempt to find those imbalances. The balance between the factions needs to be right at the first go, we wouldn't want to find out that the one of the factions really is to strong after the game has been released.

By now we feel the balance is pretty good. But we've also completely exhausted our ideas for tactics and strategies. So now we need some fresh faces to try and do things differently. We prefer people who already played the game before, because they can jump right in. But new testers are also still very welcome, since our campaign levels also needs a lot of tweaking based on the latest balance changes. 

We always recieve testers on saturdays, and for the coming weeks the schedule is as follows:

Saturday 7 Februari 11:00-14:00 (8 spots open)
Saturday 7 Februari 15:00-18:00 (5 spots open)
Saturday 14 Februari 11:00-14:00 (8 spots open)
Saturday 14 Februari 15:00-18:00 (8 spots open)

If you're interested, please fire off a mail towards . We hope to see you here soon!

Monday, February 2, 2009

All jammed out

After a long week of hardcore game development, the thing we really needed was... Some more hardcore game development at the Global Gamejam! Well, not really, but this was an event which we really couldn't pass up on. After getting locked up in our old faculty building, we had to compete with 20 other teams made up out of other Dutch game developers and students. We ourselves were also paired with a great audio designer, the one thing we couldn't bring to the event ourselves.
The goal was to create a game in 48 hours. And it was a worldwide event! So everywhere teams were slaving away, trying to knock out a decent game in a weekend. Lots of hours of sleep were lost around the world. The results can be seen over here:

We created a little game called Insanity Grab Go! A crazy game where two players struggle for control of one character. It can be played on PC, but requires XNA 3.0. And two Xbox controllers if you want to play against eachother. But you can also check it out using your mouse, though that's singleplayer only. The game can be found here:

Special mention needs to the crazy soundtrack which suits the crazy action and theme prefectly. Try the widget here to hear it, and get a taste of the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, we didn't win. But we did receive an honourable mention! And the crowd seemed to like it, some maybe we'll use some of it's ideas in the future. What do you think?