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Announcing PsyCard!

March 30th, 2016 by

Today we’d like to announce a brand new little game, PsyCard!
A cozy cyberpunk minesweeper-like game for iOS and Android, coming soon!

Anton’s comments

If you’re an avid follower of all things Ludosity, you may remember a game prototype vote a while back. This is the result of that vote. We looked at the result of that, and based on other factors like the downtime we had and who on the team had said downtime, we decided to make the 3rd placer (out of 11) into a full-blown game. It was PsyCard, the versus minesweeper-like! Of course, this doesn’t mean we’ll never make any of the other prototypes. They’re all still ideas from various people at Ludosity, people who would like to see these games get made some day. But for now, the convenient choice was to make PsyCard.

Before I get into the development stuff, let me explain the rules of PsyCard.

PsyCard is a two player game, played with 8×4 cards (for standard rules at least) placed face down on a table. The players take turns picking cards to flip over. The contents of the opponents cards are always hidden (unless super powers are involved).

5 of these cards are ”Fruit Cards”, 2 of them are ”Star Cards” and 3 of them are ”Skull Cards”.
Finding 3 fruits makes you win the round.
Drawing a skull makes you lose the round.
The stars add points if you win the round with them.
When a round is over, the cards are reset and a new round begins. This continues until one player reaches the score limit and wins the whole match.

The trick to the game is that when you draw an ”empty” card, you get some psychic hints about what the cards around the empty card contains. Kind of like those numbers in Minesweeper, you know. And using these hints, and your characters special powers, you must find the good cards and avoid skulls to win.

darulez

I am to blame for most of the things in PsyCard – the gameplay design, the character art, the writing (lol!), the card match programming. Basically everything except for backgrounds and music (scroll down for more on those topics). I also made the original prototype. The initial idea was to make something interesting based on the popular game Minesweeper, but with something of an ”anime” twist – super powers etc. The gameplay was pretty much set from the start, but the art had a really bumpy ride even before the prototype was started! Check this out:

artevo_small

One of the things I wanted in this game was for the opponent to be more ”there” during the match than in for example our Card City Nights. So I made these kind of cut-in frames that pop in to let the opponent react to things like thinking they’ll win on their next move, or fearing the lack of safe cards to draw. I also show the full character portrait with some particles and stuff when the characters use their best special power.

reacts

As for the story… I tried! Since our resident awesome writer/designer Daniel Remar was busy with fine tuning Ittle Dew 2 (he did draw 3 bonus characters for PsyCard though and help test the game), I wrote this game and that’s really all there is to say on the matter.

Basically it’s a dystopian cyberpunk setting, but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone in the game. It’s just the world they live in, and they want to goof around and play this popular psychic card game.
The main characters that you choose from are a bunch of freeloaders that mooch of their mutual friend who got rich from being in some kind of accident. Then they go out to play cards and meet a bunch of weirdos while doing so, the end.

Honestly, when we put up the poll for those prototypes I had already discarded PsyCard as a dead idea but threw it into the ring anyway. I expected it to place super low, but somehow it didn’t. So I reluctantly tried to rekindle my feelings for the project and get things going. In the end, I think it turned out to be a fine mobile game for picking up and playing in short bursts.

Now let’s hear from some other people who worked on the game!

Nils’ comments (Background art)

When I started making the main story’s background art I only had a few character portraits to go on, it’s a nice thing to have free reins. As the main story had a setup similar to our earlier game Card City Nights with static backgrounds behind Antons character portraits, the heavily outlined cartoon style from CCN’s backgrounds felt appropriate to make a return. However, the mood of the characters where far less bright and wacky in PsyCard. This would reflect on the world as well. Not a lot of details where nailed down early on more than the idea of a darker future setting. To fit the cartoonish nature of Antons drawings, I started thinking back to the cyberpunk infused comic books I used to bury my nose in as a lad (The nerd store the characters visit in PsyCards campaign is heavily inspired by the store I read a lot of those comics in). I went heavier on the dark lines and mood, and easier on the anachronisms and wacky imagery that fills CCN. I wanted a bit of the feeling of those old comics and decided to use a limited color palette for the backgrounds. They also inspired me to segment the coloring; grouping objects together with the same color. To tie the world together, I tried to keep a theme of snow and winter in the areas. As if the city is isolated in a world of ice.

bkgs

Mattias’ comments (Music)

The short musical themes made for the story were heavily inspired by the random animés I just happened to be watching around the same time. Tracks like these almost overemphasizes the mood of a scene or the character it’s bound to and does so very quickly.
The music used for the battles are all dance electronica tracks with old school sounds, from basic synths to single sample instruments and breakbeats common around the 90s.
Check out some of the awesome song over att Mattias’ SoundCloud!

Ittle Dew 2 devblog: 2D to 3D

May 31st, 2014 by

Hello, Ittle Dew main artist here. Let’s talk about the move to 3D for a bit.

There’s a lot of great celshaded games recently (Guilty Gear Xrd, Jojo All Star Battle to name a few) that look amazing.
Celshading has always intrigued me – one of my favorite games of all time is Jet Set Radio, one of the first celshaded games i believe, a game that still looks so good. So when we discusssed Ittle Dew 2 being made in 3D, I saw this as a really fun challenge. Ittle Dew had a very particular style, with heavy black outlines and a wobbly style of animation (that wobbly style was actually selected because it makes animating so much easier! hah). We had previously experimented with Ittles style in 3D, with a dungeon crawler idea, and it had looked pretty good. However, in that test I used a lot of “billboards”(flat “sprite” objects that always look at the camera, think of the barrels in DOOM or items in Minecraft), while Ittle 2 went on to be a lot more “real” 3D.

Picture of said dungeon crawler:
gfx_dungeoncrawler

(The Card City Nights faces are just placeholder, since it’s just a little prototype)
The first thing we did was have one of our wizard programmers make something do we could have wobbly outlines even in 3D, since by now we felt that was a big part of the Ittle Dew style. But just like in Ittle Dew it will only be used on things that are alive or interactive, kinda. To make them stand out. Using it on everything all the time would probably be really annoying to look at.
Here’s the process of a recently created enemy, Safety Jenny, with wobbly outlines:

(Animation is work in progress)

gfx_safetyjenny
animated

The outlines on both characters and props are not automatically created by an outline shader or such.
I find that to get decent looking outlines you need to create them manually so you can tweak problematic areas by hand.

There’s not much more to say about the surroundings, but let’s look at a picture.
The most important thing is to not lose too much of Ittle Dew’s charm when moving to 3D, and I dare say it’s going fairly well.

Having a (mostly) fixed camera helps a lot here!

gfx_comparison2

And that’s pretty much it for me. Not a lot of informative text, but a bunch of pictures at least!

CCN: Ludosity x Ludosity

October 15th, 2013 by

Our game “Card City Nights”, that Haku introduced in the last post, is in fact a crossover type game. With just Ludosity-related games! Games like Ittle Dew (of course – our one somewhat known game), Space Hunk (the bizarre Mojam game), Healthy Weapon (my android fighter) and of course Daniel Remar’s beloved games such as Iji, Garden Gnome Carnage & Hero Core. Plus many more, that you’ve never heard of!

In the game, you collect cards featuring these “franchises” but you also meet & battle people that are kind of characters from these games but “remixed” as various regular, urban card game enthusiasts.

Which means 2 things:

1) Almost no one will have any idea what the hell is going on with this baffling game.
2) I have to draw the characters from Daniel’s beloved games and not screw them up!

So let’s talk about 2. Here’s what I did, I had Daniel draw a sketch for his characters, to give me a pose to work with and ensure I don’t misinterpret details about their design.

Let me show you the process for my favorite character from Iji – Iosa the Invincible, reimagined here as a scientist working at the Card Science Lab:
"One day I will unlock your mysteries, tiny card"

One thing to note about Iji is that the sprites were first made in 3D, and then rendered out and touched up. So for the Iosa card art, we opened the 3D model and posed it a bit, and used that as the basis for the picture:

Iosa chilling in the flames, no biggie