Nicalis Blog - Part 3

June 20, 2016

Full Mojo Rampage: Creating a Roguelike

One of the big goals we set for ourselves with Full Mojo Rampage was to ensure that players never had the exact same experience twice. Personally, I love being able to launch a game – especially one that I made – and not know what’s going to happen. We wanted something new and different every time you play, so we designed FMR as a roguelike, with proceduraly generated levels.

As it turns out, making randomly generated levels that are still fun to play can be a bit difficulty, and requires some trial and error. Early on, we constructed large chunks of levels – big rooms, an entire edge of a level, etc. – and had an algorithm to place those pieces randomly to form a square. There were a lot of corridors and narrow passages, too. But we decided this approach just wasn’t working. The square layout just wasn’t interesting to wander around and explore, and the narrow areas didn’t really work well with the abilities that we wanted players to use. So we scrapped that method and went in a different direction.

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The overall shape of each level is determined by a special algorithm.

Instead, we decided to create level shapes that were much more organic. We chose to use a procedure that generates noise on a texture, optimizes the texture, and then results in a shape that’s something like a splash of water on a surface. From there, algorithms are applied to make sure there aren’t places in the level that are unreachable for your character, and also to determine where enemies are placed.

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 Every level is randomly generated but has specific ranges for walls, subdivisions, corridor widths, and dozens of other settings.

But beyond the overall shape, there are dozens of different parameters that can be adjusted or toggled on and off to give a level its character. We can set X and Y ranges to determine if the overall dimensions are rectangular or more square-shaped. How wide should the passages be? Do we want doors that lead to shrines or treasure rooms? How many, and how close to one another should they be? What’s the environment style? Will the level have subdivisions with special parameters? Should the level include lots of walls or should it be wide open? We can also create levels that are mirrored on the left and right sides – great for competitive multiplayer – and set up special areas for boss encounters. There are more than 110 parameters for each level, and we kept testing and experimenting with different ranges for settings and combinations of settings to make sure that levels would be random yet fun, and also distinct from other levels you may come across.

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In roguelike fashion, you’ll lose all your mojos (and your quest progress) if you die, so use them while you can!

As for other ways that we wanted to make FMR roguelike, well, there’s the fact when you die, your quest is over – it’s back to square one as far as your progress goes, and all of your useable items – your mojos – are gone. In some regards, though, we didn’t stick to true roguelike convention. You keep your character level and accumulated experience points when you die, and you keep your pins as well. Even if you fail, it’s not a total loss, because next time you’ll be able to come back even stronger. It’s all of the fun of a roguelike without the most frustrating aspects, and hopefully it means you’ll want to keep coming back for more.

June 6, 2016

Full Mojo Rampage: Quests from the Underworld

Greetings! Previously we’ve talked about choosing your parent Loa and customizing your character with masks and pins and mojos…but then what do you get to do with him? Lots! In fact, since the game is procedurally generated, you could say there’s an infinite amount of things to do! But for today, let’s take a look at the different campaign quests you can embark on, either alone or in multiplayer teams of up to four players.

In the first quest, Baron Samedi has been partying just a bit too hard, had a little too much to drink, and wouldn’t you know it – he made a teensy mistake and accidentally opened up all of these portals from which enemies are pouring through. Naturally, it’s up to you to find and destroy all the portals.


The second quest revolves around Maman Brigitte, who’s trying to cast a spell. I won’t go into the details of why she’s trying to cast this spell, but special ingredients are called for, so you’ll have to search the levels and seek out items such as chicken feathers, spider parts, and other things of that nature.

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The third quest is something a bit different. In this one, you need to defeat a powerful voodoo sorcerer, and you can face him right from the beginning of the quest if you’d like. However, he’s very strong, so you’ll be in for a very, very tough fight. Fortunately, you can embark on side quests to defeat his acolytes from which he draws strength. Defeat this acolyte and the sorcerer will lose he health-regenerating capabilities; destroy another one and he won’t be able to throw fireballs. You can conquer as many or as few of the acolytes as you wish, but when you’re ready, it’s time to face the sorcerer and show him who’s boss.

The fourth quest is the most expansive – it’s sort of a final test from the Loa to see if you’re worthy. There are many routes and smaller quests all wrapped up as part of a big overall quest. After you beat one of these smaller quests, multiple additional quest routes become available, and you can choose which path you want to take to proceed. If you don’t like the choices available, you can always return to a previous branch and try an alternate path there to see if those objectives are more to your liking. There are plenty of paths through this one, and lots of variety as well.

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But guess what? Even after you beat all these campaign quests, there’s still more to experience. Once you’ve beaten a quest, you can play it in a higher difficulty level with extra gameplay elements that make it more challenging and change the way you play, such as enemies regenerating health, dropping bombs, inflicting poison, or causing you to slow down when you get hit. There are seven difficulties in all, with the final one basically combining all the previous difficulty modifiers into one super-challenging mode. Actually, the last difficulty mode originally gave the enemies “golden gun” attacks that killed you in one hit…but it was too hard. No one could beat it, not even those of us on the dev team, so we sent that one to the cutting-room floor.

Even without that mode, there should be plenty to sink your teeth into in the campaign quests, especially when you consider the random, roguelike elements you’ll encounter…which I’ll talk more about next time!

June 1, 2016

Full Mojo Rampage hits PS4 and Xbox One on June 28th! New Blog Post: Personalized Voodoo


Before we get started, we are very happy to announce that Full Mojo Rampage will hit PS4 and Xbox One on June 28th! Check out the trailer below!

Full Mojo Rampage: Personalized Voodoo

One of the major elements we wanted to include in Full Mojo Rampage was for it to be a unique experience every time people play. For any given player, we want it to be different from one game session to the next, and we want each player to have a different experience from other players. That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to emphasize character customization.

As I discussed in previous posts, a big part of that is choosing your parent Loa. There are eight in all, each with different spells and passive abilities, and you can choose a Loa that emphasizes, for example, aggressive attacking, or defense, or healing, or a more balanced play style. There’s only one Loa when you start, but after you’ve unlocked others, the one you go with is up to you, and the choice of Loa defines in part how you’ll play the game.

 Naturally, your parent Loa plays a big part i customizing your character and determining how you’ll play the game.

But that’s only one way you’re able to personalize your experience. You’re also able to collect and equip a variety of pins to enhance your character and build up your strength – things like more health, dealing extra damage, enhanced stats, and some with special properties. You can select pins that make up for deficiencies of your parent Loa to make your character more balanced, or, better yet, you can play to your Loa’s innate strengths. By combining a parent Loa that possesses good defense with pins that grant extra health and life regeneration, for instance, you can make a tank character that’s very hard to stop. Pins carry over from one game to the next, so once you obtain a new pin, you’ll be able to use it as often as you want, although you’re limited on how many pins you can equip simultaneously.

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You’ll want as many pins as you can get! They all enhance your character in various ways.

In addition to the pins, you’ll also get to acquire and use a huge variety of items called mojos. Unlike pins, mojos don’t carry over between games, so if you die or start a new quest, your mojos will be gone – use ’em while you’ve got ’em! There are more than 100 in all, and how and when you use them will definitely affect how you play the game.

Mojos can do a ton of different things; some simple but useful ones are mojos that boost your basic abilities, such as increasing your critical hit strength or your critical hit chance percentage, or add extra inventory space so you can equip more stuff. Other mojos are more complex, such as ones that spawn allies to help you in battle. There’s one that creates four or five kamikazes with bombs that follow you around, and they’ll charge toward enemies when they see them. Similarly, there’s one called “ghoulify,” and during a certain timeframe it’ll cause every enemy you kill to turn into a ghost that aids you in battle.

There’s also a black hole that sucks enemies toward it (great for crowd control), a disco ball that makes enemies within range start dancing, and rubber chickens you can equip to boost your stats. Sometimes they’re kind of useless, but often they can provide a big boost to a particular stat – what they do is random, so you’ll just have to check and see when you find one! One mojo that’s extremely powerful gives you the power of resurrection. If you die while using this mojo, then you’ll automatically respawn, which otherwise isn’t possible. Its effects only work for a short time, though, so the trick is to activate it just before you think you’re going to perish. With many of the mojos, timing is everything, and that’s especially true with this one.

Of course, I should also mention the voodoo doll mojos. These are equipable mojos that usually boost your stats, but the fun part about them is that they all have these dark, pessimistic descriptions that were written by our early access supporters on Steam, and they’re all named after our supporters as well.

Express your personality by choosing your favorite mask!

There’s one other important part of personalizing your character, and that’s choosing a mask. The mask is the visually customizable part of your character; unlike the Loa, pins, and mojos, they don’t affect your stats or abilities at all. We wanted this to be something that was purely an aesthetic choice so you could go with the one you like best instead of having to worry about which one was strongest.

There are no right or wrong choices, so feel free to test things out and experiment when Full Mojo Rampage hits PS4 and Xbox One on June 28th!

May 27, 2016

Full Mojo Rampage: Why Voodoo?

Greetings! This is Rob again from Over the Top Games, here to tell you more about the creation of Full Mojo Rampage. One of the unique things about Full Mojo Rampage is its voodoo theme, but it wasn’t always necessarily going to be that way. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve always been a huge fan of The Legend of Zelda, so early in development we were considering making an action-adventure game in the same vein.

Our early prototype was in 2D, and it featured a lot of square rooms that were all connected, Zelda-style. The hero had a sword and other weapons like a bow and arrow, and we may have even borrowed a few 8-bit Zelda sprites to create the initial concept. As development continued, though, the visuals transitioned into 3D, and the rectangular environments evolved into something more organic. Around the same time, we decided that, as much as we love the dungeon-and-fantasy motif, it’s something that’s been done a lot of times by a lot of game developers, so that might not be the way to go. So we got the team all together, ordered some pizza, and began brainstorming what direction we should go.


The NES classic Legend of Zelda was an early inspiration for what would eventually become Full Mojo Rampage.

We considered doing a Greek mythology theme, but we already did that with NyxQuest. It was my brother, Juan, who eventually suggested doing something based on brujeria or voodoo – something a little dark, something different from what we’d done previously. And we all thought about it for a second, and it seemed like the perfect idea. It’s not something that many developers have used in video games, or that’s very frequently represented in pop culture at all.


Here’s some of the concept art we came up with when we began exploring using a voodoo theme for our game.

We began researching deeper into voodoo and started coming up with concept art, and we ended up turning our focus specifically toward New Orleans voodoo (also called Louisiana voodoo). Voodoo isn’t just one thing; there are several types of voodoo – Haitian, South American, African – and each one is different, but we tried to draw from New Orleans voodoo as much as we could, since that’s the one we were already most familiar with. (Juan was already pretty knowledgable, since he’s pretty obsessed with history and religion.)

The more we learned about voodoo, the more it made sense for a game. The Loa, which are basically spirit gods of voodoo, aren’t just powerful beings; they have a lot of personality, too. They like to drink, they like to smoke, and they like to party, which makes things much more interesting as elements of a game. Baron Samedi, the Loa of the dead and sort of our central character, is an especially notorious partier, so we made him kind of goofy. His wife is Maman Brigitte, another of our Loa, and she’s tired of his debauchery and womanizing. We tried to work as much of that into the game as we could.


The Loa of voodoo lent themselves well to a unique and interesting video game.

In the end, I think we were able to come with something that was fun and different and a bit dark, and that works really well as a thematic complement to the kind of game that we wanted to create. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back next time when I discuss the Loa you can use in the game!


May 25, 2016

Full Mojo Rampage: Meet the Loa Part 1


One of the fun aspects of Full Mojo Rampage is that you aren’t limited to just one play style. There are eight parent Loa (voodoo gods) in the game that you can pick from to customize your character, and although there’s only one available at the beginning, you’ll be able to unlock the others by collecting medals. You can think of them as character classes; each one has his or her own unique spells and passive abilities to augment your standard projectile attacks, some of which are great for solo play, and some that are best used in multiplayer mode. Here’s a look at four of the parent Loa you can choose from.
Baron Samedi: Baron Samedi is the only Loa available when you start the game. He is a mighty Loa of death and resurrection, but he’s also a known partier and womanizer who loves to drink rum and tell dirty jokes. He offers an evasive dodge and a voodoo bomb, making him a well-rounded choice for your parent Loa. When you fill up your rampage meter, you can summon Baron Samedi himself to join you on the battlefield.


Baron Samedi’s mix of offensive and defensive moves make him a solid all-around choice.
Maman Brigitte: Like her husband Baron Samedi, Maman Brigitte is a Loa of the dead and could be considered the keeper of the cemetery. She’s an extremely powerful loa, and she sometimes turns that power toward her husband for his affairs and unfaithfulness. Her attacks are fire-based; she lets you surround yourself with flame, shoot out a wave of fire, and protect yourself using bombs.


Powerful Maman Brigitte has an affinity for fire.
Loko: Loko is the Loa of healing and vegetation, and one of the founders of the voodoo priesthood. He has a strong sprit of justice, and is ready to quickly punish evildoers. Though his health and damage-dealing capabilities aren’t the best, he lets you fire bombs that hurt enemies while healing allies, plus you can bless the earth to gain quicker attacks. His abilities make him a great ally in co-op mode.


Loko specializes in healing and comes in very handy for co-op play.
Ghede: Ghede is another Loa of death (and also fertility, FYI). He’s a mischievous sort who likes to confuse humans with his mind-control powers. If you choose him as your parent Loa, you’ll use spells to place totems on the ground to either shoot at enemies or provide protection for you and your allies. Placing totems costs points from your rampage meter, but Ghede’s meter generates faster than those of other parent Loa.


Choose Ghede as you Loa to take advantage of totems.

These four are only half of the Loa that you’ll be able to use in the game. Next time, I’ll give you the rundown on the remaining four: Erzulie, Ogoun, Lenglensou, and the super-destructive Agaou.

May 24, 2016

Ittle Dew 2: Improving Upon the Original

Hey! This is Joel from Ludosity again! Today I wanted to talk about the thought process behind making a sequel…and by that, I mean Ittle Dew 2, of course. Naturally, when you make a sequel, you want to take everything that people loved about the original and make more of it, cut out or fix things that didn’t work, and hopefully add something new so you aren’t just offering the same old thing.

With Ittle Dew 2, we had a pretty good idea of where we wanted to go, and we got some valid critiques of the original game, as well. With the first Ittle Dew, we knew we had made a very good puzzle game, and everybody seemed to like the puzzles. And there’s a very good reason for that – Ittle Dew was originally conceived as a very dense puzzle game, but as we worked on it, it grew and expanded to become an adventure game, complete with combat.


Fighting is going to be a lot more fluid and varied this time out!

Still, some people have thought that the adventure parts were unfulfilling, or that there was no real need for combat – that those elements felt tacked on. Those are both things that we wanted to address from the beginning with Ittle Dew 2. We updated the visuals from 2D to 3D (more on that in a later post) so we could allow for smoother, 360-degree character movement that would lead to better combat, plus we added an evasive roll that would add more depth to the combat and permit us to include more aggressive enemies.

On the adventure side of things, not only have we made the game world much bigger, but we’ve designed it with nonlinearity in mind, so you can tackle the game’s seven dungeons in any order. And secrets! This time we tried to pack in as many secrets as we could, so we could give you something really rewarding for exploring the island on which the game takes place.


The game world is a lot bigger than before, which means a lot more to explore and discover!

Of course, there are some things that worked really well in the original, such as restricting ourselves to four active items, each of which is mapped to a face button on the controller. No mucking around in an inventory screen to switch tools and weapons – we wanted to keep things straightforward and focus on using the tools in creative ways rather than loading players up with extra clutter. Naturally, it’s not the same set of tools in Ittle Dew 2, but they’re still upgradable, and our philosophy of creative item use – which includes using items by themselves as well as in combination with one another – hasn’t changed.


The puzzles and limited inventory were received well in the first Ittle Dew. Those elements will return with even more polish in the sequel!

Hopefully this extra emphasis on fighting and exploration will go a long way towards making Ittle Dew 2 address any issues people had with the original game, and the result will be a bigger, better adventure game that even more people will enjoy.

May 23, 2016

Creepy Castle: Exploring the Castle

Hey, it’s Zach again. If you’re going to have an exploration-heavy adventure-RPG like Creepy Castle, one of the things that you obviously want to get right is the level layout: you have to make a game world that’s fun and interesting to explore. In our case, though, we didn’t want to make things too complicated either. In the end, I’d like to think we found the right balance. scen2-tower climbing Butterfly can’t fly, but she’ll have to climb a lot to explore the Creepy Castle. Actually navigating the castle is kept fairly straightforward to begin with: Moth can move left and right, climb ladders (and chains and vines and whatnot), and plummet incredible distances to reach new areas. (Yes, even though he’s a moth, he can’t fly or even jump.) However, we’ve filled the castle with lots of branching paths to keep the game fun and involving, and there are plenty of goodies strewn about so you’ll want to check out every nook and cranny. Treasure chests contain pickups like keys, attack items, and delicious discarded foodstuffs to replenish your health, and you’ll want to go out of your way to find invaluable crosses that provide experience points so you can level up. You’ll also find bookshelves all over the castle containing lore that explains story details and fleshes out the game’s world and characters. They’re not essential and you can skip them if you want, but we hope you’ll have as much fun reading them as we did writing them! scen1-taunting vampire There’s lots to discover, both on and off the beaten path. As a nonlinear adventure, the game, naturally, contains lock-and-key puzzles – some of the literal type, the require you to search an area to find the appropriate number of keys before you can move on – and some that require special gear to move forward. Although there aren’t too many exploration-assisting items in Scenario 1, there are a few must-have pieces of equipment that you’ll need to reach new areas, including the Phaser, which lets you move through certain solid doors, and the Ice Rod, which freezes ice and lava so you can walk across them. (Later scenarios will introduce additional items.) scen1-unlocking doors   There are two types of locked doors: standard white ones, and red ones that lead to optional rooms. And, of course, Creepy Castle wouldn’t be very creepy without traps and enemies to get in the way, so there are loads of those, too. Since enemies are immobile, they sort of work like obstacles you need to get past, and then there are plentiful traditional hazards, too: collapsing ceilings, retractable spikes that require skillful timing, swinging balls on chains, fireballs that pop out of lava, and a giant boulder that will crush you instantly if it touches you (yes, it’s my homage to Indiana Jones). scen1-falling into second area and avoiding falling ceiling Honestly, the collapsing ceilings are the least of your troubles around here. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what you’ll encounter once you set foot in Creepy Castle – and all this is just in Scenario 1! I hope you look forward to experiencing it for yourself once the game is finished.

May 18, 2016

Creepy Castle: Creepy Origins

Zach from Dopterra here again! So, you might be wondering why I decided to make a retro-inspired adventure-RPG starring a giant anthropomorphic moth. Well, as for the moth thing, I’ve just always liked ’em. As for the rest, Creepy Castle started as an idea I cooked up for a 48-hour RPG competition back in 2009. Or was it a game jam? I can’t even remember anymore, but either way, that’s where the concept for the game took root: a retro-looking, side-view, nonlinear, exploration-focused RPG with an action-oriented battle system. I created this early version of Creepy Castle using GameMaker, and a lot of what’s featured in this prototype version will still be found in the final game, including a good chunk of the map design and the locations of enemies and bosses. In fact, some of the original code is still around, too!

Behold, the original Creepy Castle! It got its start in a 48-hour RPG competition.

After the 48-hour contest, my plan was to flesh out Creepy Castle and turn it into a full-fledged game that was worthy of being released to the public, but one thing led to another and I ended up putting it on the back burner for years until I finally got motivated to commit to the whole indie thing and put the project up on Kickstarter in September 2014. Was the gaming world ready for an RPG with active duels and a cartoony bug protagonist? Apparently it was, because not only did we meet the funding goal, but thanks to everyone’s support, we managed to hit a few stretch goals too! (Yay!)

The new incarnation of Creepy Castle is miles apart from the original version. Despite the fact that some of the aforementioned original content is carrying over, and that the game is still being built with GameMaker, there are tons of new additions, and a lot of what was originally there has been rebuilt with updated code. In the 48-hour version of the game, for instance, there was only one type of battle, but there will be nine in the final game, plus there are substantial new areas, as well as the addition of art for character portraits and cutscenes, and a whole lot more. The story has been rewritten, too, and it’s now presented in a different way – in the form of lore that you encounter as you explore the castle.


The Fire Dungeon is just one of many, many enhancements made to Creepy Castle since it was first conceived.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is that the original Creepy Castle scenario is just the beginning. There are now four scenarios in all, some of which are bigger than the Creepy Castle portion of the game. The stories in all four scenarios are interconnected, too. And as you might have seen on our Kickstarter page, the game will even feature cameo appearances by some of your other favorite indie characters.

Creepy Castle Kick Starter

Creepy Castle wouldn’t be here without the support of our fans on Kickstarter.

For something made in 48 hours, I think the original prototype of Creepy Castle turned out pretty darn good, but it’s only a shadow of what the final game will be. Once it’s complete, Creepy Castle will be exponentially bigger and better in every way, and I’m hopeful you’ll agree that the time invested in all the enhancements has been well spent.

May 17, 2016

Ittle Dew 2: Meet Ittle and Tippsie

Say hello to the protagonists of Ittle Dew 2, Ittle and Tippsie. I guess you could say that Ittle is the true protagonist, given that it’s her name in the game title and all, and she’s the one that you’re controlling, but she probably wouldn’t be the same without her flying-critter sidekick, Tippsie. Or maybe she would. To be honest, we never really cooked up much of a backstory for this duo – they just love to go on adventures, crash onto islands, and beat the crap out of anybody that gets in their way. We wanted characters that were straightforward and not too complicated – this was just one of the ways that we wanted to “trim the fat” compared what you might find in other adventure games.


One’s a big jerk and the other’s a cynic, but there’s no greater adventuring duo than Ittle and Tippsie!

To be blunt about it, Ittle is an unscrupulous jerk. She might not look like it, but she’s a dumb brute who doesn’t really think things through and is more than willing to resort to violence to get what she wants – and what she wants is to explore, loot the places she visits, and bash anyone who’s unfortunate enough to get in her way over the head. She pretty much wreaks havoc wherever she goes. (And, of course, she’s pretty good with tools like fire swords and force rods and ice rings and dynamite, but we’ll get to those in another post.)

Tippsie might not take as much action as Ittle, but her extreme cynicism makes her more than an match for her companion. Deep down inside she’s probably more good-hearted than Ittle, but you’d probably have to look pretty hard to find it. And if you’re wondering about her name, it’s actually pretty simple. As the thinker of the pair, Tippsie gives tips to help Ittle get through the tougher parts of the adventure. Of course, she may also be a little bit inebriated as well. Tippsie is constantly in need of “health potions,” if you know what I mean, although Ittle doesn’t always allow her to have them.


Actions speak louder than words, but it’s nice to have a friend to talk to.

The selfish, brutish adventure-seeker and the super-cynical companion…they might not fit the mold of typical game heroes, but that’s the point, and we think you’ll learn to love ’em anyway. We’ll be telling you more about their adventures in Ittle Dew 2 in the near future!

May 12, 2016

Tiny Barbarian DX: A Barbaric Introduction

Hi there! This is Michael Stearns of StarQuail Games, developer of Tiny Barbarian DX. As you may have heard, we’re partnering with Nicalis to bring our diminutive musclehead to consoles (the early episodes are already available on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux), so I’ll be popping up here to provide some information about the game and its development. But before I get into that, I’d like to give a little bit of background about myself and what led to Tiny Barbarian DX’s development.


Games like Gunstar Heroes influenced me tremendously as a gamer and a creator.

I guess the first thing to know is that I’ve been a gamer for a long time. I grew up hooked on 2D action-platformers, and I was especially into Sega systems and games made by Treasure. Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Headdy, Guardian Heroes, and Silhouette Mirage all made a huge impression on me, as did other games of the early to mid ’90s – Shinobi III, Ranger X, and Rocket Knight Adventures, to name a few. These were games that not only played great, but that told stories through their settings and play mechanics rather than through an explicit narrative, and they really got my mind going as I thought about what kinds of worlds these games took place in. Even when 3D began to take root and my friends started playing Quake and Duke Nukem 3D, I was far more interested in what was going on with beautiful, detailed 16-bit and 32-bit art, and while the industry has obviously continued on with polygons as its priority, I’ll always love 2D and pixels, and it’s been a huge influence on me.



Before Tiny Barbarian, Astro Man on Xbox Live Indie Arcade was the biggest game I had been involved with.

My love of gaming led me to try my hand at indie development, which wouldn’t have been possible without my partnership with my longtime friend Daniel Roth, who’s basically a programming prodigy. Initially I focused on artwork and game design, and Daniel handled the programming side of things. Together we formed StarQuail. We dabbled with a lot of things, but the first game we actually released was a simple one-button game for PC called Sky Puppy. It didn’t do too well, but we actually released it, and I was happy with how it turned out! Next we made Crystal Skies, which was designed by Daniel and was kind of our take on the spinning bonus levels from Sonic the Hedgehog. After that we released Astro Man, which came out on Xbox Live Indie Arcade. It was a platformer mixed with some light Metroidvania elements, where you had to explore the levels in order to find items that would help you through later levels, and you could go back to the old levels and try to find the stuff that you missed.


This was the original version of Tiny Barbarian, created back in 2010.

All that led me to Tiny Barbarian! During development of our previous games, Daniel always had to deal with me asking to implement all the arbitrary things that I wanted to include, so for Tiny Barbarian, I decided it was time for me to start learning how to code by myself. I started working on it in 2010 with a mini-episode I created in GameMaker, but since then I’ve moved over to using our proprietary engine called Quail2D. With lots of advice from Daniel and fan support on Kickstarter, I’ve been able to completely devote myself to working on Tiny Barbarian DX full time so I can try to deliver that same kind of classic action that I enjoyed so much growing up. As of this writing, the game is more than 75 percent complete, and I can’t wait for you all to play it in its final form.