2D |

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.

November 7, 2013

Legend of Raven Coming to PS4 and Xbox One with GGPO!

We’re sure some of you may have heard that Legend of Raven is coming to more than just PlayStation Vita. Well, we’re super happy to confirm that Legend of Raven will indeed be releasing on PlayStation 4 AND Xbox One. It gets better, too. We’ve signed an agreement with Tony Cannon to implement GGPO netcode for the console version of Legend of Raven. Oh, and did we mention that the PlayStation 4 and Vita version will be cross-buy/cross play? Yeah, pretty cool.

Check out the new trailer below that shows some of the more interesting combos in Legend of Raven. We want to hear more of your feedback and thanks for the support!

August 23, 2012

Nicalis Strikes with Yatagarasu Fighting Game – play@PAX Prime 2012

Coming to North America and Europe – play@PAX Prime!

August 23, 2012 – Nicalis, in collaboration with Circle Edge, proudly announces fighter “Yatagarasu” (final name and release date TBD) bound for the West! Created by a three-man team (past credits include King of Fighters), Yatagarasu rocks hard with classic 2D fighting action and tournament-level depth. 

Developed over four years, Yatagarasu was originally released in 2011 as a Japan-only title. Art direction and character design by fan-favorite artist Styleos, game design and balance by ex-SNK designer Umezono and game engine by Shiza–the three-man team makes up Circle Edge. Yatagarasu also features a unique optional commentator system that mimics the tournament trash talk experience. 

Attendees of PAX Prime 2012 can preview this fighting masterpiece next week (8.31, 9.1, 9.2) by visiting booth 883 (within the Indie Megabooth) and experience the action. Watch the Yatagarasu Trailer on YouTube at: Yatagarasu Nintendo 3DS Trailer

Yatagarasu Features:
– Eight playable characters
– Single and 2P Vs. modes
– Training and Replay modes
– Four-button attack system with Parry System
– Character design by Styleos
– Classic 2D hand drawn sprites
– Original soundtrack

Yatagarasu continues Nicalis’ collaborative domination with some of the best developers in the world. Previously Nicalis has teamed up with Studio Pixel (Cave Story), Nicklas Nygren (NightSky), Terry Cavanagh (VVVVVV) and Sophie Houlden (Swift Stitch).

About Nicalis, Inc.
Based in extra sunny Southern California, Nicalis, Inc. is a developer and publisher of pretty awesome downloadable games ranging from PC to console to mobile. Founded in 2007, Nicalis is committed to working with other developers on great games. Nicalis, Inc. is also releasing NightSky (Nintendo 3DS and iOS) and publishing 1001 Spikes (also playable at PAX Prime). For more information on Nicalis, visit our rad HTML5 site at: http://www.nicalis.com and let’s be friends on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nicalis

About Circle Edge
Based in Japan, Circle Edge is comprised of a small group of highly trained experts in fighting game design. As it’s first game, Yatagarasu represents the culmination of knowledge from developing multiple fighting and action games. 

© 2012 Nicalis, Inc.
All other trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners