Back From Pax South

Pax South was SUPER AWESOME! Thanks to everyone who came to our booth and played a game of Knight Squad. Pax East is coming soon so we won’t have much time to update the game but JS is working hard to release a first playable of online multiplayer. Jade is almost done drawing the unlockable characters and I began working on a release trailer. What this all means is that the game is almost finished !!!Booth


New build and PAX !

A new build is now available on Steam with a lot of fixes and some new content. We redesigned some levels and added more environment variations. We also added auto targeting ballistas that shoots freezing arrows.


We did some internal online multiplayer testing and we didn’t encounter any major problem so the first public online beta should be available soon.

Also, this week we are heading to San Antonio, Texas for Pax South. Come challenge us if you pass by our booth for a chance to win a Knight Squad t-shirt!


Visual update in Knight Squad

One of the main concerns we had with the visual of the game is that it was hard to keep track of our character when there was a lot of action on the screen. We found 3 solutions to fix this problem. First, we removed some details in the backgrounds because the characters were blending too much with the environment. We then scaled up the characters as much as we could without affecting the gameplay. The result is that they are about 25% bigger. The last part of the visual update was to add shadows to the walls and to the characters to add a depth effect. Since we are in a 2d environment without lights, all the shadows are faked with a texture. For the characters, the shadow texture is a clone of the animation so the faked shadow is completely dynamic. Here is a little before after comparison.


Time for some BBQ

Something we really wanted to add in Knight Squad is some environmental hazards. We felt that there was something missing in the game that would affect the whole level and also add some action to the game. We realized that every power up in the game only affects one player at a time in a specific way. There was clearly some random action events missing to spice up the gameplay.

We already had the idea of a flamethrower as a weapon but the concept didn’t fit well with the one hit kill mechanic we have. Someone could just spin around and throw fire everywhere and it would be hard to determine what exposure to the fire is required to kill a player. Having powerful flamethrowers fixed in the level would solve this problem. So here, I present you the evil golden dragon head flame breathers :


The dragon heads will appear in some of the maps and will trigger after a given time. They will breathe fire in one of the predefined patterns : all at once, two at a time or one by one. You can expect more environmental hazards in new maps to come!


Knight Squad – Current Game Status

So before the Steam Early Access build of Knight Squad goes live, I thought it would be a good idea to explain the current game modes that are available in the game. Currently in the game, there is only the Local Versus option available with more to come. So here are the Local Versus game modes that are already implemented :

Teams : Free For All
Time Limit : 3 minutes
Description : In this game mode, you have to get the grail on the map and bring it back to your spawn point. You can kill your opponents to get additional points and steal the grail from someone who carries it. Carrying the grail makes you slower so be careful and make sure to kill anyone in your path. The player with the most points wins.

Capture The Flag
Teams : 4 versus 4
Time Limit : 4 minutes
Description : In this game mode, you have to run to the opposing team’s base and grab their flag. You then have to bring it back to your team’s beacon. The players will have to work as a team to make sure the flag bearer won’t be killed. If your flag is stolen, you won’t be able to retrieve the enemy’s flag. The team who’s stolen the most flags wins.

Teams : 4 versus 4
Time Limit : 4 minutes
Description : In this game mode, you basically play soccer! There is a ball in the center of the map and you have to score in the opposing’s team goal. The team who score the most goals wins.

Teams : Free For All
Time Limit : 3 minutes
Description : In this game mode, you have to stay as long as possible in the golden arena. The longer you stay in there, the more points you will accumulate. Killing enemies will also grant you additional points. The player with the most points wins.

Last Man Standing
Teams : Free For All
Time Limit : 10 rounds
Description : In this game mode, there is multiple rounds to complete. Once you die, you’re out for the rest of the round. The last player to stay alive will win the round. After a round is complete, everyone respawns and competes for another round. The player winning the most rounds wins.


Team Deathmatch
Teams : 4 versus 4
Time Limit : 4 minutes
Description : In this game mode, you have to kill as many opponents as possible with you team. Killing people will give you points and the team with the most points wins.

The game will be available tomorrow May 28 on Steam Early Access, on the Humble Store and on the game’s website.


Knight Squad Early Access May 28th

We are happy to announce that Knight Squad is coming to Steam Early Access on May 28th. The initial build will contains 6 versus game modes with local play with up to 8 players and a few weapons and power ups. During the development process we plan to add more versus game modes, more maps, more weapons and power ups, single player challenges with leaderboards, coop missions and online multiplayer.


Knight Squad AI Update

There has been a lot of work done on the AI since the last update because it was a major feature needed before showing off the game to the public. We knew we would not always have 8 players playtesting at the same time so we needed the game to be fun even with only 1 person testing it. The first big test session was at the GDC and it went incredibly well. Most of the times there was around 3 to 4 persons playing at the same time and most of them couldn’t tell which player was human and which one was an bot. Playing a capture the flag game in a team with 3 other persons against 4 bots was one of my favorite moments because we really had to work as a team to win on harder difficulties.

Adjusting the different difficulties was one of my main concerns because we wanted the game to be as much enjoyable as possible for all kind of gamers and even for non-gamers. To my surprise I had to dumb down a lot the AI on the easiest difficulties but it confirms that playtesting the game often with people outside of the development team is really important because we are so used to play the game that it always seems too easy. I knew I had done a good balancing job when I was watching my family having fun on the easiest difficulty and then watching my gaming buddies being challenged on the hardest one.

Here are the main parameters modified depending on the difficulties:

-Reaction time
Longer reaction time makes the game easier because the bots are slow to react to the player’s actions.

-Pathfinding and turning speed
Adding some randomness in the pathfinding result and slowing down the turning speed will help on the easiest difficulties because the bots will have a harder time moving through the levels.

-Strategy, goals and decisions
The bots on harder difficulty have more goal choices and they take more complex decisions. Ex: when being attacked from behind, an easy bot will ignore you but on hard he might turn around and attack you.

Here is a video of the updated AI playing a capture the flag game: