Apr 142014
 

Hi everyone! Time for a quick update!

Based on our current plans for the game’s main story & sidequests and our previous experience on our other games, we’re guessing that Cosmic Star Heroine will be in the 15-25 hour range (depending on difficulty chosen, playstyle, and how much optional content you complete) making it our longest game ever. Of course, this is just a guess and we’ll have a better idea when the game is nearly done but we think it’ll fall somewhere around there.

In particular, we’ve really been focusing on improving the optional content in the game. Many of our optional quests in our previous games could scarcely be called that and consisted primarily of bonus caves filled with a few enemies and treasure chest. We definitely want to avoid that so we’re making sure that all of the sidequests in the game have a story and/or character significance and aren’t just a way to get extra loot.

In both the main story & the sidequests, we want to avoid the game just being a series of town, dungeon, boss, repeat, and will have more interesting scenarios. In particular, Final Fantasy VI is a big inspiration as situations like Defending Narshe, the Opera House, the Raft Escape, frequently changing party lineups, and more helped to add a lot of variety to the traditional RPG format. And yes, we’re planning on having at least one multi-party dungeon as well as a turn-based hacking mini-game. :)

Finally, we just wanted to let everyone know that we’re planning on sharing some gameplay footage for the game during E3. Please be excited.

 Posted by at 4:55 pm
Apr 012014
 

Zeboyd Games is proud to announce that our next, next game will be Untamed Armaments!

Here’s a short plot teaser:
Rusella Von Formaldehyde is a young dream hunter, a mercenary who searches old ruins for the treasures within. Upon finding one of the legendary Untamed Armaments, she becomes embroiled in an epic struggle that will determine the very fate of the planet!

Here’s concept art of the main character & logo!

Untamed1small

Here are a few details about the game:
Future/Western Sci-Fi/Fantasy setting
2D pixel art visuals
Created with Unity so that we can cover more platforms
Job-based class system for character improvement
Untamed Armaments weapon customization system allows for weapon mods upon weapon mods (think Resonance of Fate)
Turn-based RPG gameplay
Strategy/RPG combat with an efficient control scheme for minimal downtime
Missions with win conditions beyond “Defeat all enemies”
Music from Hyperduck

And here’s one of the songs from the game!

Specific platforms, release date, and pricing to be announced at a later date.

 Posted by at 8:55 am
Mar 172014
 

Here’s our work-in-progress prototype of the ability menu for Cosmic Star Heroine. The ability menu allows you to look at stats for your abilities, equip your 8 active abilities, and equip enhancers (gained via leveling up masteries and let you modify and improve abilities).

AbilityFinal5a

 

AbilityFinal5b

 

AbilityFinal5c

 

As usual, this is just a prototype & is subject to change before release.

 

 

 Posted by at 3:49 pm
Mar 122014
 

Here’s a picture of our work-in-progress equipment menu prototype for Cosmic Star Heroine. Visuals are subject to change between now & the game’s release, stats & equipment do not represent final gameplay, Cthulhu is probably not going to be in the game, etc, etc.

testEquip12

 Posted by at 3:05 pm
Mar 062014
 

We’ve been tweaking the battle UI since the last screenshot based on various feedback you all gave us and thought we’d share the results.

BattleUIVer2b

 

We shrunk the portraits a bit so that they wouldn’t draw as much attention away from the action and then we swapped their position so that we could add another character slot to the time bar. We redesigned the name/description bar so that we’d have more space for text. Finally, we made the numbers in combat slightly smaller (we think it looks better this way).

As usual, this is a work-in-progress and so the layout and art is subject to change between now and the game’s release.

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Feb 282014
 

Since we haven’t shared any screenshots for Cosmic Star Heroine recently, we thought we’d show off the battle user interface. We think it’s a big improvement over our previous games in both form & function. And hey, you might be able to guess on some of the combat mechanics from this screenshot!

Standard disclaimer: work in progress, subject to change before the game comes out. Also, the location shown isn’t actually going to be in the game; we just use it for testing various things (and it’s good for avoiding spoilers too!).

Cosmic Star Heroine Battle UId

 Posted by at 4:31 pm
Feb 192014
 

Hey Everyone!

Not exactly doing this art column weekly these days, but I’ll try to get back into it.  Just busy with game dev.

For fun this weekend I drew some fan art from one of my favorite games of 2013, which is Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

I really liked the look of the Princess of Lorule, Hilda – so I drew up some art of her!  Must be the purple/blue/red color combination, eh?  ;)

 

Princess Hilda of Lorule - by Bill Stiernberg

Princess Hilda of Lorule – by Bill Stiernberg

 

In this pic I went with the approximate anatomical proportions as those used in the game, because I think it’s neat.  Also instead of doing my usual “clean linework” I decided to basically paint over my sketch.  I figured it would sorta kinda fit the theme of the game having the rough lines…. or something…. anyway hope you like it, it’s something different for me!

 

-Bill Stiernberg (bill_at_zeboyd on twitter.  Deviantart page.)

 

Links to previous Art Columns:

Click Here to browse the Art posts, or

Last time’s Art column links:

Zeboyd Weekly Art (9/11/13): Alyssa Fan Art

Zeboyd Weekly Art (9/4/13): Making-of CSH Teaser!
Zeboyd Weekly Art (8/7/13): CSH, CSTW, Rainslick fan art!

Click Here to View the Older List!

Feb 112014
 

Review of TxK for the Playstation Vita

Short review: Get this game.

Long review: Get this game NOW.

TxK is one of the best old-school arcade experiences I’ve ever played. TxK is a very simple & straightforward experience – as basically a remake of Tempest, you move along the edge of a geometric shape & shoot at other shapes as they come to get you – but from this simple setup, a very intense and enjoyable game has been crafted. At first, the stages are very simple – basic shapes with simple enemies that just slowly approach – but as you progress, the stage designs get more and more bizarre and craftier enemies appear (like enemies that periodically electrify the lane they’re in or cause the stage to spin out of control).

At its core, TxK has a great gameplay cycle of risk vs reward. The closer the enemies approach the edge of the stage, the easier it is to aim at them and defeat them, but also the easier it is to mess up and have them get you. The game is full of thrilling moments where you rush to the opposite end of the stage to defeat a group of enemies before they reach the edge and just barely get them in time. Or not.

One of the great things about TxK is just how fast paced and intense it is. None of the game’s stages are especially long (we’re talking maybe a minute or two max) and power-ups don’t carry over between stages so the game is one sprint after another. However, like all good arcade experiences, TxK is fair. Power-ups are plentiful (the AI drone being my favorite), the visuals are clear (a big improvement over the fun but much more experimental Tempest reimagining, Space Giraffe), and the game even gives you one get-out-of-jail-free card per stage in the form of a smart bomb. Unlike many shooters, TxK doesn’t punish the player for taking advantage of power-ups & special moves – in fact, you even gain extra points for each enemy you defeat with the smart bomb.

TxK was made for the Vita. The vector-style graphics are sharp on the Vita’s great screen and the bite-sized stages are perfect for on-the-go gaming, especially since the game allows you to restart at any stage you’ve reached with your best score & life total previously achieved on that stage. Or you can try and see how long you can hold out in the survival mode (which disables extra life pickups).

Sony has really been killing it with modern arcade experiences lately. Resogun (a re-imagining of Defender) was the best launch title on the PS4 and now TxK is one of the best games on the Vita. At only $10, it’s a no-brainer – buy TxK.

 Posted by at 1:34 pm