Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Lore of HQ-77 and Exciting News About Spacepods

Hello Again.

      First of all, big thanks to everyone who played SURVIVE and Spacepods and gave us some feedback on those to games. Having little game jams and challenges is something we want to continue. Keep an eye on our twitter for more info on little games we make that you can play free in your browsers.

      Last week we skipped our blog that was going to reveal some information about the Lore and Setting in HQ-77, so we will go over all that in this blog. We know from previous blogs that the game world is built from an assortment of hexagon tiles. What we do not know is what this world is, where and when it exists, or why we should care about living here. Strap on your adventuring boots, this is gonna be a long post.

      So let us begin by telling you that this world exists in an ancient time when the magic of the elder gods still held power over this world. In this old world there are many ancient beings including, Golems, Were-Men of all kinds, giant insects and dragons. The dragons are the physical embodiment of the elder gods. There are also the sentient(playable) races of this world. The elder gods are the beings responsible for creating the first 3 sentient races. The following is a brief chronicle of their ancient histories and how 3 became 8.

      In the beginning of time the elder gods created 3 races, Elves, Gnomes and Trolls. They lived in relative peace and harmony due to being separated geographically. At some point a group of Elves moved out of the forest and into the grasslands, these Elves gave up there immortal nature to be given the gift of science from one of the elder gods. Over time these elves evolved into what we call Mankind. The nature of Mankind however, is easily corrupted. A group of sages and wizards still longed for a connection with nature and the gift of immortality  So they left the cities of man and moved to the northern end of the grasslands. But instead of returning to the old gods of the forest they began worshipping the beast gods. This was a grave mistake, the beast god took these men and twisted their flesh combining it with that of animals. This brought about the race of the Satyr. The Gnomes have a similar story to tell. The Gnomes have long lived on the southwestern tip of the world, they love the marshes and the trees that grow there. There were at one point 3 prominent tribes among the gnomes. But now there is only one. You see, one of the patriarchs of a tribe once found a cave, and in this cave he found a crystal. This crystal mesmerized him and after learning of its magical properties, he began searching every inch of the cave, but finding no more he resolved to travel by boat around the world till he found more crystals. He took his 3rd of the Gnomish peoples and sailed east sticking to the coast. And after many days at sea he spotted mountains on the northeastern coast of world. He settled in these mountains and through the passage of time and the digging of deep mines, these Gnomes ceased being Gnomes and became Dwarves. There was however a great rift between the last 2 Gnomish tribes. Half thought the Dwarves were right in their quest for crystals and the power they held, the other half held fast to the swamp and the traditions of their forefathers. So after many debates and council meeting the second tribe of the Gnomes moved away from the swamp and into the badlands in the south. The harsh dry environment turned these gnomes into hard and tenacious people. The began worshipping the Djinn of the desert. After many generations they ceased being Gnomes at all. Their worship of the Djinn had transformed them into Goblins. While this ancient history was taking place all across the lands, the Trolls were beginning to dwell in the northern arctic lands. Upon encountering Trolls for the first time in the northern edges of the forest, the Elf king sent envoys to them in hopes of forging an alliance. The alliance was born in a royal marriage, and with it the race of the Orc. Peace existed between these peoples for some time till a high born Orc laid claim to the Elven throne. This caused a war in the north. In the end the Orc Prince and his people left the Troll kingdom and settled in the tundra west of the northern forest. There is peace in the land, but it is an uneasy one at best. Rogue Orcs raid the Elven lands, Satyr’s attack cities and caravans of Man, and the Goblins are beginning to cut into the swamp land of their distant relatives. This is the world you will shape for the better or worse is your decision.

      There are 8 playable races in HQ-77. They are listed below with a few words to give them flavor.

Dwarves- strong, stout, loud. - Mountains/Cave
Elves- Graceful, Silent, Deadly. - Forest
Gnomes- Small, Ingenious, Crafty. - Swamp
Goblins- Swift , Devious, Tenacious. - Desert 
Man- Determined, Intelligent, Charismatic. - Grasslands
Orcs- Hard, Cold, Calculating. - Tundra
Satyrs- Energetic, Musical, Demonic. - Grasslands
Trolls- Brutish, Unyielding, Large. - Arctic

      From this list we can begin to shape in our minds the images of these races and where they come from. Due to the game being about shaping your own story, no race is Evil and no race is Good. Since no race is necessarily good or evil, you may ask what drives the story? The only answer to this is YOU! The player pick his races, then sets off on an adventure of his/her own design. Will you unite nations? Steal riches from kings? Wage war on the elder gods themselves? The story of HQ-77 is one that you will right. Your pen may be a sword, or bow, or the words from your lips.

      So there is a brief over view of the Lore of HQ-77. Our next post will contain a map and further description of the setting, and cultural styles of the 8 playable races.

      Before we close this post, we would like to bring some attention to a game from last weeks post. The game is Spacepods. Its a game we kinda built just for fun, but its becoming a pretty big project here at the office. After making a simple prototype and posting it on the gamedev subreddit, we got tons of feedback. People had ideas, suggestions wanted more so we gave it to them. We spent a good amount of time last week polishing up the prototype and making it into a fully playable arcade style game. We got in touch with a musician and had him lay down some sweet tracks and now the game is fully playable on our website. Spacepods We strongly suggest you go there and play it. Try beating our developers high scores. If you can do that we might throw you a party, or let you in on the alpha testing for HQ-77. At the least, give it a play and leave us some feedback in the comments below. If enough people enjoy Spacepods we will continue dedicating time to it. We have a list of power up and multiplayer ideas, as well as a single player campaign.

      That's all for this post, tune in next time for more exciting news on HQ-77 and the other things happening here at Bitforge Studios.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

8 Hour Game Jam and Exciting News

Welcome Back!

   Today we bring you a very special surprise. Our original plans had us presenting a dev blog about lore and back story for HQ-77, but we did a little challenge at the office this past weekend and we wanted to share our results from this. Our challenge was to make a very simple game in 8 hours. The result of this is a game we are calling SURVIVE!

   The game of survive takes place on 2 islands that you as the player have been stranded on. You have limited health, you are always hungry and thirsty, and you are constantly going insane from your solitude. The only way to survive is to find and consume food and clean water. Food comes in the form of apple trees, and water comes in the form of clean water holes. Now before you go off eating every tree and drinking every pond, you should be warned that some trees bear no fruit, and some ponds are tainted water that will only quicken your impending doom. The resources will randomly spawn around the map, so you have to explore to stay alive. The game/ prototype is unforgiving. You will die or go crazy and then die, its only a mater of time.

   This 8 hour game jam was a ton of fun, and we hope we can flesh out SURVIVE! More in our spare time. Survive however, is not the only exciting event that occurred over this past week. While we are still working hard on HQ-77, we found some time to team up with an Artist named Kent Sheely, and here is his website. We here at Bitforge are thrilled to work with him. Kent and Phil have been working on fun little concept call Spacepods. This top-down asteroid intergalactic combat game is in its infancy, but the road ahead looks very promising and we can't wait to share it with you. Seriously we can not wait!

So here are links to play SURVIVE and Spacepods in your web browsers!!

   We hope you enjoyed this break from the normal routine and have some fun playing these to games. We are working on a high scores database for Spacepods! If you take the time to play please leave us some comments and feedback below!

Have a great day and game on!