Today we spent the whole day at the Microsoft Game Dev Camp.
I must say that we had a great time there!
Kudos for Microsoft for hosting this event.
We had the chance to meet great people and find out about exciting projects being developed in Portugal.
It’s really inspiring to meet new teams and see how the industry is growing step by step in this corner of the world.
Unfortunately there aren’t many game dev events in Portugal, so it’s always exciting when something like this takes place.
The sessions were very cool, with the speakers giving insights about different areas: Development, Game Design, Visual Arts, Go Big (marketing, tactics and production) and Inspire.
We also showed “Mechs & Mercs” on the demo area, and the reception was really good! It’s very useful to get feedback from fellow developers.
And finally, it’s great to see the support that Microsoft is giving to indie development.
We can’t wait to publish our first title on the next-gen consoles
- Ricardo Cesteiro
In our last post we covered planet Thulkan, one of the five planets where the action takes place in “Black Talons”.
Today we’re covering the ice planet Uver, home of the ULA (Uver Liberation Army) and the Santos’ Raiders.
Uver once belonged to a powerful noble house of Oberon system – House Nuxos. The financial and military decay of House Nuxos eventually led to a rebellion that ended with the nobles murdered in the capital city.
Since that day, there has never been peace on Uver.
The war of the seven began, opposing seven powerful warlords fighting for the supremacy of the planet.
The conflict only came to an end when Colonel Santos arrived with his regiment, defeating the weakened armies of the warlords.
The warlords have called a truce between them, and are now united against Santos and his occupying force.
Uver is covered with ice from the poles to the hemispheres, with temperatures ranging from cold to instant freezing. The warmer areas are also the most disputed, with constant battles opposing the ULA and Santos’ raiders.
Below some shots of the frozen plains of Uver:
White plains is pretty much the usual sight for all Uverians. Luckily there are a lot of explosions to bring some color to their dull planet.
- Ricardo Cesteiro
In today’s post, we want to talk about the environments in Black Talons.
As you (may) already know , there are five planets on the Oberon system, each with its own environment and characteristics.
The first that we’re covering is Thulkan, jungle planet home to House Leonis, the last noble house in the system.
Thulkan is a moist planet, full of rivers and swamps. It’s said that the vegetation on Thulkan grows so quickly and so agressively, that and outpost can disappear in 24 hours if left unattended, swallowed by bushes and trees.
This makes construction and expansion very difficult on the planet, but brings a great advantage for anyone trying to stay out of sight (provided he can survive in the harsh jungles).
The dense vegetation can be used by infantry, as it provides basic cover and concealment. Unfortunately it’s also harder to find proper construction zones, where bunkers and turrets can be deployed.
You can see below 3 images of different areas of Thulkan.
Looks like a lovely place, right? As long as you bring enough bug repellent with you, that is.
- Ricardo Cesteiro
It’s been a while since our last “Black Talons” development update.
We’ve been working 200% on the game: adding content, polishing and fixing bugs.
The game has made a gigantic leap since the beginning of the year – all content added, we’re now polishing and perfecting everything to create the experience that we envisioned from the beginning.
One thing that’s been really important to us is to immerse the player in the game. We don’t want the player to just play some battles with lots of gunfire and explosions. Sure, these are cool, but we want to have these little details that make you feel like you’re part of this universe.
A very important part of Black Talons is the Battlecruiser. Like we’ve said before, the Battlecruiser serves as the HQ of the mercenary company.
The original plan was to use a battlecruiser from Gemini Wars. Not because we wanted to go the “easier way” and reuse assets, but because it made sense, as the action in Black Talons and Gemini Wars takes place in the same universe.
But ultimately we decided to create a new ship from scratch. We wanted the Battlecruiser to feel powerful and unique, a mobile stronghold capable of unleashing destruction on its enemies.
And so we present you the “Paladin”, center of the action on Black Talons, and the place to make all decisions:
Below you can see a couple more screenshots. A dropship approaching an unguarded LZ and a squad of soldiers making a brave stand.. but probably about to be shredded to pieces.
If you watch closely, you can see that some of the soldiers are equipped with shotguns. That tells us that this is an Assault Squad, specialized in close quarters combat.
Want to know what happened to these soldiers? Then stay tuned for the next post!
(we probably won’t mention them again, but we have much more exciting stuff to share!)
- Ricardo Cesteiro
Today we bring news from the Camel forge.
Aside from all the gameplay and “under the hood” work, we’ve been building two sections of the Battlecruiser that weren’t complete yet: the bar and the barracks.
Today we’re covering the bar.
The bar is where the crew goes to chill, and other folks go to do business.
Throughout the campaign, the player will make new allies and meet new contacts. Allied factions will send a representative to the Battlecruiser, who will be able to provide specialist units and equipment… for a price. These representatives will remain in the bar, waiting for any business opportunities.
So if you’re looking for special units and powerful weapons for your mechs, maybe you should go have a drink the bar.
(image is work in progress)
We’ll be covering the barracks next, stay tuned for more news
First of all, we hope you’re having a great start in 2014.
The team has been working on a lot of stuff in Black Talons and really pushing the production forward: adding levels and units, adding and polishing gameplay rules and new ship sections (in the mobile HQ, the Battlecruiser). We’re very happy with how the development is going, smoothly and according to plan. At least so far
Today we bring you two more minor factions of the game: the Noctae Guard and Santos’ Raiders.
The Noctae Guard are the elite soldiers of the Noctae Republic of planet Genai.
Having good relations with all the nearby planets, Noctae never spent too much on armed forces, keeping a highly trained small military force – the Noctae Guard – strong enough to garrison the planet.As a member of the United Space Federation, this was more than enough to ensure the planet security. But after the Gark War, the United Space Federation lost power and influence, and the stronger and more militarized worlds started preying on the weakest. When the Tzanar Union arrived in the system, it immediately launched an assault on Genai, overwhelming the Noctae Guard and the planet’s paramilitary forces by sheer numbers. The remaining units of the Noctae Guard are fighting an organized resistance against the Tzanar invaders.
Santos’ Raiders are an ex-USF unit led by Colonel Santos.
Colonel Carth Santos was the leader of the famous 245th Marine Corps stationed on the Epsilon sector. Respected and considered a tactical genius, Santos won countless victories for the United Space Federation. His extreme and ruthless tactics earned him the nickname “The Beast”, well known among both allies and foes. Ultimately Santos decided to leave the USF, and led his rogue army to the planet of Uver. The planetary defenses were no match for the Colonel, who appointed himself the new planetary governor. This situation caused some discomfort among the USF, but probably due to the Federation’s weakened state and countless emerging conflicts all around, no troops were ever sent to bring Santos to justice.
That’s it for now, more news coming soon!
We’re very busy here at the forge, working at full speed on Black Talons. We’re adding very cool features to the game that we want to share with you, but they’re not at the sweet spot yet
So we’re going to show you some art and a bit of background from two other minor factions: the “Revati Global Corporation” (RGC) and the “Eternal Life Cult” (ELC).
These two factions are rival, fighting on the planet Thora. Thora was once ruled by a democratically elected governor, but extreme levels of corruption and government inefficiency eventually led to the people’s disbelief in the system, thus opening the path for the rich and powerful Revati to rule the planet. The RGC now manage the planet as one of their many businesses, stripping the civilian population of most basic rights, while using their armored branch – the Tech Guard – to keep the population in check. This oppressive regime has led to the quick growth of the Eternal Life Cult in the planet, which is gaining new followers day after day, supported by off-world cultists and rebels who intend to take down the RGC.
The RGC is master of research, technology and cybernetics. It has its own established army, planetary fleet and defense force. Accused by many of employing brutal tactics and enforcing the implant of cybernetics on their population, the RGC is nonetheless one of the most powerful governments in the region. The Tech Guard employs high-tech military implants, drone and sophisticated equipment.
The Eternal Life Cult is a religious sect that believes aliens to be humanity’s true gods. When the first alien contact with the Gark was made public, the cult gained a considerable number of followers, who were convinced that the aliens had arrived to punish humanity for its sins. The cult is nowadays one of the most powerful organizations in the galaxy, with followers in almost every colonized world. The rapid and aggressive expansion of the cult is very worrying to many who see them as nothing more than religious fanatics. Reports say that the cult doesn’t tolerate any other religions or beliefs, and often resorts to violence to “convince” non-believers to join them.
Below you can see a Revati Tech Guard, an Eternal Life Cultist, and a battle between both factions:
That’s it for now, stay tuned for more news!
The team has been really busy with Black Talons. Still a lot of work ahead of us, but development is going really good. Creating worlds, maps, weapons and new units.
Today we want to show you two of these units: the Northstar ganger and the Leonis trooper. They belong to two neutral factions operating in the system, which can become allies or enemies.
The Northstar Legion is a conglomerate of pirates, cut-throats and mercenaries currently operating on Oberon system. Their leader is Jason Zentar, a famous mercenary and ex-military who was able to unite all the gangs under his command by strength alone.
The Legion gained notoriety after it was united under Zentar’s command, becoming one of the largest paramilitary forces in the system. The Northstar members are mostly military veterans and outlaws who saw the opportunity to operate on their own for a profit.
Leonis is the last noble house in Oberon system. Decades of resource spending and decadence have turned Leonis from a once major player to a regional power. The House’s new leader – Lord Castan – is a ruthless man willing to do anything to regain the power and influence of ancient times. Although Leonis lost the financial and military might of past days, it still has a loyal army and a now thriving planetary economy.
You can see both below:
As the commander of a mercenary unit and its mobile base – the Battlecruiser – the player is constantly called to decide about different matters and courses of action.
The most direct is the decision of whom to attack, and whom to ally. This has an impact on the campaign, as the player not only earns new allies, he also earns new enemies. And these enemies can suddenly appear in the middle of a battle, helping the opposing side.
Besides this, the player will also have to decide about the action to take in other matters: conflicts aboard the ship, civilian rescue signals and other random events that might seem trivial, but that will surely affect your troops, supplies and the global campaign. Some decisions will be easy to take, others will be harder.
The burden of command is not easy, and this is something that we want the player to feel when leading the Black Talons.
Today we want to show you a bit more of the maps and levels that we’re building on Black Talons.
As the commander, the player can accept missions in different planets, each with its own environment.
In the images below, you can see the mercenaries in action in 3 different places: assaulting a village on the desert, fighting on an ice jungle and charging up a hill, and infiltrating an enemy base using the cover of the night.
Detection range and movement speed are two examples of how the weather and environment can have an effect during battle.
Native soldiers won’t suffer the environmental penalties that other soldiers do, so it’s a good idea to have local allies while fighting in a particular planet.
We hope you enjoy the screenshots, and please leave your comments or suggestions, we’d love to hear them!