ITU Copenhagen Videogames

Knytt Underground on Steam Greenlight!

Alright, this comes a little bit late, but better late than never, right?

The thing is, I’ve already been helping out with the launch of TWO games on Steam Greenlight, the platform through which indie game developers can show their upcoming games and have them voted by the Steam community to be sold on their store (it’s not that easy to get your game up there if you’re an indie dev). The first one was BetaDwarf’s FORCED, which by the way succeeded in a great Kickstarter campaign recently, reaching over $60,000 in pledges by fans.

But recently I helped out fellow developer Nicklas Nygren with the Steam Greenlight campaign for his new game Knytt Underground, which got released a few weeks ago on PS3 and Playstation Vita.

And what did I do? Well, I created this little interview video, of course! Recorded at the IT University of Copenhagen (gotta love the views from those glass boxes) for the game’s publisher, Ripstone, the video is shown right on the front page of the Greenlight page for the game (Go on now! Vote for it!)

If you still haven’t seen anything of the game, suffice to say that it’s possibly Nicklas’ best work yet. Visually striking, with tons of rooms to explore, lots of characters to talk (with dialogues to laugh a lot about), secrets hidden literally EVERYWHERE (watch out for a hint in the video interview!) and some great challenges, this is one heck of a game to go through.

But I won’t spoil anymore of it for you. I seriously recommend you check the videos on the Steam page and give the game a try for yourself!


ITU Copenhagen Videogames

Coin Knights at Exile Fall 2012!

Funny that it took me seeing Simon Cutajar’s blog post about the last Exile Game Jam to realize I should probably update my blog with it as well…

But here it is nonetheless: Coin Knights is the last game I’ve worked on since Super Screaming Skull Bros 2, this time along with Simon Cutajar, inspired by the arcade cabinet made by the RedGrim boys. All done, as usual per game jam standards, in under 48 hours.

But whereas the previous game was a 2 player co-op experience, Coin Knights is a 4 player competitive game where each one of these brightly colored and blocky knights will have to collect the highest amount of coins possible before the time runs out.

Simple enough, but there’s a bit more to it. The central theme, given by the Exile Game Jam restrictions, was uncertainty, and we addedgreedto that (one of the themes that were also commented at Exile). Players will have to fight each other to collect the treasure chests, get the coins inside (which can appear randomly in groups of 10, 20, 30, 50 or 100 coins) and bring them back to the castle. Players can hold up to 4 treasures at the same time. The catch is that the contents of the chests are unknown to the player until opened, and if the player is too greedy he might stumble upon a bomb. And a bomb will, simply enough, make him lose all the coins he has collected.

So players will have to decide whether to keep collecting coins or bring what they have so far to their castles so as not to risk losing it all.

Oh, and players can push each other away by using their shields. Or steal the contents of a chest before they are collected by a player.


Unluckily for us the game was not finished on time thanks to an untimely bug caused by the randomly spawning treasure chests, which totally crashes the game sometimes before reaching the time limit. Hopefully both Simon and I will be able to further polish the game, fixing bugs and adding a few more power-ups that will make the gameplay more chaotic (personally I also want to increase the size of all the sprites so that the action is bigger and crazier).

Simon and I worked on the design of the game from the very beginning, with him later on focusing on the programming and music side while I made all the graphics and sound effects. For now you can play the current version of Coin Knights here!

Playtesting Coin Knights at Exile Game Jam

betaDwarf ITU Copenhagen Videogames

A day at Copenhagen Games

I have a confession to make:

Up until last week I had never seen any e-sports event. Not just that I hadn’t ever been to one in person, but I just seriously had no idea how big the scene was!

And now, after spending an entire day at Copenhagen Games with the awesome people at betaDwarf, I can say I’m amazed at all the craziness going on.

Starcraft II matches being commented live? Check.

Counter-Strike 1.6 teams full with their own jerseys? Check.

Booth babes giving away free coke and chewing gum? Check.

Lots of beer in Denmark? Check.

So what was I doing there? Capture every single moment on video, of course! betaDwarf had their booth in a very visible area, right next to the Snot! and World of Football booths, two amazing indie games under development right here in Copenhagen, and in front of the massive EA booth for FIFA Street.

And what was going on in our booth? You guessed! We were letting people play the latest playable build of Forced!

Forced is the new name for what was previously being called Faith of the Guardians, a co-op arena combat game in which up to four players will have to complete a series of challenges as gladiators.

Some of the people who stopped by and participated in our tournament to see which team achieved the highest score even walked out with Diablo 3 beta keys!

I’m sure you will be able to see what it was like at Copenhagen Games really soon at, but meanwhile you can have a sneak peak with these pictures.


ITU Copenhagen Stupid things Videogames

Cake Wars! Or how to make someone’s birthday feel special =)

It all started with a cake by Tim Garbos in Corinne’s Facebook wall for her birthday (as seen above).

And what started as an innocent little monster cake with a Danish flag became a series of back-and-forths between some of us to out-do the other. A real cake war!

In came Samuel Walz’s improved version of the cake, dubbed the Cakemonster 4.2 (in a seemingly random version upgrade) with:
– More candles
– More strawberries
– Improved danish flag (more cozy according to Sam and possibly attracting Spanish tourists)
– Candles already lit

This upgrade didn’t go unnoticed, and soon after Kristín posted on Corinne’s Facebook wall yet another improvement!

This new sexier version of the cake was now up to Cakemonster 6.8 (Woah! These numbers go up fast!) and according to the official changelog it included:

– Make-up, it’s what every cakemonster needs to feel oh so pretty
– Bigger shoes
– Two extra creepy fingers on each hand!
– Engraved candles

Then Kayode (feels so weird to call him like that now when we all name him K.) allowed us to take a break from monster cakes and gave Corinne a different kind of drawing. Birthday laser included.

But alas, it didn’t take too long before the Cakemonster evolved even more! Now it went up to a more stable-looking version 7, courtesy of Freyr!

This version’s biggest upgrade was obvious: the Cakemonster was now together with its extended family! (With a lovely meme in the background).

At this point even Google joined the cake party!

Meanwhile I was deciding how to add my two cents for Corinne’s birthday, and seeing how I was in the 3D Game Art course at that moment it just felt right to take the cake to the third dimension!

Apparently the one who started this entire cake trend, Tim himself, felt up to the challenge. After all my cake was in 3D, sure, but it was not our dearly beloved Cakemonster! So here came the new 3D rendition of it by Tim!

Taking it personally (I mean, come on, Tim did publicly state that his cake was meant to beat mine!) I declared the Cake Wars and quickly returned this personal attack with the following picture with my cake angry and ready to cut the Cakemonster (9.3? I lost count of the version number already!) in pieces:

But it seems like you cannot simply take it against Tim’s cake and leave unscathed… His next move took it yet one step further! The Cakemonster could now move and do a backflip! Or a sideflip… Or… well, something that ends with lots of colorful lines! It lacked the several improvements made during the day, but hey! It jumps! And that’s awesome, right?

Ok, so he’s made the Cakemonster animated? Alright! I’ll take it on! I’ll make it interactive!

After all we’re Game Designers in here, so why not quickly learn how to do a simple First Person Shooter with the Cakemonster?

Of course a picture just doesn’t show the full thing, so why not give the game a try? It’s available here and it only needs the Unity Web Plugin to play!

At this point Tim had made me think that he was giving up and would not take it further (LIAR!), so I happily sat down… until an unexpected challenger raised up!

The duo of Samuel and Kayode surprisingly made this flash game based on Space Invaders, with with the Cakemonster (this time once again in its latest version) attacking… both Tim and me. Oh noes! Nice touch with the custom-made music, by the way! Of course you can also play it yourself here!

Were these two the winners of the Cake Wars? Up to now Corinne had received more than enough cakes and Cakemonsters to make this for her most delicious birthday yet.

But NO! That was definitely not the end of it! While I couldn’t stop laughing at the second Cake Wars game, Tim had inadvertently created something that could easily surpassed any digital cake! He made a REAL cake in just under 30 minutes!

Sure, it’s made out of an orange. But it’s still a cake with two candles! And two Danish flags! And it’s still a Cakemonster (11.7?).

That last sneaky move was performed 5 minutes before midnight, thus officially closing Corinne’s birthday. I gave up, I couldn’t reply on time and Tim Garbos won this Cake Wars.

And I’m sure this is one war that will go down to the history books 😉

ITU Copenhagen TV Videogames

Oh look! It’s Bender… in 3D!!

I’m taking the 3D Game Art course at the IT University of Copenhagen this year… though I’m not really registered for the course (I can still attend the classes). And we were asked to build a robot in 3D by using ONLY primitives. No modifiers, no textures. Just plain colors and basic shapes.

So I decided to make Bender from popular TV show Futurama.

I know it’s not perfect… but it’s as far as I could get by using the restrictions imposed and my still limited 3D modelling skills 😛

ITU Copenhagen Nordic Game Jam Videogames

BLANK – Our Nordic Game Jam 2012 game in progress


I’m not going to explain a lot in this post because right now we’re quite short on time, but I just wanted to update my blog by letting you all know a little bit about the game we are working.

As I’ve already written in the Global Game Jam website, [BLANK] is a videogame about uncertainty. You wake up in a strange environment, unable to see properly and with no recollection of how you got there. Players will have to explore this environment to slowly recollect the memories of the events that took him there in the first place.

But how does one explore things when he cannot see?

The game is (still!) being made by Team Flying Noses (a pun on the early beginnings of our group), which is formed by Daryl Hornsby (UK), Kayode Shonibare-Lewis (UK), Micael Svensson (Sweden), Nicolai Brobak (Denmark), Patrick Dekhla (Sweden) and me, Anchel Labena.


From left to right: Patrick, Micael, Daryl, Anchel, Nicolai and Kayode

And finally, a teaser picture of our game!


Again, don’t forget to follow the awesome #NGJ12 Twitter Team for live updates of everything going on. I assume that the Twitter stream will probably spring back to fast action as soon as the game presentations begin Winking smile.