February 23rd, 2018
Idle Champions: Truly Neutral Weekend 
Posted in Idle Champions.

This weekend we celebrate three neutral heroes (one lawful, one true, one chaotic) with special limited-time buffs for each of them. No moral choices here!

The following Champions will get a buff this weekend starting from today until Noon PST on Monday, January 15th.
  • Asharra – Increases the effect of Asharra's Bond: Humans, Bond: Elves and Dwarves, and Bond: Tiefling, Firbolg, and Dragonborn abilities by 200%

  • Jamilah – Increases the damage of Jamilah by 400%

  • Regis – Increases the effect of Regis's Ruby Encouragement ability by 200%

Check out these limited-time Neutral Gold Chests that contain equipment for just the champions above!

(Note: gear only appears for unlocked Champions. If you do not have Regis unlocked, his gear will not appear in the chests)
January 19th, 2018
Idle Champions: Wayside Inn Weekend 
Posted in Idle Champions.

There are challenging new objectives starting at the Wayside Inn on the Grand Tour campaign! Perhaps these special buffs for Celeste, Jamilah, and Hitch will help!

The following Champions will get a buff this weekend starting from today until Noon PST on Monday, January 22nd.
  • Celeste – Increases the effect of Celeste's Crusader's Mantle ability by 200%

  • Jamilah – Increases the damage of Jamilah by 400%

  • Hitch – Increases the effect of Hitch's Friendly ability by 200%

Check out these limited-time Gold Wayside Chests that contain equipment for just the champions above!

(Note: gear only appears for unlocked Champions. If you do not have Hitch unlocked, his gear will not appear in the chests)
May 18th, 2017
New Event! Trek Through the Hidden Temple 

You have to love big budget sequels. Montana James is back in this repeat Crusaders event, Trek Through the Hidden Temple.

This updated event runs from today through to May 30th at Noon PDT. For those players who haven't unlocked them already, this is your chance to add both Montana James and Serpent King Draco to your roster.

Two new Tier Two Crusaders are also available to unlock once you've completed the Tier One objectives: Danni the Daring Damsel and Polly the Parrot.


New Tier Two Crusader: Danni, the Daring Damsel

The first of the two new Tier 2 Crusaders is Danni, the Daring Damsel who doesn't need to rely on anyone else to get herself out of trouble. Even if she ends up getting in trouble a lot.

At level 100, Danni unlocks Eye Candy which buffs the DPS of all Male Crusaders by 50%.

At level 150, her ability Penny in Your Pocket increases the Gold Find +10% additively for each Male Crusader in the formation.

New Tier Two Crusader: Polly the Parrot

Polly, the Parrot, is the trusty animal sidekick who's always on hand for those comedic moments when heroes are locked in a cell and need a key. Also, he has some wicked one-liners, which kids will be quoting long after the adventure finishes. Probably.

At level 50, Polly unlocks Got a Cracker!, an ability makes monsters move 500% faster.

Polly unlocks Instant Regret at level 150 and monsters that are attacking the formation will then take extra damage.

After you've completed the first new Tier Two objectives for Danni and Polly, there are three new side stories in the form of Tier Two objectives to complete.

New Tier Two Objective: Aliens? Really?

In Aliens? Really?, a set of alien monsters with various effects attack your formation all the way to area 400.

New Tier Two Objective: The Holy Grail.

In the objective, The Holy Grail, every 25 areas one of your Crusaders will attempt to drink from a Grail. The wrong one will permanently disable that Crusader seat past that level. You'll probably choose poorly until area 450.

New Tier Two Objective: Ghosts of the Ancients.

The final new Tier Two objective is Ghosts of the Ancients. Speedy spooky invulnerable ghosts of an ancient Mayan civilization attack your formation all the way to area 500.

Equipment for both Tier 1 and 2 Crusaders can be found in Hidden Temple Jeweled Chests. However, gear for the Tier 2 Crusaders will only appear once you've unlocked the respective Crusader.

You'll have until May 30th at Noon PDT to complete the event.
December 15th, 2016
Jingle Jam 2016 & Honeydew the Dwarf 

We are delighted to announce that Crusaders of the Lost Idols has been included in the Yogscast Jingle Jam 2016 Humble Bundle.

For the whole month of December, the Yogscast team have organized to give away 31 Steam games and DLC add-ons as part of their annual Jingle Jam event with all the proceeds going directly to charity!

This year’s charities are:

The first 75,000 people to donate $30 or more will get all 31 games, including our very own Legendary DLC pack for Crusaders of the Lost Idols.

To celebrate we've also created a special boss monster, Honeydew the Dwarf. For those of you unfamiliar with Honeydew, he is based on Yogscast celebrity and long-standing YouTuber Simon Lane.

Honeydew the Dwarf.

Simon Lane.

Honeydew can be found in the Amusement Park of Doom campaign. You'll find Honeydew starting at area 40, and he'll appear every 100 areas from then on.

Please help support a great cause and, of course, enjoy the hilarious shenanigans from the Yogscast team this holiday period.

You can watch the festivities live on Twitch here, and you should check out all their YouTube channels by going here.

November 21st, 2016
Unicorn Poo: Making Games at OrcaJam 2016 
Tags: orcajam.

Last month we were honored to be the sponsor of OrcaJam 2016. The annual game jam is organized by the Victoria chapter of the Independent Game Developer Association (IGDA.org) and hosted at Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council's (VIATEC) very cool Fort Tectoria location in downtown Victoria.

OrcaJam is Victoria's annual 48-hour game jam that brings together local designers, developers, programmers, artists and musicians to make games for fun.

Two of our team here at Codename threw their hat into the ring and created a team for this year's event. Mark and Cory headed down to the venue and partnered with another local artist, Michelle, to create a game from scratch.

We spoke to Mark and Cory about their experience.

What was the theme for the game?

The theme for the game jam was 'The Witching Hour' which was not only a reference to the fact it was the Halloween weekend but a nod to the fact that game jams are about working through the wee hours and burning the midnight oil.

We decided to take that theme and create a game where the main character was a warlock and where the core game revolved around a witch theme.

Cory and Mark's Game: WhichSpells

What kind of game did you make (e.g. strategy, arcade, puzzle)?

We decided to make 'couch co-op' multiplayer game. It's a top-down, brawler where four players battle it out in an arena.

What is the key feature of the game?

Spell exploration and combinations. The ingredients for casting spells to attack other players are physical items you have to pick up. It's a race to see who can collect the most devastating ingredients first to win. Then the skill is to learn which are the best combinations.

Players must collect ingredients to make spells.

The five ingredients we had time to implement were Unicorn Poo, Frogs Legs, Sulphur, Eye of Newt, and Toad Stools. When you haven't got a spell equipped, you can dash for a speed boost.

The combinations would create the following effects:

  • Sulphur & Frog = Fireball
  • Toad Stool and Unicorn Poo = Nuke
  • Toad Stool and Sulphur = Grow Big

Unicorn Poop.

How did you decide on the genre?

We identified it as a type of game that fills a niche but is growing in popularity. It also gave us a chance to work on a project that was a proof of concept for a new game type outside of what we do at Codename Entertainment.

We all had different goals for the 48-hours. Mark wanted to learn more about working with the Unity engine. Cory wanted to experiment with UI and 3D modeling plus explore hand-painted low-poly 3D modeling.

Michelle was familiar with 3D modeling using Z Brush and Maya and showed Cory how to do it.

The game type also made it possible to get a small, well-defined scope within the 48-hours. We gave ourselves the best chance to end up with a game which was playable and that showed the beginnings of a project that could be something more complete with more time.

What was the biggest frustration point during the 48-hours?

Saturday night we felt a bit discouraged that we couldn't get enough variety of spells as would have liked. A lot of stuff went in last minute. There were a few art assets that weren't imported (new terrain, cobblestones missing etc.).

We also had a technical issue with 3DS Max and hooking up textures to the models. We figured out eventually but took too much time.

The Warlock.

What was the biggest win during the 48-hours?

People were queuing up to play the game, and it was satisfying to see. We believe our game was most unified regarding art style, gameplay, and music. We were proud of the fact we achieved a level of polish that was satisfying.

There was one younger member of the public at the end of the event that was very enthusiastic about the game. He spent a lot of time mixing items to create spells.

Another achievement we were proud of was that the discovery of the game mechanics was intuitive rather requiring detailed instructions.

As we were designing the game, we drew a lot of interest from some floating sound engineers who wanted to help. We gave an overview to two audio guys who were very enthusiastic. Even up until the last 20 minutes of game jam we were putting in more sound effects created by one of the guys who joined our team. There wasn't enough time to adjust mixing or levels, but it still completed the experience.

What would do to improve the game with more time?

We would implement more spells and combos for a more full experience. We'd like to tweak the arena to a perfect size and the areas we wanted. With those changes it would be closer to the original vision, we had for the game for the end of the jam.

Also, ideally some art needs to be reworked such as the ground texture and the artwork for the spell ingredients.

We'd probably also spend more time on clarifying the controls to make it even more intuitive just to help first-time players.

OrcaJam 2016 Recap

June 9th, 2016
New Event! Trek Through the Hidden Temple 

Montana James dusted off his fedora before fixing back on his head. The frantic slide under the closing warehouse door almost claimed his hat for the umpteenth time. He was still clutching the tattered map of the rainforest temple as he picked himself up and ran for the waiting boat plane that would take him to deepest, darkest Peru...

"Throw me the idol; I’ll throw you the whip!"

The latest event takes our Crusaders on an adventure in the finest traditions of archeologists who also happen to be great at adventures. Yesteryear chic from the 1930s, an evil regime of bad guys and a race to recover ancient treasure in a temple in a jungle await you.

New Crusader! Recruit Montana James

The Trek Through the Hidden Temple event introduces our new square-jawed Crusader, Montana James, one of two new heroes to add to your roster. He requires rescuing himself after getting mixed up with a group of jackbooted soldiers.

For the first objective, the Crusaders will need to escort Montana to area 100 all the while being chased by soldiers who debuff all DPS and abilities for Crusaders in ever-shifting slots.

“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”

The second objective sees the Crusaders pitted against a scaly new antagonist called King Draco. Draco intermittently summons his snake minions to attack a random Crusader, again debuffing all DPS and abilities for 30 seconds.

New Crusader! Recruit King Draco

The remaining objectives include Daddy Says So, where the Crusaders are saddled with the daughter of the Crusader's benefactor (the guy paying for the expedition). Unfortunately, you're also weighed down with her luggage taking up valuable slots all the way to area 150.

New Objective! Daddy Says So

Watch Out For Booby Traps will see a random slot fall foul of the classic pit-and-spikes trap. Every 10 areas different slots will lose all the DPS and formation abilities making reaching area 200 a challenge.

The final new objective is Mali Ka. Evil spirits (or maybe some dodgy local food) is turning the Crusaders against each other. Until you reach area 250, you'll be attacked by your own friends! Crusaders not in your formation will launch themselves at the other Crusaders intent on stopping them from finishing the objective.

Good luck, Crusaders, and before you undertake this epic adventure, take inspiration from the immortal words of Montana himself: "Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory."

The Hidden Temple event will run until June 21st at Noon PDT.
September 10th, 2014
Codename @ OrcaJam 5! 

At Codename, we really do eat, breath and live videogames. Not only do we spend our working hours building the games you love, we spend much of our time outside the studio stretching our creative fingers in different directions - sometimes with very interesting results.

Last weekend, members of the Codename Entertainment studio attended OrcaJam, a local game jam in Victoria and got their creativity on. What exactly is a game jam you ask? In short, a game jam is a 48 hour period where teams of passionate game designers, artists and others can form a team together and try to create a fun and *functional* game, often centered around a theme, which is announced at the start of the Game Jam itself. The theme for this round was (slightly paraphrased): "Great Things from Small Beginnings!"

The ultimate purpose of a Game Jam isn't to produce a fully polished game, but to challenge a game designer to conceptualize, develop and QA a game within a very short period of time. There is no time for feature creep, grandiose ideas or egos; you must get down to business immediately or you'll run out of time. To be totally honest, you're going to run out of time anyway, but it's always best to go in prepared and challenge yourself!

Artist Cory and developer Ben were members of a 4-person team, and created a sharp little game called "Bot Spank". (You can see their game here!)

Developer Nick was a member of a different, 4-person team and created a little platformer called "Quarry Quandary." (A direct link to their game is here. )

So why, when we work on games all day, are we willing to give up our free time when we could be doing things like…laundry? Or other "life" chores? When asked, Nick had this to share:

"While game jamming on top of a full-time job is rather exhausting, it's an incredible opportunity to improve your skills and network with enthusiastic people in the local game development community. You particularly get a good feel for what it takes to produce a product from start to finish. And I must admit, everyone has a lot of laughs during game jams. We develop jam games with a sense of humor and are able to laugh at all the bugs and emergent features that crop up."

Check out their games, and enjoy!

(Curious about OrcaJam? Check out their official website here!)