Croteam Spolight - March
By THE LAW & Mauritsio
Big props to Bernard from Binx Interactive for the promo art for this series!
The second episode of our “Croteam Spotlight
” series is here! Now we initially promised to relase such an episode at the end of each month, but with this one we've made a conscious decision to wait a little, so that we could pair this episode with the releases of not one, but two Croteam Incubator
games! So this should prove to be a very nice read-up.
Let's not waste any more time!
Battle Bolts - Released in Early Access!
, the turn-based strategy game by Shot Second
, was released for Steam's Early Access
program two weeks ago - and it's available for purchase right now! Unsure if this is your kind of game? You can try the free prototype version on itch.io right here
And while the game is out, the online mode of the game is yet to come - we can expect it to arrive in the following weeks.
A new tradition of ours, we organized a launch party in the Croteam
server, where fans of Croteam gathered to play Battle Bolts
online through Parsec
. After a good thirty minutes of setting up everything, everyone was having fun and collecting feedback (and requesting for the honking feature to be re-added, and it did!) - which the game's lead, Damjan Mravnuac
, the man behind the Serious Sam
music - would later on come to gather, but not before he did a solo cover of Ecstasy of Gold
on his guitar - and later on, even gave us a sneak peek at a live performance of "Hero
"! Someone in the chat was very excited to hear it. :)
For a more detailed recap about the Battle Bolts release event, you can read one right here
The game's core concept of having to program all of your moves in advance based on what you think your opponents will do is pretty cool! You'll also be finding yourself strategizing the best place to put yourself on the battlefield. We're sure that once the online mode for the game comes out, we'll have a blast playing it without the limitation of Parsec! And with Damjan’s permission, we at 7Smoke will most likely be holding a mapping contest
on the game in the weeks after the online feature gets released! Some fun times are ahead of us!
Serious Sam: Tormental - Also Released in Early Access!
The 3D rogue-lite top down shooter Tormental
, created by Gungrounds
, released on April 2nd - also in Early Access
, and you can purchase the game right now, just like Battle Bolts! Funny how these things end up working the same.
And as some of you may know - this game also has a free prototype version released on itch.io
which you can give a go - also if you are still wondering if this is your type of game. What a funny coincidence! It's almost like the same team supervised both games. Anyway, the prototype can be found here
, and the differences between the Steam version of the game and the one on itch.io are perfectly explained in this article
written by the dev team, Gungrounds
This game provides a Singleplayer
experience bundled together with some couch co-op. And, in a stunning revelation, this game also had us host a release party in the Croteam
At this release event, we mostly played for ourselves, and occasionally laughed at what we could hear through the microphones of other player's games. We actively sought out bugs (some of us too actively) and we even had a little competition going on! There were rewards being thrown around - a Croteam Bundle
full of their games and game keys for Serious Sam's Bogus Detour
, I Hate Running Backwards
, The Talos Principle
and more! The people that reached certain highscores at this release event got one of those rewards each - congratulations to everyone that managed to climb high enough on the leaderboards, and especially some big applause for Elzar
, who held the high score on release night with 7,331
And ever since the release, the game already got 3 major patches!
You can read the latest patch notes right here!
Croteam goes to Reboot Develop Blue 2019!
It's that time of the year again! Tomorrow is the beginning of Reboot Develop Blue
- an annual conference in Croatia focused towards game developers, consisting of a three day programme consisting of nothing but industry veterans giving lectures about tricky topics in computer science and the likes. You'll find some of these lectures are from pretty well known companies with a broad variety of games on their resume. No doubt there's someone you might know in here
Last year, of course, Croteam revealed a first look at Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass
at the opening keynote of this conference. Who knows what they'll show about the game this time? We know, and this is what we know so far:
- Croteam will be sponsoring a dedicated tech stage aptly named the "Croteam Stage", with talks from high-level engineers from all over the world, who will be sharing their vast knowledge. Croteam CTO Alen Ladavac will talk about the myths and misconceptions of frame pacing and explaining what it is that causes micro-stuttering we all so passionately hate in video games.
- On this stage, Croteam’s Senior Engine Develoepr Karlo Jež will be joined by Alon Or-bach of Samsung Electronics to talk about the Vulkan engine, which Croteam first dabbled with during the post-release of The Talos Principle, while Luka Hrabar (Terrain Engine Programmer) and Robert Sajko (Senior Engine/Gameplay Programmer) will share info on the Terrain engine in Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass - which powered the huge mountainscape from the April 2018 teaser. This talk was actually held before by Alen Ladavac during GDC last month. You may find the slides of that presentation on the GDC site here - it has some in-depth talks about the workings of the engine and some screenshots of the Serious Sam 4 terrain in action! An accompanying video is not available (unless you're willing and able to spend 500 bucks to access it...).
- Ante Vrdelja, Croteam's Chief Marketing Officer, will hold a chat about the ever-so-daunting challenge of netcode in video games, while Davor Tomicic (Croteam's Co-Founder) and Nika Dvoravic (Environment Artist) will share the process of how they design games and environments. And Damjan Mravunac (King of Amps), will of course, be talking about how he goes around makes music and sound effects!
We hope that everyone who's going to Reboot Develop 2019 Blue will be having a great time there! And we hope that one day, as a Croteam fan group, we'll hold a big meeting there one day!
Most of Reboot will be livestreamed right here!
Unity of Command II - New Dev Diary
Tom Uzelac of 2x2 Games
, the lead designer of Unity of Command II
, just wrote a new dev diary titled “En Route to Rouen”
In this diary, he explains some of the most interesting new mechanics which are in the game - dealing with enemy prisoners of war, gathering intel, and piercing through Fog of War to locate hidden enemy units
. Some pretty screenshots, too!
Read the Devlog here.
The Talos Principle - Updated
The Talos Principle
got an update! For a game that’s been out for five long years, this might be an interesting surprise. but when you think about it, Croteam was still updating BFE in 2016 before Fusion came out. And actually, we talked about this update briefly in the last Croteam Spotlight, but this time there's a little more to it.
So what’s in this update? For you, the player, you may not notice a lot at first - expect some performance improvements. But take a peek under the hood and you’ll see that Talos has been upgraded to use Serious Engine 2017
- the same one used by Fusion! This brings all its improvement along for the ride, such as the support for DirectX 12 - but also all the great modding stuff! While Talos modding has not been active as of late we’re bound to see someone use the features carried over from Fusion to great use at some point. And just to be clear, this is not a beta - this is released to all!
For more on this update, including the addition of Tobii Eye Tracking to the game, head on over to the Steam announcement page!
View the announcement here.
Thank you all for joining us in this Croteam Spotlight episode! We hope you find it useful and interesting. This time, we're committed to doing it every month!
If you wish to follow everything surrounding these Croteam-related topics more closely, you can consider joining these Discord communities: 7Smoke, Croteam, I Hate Running Backwards, Tormental
. Click on their respective icons below to receive an invite!