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MomoCon 2016

Hey Peoples!

We just got back from MomoCon where we were showing our corvid-based twin-stick shmup: A Quiver of Crows.

MomoCon

A couple of months ago A Quiver of Crows was selected as a MomoCon 2016 Indie Award Showcase Finalist! So last week we found ourselves in the lovely city of Atlanta, Georgia where we got to show the game all 4 days of the convention.

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Gamers competing to complete a difficult stage.

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The 3 of us excitedly watching the action!

MomoCon was a great experience for us. We met tons of awesome people who were not afraid to show their love for gaming, anime, cosplay, and all things art. Our booth constantly had somebody playing the game from the time we set up on Thursday until the last moment of the event on Sunday. We even had people competing to beat the most difficult stages as well as speed running others. The 3 of us were kept really busy at the booth, but from time to time we were able to slip away to check out a few of the other indie games that were at the show. Of the games we got to try our favorite was Fossil Echo – if you’re looking for a fun platformer with beautiful artwork, you should really check out this game:

We also really enjoyed Shu, Dragon Fin Soup, and Ellipsis, just to name a few. You can check out the full list of MomoCon Indie Award Showcase finalists and winners here.

Stay Tuned!

Hopefully we’ll have another progress update for you in a few weeks. If you’re part of the press and would like to preview the game, please request your key via Keymailer.co or contact us at crows@sheado.net. Got questions? Please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to wishlist the game on Steam and follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

Progress Update #27

Howdy!

Time for another progress update on our upcoming twin-stick shoot’em up: A Quiver of Crows.

New Trailer

We have a new trailer! It’s been a while since our Greenlight trailer, so we figured it would be good to have a fresh trailer full of all the latest stages and weapons in the game.

Co-op Developer Let’s Play Video

We finally polished the co-op gameplay functionality – check out our first co-op let’s play! It also features a Sunset stage, new sound effects, toucans, beetles, and the latest weapons.

Award Finalist

A Quiver of Crows is a MomoCon 2016 Indie Award Showcase Finalist! We’re also going to be showing the game at MomoCon in Atlanta, Georgia. Come by and play the game if you’re attending the convention.

Latest Additions

We’re adding more content into the game all the time now. The latest enemies we’ve added are the:

  • Toucan
  • This enemy can become ghostly from time to time during which it doesn’t take any damage. Pro tip: if you use the laser beam, you can hit this enemy when it’s in a ghostly state.

  • Beetle
  • Don’t be fooled by this thing’s sluggishness. Let it get close enough and it will dart at you, horns first!

We’ve also got some new upgrades:

  • Weapon Level 3
  • With this upgrade, each of the weapons gains an additional spread or feature. For example, the plasma weapon now shoots 3 simultaneous plasma bullets.

  • Shield
  • Pick this up and your crow is protected by up to three enemy attacks.

Last, but not least, we’ve been getting the Sunset level into the game. People seem to really like the pink colors in this one:

Press Previews

More press previews are being put up on YouTube and Twitch. If you’re part of the press and would like to preview the game, please request your key via Keymailer.co

Stay Tuned!

That’s it for this 27th progress update. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to wishlist the game on Steam and follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

Progress Update #26

Hey All!

It’s time for another progress update on our upcoming twin-stick shoot’em up: A Quiver of Crows.

Developer Let’s Play Video

Check out the latest developer let’s play we recorded – sine waves, skulls, and more weapon upgrades!

Press Previews

Last month we finally got around to completing and sending out the press preview build. A whole bunch of press and let’s players streamed the game on Twitch and YouTube. It was really fun to watch their reactions, especially how different gamers handled enemy swarms when they happened. Here’s a couple of our favorites:

Sine Wave

We’ve been balancing and fine tuning the sine wave weapon. This is the fastest weapon in the game, but it’s the lightest. It’s good for taking out fast moving enemies like the wasps, but the light weight of these bullets makes them ineffective at moving heavy enemy corpses.

Shield

The stages are getting more and more difficult. Health upgrades already exist in the game, but for the later stages we’re also throwing in shields to help players get through the really tough areas.

More Stages

A good chunk of development time over the past couple months has been spent on stage design and building. The Dawn, Morning, and Noon stages are complete now and we are now focused on the Sunset and Night stages. Check out this lovely work in progress screenshot of one of the Sunset stages:

Stay Tuned!

So that’s it for this progress update. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to wishlist the game on Steam and follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

Progress Update #25

Hey!
Happy New Year!

Here’s the latest progress update on our upcoming twin-stick shoot’em up: A Quiver of Crows.

Developer Let’s Play Video

For the tl;dr in you:

Dynamic Camera

After getting a bunch of beta feedback we noticed a common issue in some of the comments: offscreen enemies sneak up on you way too quickly. We believe part of the reason for this is that the camera used to always be centered on our heroic crow. As a result, you could only see half a screen’s view ahead of you when flying in any direction. To remedy this, we introduced a dynamic camera that pans ahead relative to the crow’s speed and direction in order to allow you to look ahead as much as possible. So far, we’re finding that this new camera functionality has helped significantly reduce sneak attacks by offscreen enemies while also allowing players to fly their crow more quickly into unknown territory.

More Music

Another month, another track. Enjoy!

Artwork

More art assets are being churned out every day. The Dawn and Morning stages are finished. The Noon stages are nearly complete (check out the screenshot below) and the Sunset and Evening stages are still in the works.

Stay Tuned!

That’s it for this progress update. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to wishlist the game on Steam and follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

November Progress Update

Hey Peoples!

Here’s another progress update on our upcoming twin-stick shoot’em up: A Quiver of Crows.

Developer Let’s Play Video

Watch our latest developer let’s play video showcasing one of the latest stages as well as some newly completed weapons:

More Enemies!

Over the past few weeks Danny and Chad spent a lot of time adding new enemies. Our goal is to introduce a new enemy every 2-3 stages. Among the latest enemies is a darting beetle, a floating urchin that shoots spikes all around, and a demonic flying eyeball that shoots a triple spread of bullets.

New Weapon Upgrade Level

A Quiver of Crows is heavily influenced by traditional shmups that feature weapon upgrade pickups. We have just finished developing the 3rd level upgrade pickup, which causes the purple bullets to spread 5 ways, the plasma weapon to fire 3 parallel bullets, and the laser beam to reach further. With the level 3 upgrade the game has really started to feel even more chaotic as the screen fills with colorful bullets and piles of enemies.

More Music!

Enjoy the latest track, courtesy of Alice:

More Stages!

Alice has been working hard creating stages. She’s nearly 40% done with all of our planned stages, and we hope to have another beta and press preview build ready soon. If you’re a member of the press and would like a preview build, please contact us at crows@sheado.net.

IndieCade

Last month we got to show our game at IndieCade’s IndieXchange Gametasting. It was awesome to have lots of other developers play the game and give us feedback – much of which has already influenced the latest build of the game. The showing went great and the game was even selected as part of the Gametasting Spotlight!

Stay Tuned!

That’s it for this month’s update! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

October Progress Update!

Hey All!

Another month, another progress update on our upcoming twin-stick shmup: A Quiver of Crows.

Developer Let’s Play Video

Fine tuning the pacing of the game has been our focus over the past month. Watch the latest let’s play video, which covers the subject in more detail.

Pacing and the Stages

We’ve done 3 beta rounds now and have made a ton of changes as result of all the great feedback we’ve been getting. The most significant of these changes affects the pacing of the game. Previously our stages were 6 minutes long with no checkpoints. The majority of players found it too punishing and tedious to almost complete a stage, only to die and have to start over again from the beginning. After weighing different options to address this issue, we decided to go with the solution of having very short stages with significantly greater difficulty. The result is a much more action packed frantic game, which is exactly what we’re going for.

New Weapons and Upgrades!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve also been adding and fine tuning some new weapons for our beloved crow. These include the laser beam, a bomb special attack, a sticky bomb special attack, and another upgrade level! The laser beam has been refined and now can pass through multiple enemies at once. Players will want to switch to this weapon when massive hoards are heading their way in tight quarters. In the special attack department, the new standard bomb is a nice alternative to the heat seeking feathers. This weapon has a bit of force, so it’s useful for clearing away enemies and their ragdolling bodies. Similar to the standard bomb, we are also adding a sticky bomb, which players can stick to a clueless enemy! Lastly, we’ve finalized the 3rd weapon upgrade level, which results in a larger spread or more power depending on which weapon the player is using.

More Art!

It’s “more art day” every day at Sheado.net. Danny’s churning out more new art every day. Check out the latest forest he created:

Controls

As promised, keyboard and mouse controls are finally in! We’re still fine tuning the controls, but they are very near finalized.

Stay Tuned & Happy Halloween!

That’s it for this month’s update! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

More Progress!

Hey Peoples!

The summer is flying by as we chip away on our game! Here’s a summary of all the progress we made over the past month working on our upcoming twin-stick shmup: A Quiver of Crows.

Developer Let’s Play Video

Rather watch than read? We’ll you’re in luck!

More Locations!

The Dawn level is now complete and is comprised of 11 stages. Over the past month we’ve been adding multiple new areas to these stages including an underground arena, multiple tree caves, as well as various forest scenes.

More Foreground Animations!

Danny, the artist, has also been focused on creating more foreground animations to help the stages appear more lively. For the Dawn stages, this included large crawling ants, crows gnawing at skulls, and various plants swaying in the wind.

More Skelecrane Boss Polish!

The first boss was completed in August, but we’ve spent more time polishing, balancing, and fine-tuning the 3 headed skelecrane boss.

More Sounds!

After churning out all of the stages for the Dawn level, Alice – developer and composer – has moved on to sound effects. She’s already sourced or created 20 different sound effects and is now working on the audio programming end of things.

Title Screen and Alpha

In preparation for an upcoming alpha test, we’ve been spending more time working on non-gameplay features such as the user interface. The title screen and several of its related menus were completed. We can’t wait to get through alpha, get feedback, and move on to beta testing with more people!

Stay Tuned!

That’s it for this update! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

August Progress Update!

Hey All!

Hope your August is off to a good start! Here’s a summary of all the progress we made over the past month working on our upcoming twin-stick shmup: A Quiver of Crows.

tl;dr

Rather watch a let’s play progress update? Well then – check out our first let’s play progress update video!

Stages! Stages! Stages!

This is going to be a recurring theme for us now. We are in stage building mode and we’re almost done with all the stages for the Dawn level. In the Dawn level there’s lots of lush greens and blue skies. Some stages are outdoors while others are held entirely inside of large trees or underground. We’re also throwing in a couple of battle arenas to mix up the gameplay.

Map View

In A Quiver of Crows you have 360 degree range of motion and you can explore any part of a stage in any order you want. In case you get lost though, we decided to go with a fog of war enabled map view so you can see where you’ve been, but not the places you’ve yet to visit.

Localization

We’d love to support every language! But we can’t =/ So after careful consideration we decided to go with the following languages:
Spanish, Russian, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), and of course English.

Interview!

We had out first interview! Thanks to J.A. over at Obsolete Gamer for making our first interview experience a pleasant one!

Stay Tuned!

That’s it for this update! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

Moar Progress!!1!

Hey Everybody!

Time flies when you’re making a video game! Another month has already passed since the last progress update. Here’s a summary of all that we’ve been up to with our upcoming twin-stick shmup: A Quiver of Crows.

Levels & Stages

The past month has been all about the Dawn stage. Alice has been busy designing and building the stages while Danny has been continuously churning out the graphics for them. Check out the latest screenshots from the Dawn level:

Music

Alice has been chipping away at more music too. We don’t have any new tracks to share at the moment, but we did post one of the previously completed tracks on YouTube for your listening pleasure:

Physics

Chad’s been busy adding new physics capabilities to the game in order to support some of the features required by the bosses in the game. The most time consuming of these is partial ragdoll support. Currently when an enemy is killed, it ragdolls and falls to the ground. With this new feature, a boss enemy can stay alive while parts of its body ragdolls – all the better to make them even more uniquely spooky. Check out this development screencap of the work in progress:

Rescuing Crows!

In this twin-stick shooter you will be spending most of your time mowing down demons and ghouls with the crow’s various weapons and special attacks. One additional responsibility you will have is to rescue your fellow crows by shooting their cages open. Free the crows and you get to move on to the next stage. Check out some screenshots of crow rescues in action:

Tutorial Billboards

We’ve always been fans of minimal instructions and tutorials. So for A Quiver of Crows we are using billboards in the background and occasional flyers in the foreground to guide you with the basic instructions in the game. See the screenshot below of a billboard instructing you to rescue a crow:

Press and Stuff

From time to time somebody writes something about A Quiver of Crows. This month OneAngryGamer did – check it out here. In hopes of reaching out to more potential fans and reviewers, we submitted A Quiver of Crows to IndieCade – an indie gaming festival in California. Here’s a peek of some of the games that applied – can you spot ours?

Stay Tuned For More!

That’s it for this update! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!

Music, Orbs, and Alpha!

Another month, another progress update!
As usual, a pile of work got done and here’s a summary of all the stuff we’ve been chipping away at for our upcoming twin-stick shmup: A Quiver of Crows.

Music

One of Alice’s many gamedev hats is the music hat. In between building levels and gameplay programming she’s managed to find some time to churn out a couple of tracks for the game’s official soundtrack. Here’s a sneak peek:

Gauges

Back in April we were working on the gameplay gauges to showcase health, ammo, current weapon, etc. Since the last progress update, we finalized the gauge designs. Check it out:

Upgrade Orbs!

In true shmup form, we decided to go with floating orbs to deliver weapon and health upgrades. Some of these are placed throughout the levels while others are dropped from dispatched enemies.

Alpha Testing!

We were super excited to start our first friends and family alpha test this month. Feedback and bug reports are rolling in already and we’re already making improvements, all thanks to our alpha testers. We’ll probably do another round or two of closed alpha testing before we starting thinking about doing a public alpha or beta test.

Check out some of the tutorial artwork that went into the game for the alpha test. The first image there shows the controls you can expect for the game. The second image shows some in-level tutorial billboards we’re experimenting with to help provide instructions without pausing the game.

 

Building Levels

Level building is one of our biggest todos at the moment, so there’s a lot of that going on. Danny’s designing new environments, Alice is putting them together into levels, and Chad’s implementing the necessary level features. Here’s a video of some spooky environments being put together:

Stay Tuned For More!

That’s it for this update! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at crows@sheado.net or start a discussion in our Steam community hub. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows for more frequent updates!