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Blood will be Spilled is a spaghetti-western-themed 2D action platformer taking place in a world inhabited by insects. You follow the story of Jack, a mosquito gunslinger, on his quest for revenge. But revenge is like a chilli - to make it good, Jack needs the right ingredients. A bit of money - from all the collected bounties; few friends, that could help him in the time of need; his own skills and abilities; and most of all shallow graves for all those who would stand in his way. The only question is: Are you going to be the good, the bad, or the ugly? Development began in May 2014 and we call ourselves Doublequote Studio.

Features:

  • Experience action-packed shootouts, hunt down criminals and collect bounties
  • Choose your own playstyle: Pick from three different skill sets (Good, Bad and Ugly) the one that suits your playstyle the best
  • During shootouts, Jack can hide behind a cover to reload bullets or just to take a little break from all the shooting. Or to shoot back.
  • Take advantage of Jack’s ability to suck blood from his enemies to fuel some of his more powerful skills
  • Challenge your enemies to duels, where speed and precision is all that matters
  • Hand-drawn comic-book style illustrations to reinforce the graphic novel feeling of the story
  • Original score recorded by award-winning post-jazz band Dajme Tomu
  • A fresh and modern take on “revenge western” genre

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Every time I have the opportunity, I say (as a sort of apology) that I am a self-taught 2D animator with very little experience. There are a lot of firsts for me, working on Blood will be Spilled and trying out 2D rigging of characters was one of them. During the last two years I have done quite a few animations for the game and then redone them again and again until I finally found a process and a personal set of rules that seems to work for me. I would like to tell you about them using one of our characters as an example.

The Character

When doing a character animation we always start out (well, obviously) with designing the character. Every character serves some purpose in the game, whether it’s an enemy, a major NPC or some insignificant character in the background. So during the design process, we ask ourselves questions like: ‘Will this character stand on two or four legs? Are we planning on changing his clothes and accessories in the future? Do we need him to walk, run, fly or fight?’ etc. Then, my brother does some sketches and then move on to drawing up the final design. For more important characters we usually have some ‘mood’ pictures as well, that tells us more about the character (and they also serve us as marketing materials).

ace_characterart

The Rules

I’ll admit that this sounds a lot more sophisticated than it actually is. What I mean by “rules” are some personal principles I try to follow every time I do an animation:

  1. First of all, I always try to follow 12 principles of animation as closely as possible, except the “squash & stretch” which I use only very occasionally.
  2. Second rule is that even though Blood will be Spilled isn’t necessarily a funny game, since we have insect cowboys with guns as our characters, there simply has to be something humorous about them. So, I always try to make them look slightly funny if possible - whether it’s for example the way they walk, or their sloppy gun-handling skills.
  3. Third and final rule is that everything needs to have a secondary motion, which shouldn’t be overdone, but still should be noticeable. All of our characters are usually done in a way that allows for secondary animation of some accessories or hats while they do their primary motion.

The Process

Cutting the character model in pieces

First thing I do with a character model is cutting it into pieces. With insects, this is a little easier to do than it would be with human characters (because who would want to cut humans into pieces? What are we, mafia?) as their bodies are naturally divided into parts (Insects, from Latin insectum -"cut into sections"). Then I put the character back together and export all the parts as individual images.

cut_into_pieces

Importing into Spine & creating a skeleton

For 2D animation I use Spine by Esoteric Software. It is a 2D rigging software in which each image is applied to an appropriate bone of a skeleton. This is the first step on the journey of breathing life into our characters.

1

Adding inverse kinematics

After putting the skeleton together I add inverse kinematics (IK) to certain bones, such as feet and arms. IK, as the name suggests is the opposite of forward kinematics (FK). In forward kinematics, each bone follows the properties of the parent bone. In inverse kinematics you move for example the ankle and the knee bends accordingly. I use this to make sure that character feet always stay on the ground.

2

Animation

Once everything has been set up I start animating. With characters like Ace, for example, I always have a checklist of sorts of all the animation we need him to have. Usually this includes idle (calm), idle (aggressive), walk, run, shoot, crouch/cover and sometimes flying.

3

Secondary motion

As i mentioned before, I always like for my animations to have some secondary motion (which is one of the 12 principles I mentioned before). While an animation without it pretty much serves it’s purpose well enough, animations with secondary motion looks more juicy and alive. In my opinion, this is an important part of creating a pleasant game feel in 2D games.

4

Special animations

Some of our characters also have some funny idle animations which adds a bit more flavor to the character. Usually, if I wasn’t able to put some humor into other animations, I try to supplement it in these special ones. For example, in the animation below, our character Ace (inspired by heavy metal icon Lemmy) takes a sip from his bottle of bourbon.

5

And that’s it for today. If you like our animations, our work or just want to follow our progress, be sure to follow our progress on facebook, twitter, or instagram. Take care cowboys!

Composition of a Motion comics

Composition of a Motion comics

Feature 10 comments

A closer look at a composition of one of our motion comics cutscenes. We talk a little about all the steps that go into creating one scene of such cutscene...

Entomology of characters in Blood will be Spilled (Part 1)

Entomology of characters in Blood will be Spilled (Part 1)

Feature 0 comments

Entomology (from Greek "entomon" meaning "divided into segments") is the scientific study of insects. Let's take a look at insects of Blood will be Spilled...

Duels in Blood will be Spilled

Duels in Blood will be Spilled

Feature 6 comments

About duels in Western movies, what makes them great and how we build our own duel mechanic in Blood will be Spilled.

Guns of the Old West (part 1)

Guns of the Old West (part 1)

Feature 0 comments

We wanted our guns in Blood will be Spilled to be artifacts - based on the true guns of the Old West, yet stylized in our own way. Take a look at the...

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Blood will be Spilled DEMO - Mac

Blood will be Spilled DEMO - Mac

Demo 0 comments

A MAC BUILD Our DEMO is finally released. Blood will be Spilled is a spaghetti western themed 2D action platformer taking place in a world of insects...

Blood will be Spilled DEMO - Windows

Blood will be Spilled DEMO - Windows

Demo 0 comments

A WINDOWS BUILD Our DEMO is finally released. Blood will be Spilled is a spaghetti western themed 2D action platformer taking place in a world of insects...

Comments
jeffsbalves
jeffsbalves

Nice game guys, congrats for greenlit! Looking foward!

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Ivanneke Creator
Ivanneke

Thank you very much!

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Thr111
Thr111

I loved it, everything was great, the story, the artwork, the introduction, the voice over, the graphics...then watching the gameplay...I felt let down.

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Ivanneke Creator
Ivanneke

Thank you very much for the feedback. :) We are still pretty deep in development, so if you had a little more time, could you be more specific about what was it the you particularly didn't like? Thank you!

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Thr111
Thr111

The story feels so epic, remembering the old westerns, the drama and passion that went into making them, looking at your game, I can tell you have the same passion as they did. But it just feels a platformer cannot deliver all the drama, action and excitement of those old westerns. While I have no idea exactly what kind of game could, maybe Im just remembering the my youth and getting defensive as it makes me want more, more then any developer could ever create. Of course this is a very immediate feeling from only seeing the barest bones of gameplay, your game could have it all and we just have not seen it yet.
That and the jumping, the jumping kinda looks like he just started floating up into the air.

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Ivanneke Creator
Ivanneke

Thank you for taking the time to elaborate. We really try to incorporate as many spaghetti western elements into the gameplay as possible, though there are also some things that are probably expected from platformers. We love the genre too and try to do them justice. :)
We should have a public playable demo ready in a month or so, maybe you can try It out then and see how you feel about it. And yeah, we're already fixing the jumping, we hated it too. But thanks again for the feedback, we really appreciate it.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
hugebot
hugebot

I'm a sucker for westerns and anthropomorphic things. Looks good so far!

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Blood will be Spilled
Platforms
Windows, Mac
Creator
Ivanneke
Engine
Unity
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Platformer
Theme
Western
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