Cairn 0.0.6 – Alpha Build

We are wrapping up another sprint and with that I release another alpha build to be tested. The game is much more stable this build than last and includes a lot of new features.


The primary goal of this build was to fix bugs that became very big issues now that special attacks were working.  We also added lots of assets like 3 new sprites, a dozen special effects, and unit sound effects.

Important Changes:

Beautiful new sprites.  Rodrigo really knocked it out of the park with this new, updated sprites.  Check out the scrapper, fighter, and magician.

Our two big bug fixes are out of the way.  The sprite flicker and the collision detection issues should be solved now.  We made a lot of good connections with the 2D toolkit guys and some of the Unity dev community to fix the issues.

Unit Sound Effects are working.  The only unit wired for sound is the Fighter.  So spawn him and listen to him attack.  He should make noise when he spawns, attacks, moves, is selected and dies.  Game rotates through hit sounds, but they sound similar and are very mild right now.  They need more beef cake.

3 fully functional Slayers.  Charging, tossing, multi-spawn, instant, line aoe, healing, & status effects.  So much awesome stuff crammed into those 9 special attacks.  It is very beautiful and adds a lot to an otherwise simple alpha build.  Each build will see the release of more slayers & special attacks.  Next version will see the addition of Thermocrat & Kajarii Adepts.

Enemy selection.  Instead of only being able to select your units, you can select enemy or neutral units and see their stats.  You should not be able to control those units and you can only select 1 at a time through a single click.

Full details past the break

Where were you for the Orcish genocide?

I haven’t played a bad game in a while, so no “bring me some pizza” levels of badness this week. However I did get to play Orcs Must Die. As the title suggest, this a serious thriller about the work of Elf Bureaucrat John Elfenstein, who must investigate the grim situation in the Orc ghettos in the land of Wintermarch. The Elvish goverment is systematically eliminating Orcs one by one by one sparking outrage in the kingdom and John Elfenstein is ordered to investigate and suppress any further information leaks. In his investigation, John Elfenstein discovers the pain and suffering of the Orcs, who are beyond the brutish caricatures that they are usually portrayed as. John feels identified with the orcs and decides to take a stand with them. Although his attempts to bring the Orc holocaust to light are briefly successful, the elvish government suppresses and trial him. John defiantly demands to be tried as an Orc to show the disproportionately unfairness against Orcs. But to set an example out of him, John is sent to die with the other Orcs on the lava chambers, striped of his elvish name and banning any Elf from ever mentioning his name again. Thus ending one of the most emotional and enduring tales of intolerance and hope in videogame history.

Nah, I’m just fucking with you guys, it’s like a tower defense game or some bullshit (pew pew pew, die Orcs!).

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Unity3D Collision Detection Problems

In one of our most recent builds we found that collisions detection wasn’t working.  For those that don’t know, collision detection is exactly what it sounds like.  It is code that recognizes when two objects hit each other.

In Cairn we instantiate special effects & projectiles that use colliders to detect whether it has hit a unit. If it hits the unit it does damage, grants a buff, or assigns a penalty. The problem was that even though units were being hit, the collision detection wasn’t triggering.  I recorded a video of the issue while to help a few programmers who were helping to fix it better understand the issue.

Past the break I’ve got some the cause and solution to the problem.  Hopefully all my headache will help someone solve the issue more quickly in the future.

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Starvoid, or the PC game we (sadly) won’t be playing

Image source: Paradox Interactive

On news relatively related to our development of Cairn (ok, not related at all): Starvoid, a newly released RTS, is kind of tanking. Gamespy, which is usually kind on the indies, was not kind to the game at all on their review:

“It’s possible that Starvoid is a refreshingly accessible and direct entry into the MOBA sphere. It’s also conceivable that it’s too unbalanced to play for long, or that a fast-playing sport-style RTS is a bad idea. With so few players, I can’t be sure. Blame for this state of affairs has to go to whoever decided on a $10 price in a free-to-play realm; on the developers who didn’t include a single-player mode or bots for low-population games; and on the marketers who wrote that it’s an RTS/FPS hybrid when there’s nothing first-person about it.

If there’s one thing I take from the review was that the developers of Starvoid panicked and rushed to make a MOBA, probably because it seemed fancier at the time. I don’t blame the players who choose the vastly superior DOTA Free To Play clones over the 10 dollars indie effort.

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Meet the team! – Ryan Linneman

Hi all! I am Ryan Linneman and I am handling the QA for Cairn. I currently handle Quality Assurance for a division of my current employer which lends itself well to testing for Cairn. My experience in my professional life coupled with my incessant curiosity has made the QA process for Cairn feel quite natural. In addition to QA, I also oversee the Cairn wiki.

I have been working on the project since February, around the time of the first build. We have progressed steadily since the first build and continue to refine each release.

My favorite bug I have found so far is the Level-Up/Experience Bug. The video can be found here.


How do you screw up dinosaurs and jetpacks anyways?

(actual fun being had in the picture may not be accurate)

Recently I took advantage of the daily indie packages sold at the steam summer sale, which basically sold 5 indie games for 10 dollars every day, with an average price tag of 2 dollars per game. The good part was that there were some real gems with the bundles (Bit Trip Runner, Braid, Splice, Audiosurf, Cavestory, etc), the bad part is that they also bundled some lousy games as well. All in all I purchased 55 games at a price tag that makes me wonder why I never checked indie bundles instead (since that would had been way cheaper). In any case, playing indie games really got me pumped up for work during the last few fairly depressing development weeks (that Indie movie documentary is right, making indie games is depressing!).

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Praetorian Concept Art for Cairn

Praetorians are the most respected of leaders in all the Empire’s army.  Given command of the most state of the art equipment they are held to a very high standard and many collapse under the pressures of their responsibility. White hot flames burst  from crevices of their Lorica armor, few can bare the heat when standing toe to toe with a Praetorian.  Their short swords licked by alchemical fires possess the ability to slash and burn through any enemy troops”

We have a lot of concepts for Cairn that we haven’t been able to share until now. The reason for this lack of updates has to do with the death of our artist Rodrigo Petunio and his widow not wanting to kick them over to Embalmit. But after a lengthy and expensive court battle we finally came to settlement after we paid a hobo 50 bucks to break into her house and steal them for us.

Well… the real reason is much more boring though: we’ve been a bit lazy and/or busy with other things and haven’t got around publishing them, so none of that actually happened (maybe the hobo part). Plus you know, I’m still alive and stuff.

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