Concept Sketch for Aegir's Island from Norse Noir: Loki's Exile

Concept Sketch for Aegir’s Island from Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile

Hello everyone! I have some exciting news to share today, as KreativeSpill has managed to secure additional funding for Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile! We on the team are thrilled to announce that our title has been the recipient of a new grant from the Norwegian Film Institute which sees our budget for making the first episode of Norse Noir increasing by nearly $60,000 USD! You can see more information at the following links:

http://www.nfi.no/bransje/tildelinger/tilskudd?key=127875 — (English Translation)

http://www.nfi.no/omnfi/presse/pressemeldinger/utviklingstilskudd-til-ni-spill–132970 — (English Translation)

As noted in our Kickstarter budgeting post, Loki’s Exile was the recipient of a partial grant from the NFI earlier in 2014, which allowed us to work on the title up to and through the process of running our Kickstarter. When we started seeking funding on Kickstarter there were really three scenarios we had envisioned:

* Best: Kickstarter succeeds and then some (or other projects at the company bring in larger revenue), giving us the ability to polish up the game and add some bells and whistles (like the epilogue scene and voice acting).
* OK: Kickstarter succeeds at its minimum, with no additional revenue for the company; we’re able to make and release a finished title, maybe a bit of voice acting here and there but otherwise bare bones.
* Worst: Kickstarter fails, no additional revenue comes in for KreativeSpill… we shake hands and pack up, without being able to release the title.

Being sensible businesspeople we were forced to heavily consider the most likely option – That being the worst. While we’re absolutely grateful that we were able to find an audience of people (like you!) that let us run a more-than-successful Kickstarter, we knew going in that we might have a hard row to hoe. Facts are facts: Low funding amounts on Kickstarter often have difficulties reaching their goals, the video game market on KS is slowly but steadily shrinking, an adventure game is a niche title in a genre that’s threatening to become crowded, we had practically no audience prior to launching the Kickstarter, and so on. There were a lot of factors that could have easily lead to the Kickstarter not being successful, and being prepared for the worst case scenario was the smartest thing we could do.

In being prepared for said worst case scenario we knew that the NFI’s next funding round was approaching, and we decided to resubmit Loki’s Exile to the board in hopes of receiving the “other part” of our initial partial grant: If the Kickstarter failed, we would still have another potential avenue for funding work on the game.

Fast forward a few weeks and… well, here we are, in a situation not a lot of businesses are lucky enough to find themselves in – Beating the odds, overcoming the worst case scenario, and even toppling the best case by leaps and bounds. We now have every bit of budget we need to bring the best possible version of Loki’s Exile to you that we possibly can, and we think that’s going to be a very good thing.

We’re still discussing internally exactly what this new pool of resources will allow us to add to the game, and what it’ll mean for us as a team working on the title, but we can at least announce that we will, for certain, be offering a fully voice-acted title (not partial!) on release – Something that’s made all of us very happy indeed.

Once we’ve talked more internally about exactly how we want to best utilize these funds we’ll be back to talk more about what it means for the game, for our fans, and the like. Until then, we want to thank everyone again for all of their help in supporting us, funding us, and spreading the word about Norse Noir – We’ll post more soon!

PS: Yes, that is a new concept up at the top of the page! We’ve shown you the interior of Aegir’s Hall; this is a sneak peek at the exterior.

The headline is correct: We’re headed to Steam! Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile has recently made it through the Steam Greenlight process and we couldn’t be happier – This is a huge, huge boon for us and the title, and we wanted to show our appreciation to everyone who’s helped support our campaign over the last month with a special wallpaper!

Norse Noir: Loki's Exile has made it onto Steam via Greenlight!

Our special Greenlight celebratory wallpaper!

This wallpaper shows off the familiar trickster god Loki and the mirthful sea god Aegir as well, set against the playable backdrop of the latter’s home & hall. This wallpaper is available in a variety of resolutions and can be downloaded for free either by clicking the above picture or the following link: Norse Noir Wallpapers, Screenshots & Media

We are again sincerely grateful to all our fans and followers who have helped us reach this goal and we’re looking forward to having more to show from the team soon. Until then!

Video interview with the Norse Noir team (link in Norwegian)

Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile on NRK Filmpolitiet!

The NRK’s Filmpolitiet film & arts portal recently did a video interview with & profile of the team in Oslo, and shows off some of the creative work that goes into making the game. The link and video are all in Norwegian, but even if you don’t speak the language there’s lots of interesting things to look at. You can watch by clicking the picture above, or at the following link: http://p3.no/filmpolitiet/2014/10/tegner-hele-spillet-for-hand/

We hope you enjoy!

Funded!! We Got Funded!!!

Hi everyone! We’re a bit late with the news here on our official blog, but in case you’ve missed it – We were successfully funded on Kickstarter! Not just funded but blowing past our expectations at over 130% of our original asking amount and even securing enough to make our first stretch goal and ensure the inclusion of a special ‘after credits’ epilogue scene for the game. We on the team are all completely blown away by the showing of support we’ve been given by all of you and are very excited to know that we now have the funds to make the best possible version of Loki’s Exile we can. From all of us to all of you – Thank you so, so much!! We couldn’t have done it without you, and it’s sincerely appreciated.

Paypal Store Now Open!

Pre-Order Norse Noir: Loki's Exile Here!

Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile Now Available for Pre-Order Via Paypal!

If you didn’t have the chance to get in on the Kickstarter, though, there’s still time to pre-order your copy of Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile via our brand new Paypal store! You can pre-order purchase the game, our soundtrack, and even still have the chance to see your name in the credits for our game! To check out our Paypal store and pre-order your copy of Loki’s Exile, click here.

Loki’s Exile – Currently Voting on Greenlight & Good Old Games!

 

Norse Noir: Loki's Exile Available for Voting on Steam Greenlight & Good Old Games!

Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile Available for Voting on Steam Greenlight & Good Old Games!

Loki’s Exile is currently available for voting on both Good Old Games and Steam Greenlight and we would love to have your support! To make sure Loki’s Exile will be available on both platforms, make sure to visit both our Steam Greenlight campaign page and our GOG page and vote yes for both!

Next?
So what’s next? First off and foremost we have a game to make! There are lots of little detail things that need to happen from the Kickstarter (sending out our promised pixel demo to backers is first on the list, and should be happening before the end of the week) and we’re also starting to get knee-deep in the process of finding voice actors to help bring our game to life.

We’ll also be migrating over some of the goodies we showed off in our Kickstarter updates to the blog here, along with a couple of new shinies, so make sure to keep watch for those. In the mean time, though… I’m going back to writing. ;) Thank you again to everyone for your amazing support so far – We’ll talk more soon. Cheers!

Hey everyone! Tomorrow at 12:00 noon UCT the KreativeSpill team will be doing a Reddit AMA, hosted by our own Johannes Stensen (johste on Reddit) – We’ll post links and details here (and everywhere else) when it’s live, so watch out for more information coming soon.

Norse Noir: Loki's Exile Twitter Contest

Enter our Twitter contest for your chance to appear in-game!

Join Loki in Exile with our new art for tweets contest! Starting today, right now, for the next three weeks and until the end of the Kickstarter we will be picking one winner each week to appear in our game – Just like in our $120 Reward Tier on Kickstarter your likeness could be used as an in-game painting, a statue, or even NPC, but here all for the cost of following us on Twitter and helping spread the word about our contest!

What’s even better: At the end of the Kickstarter, successful or not, one lucky person from these three weeks will receive a hand-painted portrait of one of the backgrounds from Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile, FREE! Postage on us! This will be a beautifully done piece by lead artist Ole Jacob Kiellend, responsible for all of the wonderful scenery in our game. Normally this is ONLY available in our $800 Reward Tier on Kickstarter, so this will be a darn good bargain for one lucky winner!

To enter, you must both follow the Twitter account @NorseNoir AND retweet our contest announcement on Twitter – It’s that simple, but you MUST DO BOTH! Failure to do one or the other means you won’t be entered, and we think that would be sad. :(

Our first winner will be chosen on September 3rd at 05:00pm EST – Winners will be notified by direct message on Twitter. You MUST respond to our DM within 48 hours or else another winner will be chosen! All winners will be announced on our Twitter page as soon as they have replied – Likewise, all winners must be willing to sign standard waivers allowing us use of their likeness in our game (keeping the lawyers happy is a must, unfortunately). Also, all entrants MUST follow the Twitter Contest Rules & General Rules of Conduct – Breaking these is bad and won’t win you any prizes.

Again, just follow @NorseNoir and retweet our contest announcement for your chance to win – Good luck, and we’ll see you on Twitter!

Wow! We want to take a moment to thank everyone for the awesome showing of support so far – At the time of this posting over 40 people have generously backed our project, and we think that’s a great start! Our Facebook page and post about the Kickstarter has gotten a lot of views and shares, and we’re even starting to get some media coverage! Alexander Bradley of Anything Geeky Reviewed has been gracious enough to put up some very kind words about our game that will hopefully help spread the word.

We have lots more planned and in store for the next thirty days, so follow our blog, Facebook and Twitter for more news and updates incoming soon. In the mean time, thank you again to everyone who has backed and supported us so far, and please remember – We need your help to make Loki’s Exile a reality. Every dollar pledged, from one to one hundred, makes a difference. Stay tuned for more!

Today we wanted to show a bit of behind-the-scenes work for Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile, highlighting one of my favourite aspects of our art process – Our rotoscoping techniques!

Rotoscoping is an animation technique dating to the early 1900s, invented by artist Max Fleischer and used in some of the most popular classic silver screen cartoons of the era –  Superman, Betty Boop, Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, and many more. The technique is still used to this day in both feature films and games alike, with titles such as Prince of Persia and Flashback both owing their smooth animation and realistic graphics to use of rotoscoping.

As we’re currently working on our final trailer for Loki’s Exile, which will include both gameplay and animated cut-scenes to be used in the title, we figured this would be a great time to show off some of our art, giving you an idea of what to expect in our trailer.

In creating a video like this, what is essentially a mini-movie, the first step is to draft a script and outline, and then have both the writers and the artists sit down to discuss the script and come up with a brief storyboard for the various scenes within. Once the team has a firm grasp on how the scenes should look, work then begins on filming.

For this particular scene in the trailer, we needed a shot of a mobster looking menacing and threatening, so we put our coder/sound guy/all-around cool dude Thomas in the appropriate attire, tossed him in front of a camera, and told him to give us his best Wolverine impersonation.

 

Trailer frame one

Yeah, that’s about right.

 

Notice that while the positioning and the angle are both right, some parts of Thomas have been chopped off in the shot; to compensate for this, the artist has added a small border to the outside of the frame, to give them enough space to draw the missing lines & details, as well as allowing our film editor additional edge space for cropping & positioning.

After this footage is shot it’s sent off to our artist Freya, who then begins the work of drawing over the image. In the old days, this was accomplished by projecting an image of the frame to be drawn over onto a glass slide or table top; these days we have the joys of Photoshop, and can simply paint in multiple layers or tweak transparency as needed to get the best result. This also makes for a much less cramped workspace overall.

 

    This guy looks like he knows the pain of stubbing your toe on a drafting table.

This guy looks like he knows the pain of stubbing your toe on a drafting table.

 

In using the filmed reference model, drawing the line art needed for the character becomes a much faster prospect, freeing our artist up to move on to the coloration and shading part of the process much sooner. Typically a set of flat, basic colors are chosen first, used to fill in the general areas of the line art, and then both highlights and shadows are painted in as additional details.

 

I feel... pretty.

I feel… pretty.

 

And there we have a frame! From here the frames move to our artist OJ, who drafts and adds in the backgrounds for each frame as needed, typically taken from the same areas used and explorable in the game.

 

trailer_mobster_frame_4

A pawn shop and a mobster just fits, somehow.

 

Once the background is added, this is now a complete frame and ready to be added into the trailer. Each frame has varying amounts of complexity and takes differing amounts of time, but in using techniques like rotoscoping we not only gain in time spent but also create a style for the title that harkens back to the era of its setting.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this small preview of the upcoming trailer for Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile – Make sure to stay tuned for more news and information coming soon!

 

All done!

All done!

Hi everyone! We on the team are all gearing up for the launch of our Kickstarter later this month, but we wanted to show off a few of the environments and areas you’ll have the opportunity to explore in Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile. Each area is rich in both visual detail and story, and we hope this small preview leaves you wanting more!

Farwood Estates

norse_noir_lokis_exile_background-apartment

Our hero’s home. This in particular is the apartment Lars lives in, conveniently located near his favorite watering hole the Cold Trout. The apartment building is managed by one Ms. Farwood, a no-nonsense woman who’s very serious about making sure the rent is paid on time.

City Central Bus Terminal

norse_noir_lokis_exile_background-bus_station

Where most everyone passes through sooner or later. Cheap shoeshines and street performers can usually be found here… along with plenty of people who should really keep a better eye on their wallet.

Roomy! Cabaret and Bar

norse_noir_lokis_exile_background-cabaret

Owned by Freida Rumner, local fashionista and… eccentric, Roomy! is one of the most happenin’ spots in town. Though things can get a bit hairy on a Friday night, the bar is kept trouble-free by bouncer and (former) friend of Lars, Remy.

The Swahn Sisters Loan & Pawn Shop

norse_noir_lokis_exile_background-pawn_shop_interior

Local home of offers people can’t refuse. This pawn shop is owned by the infamous Swahn sisters, a trio of crime lords known for their foul tempers and iron grip on the city’s underbelly.

City District 221 Police HQ

norse_noir_lokis_exile_background-police_station

One of the smaller district offices but definitely not without its fair share of “clientele”, the area is usually left to be overseen by the fair-but-stern Sgt. Betty Marie.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek at some of the areas coming to Norse Noir: Loki’s Exile. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter – We’re always happy to hear from you!