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April 9th, 2020
COTLI: Nate's Candy Conundrum 5! 

Demonic sweets once again threaten the Crusaders, as they hop into yet-another parallel universe beset by evil Easter candy.

Who better to help fight evil candy than a dentist? Dr. Almquist, Tusk Specialist is here to help bring his unique blend of buffs to your formation -- welcome to Nate's Candy Conundrum 5!

This year's event runs until Tuesday, April 21st at 12PM PDT, introducing Dr. Almquist, Tusk Specialist and bringing back Bridget the Painter, Biff the Magic Rabbit, Baenarall, Angel of Hope, Sisaron the Dragon Sorceress, Alan the ArchAngel, and RoboRabbit!

New Tier 5 Crusader: Dr. Almquist, Tusk Specialist

Dental problem got you down? Dr. Almquist, Tusk Specialist is here to help! This orc may be a specialist when it comes to tusks, but tusks are just overgrown teeth, right? That's totally the same thing.

Dr Almquist increases Global DPS for each Evil Crusader with his Laughing Gas, and brings Ceiling Protectors to give an overall boost to Global DPS for the formation.

When Dr. Almquist performs a Wisdom Extraction, the first boss kills in an area will drop decayed teeth, which provide a stacking Global DPS increase that persists through adventures. Topical Numbing increases the chances for these teeth to drop.

With Tusk Sharpening Dr. Almquist increases DPS every 25 levels over and including area 200, and when there are Gold Fillings, Dr. Almquist increases Gold Find for each stack of Wisdom Extraction!

New Tier 5 Objectives

  • Recruit Dr. Almquist, Tusk Specialist | Dr. Almquist, Tusk Specialist takes up a slot int he formation. There must be an equal number of Orc and non-Orc Crusaders in the formation (+/- 1).
    Reach area 400.

  • Chocolate Factory | A chocolate scientist occupies the center slot in the formation. Experimental chocolate monsters attack the formation.
    Reach area 450.

  • Easter Lilies | A lily collector occupies a slot in the formation. She gives monsters a chance to drop lilies when they are defeated. For every lily collected, she increases the DPS of all the Crusaders.
    Reach area 475.

  • Resurrection | A strange Easter Bunny occupies the center slot in the formation. The Easter Bunny spawns increasingly large waves of monsters in each area. Reach area 500.

  • Greet the Sunrise | Sun monsters attack the formation. When killed, they either buff your Gold or your DPS.
    Reach area 525.

Help! Where’s the Loot?

Equipment for event Crusaders can be found in Silver and Jeweled Easter Chests, which you can earn from objectives and the free play or buy in the shop. Each non-recruitment objective will drop a chest for its given tier of Crusaders, and free play will drop All Tier chests. Gear for Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 and Tier 5 Crusaders will only appear in All Tier chests once you've unlocked the respective Crusaders. You can select the tier of chest you buy in the shop when you go to purchase chests with real money or event currency.

What About Older Event Crusaders?

Previously-available Superhero Spring Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 Crusaders are once again available to unlock as part of Nate's Candy Conundrum 5. For more information about those Crusaders, check out our Event Blogs from previous years:

Players will have until Tuesday, April 21st at 12:00PM PDT to complete Nate's Candy Conundrum 5.
January 26th, 2017
Carnage Cup 2017 

Put on your cleats, Crusaders! It's time for the Carnage Cup: the most violent, the most painful, and by far the most exciting hand-egg ball competition in the whole universe! Recruit all four of the Carnage Cup Crusaders, including two brand new ones, as you throw, run, and kick your way to victory.

The tailgate party is underway and now the game begins starting today and running through to February 7th at Noon PST. For those players who haven't unlocked them already, this is your chance to add both Groklok and Drizzle to your roster.

Of course, as this is a 2017 update of the original event you can also collect two new Crusaders: Karl the Kicker and Cindy the Cheer-Orc.

New Tier Two Crusader: Karl the Kicker.

Karl the Kicker takes up the same slot as Natalie Dragon and has some cool abilities in his kit bag. At level 50 Split the Uprights divides your DPS evenly between the front-most and back-most enemies (if there's only one enemy, it will take full normal damage; if two, each takes 50% of total DPS).

At level 400, Karl unlocks Play Of The Game where the back-most enemy takes an additional 40% damage (multiplicative; so front-most takes 50% of total DPS, back-most takes 70% of total DPS)

New Tier Two Crusader: Cindy the Cheer-Orc.

Cindy the Cheer-Orc has some cool abilities hidden in her pom-poms. At level 50, she unlocks Top of the Pyramid which will buff other Crusaders' DPS up to 25% per slot based on how far away they are from Cindy. At level 400 her Practice Makes Perfect ability increases the effect of Top of the Pyramid based on the area you've reached by 10% (multiplicative) per 50 areas.

After you've completed the first new Tier Two objectives for Karl and Cindy, there are three more objectives to keep you busy.

New Tier Two Objective: Flag On The Play.

In Flag On The Play referees spawn as monsters, and when they die, they throw a flag on one of your Crusaders disabling their DPS and Formation Abilities for 30 seconds.

New Tier Two Objective: Stand By For This Important Word From Our Sponsor.

Stand By For This Important Word From Our Sponsor introduces TV sets interminably promoting various products you absolutely have to own. When a TV dies, you get a random positive or negative effect for a few seconds (e.g. reduced global DPS, reduced gold bonus, increased global DPS, or increased gold bonus).

New Tier Two Objective: Halftime Show.

The final new Tier Two objective is Halftime Show. A singer and several musical instruments take up space in your formation. The singer performs for 10 seconds every 10-20 seconds. Whenever the singer is singing, the deafening noise reduces your DPS by 99.99%. When she stops, your DPS returns at a rate of 5% per second.

Equipment for both Tier 1 and 2 Crusaders can be found in Carange Cup Silver and Jeweled Chests. However, gear for the Tier 2 Crusaders will only appear once you've unlocked the respective Crusader.

You'll have until February 7th at Noon PST to win the Championship and claim the Carnage Cup trophy. Go team!
November 21st, 2016
Unicorn Poo: Making Games at OrcaJam 2016 
Tags: orcajam.

Last month we were honored to be the sponsor of OrcaJam 2016. The annual game jam is organized by the Victoria chapter of the Independent Game Developer Association ( and hosted at Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council's (VIATEC) very cool Fort Tectoria location in downtown Victoria.

OrcaJam is Victoria's annual 48-hour game jam that brings together local designers, developers, programmers, artists and musicians to make games for fun.

Two of our team here at Codename threw their hat into the ring and created a team for this year's event. Mark and Cory headed down to the venue and partnered with another local artist, Michelle, to create a game from scratch.

We spoke to Mark and Cory about their experience.

What was the theme for the game?

The theme for the game jam was 'The Witching Hour' which was not only a reference to the fact it was the Halloween weekend but a nod to the fact that game jams are about working through the wee hours and burning the midnight oil.

We decided to take that theme and create a game where the main character was a warlock and where the core game revolved around a witch theme.

Cory and Mark's Game: WhichSpells

What kind of game did you make (e.g. strategy, arcade, puzzle)?

We decided to make 'couch co-op' multiplayer game. It's a top-down, brawler where four players battle it out in an arena.

What is the key feature of the game?

Spell exploration and combinations. The ingredients for casting spells to attack other players are physical items you have to pick up. It's a race to see who can collect the most devastating ingredients first to win. Then the skill is to learn which are the best combinations.

Players must collect ingredients to make spells.

The five ingredients we had time to implement were Unicorn Poo, Frogs Legs, Sulphur, Eye of Newt, and Toad Stools. When you haven't got a spell equipped, you can dash for a speed boost.

The combinations would create the following effects:

  • Sulphur & Frog = Fireball
  • Toad Stool and Unicorn Poo = Nuke
  • Toad Stool and Sulphur = Grow Big

Unicorn Poop.

How did you decide on the genre?

We identified it as a type of game that fills a niche but is growing in popularity. It also gave us a chance to work on a project that was a proof of concept for a new game type outside of what we do at Codename Entertainment.

We all had different goals for the 48-hours. Mark wanted to learn more about working with the Unity engine. Cory wanted to experiment with UI and 3D modeling plus explore hand-painted low-poly 3D modeling.

Michelle was familiar with 3D modeling using Z Brush and Maya and showed Cory how to do it.

The game type also made it possible to get a small, well-defined scope within the 48-hours. We gave ourselves the best chance to end up with a game which was playable and that showed the beginnings of a project that could be something more complete with more time.

What was the biggest frustration point during the 48-hours?

Saturday night we felt a bit discouraged that we couldn't get enough variety of spells as would have liked. A lot of stuff went in last minute. There were a few art assets that weren't imported (new terrain, cobblestones missing etc.).

We also had a technical issue with 3DS Max and hooking up textures to the models. We figured out eventually but took too much time.

The Warlock.

What was the biggest win during the 48-hours?

People were queuing up to play the game, and it was satisfying to see. We believe our game was most unified regarding art style, gameplay, and music. We were proud of the fact we achieved a level of polish that was satisfying.

There was one younger member of the public at the end of the event that was very enthusiastic about the game. He spent a lot of time mixing items to create spells.

Another achievement we were proud of was that the discovery of the game mechanics was intuitive rather requiring detailed instructions.

As we were designing the game, we drew a lot of interest from some floating sound engineers who wanted to help. We gave an overview to two audio guys who were very enthusiastic. Even up until the last 20 minutes of game jam we were putting in more sound effects created by one of the guys who joined our team. There wasn't enough time to adjust mixing or levels, but it still completed the experience.

What would do to improve the game with more time?

We would implement more spells and combos for a more full experience. We'd like to tweak the arena to a perfect size and the areas we wanted. With those changes it would be closer to the original vision, we had for the game for the end of the jam.

Also, ideally some art needs to be reworked such as the ground texture and the artwork for the spell ingredients.

We'd probably also spend more time on clarifying the controls to make it even more intuitive just to help first-time players.

OrcaJam 2016 Recap