It all began in Stockholm’s beautiful Old Town where several game companies shared office
space. One of those companies, Crackshell, released the retro-styled Hammerwatch for PC,
Mac, and Linux back in 2013. With King offering support for Defold projects, one of our
game designers Mikael saw a great opportunity to utilize art assets from Hammerwatch and
create a sort of spin-off.
Our starting point was unusual as we already had Hammerwatch assets to use as a
starting point. At the same time we were pushed for time and had new challenges to
consider whilst developing for mobile such as different input, shorter average play
times, the prevalence of free-to-play etc
We had a wealth of assets created by the original Crackshell team.
Our priority was to create the biggest impact by using the characters, monsters, and
environments that they had created as much as possible. Instead of coming up with a
design and then asking yourself "what assets do we need?", we found ourselves looking at
the assets and asking ourselves "what could we make with this?" With this starting
point, certain elements such as the top-down view and fantasy setting were created, and
enough was automatically defined for us beforehand to ease us in to design early on.
With clear restrictions and a sense of urgency, much of the remaining design came
quickly. Our lightweight game design document and task list (Trello) has, with the help
of Skype- and e-mail based feedback and specifications, kept the whole project moving
smoothly. Working with Defold was a new experience for everyone involved, and getting a
hang of new tools is definitely something that can take time. Luckily our lead developer
Johan managed to pick it up quickly, so quickly in fact, that he was already helping
other developers out in the forums within the first month. Our overall impression is
that Defold is very easy to use.
“Our overall impression is that Defold is very easy to use.”
Even the not-so-technically-inclined designers were constructing tile maps (small level
sections that fit together) and synchronizing their creations with only a 10-minute
introduction. While it's true that we have a relatively simple game well suited for the
use of Defold, it's also true that from the very first engine installation and
throughout the project, it's been a very smooth ride, with very few problems along the
The team is separated geographically and has other commitments, meaning our schedules
rarely align well. Some things that have helped us in this situation is doing lots of
design work early on and writing that down.
“Even the not-so-technically-inclined designers were constructing tile maps with
only a 10-minute introduction.”
We have a lead developer keeping track of the to-do list and delegating task as
required. It has been vital for us to have different people to work on different parts
of the game simultaneously, and then synchronizing the project. Overall we've been very
happy with Defold. We think it's a neatly packaged engine that has been a nearly perfect
fit for the Hammerwatch project. The usability, and of course community of developers,
are all strong reasons for us to use Defold in the future for similar projects.
Our team consists of Johan Högfeldt, our megalomaniacal lead developer, Mikael Cruseman
and Erik Wonnevi, two genius game designers (who did not at all write any of this, for
sure), Niklas Pettersson and Björn Fyrvall, offering their extensive brain power for
additional programming support and Jocke Sjöberg, who probably played the game more than
anyone and in between sessions filled our game world with sounds. We're also helped by
the Crackshell guys, including the dynamic duo behind the original Hammerwatch game,
Joachim Skoglund and Niklas Myrberg, as well as Chris Nordgren and Victor Ankarberg, who
help out with a lot of additional artwork that was not available in the original game.