December 4, 2022

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Vikings on a trampoline: the tryers

After Owlboy, D-Pad Studio completely changes the genre and creates a hilarious brawl. We tell you about it in the Vikings Experience on the Trampoline.

One of the mistakes players make when thinking about the world of development is taking the human factor out of the equation. Oftentimes, the ideas that drive a developer or an entire team to produce a video game arise from improvised ideas, real-life anecdotes, and events that happened in the privacy of their lives. Real talent lies in not having it lonliness The right idea, but knowing how to implement it, is a bit like a game Dbad Studiothe authors of the beautiful Owlboy.

we arrived to Try the Vikings on the trampoline Along with Jo-Remi Madsen, Game Creator and Team Programmer, and Simone Stafsnes Andersen, Technical Director.

concept and development


The need to create an accessible game is the idea behind Vikings on Trampolines

We said: impromptu ideas formulated through conscious product development. Madsen tells us that a file Vikings concept on trampoline He was born a long time ago, when he was fourteen years old. In those days, for him and his younger sister, video games were a very important moment to share, but it wasn’t always so fun: The controls in games like Mario Kart and Smash Bros. were complicated for a young child, and many buttons to press. So, like any good big brother, Madsen begins to think in the form of a one-button playable video game.

He tells us that the developer programmed the first version of the game, but without knowing how to animate the characters on the screen: without the concepts of animation, the only thing he could program was jumps and bounce. The prototype was relaunched several times after the meeting between Madsen and Andersen, to the point that the same developers in the trailer scoff at calling it “Game of the Year…10 years ago” in reference to the prototype’s victory at the Nordic Game Awards in 201. Since that idea The first beautiful to date, about twenty years have passed, a record that even beats the long gestation of Owlboy, developed and restarted from scratch several times by D-Pad Studio which saw the light of day about ten years later. years unimaginable.

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Commands and Modes


Scenarios get more difficult in story mode
Scenarios get more difficult in story mode

Vikings on Trampolines hides a noticeable complexity behind its fun and playful side of the 2D platform, and the reason lies in the sheer simplicity of its interface. As mentioned, the title is only and exclusively playable with a single key, or left analog stick from the game board. With it, the player can move, perform actions and move between menus without having to rely on other buttons. Needless to say, the idea of ​​the beginning was actually born out of a dire need for Accessibilitywhich practically turns into a complete democratization of the experience, truly accessible to anyone.

Recognizing commands is a very fast and intuitive process, due to the extreme readability of game scenarios. In each of them there is a variable number of trampoline, which the Vikings would bounce on on their own. If you land on a trampoline, you jump, and if you fall from its circumference, you hit the ground easily. Using the up and down controls on the analog stick, the characters gain more momentum in the ascent stage and crash more quickly, clearly resulting in a larger bounce moment, while pressing left and right to move within the scenario.


Rope skipping is one of the bonus scenarios in story mode
Rope skipping is one of the bonus scenarios in story mode

“The game first started as a multiplayer brawl, and then came the epidemic,” Madsen tells us. For this reason, D-Pad Studio has also added one to the competitive mode for up to four players country side, which can be faced in both single player and local co-op. The adventure is organized along a series of levels that culminate in a boss fight. We played and defeated the first, a grouchy clown balloon inside a rock statue…Ah yeah, enemies of the Vikings in a tambolin are so bad balloons. At the end of the battle, there are also additional mini-games, in which you can earn medals, which in turn allow you to unlock new levels and content in mode versus mode.

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there brawl mode Vikings on Trampolines presents different challenges that can be faced in different scenarios. We tried two, a free-for-all classic soccer match and a private soccer match. The first goal is to push opponents away from the trampoline and smash them to the ground; During the match, players can get special power-ups to increase their attack speed or power. We were involved in a match with three out of four players present in the arena and we admit with some amazement that the game is full of on-screen elements, but it doesn’t become. never confusing. The second match was played in a team match, played on a scenario that extended over a long horizontal portion of the screen and ended on both sides with a soccer goal. A huge ball is launched into the arena, which the teams are competing for and they must hit it so that they score goals in the opponent’s goal.

Technical and software options


Some scenarios are incredibly beautiful
Some scenarios are incredibly beautiful

We previously mentioned extreme readability of the screen, with gameplay that is never chaotic, but at a frantic pace. An advantage that the Vikings achieve over the trampoline thanks to a Technical guidance Incredibly curated, with detailed and refined pixel art. Thanks to the work of Andersen, the Vikings chose a style that is less dreamy and poetic than that of Owlboy, but still occupies a special place in the game genre. The four heroes of the Vikings are all very well characterized and instantly recognizable by color and physiognomy. Instead the environments vary a lot, from very basic and simple, but always well taken care of, to moving scenarios with trampolines placed on moving train cars to an incredible one visible in the trailer, with a Viking ship in the middle of the freezing sea and attacking it Giant balloon in the shape of a sea monster.

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Therefore, the developers have clear ideas and know what they want, but above all what is best for their game. In fact, we asked him if it was a file Online multiplayer Madsen responded, in a pragmatic way, that he would conduct an evaluation later. “Our game is designed to be played through the more traditional local co-op mode and we don’t think that online multiplayer can become a satisfying experience.

We’ve also thought of Vikings on a trampoline as a family game The presence of multiplayer usually discourages parents from buying specifically because they consider it risky to expose their children to a multiplayer experience, when in fact the title is designed specifically for children. To this must be added the difficult sustainability of the multiplayer mode: I am the only programmer on the team, if we decide to include the online game element, I will only do so for months and months, when we can instead focus on publishing content and improvements. “.

Turning a teen’s idea into a successful game is the result of the great talent and ability that D-Pad Studio possesses. After Owlboy, the team was dedicated to something completely different and unexpected and managed to hit the target thanks to the momentum of the trampoline. Vikings on Trampolines is a crazy and hilarious game, which makes accessibility its strong point; The contents seem to be many and there is a possibility to expand it after release. All that remains is to wait for the release date and platforms.

The region

  • Very simple and fun
  • enchanting to see

doubts

  • Online multiplayer will be missing from launch
  • Post-launch support will be evaluated