IP Incubator - Guild of Darksteel (indie game)


The last few weeks, I’ve been working on a video game called Guild of Darksteel.

Guild of Darksteel is a cinematic platformer/adventure game where instead of going through one main storyline, you progress by meeting many characters with their own stories. Whether you help them or not is up to you, but their story will evolve in consequence. Those stories are linked by a common theme: death.

The battle system is a bit like a puzzle game based on timing and memory where you have to remember the enemy’s attack pattern and time your own moves accordingly.

Guild of Darksteel is very much inspired by the old cinematic platformers like Another World or Flashback. I grew up with those games and my creative mind has been shaped by them. They made me want to create worlds and tell stories.

I recently reached a point in the development where I can start talking about it. So as of right now there isn’t much to show but much more will come in the coming days. Most of the communication will happen on my twitter (https://twitter.com/igorsandman). For indie devs, twitter is the best place network right now.

I’m developing a demo of Guild of Darksteel to present à Screenshake festival in Antwerp, Belgium on the 6th of February. It is the first time I attend such an event with a game to show. I will make sure to share my experience with you all here. Also a simple splashscreen-type website is in the works. I’ll link to it here when the time comes.

Thank you Roberto and the CGS crew for your hard work on the IP Incubator.
Thank you reader for stopping by and I’ll see you next time!


Dear diary,
The demo for Guild of Darksteel is moving along nicely. We have just finished the general code for everything we need in the demo. Next step is correcting a couple of bugs and working on the game feel to make sure the game plays smoothly in the player’s hands :smiley:

Last week end I attended the Global Game Jam in Antwerp Belgium in the same hall as the Screenshake festival is going to take place next week. It’s very reassuring to see the venue before hand. nw I get an idea of how things are going to go. Also i know how to get there wich can be intimidating a=when attending such an event. last but not least, I met the people from The House of Indie, the organizers of the Screenshake festival. they’re great people. i know for a fact, now, that i’m in good hands. I can’t wait to be there on the 6th of february and show my game!

To celebrate, here is a screenshot from Guild of Darksteel:

This is actually a mockup but it is all implemented in-game now. Well I guess it’s a great opportunity to explain to you my process! I usually start the graphics of a game with the design of the main character. Then I drop him into a 480x270 canvas which is 1920x1080 divided by 4. i tend to always upscale my pixel art by a factor of 4. it seems to be the most pleasing to the eye, at least in my opinion. Then I create some tiles and try to duplicate them and arrange them in a way that mimics the final game as close as possible. After working my way to a final image for a while, it starts looking exactly like the finished game. If I look at the mockup above and then compare it to the actual game, there’s not much difference. Except everything moves in game! which is another magical moment in game development!

Thanks for reading. I’ll talk to you all very soon!


Dear diary,
This weekend was tiresome but in a good way. I’ve been to Screenshake Festival in Antwerp, Belgium. Friday was especially interesting as the festival organizers prepared a special event for Belgian developers. Needless to say I had to be there with Guild of Darksteel.

The day started at 1pm. We had to set up our stuff then follow up with a 4h session of demo among belgian devs only at first. The room was open to the public in the evening only. I was glad to see many known faces in the room. The Belgian dev community is small albeit quite active. After a short talk by Unity field engineer Mathieu Muller, we finally showed our games.

The feedback was awesome and one thing stood out for me right from the start. The battle system that I came up with for Guild of Darksteel is popular! That’s heartwarming after spending 2 months developing it. The funny thing is the battle system is only of secondary importance. the game is about the story and the atmosphere. Yet I didn’t want to have a combat system that would be but a filler in between two dialogues. I wanted it to be memorable and apparently it is a success! On another hand, I now realize I should have put more emphasis on the story and the atmosphere… it’s only a demo and it’s meant to be shown in a busy festival environment so i decided to tone down the story side. I think I will rework the demo into a version 2 that will feature more story and mood while still keeping the combat mechanic of course.

Time flew by so quickly the evening surprised me. General public started to flow in and the feedback were consistent. I say general public but to be honest, most of the people attending such festivals are actually devs themselves. I met some awesome people working in the game industry from all over the world, from Germany to the US.

It’s amazing how no matter where we live, we all go through the same experience in our game developer career.


For more info about Guild of Darksteel follow me on Twitter @igorsandman


It’s been a while.
Long story short: my coder quit and I had to sort through his messy code, rewrite some stuff and modify some other.
Now I reached a point where my new code caught up with the old one.

I revamped the movement system and went from tile based to free.

Here is a gif of the thing in action.

See you all soon!