Three Years Worth of Chopping Heads at Colossorama!

Happy Anniversary Colossorama! Three years ago, our original co-founding members joined up together to create a short game that would eventually set Whales And Games and the rest of our game development career into motion. On this day, back in the year of 2016, we released the first version of Colossorama to the world, after an intense game jamming period during Ludum Dare 36.

Being the first time we used Unity to make game jam game, and being our second game overall (following The Farming One), we wanted to keep the scope small. We ended up conceiving a small hack-and-slash side scroller that forced the player to constantly change their weapons and items from a restricted pool of choices and adapt every wave. Looking back at it, we were extremely proud of the result, but obviously, looking at it after three years, it’s hard not to spot the flaws. If you want, you can even play the original build of the game over here!

As it shows, the game gained some moderate attention. A few weeks after the original jam release, we made a post-jam patch known as Colossorama 1.1 • The Colossoral Update, improving on many aspects of the jam version we thought were lacking, adding new weapons, rebalancing the game, and improving on some graphical elements. We even had the chance to show it at some events, motivating us to make other games and projects.

Fast-forward to the game’s first anniversary and looking back at the game and its overwhelming reception, we thought it was justified to go back and add even more stuff to it. For Colossorama 1.2 • The All-Stars Update, which is the version of the game that’s currently live, we couldn’t just add more weapons and call it a day. Nevertheless, we added several new ones, added new effects, a whole new cast of unlockable gladiators, and, aside from the main character, added a whole new cast of unlockable gladiators and game modes to complete. As far as anniversary celebrations go, it felt like a big jump! ⚔️

And that’s when we arrive at where we are at now. While we originally expected Colossorama 1.2 to be the closing chapter in the cycle of Colossorama updates, life would prove us wrong, and we’ve been working on Colossorama 1.3 • The Champions Update on-and-off for several months now. As you might have read in the previous status report, with over six pages of changes, the game feels like pretty much a full reconstruction of the game, adding over eighty new weapons and items, reconstructed physics, several new gimmicky-enemies, more unlockable gladiators, a codex, stats, achievements, leaderboards, more visual overhaul, and more! It’s a whale of an update in size! 🐳

The journey over the years as we’ve picked on Colossorama on and off as taught us and showed us multiple lessons, and has validated us in our growth as we’ve picked it up and updated it time and time again. For its upcoming 1.3 release, since development is being made on-and-off, we’re avoiding making specific estimates of when it will be ready, but we’re pretty much closing on the final tasks in order to ship it once and for all!

It’s been a wacky three years. Since we’ve released Colossorama 36, we’ve made several other small game experiments on the site, finished up bachelor degrees, fostered a community, grew as developers and artists, and yet, it still feels like we’re at the very beginning of a very long race. We’re not stopping any time soon, and over the next few months, after we release Colossorama 1.3 we want to take a step back and rethink the core foundations of Whales And Games. We have tons of ideas in mind, tons of things we’d like to do, but ultimately we want to really turn the page and move on forward to bigger and more whalistic stuff!

We promised one ginormous year for WAG’s third year and we’ve been working full-steam ahead to make sure we deliver! As always, feel free to tell us what you’d like to see from us over at our Discord and join us for the journey ahead! Cheers! ✨

Artfight-ing, Champion Polishing and a Whipped’N’Seedies Collab! • Status Report – August 2019

Whale hello there! It’s a brand-new month, isn’t it? And that means it’s time for another Whales And Games status report about what we’ve been up to and what’s next for our in-development games!

In case you’ve missed it, last month we announced we’d start publishing a new status report at the beginning of each month, and this month we have a whole lot to talk about! From a sudden participation on Art Fight, to even more polishing work on Colossorama •The Champions Update to a whole new surprise collaboration around Whipped and Steamy • Cosplay Café, and more! Are you ready to reel in? 🐳


An Unexpected Artistic Quarrel in Art Fight!

As a bit of a surprise for us, back at the beginning of July a member from our Discord told us about this event happening in July known as Art Fight. In case you haven’t heard about it before, it is a yearly event all about artists drawing each other’s characters, while scoring points for their respective teams! Driven by curiosity, we decided to give a glance at it and it ended up becoming our biggest highlight of the month as we made a bunch of digital art for other artists and received a bunch of new WAG artwork ourselves!

Credits from left to right and top to bottom:
‘Crab-chan’ by nyancatimusprime, ‘Molly’ and ‘Ru’ by MDLune, ‘Luna’ by TrashPandaArt, ‘Madoc’ by Wilderness, ‘Alexander’ by AkayriSakidoga, ‘Lisbeth’ by royalspags, ‘Kane’ and ‘Hinata’ by HeroicOutlaw and ‘Pratlene’ by Prate-Dragon

In the picture above you can see some of the attacks (artworks made for other artists) that we’re made by our artist, Moski, during the event. As part of his goal for joining the event, each of the 26 pieces he made feature some twist in their styles here and there, from cartoonish to chibi designs and from pixelart to lineless artwork. And of course, some of us at WAG helped animate a few pieces here and there! 😊

Credits from left to right and top to bottom:
‘Buns Buns’ by yolk-sac, ‘Jazzy and Bluessom’ by MDLune, ‘Cheqmate’ by CKoenig88, ‘Jazzy and Bluessom’ by Dxmyxix, ‘Whalechan’ by SweetKooky, ‘Caffie’ by tofumeat, ‘Whalechan’ by nyancatimusprime and ‘Monetizationman’ by mot-bot

And to our surprise, we got almost double the artwork we received back (we tried to reply back to all of it but we ran out of time 💦)! We’ve received a bunch of new art of Whalechan, Cheqmate, Buns Buns, Jazzy, Bluessom and others! We’ll be looking for a way to showcase them all for everyone to see (as long as each piece’s artist allows us for it)! Meanwhile, the samples above will have to be enough for you to feast your eyes on. 

It’s been an extremely art-motivating experience and we (especially the artist) have a lot more thoughts about Art Fight and our experience with it that we want to talk about and discuss publicly. However, for the sake of not stretching this post, we’ll be leaving those for its own post-mortem in the future! Keep an eye out for it!


Blood isn’t the only juice flowing around Colossorama!

Like we discussed last month, we have been working on getting Colossorama • The Champions Update ready for release and have been continuously working on its final touches, adding a final coat of polish to make sure we close off the game for good this time!

What final polish is missing, you ask? Well, we’re currently redoing most of the sounds of the game to make sure they have way more extra oomph than the previous white noise samples, making sure that all of the menus are controller compatible, as well as revising final art assets and gameplay features! We’re also adding a little bit of extra juice here and there to make sure even the smallest stuff stands out and feels great! Here’s a look at our fully-polished Leaderboards for example.

Currently, the Colossorama changelog for this version boasts over six pages of changes, from gameplay tweaks to new features and menus, to visual overhauls and more! We’re also working on playtesting the game together with our feedback committee and we can’t wait to get it into your hands and close off a long pending chapter of Whales And Games! Get ready to slay some heads! ⚔️


Whipped and Seedies Together for the Feedies

While we’re currently focused on working on Colossorama • The Champions Update, it doesn’t mean we have no news about Whipped and Steamy • Cosplay Café! While development has certainly taken a bit of a background note, we’re still very much working on the game and even have a little surprise we’ve cooked on the side for this month!

Recently, we finished all of the main writing for the new character we announced last time, Roberta (Caffie’s Roommate), and we have also started working on the writing of the second somewhat-new character! Likewise, we’ve also worked on implementing and polishing some of the new items and even added brand new item filters (art-pass pending) to the item selection screens, making finding items that target specific cosplayer groups even easier!

And of course, we also have to mention the brand new music track that was composed for the new Support group, which Roberta and the second unannounced character will be a part off! Give it a listen, will you? Its considerably long though, after all, it has all four variations of it in a single track!

As for the side surprise we’ve been cooking, back when we released the game we were invited by the fine folks at Cactus Labs to do a small cross-over collaboration with their also-adult-parody game Draw the Seedies So I Can Has Feedies to add some Whipped and Steamy inspired content to their game’s art assembler! And guess what? That’s coming up next week!

In case you haven’t given a try at the game before, the game is a parody on the age of digital art and being an artist. As you struggle to pay your rent and must take commissions, will you strive to answer only to the safest-of-work ones, or will you go for the extra-spicy requests in exchange for some extra cash? You can pick from multiple preset backgrounds, foregrounds and subjects to assemble art and please your clients. And hey, you can even export some of your finalized art for safe-keeping! 

And, as you can expect from this sort of collaboration, there’s a whole new set of backgrounds, foregrounds and character art all themed around Whipped and Steamy (which materials were handled by both our Moski and Cactus Labs’ Birdpun). Some characters from the game might even send you some interesting requests for you to fulfill! Do have extra caution when we release it next week though! There is actual explicit material in this one. 👀


And that’s pretty much a wrap when it comes to art and games this past month! We are extremely excited for our future plans we have in store for Whales And Games. You can still look for more on Colossorama • The Champions Update, the Art Fight post-mortem and our collaboration with Draw the Seedies So I Can Has Feedies throughout this month! You can keep up with the announcements for all of these over here on our Blog, on our Twitter and Facebook!

On a side-note, some of our team members are also going to be casually visiting both Devcom and Gamescom in Cologne, Germany later this month! If you do happen to be visiting any of the events, look out for some people in extremely royal-blue shirts. There’s a very big chance that’s us! 🐳

If visiting events isn’t really your thing, no worries! You can always hang out with us over at our Discord chat! We just had a bunch of artists join us after Art Fight so feel free to join along and showcase some of your stuff as well! Cheers! 👏

A Status Report for Colossorama and Whipped and Steamy! • Status Report – July 2019

Hey, there! Haven’t heard from us in a while, have you? Well, fear not! While we certainly have been a bit quiet these past few months, we’re still around and swinging in full action, and have a brand new status report full of news to make it clear for you!

We’re currently hard at work in two different updates to existing games: We’re finishing progress on Colossorama – The Champions Update and have also begun working on the first expansion to Whipped And Steamy • Cosplay Café! Likewise, we’ve been revamping our community focus, and have discussed new community events and features we’d like to host. Let’s get into the nitty gritty details, shall we?


The Champions Update is almost ready to make you a Champion!

For Colossorama – The Champions Update, our original target was to release the update immediately after releasing the Whipped and Steamy post-jam patch. Unfortunately, after we released the latter, we underestimated the time it would actually take us to wrap up Colossorama, and have needed a few more months in order to iron out everything!

On the plus side, the game is now feature-complete, making it an all-in-one-package featuring brand  new physics, dozens and dozens of new weapons and upgrades, achievements and scoreboards! What was originally meant to be a small update has turned into an almost full revamp of it, and we can’t wait for you to give it a chance and compete for a spot on the leaderboards!

This means the game is almost release ready! However we still have a lot of small quality-of-life fixes and juiciness we want to add before we ship it to make sure the game is just that extra mile ahead in terms of polish!


Presenting Roberta, the latest gal at the Whipped and Steamy Café!

In conjunction to working on the Colossorama update we’ve also been working on our first expansion to Whipped and Steamy • Cosplay Café! This expansion is meant to be just that, an expansion of the concepts we’ve introduced in the base release, together with extra polish, quality of life changes, as well as a few new characters and scenes!

And surprise surprise! We’re ready to show off one of these new characters! Introducing Roberta! You might have heard of her before, as she was mentioned in multiple conversations of the original game! She’s Caffie’s roommate, and an extreme mecha lover in every sense of the word you can imagine given the type of game we’re making.

In addition to that, the update also introduces new items, fixes, as well as attempts to streamline the management side of the game even more. It’s still in very early progress, but you should look forward for us doing some important polls in the future in order to help us decide some of the new scenes you’d like to see in this update!


And that wraps it up in terms of the games! In addition to them, ever since our latest Whipped and Steamy • Cosplay Café patch and the celebration of our second anniversary, we’ve been working on overhauling our working methods and the way we tackle projects and games going forward. This past month our progress at Whales And Games has sped up considerably, and we expect the working rhythm to increase considerably as the weeks go by!

In addition to those, we also recommend you pop over to our Discord Server where we all hang-out and play videogames together frequently! We’re currently planning and setting up a new season of Discord events focused on games and art, and it’d be great to have you aboard for those! 😄

Going forward, we also want to start doing more of these status reports at least every month. We hope that you look forward for them! Cheers! 🐳

Whale of a Retrospective! Whales And Games History through Ludum Dares!

With the end of the year coming up, television and news sites are flooding with yearly retrospectives and the most marking events of the year, highlighting both the positives and negatives of the past months and what’s bound to be remember of this year for history.

With the end of judging for this Ludum Dare coming up, we thought to do something similar, only instead of it being just about the year, we’re looking at the history of our past Ludum Dare entries from our latest game Super Sellout all the way back to Colossorama! Sit comfortably on your chair (unless you have a standing desk in which case just stand there) and prepare for the history of our Whales And Games team through Ludum Dare editions, how it shaped us, and what we learned from each edition respectively! Leggo! ??

Ludum Dare 36 – Colossorama

If there’s a game that we have to thank for and which was the reason why our team exists nowdays, it is Colossorama. Created for Ludum Dare 36 (August 2016)Colossorama was a simple hack-and-slash sidescroller where you were forced to swap weapons every round to defeat as many enemies as you can while attempting to stay alive on your own.

Colossorama broke what was essentially a two-year-long creative-block towards games for me and Moski, and has since evolved tremendously receiving multiple updates since it’s original debut, being showcased in multiple events, and even gaining a following of its own. In fact, a third major expansion to it is planned to come out early next year, and we are already looking at some other plans we have ready in-mind for beyond that!

Ludum Dare 37 – Hyper Holomayhem

While we ocassionaly make the joke that it’s the game that should not-be-mentioned, Hyper Holomayhem taught us some hard lessons regarding how we should tackle future Ludum Dare editions after Ludum Dare 37 (December 2016). In essence, the game was also a side-scroller free-roaming shooter, where you’d have to tear-away levels by shooting at it’s tiles in order to collect gears that would power the room and regenerate again.

The game, while it obtained good judging scores, taught us a few things regarding how we should tackle scope and design decisions. Always make sure you come up with a pre-set idea as you come out of the brainstorming phase and make sure mechanics are well established so they can be quickly ironed out and improved during the jamming time. Unfortunately, there’s still some one or two-offs where we fall on the same trappings, but overall, it taught us a lot about how to handle things going forward.

Ludum Dare 38 – Petty Puny Planet

With the hard-swallowed lessons from Hyper Holomayhem, our next entry, Petty Puny Planet for Ludum Dare 38 (April 2017) was a complete turnaround of what had happened during the previous game’s development, and, in the opinion of many of our team, might be our best take-away from Ludum Dare so far. Petty Puny Planet was a pick-your-own-adventure type of game where you’d pick different actions to determine a planet’s development, and be faced with random-consequence events that could undermine (or be undermined by) your previous choices.

Rather than teaching us harsh-lessons, Petty Puny Planet instead served as a confirmation of many things we had done right this time around. Keep the scope conformable and well-defined, allowing you to focus immediately on what’s important and establish mock-ups and mechanics so that the rest of the team is able to immediately know where the game is headed. Samurai Jack was also airing at the time, which probably helped the team mood a lot.

It’s also noteworthy that Ludum Dare 38 was the point we officially founded our team under the name Whales And Games which we’ve been using since! ?

Ludum Dare 39 – JouleThief: Charge Your Phone

JouleThief: Charge Your Phone is an odd-one-out when it comes to this retrospective, being the only game in this list that wasn’t originally planned as a Whales And Games title. Rather, the game was originally developed during Ludum Dare 39 (August 2017) as an attempt for Moski to work with a different team while other members of WAG were busy at the time. Taking the role as Joulethief, you’d go around attempting to charge your phone as much as possible while avoiding guards attempting to arrest you for disturbance.

The game noticeably has it’s own noticeable quirks, utilizing 3D physics in a 2D game and even featuring an unfinished level editor. Later on, Kroltan, the game’s programmer, would end up joining the Whales And Games team and has since collaborated with us on two other projects featured on this retrospective. After some recent internal talks, we have finally decided to crown JouleThief as being an official part of the Whales And Games collection and hope for one day to be able to put the game on the limelight it deserves!

Ludum Dare 40 – Jazzy Beats

Following the momentum and good spirits of the original team preserved since Petty Puny Planet, the next game to come out of the team would be Jazzy Beats, an indirect beat-em-up where you brawl against an opposing idol’s fans to convert them to your own, created during Ludum Dare 40 (December 2017).

The game extended on the lessons learned through a Petty Puny Planet, continuing on with the trend of defining the games vision right on the first hours, increasing the project’s scope to involve more mechanics, and allowing team members to experiment and implement their part directly on top of the project files (while previously, all the project setup on the engine side was made by the programmer).

Jazzy Beats was also noticeably our best performance in a judging phase as of yet, both in terms of how many games we’ve rated as well as how many ratings we have received. It has since become our staple goal of what we want to achieve with each consequent judging phase and edition.

Ludum Dare 41 – Wizsnooks

With a new Whales And Games setup and the core team growing, the torch started being passed around the different team members depending on the occasion and availability of the team. The first project to test having different team members on the lead instead of the usual suspects happened with Wizsnooks during Ludum Dare 41 (April 2018). Mixing two incompatible genres, Wizsnooks was pool meets RPG, creating a pool game where you’d have to defeat enemies either using your gear or pushing them into pits.

Wizsnooks turned out to be a nice revelation, being surprisingly innovative with its mechanics mixing both the genres, making it one of the games we have considered giving a revamp too for the longest time, especially considered the different ways the game could be expanded. Overall, it served as a perfect example of the capability of the team to adapt to different team setups and how they can affect the ideas behind a specific game.

However, it still followed the typical three-people team formula we had been using during the previous jams, and that was something we wanted to break with the next edition.

Ludum Dare 43 – Super Sellout

After skipping Ludum Dare 42 as a team (not so much for Moski which had a catastrophic experience instead) we finally reach the current live edition with Super Sellout being developed for the current Ludum Dare 43Super Selloutpitches a runner-game with having to sacrifice mobility and visibility by choosing sponsors as to achieve an higher highscore.

Super Sellout‘s development was somewhat similar to the development of Hyper Holomayhem, with it’s own sets of ups and downs, but at the same time, it was somewhat expected in advance. The jam was the first time we experimented with having most of the team (that’s five out of six people) in a single jam, rather than going with usual three-people model. In essence, it was a team exercise, and we have certainly gotten some good pointers about how to manage future editions and projects when they involve more people than usual.

While we could go into more detail regarding the lessons we learned, we still have our usual post-mortem coming up in the following days detailing both what went right and what feedback and experiment taught us.

And that wraps it up! While the judging of Super Sellout is still going on, it’s always a nice lesson to go back and retrospect through our history as a team and jammers, realizing the different lessons we learned throughout the different editions. We believe that the next jams will continue evolving us as a team as we tackle different genres and experiment with different ideas and as we keep refining our formula and identity.​ ?

As the year comes to a close, we have a bunch of new ideas and experiments we want to make, but we’re yet to see how our team evolves. From adopting a new roadmap, to attempting to build a more complete experience, we’re sure the time between this and the next edition of Ludum Dare is going to be surprising. It’s quite sad to see the event reduced to only two editions a year, but we’ve already got our scopes sighted for other events we’d love to join!

If you’d like to keep up and join us in the wild ride the next year is going to be, we totally recommend you to follow us on Twitter and join us on Discord where we’ve got an active community of developers, artists and even just traditional gaming peps. You’re also obviously free to share your Ludum Dare games over there! ?

Whales And Games Status Report • November 2018

It’s been two months since we last wrote a status update regarding what we’ve been working on here at Whales And Games! To make sure everyone is always up to date with the last happenings, we’ll be posting more of these regularly. That being said, here’s what happened in the last few months, and here’s what’s coming next! ✅

  • We have announced Colossorama’s 1.3 Update entitled The Champions Update and have been working on it daily. The update already adds double the number of weapons the last update did, several new characters and much needed gameplay tweaks. No release date as of yet. Haven’t caught on with the update’s announcement yet? Here is is!
  • Our second planned major update is still in the works, and its base foundations have already been developed! However, most of the attention has been shifted to Colossorama to allow it to grow larger.
  • The same is the case with Shipyard, our set of backend tools. We’ve been working on it as Colossorama shapes up and have been improving its overall underlying structure.
  • We have returned to actively posting in our Social Media profiles, and have been posting new content Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays! If you haven’t followed us on other networks yet, you can follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.
  • We have started hosting Server Events on our Discord server, including events where the community plays online games together (Gaming Night Clubs), our very own Dungeons and Dragons campaign (Dungeons and Dragorbs) and one for collective brainstorming regarding the Whaleverse (Freeform WAG).  
  • Speaking about Discord, we have also gotten Discord Verified! This means we get to show-off a sexy checkmark next to our server name!
  • Last but not least, we will be participating in the upcoming Ludum Dare 43 from Dec 1st to Dec 3rd! We will be developing a new game jam project during this time to keep you holding you tight until the Colossorama update comes out! Please look forward to it!
  • And as you might have guessed it, yes, we’re still swimming in a sea-of-fun!  ?

This new status report also carries on various of the points of the previous one, like continuing to establish a reliable brand and team. For this upcoming Ludum Dare, five of our six team members will be participating, making it our largest team for a game jam yet! If you’d like to accompany development as it happens, make sure to join our Discord server! ⏳?