HBL Interviews: Warlock Entertainment.

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Warlock EntertainmentWarlock Entertainment is an independent game developement team from Italy, they started up in 2015 and consist and team of people who share their passion for old videogames of the 8/16 bit eras. Sit back and enjoy the interview.

HBL

Thank you for agreeing to our interview, please take a moment to tell us a little about you and the team?

Warlock Entertainment

Hi all,we are a game development team from Italy composed of 4 peoples Massimiliano “WiZkiD” De Ruvo (pixel artist, game designer PC/Megadrive/Commodore 64) Andrea “Wanax” Schincaglia (Megadrive and C64 coding) Andrea “Mhothair” Salvatore (PC coding) Armando “Papà Santoro” Urbani (PC and C64 coding and Musician)

HBL

What do you for a living away from game creation?

Warlock Entertainment

  • WiZkiD: Graphician/pixel artist and game designer
  • Papà Santoro: Taxi driver.
  • Wanax: Coder.
  • Mhothair: Computer technology student.

HBL

What was the first game you created?

Trolls and Tribulations: Omega (PC)

Warlock Entertainment

Our first project was Magot for Commodore 64, we started it in 2015 with a couple of mockups created for fun by me, then Papà Santoro asked me if I could give him some background graphic and sprites. He had some ideas for a platform shooter and after a month of work Warlock entertainment was born. The game is actually in pause, but we want to complete it sometime, maybe next year. The first finished project was Trolls and Tribulations: Omega for PC and was coded by Mhothair with me working as pixel artist as usual. The game is a remake in pure 16-bit style of the 1984 masterpiece Trolls and Tribulation by Jimmy Huey for Commodore 64, Apple 2 and Atari XL. We released it for free on June 2 of this year, a game we are very proud of.

HBL

What’s the reason behind the name Warlock Entertainment?

Warlock Entertainment

  • WiZkiD: I have always been intrigued by the figures of wizards and sorcerers, in fact among my favourite games for Commodore 64 there are titles like Druid, Wizball, Wizard and Ultimate Wizard. We chose the word Warlock because it better suited the word “Entertainment”, I also like the idea that behind the creation of video games there is a bit of witchcraft :).

HBL

What’s your mission statement at Warlock Entertainment?

Warlock Entertainment

Our mission, if we can call it this way, is to create games with a retro style flavour, games that we ourselves would love to play.

HBL

Are you surprised with the resurgence in retro gaming?

Warlock Entertainment

We aren’t surprised because there are still many people who prefer a genuine gameplay and adore pixel art visual style, and all this is proven not only by the growing demand for titles for old machines but also by the success of PC indie titles, games like Limbo, Machinarium, Odallus, Oniken, Axiom Verge, Maldita Castilla and many other wonderful titles.

HBL

Which one of your games are you the proudest of and why?

Warlock Entertainment

To be honest, there isn’t a particular game we are proud of, we love all of them it in the same way.

HBL

Which game has caused or is causing you the most headaches?

Warlock Entertainment

Magot, because at the time when we started its development Papà Santoro came from a very long period of inactivity and so he had almost to re-learn everything from scratch. Many of the features that we wanted to put in Magot seemed impossible to achieve but when one is so pig-headed like him and mostly important have the passion to move forward, it is possible to overcome any obstacle.

Magot (C64)

HBL

Do you have any games that are just sitting on your drives unfinished that you may release one day?

Warlock Entertainment

Magot for Commodore 64, the project is in such an advanced state of development that it would be a shame to not complete it.

HBL

Can you tell us what prompted you to get involved in Retro Game Development?

Warlock Entertainment

At Warlock Entertainment we are all old-fashioned gamers and we all share the desire to see our personal vision of video games come true. Our games share common characteristics, things we think are essential to make a game fun and rewarding and it’s really satisfying to see how these ideas take shape during the development process.

HBL

What games at the time (and now) would you say are your biggest inspirations?

Warlock Entertainment

Could be expected but games like Ghosts’n Goblins, Bubble Bobble, Retrograde, Castlevania or Metal Slug are our greatest sources of inspiration.

HBL

What is the biggest challenge you face with the limitations of the hardware, particularly as you continue to expand features title-to-title? (Memory? Graphical capability? Speed?)

Warlock Entertainment

  • Papà Santoro: For me on C64 is memory. I often use sprite flipping and some other data stored compressed to overcome shortage. Memory is needed for “complex” enemy behaviours and features. More memory means more speed also. C64 graphical capability is what it is, but checking the position of raster beam there is the possibility to use more than 8 sprites at once, change palette on different screen portions, use character graphic and bitmap together end others interesting tricks.

HBL

Do you have timelines built into the management of these games?

Warlock Entertainment

We use to follow the same route for all our games. After deciding what the game will contain and its basic structure, we start the coding of the main engine, the size of the tiles and sprites, all the basic movement, jump, shoot and collisions with enemies and background. When the basic engine is complete we start to develop the intro (we need a start). At this point is time to create the first level/stage, we put some enemies into it to test the basic playability and all the game mechanics, every time we add a new feature it must be deeply tested to found and correct bugs or to adjust imbalances in playability.

HBL

Any thoughts about doing games on other systems?

Warlock Entertainment

We are seriously considering developing one or more titles for NES/Famicom.

HBL

What’s next?

Warlock Entertainment

For now our goal is to finish all the titles in development, after which we will probably start two new game for PC and one for Megadrive or NES.

HBL

Will there be physical copies of your games?

Warlock Entertainment

For sure, we are planning to do a kickstarter for our Megadrive titles. For what concern Raging Orlando, there will probably be a disk and cartridge distribution.

Project Plague (Megadrive/Genesis)

HBL

Project Plague, looks fantastic from the preview videos we have seen, can you tell us about the game, (what the storyline and gameplay style and so on)

Warlock Entertainment

  • WiZkiD: Project Plague comes from an idea of mine that I wanted to achieve and is a Metal Slug style game set in Italy between the end of 1600 and 1700 during the period of the great plagues that scourged the peninsula from north to south. The main character is a “monatto”, a plague doctor and inquisitor that has disown the holy inquisition and now acts on his own. The game features seven levels, each one with a different setting, for example, woods, villages, “pianura padana swamps” (marshes of the Po’ Valley), big boss fights, various weapons to use, many bonuses to collect and other interesting features that for now would like to keep secret. What I can tell you is that the game will be extremely violent and brutal, the whole game will be permeated by a horror/gothic/gore style, so be ready to fight really aberrant and frightening creatures and see a lot of blood flow :D.

HBL

Project Plague is currently no longer in development, can you tell us about that when we might see it released?

Warlock Entertainment

The development of Project Plague is actually paused but we will resume it once Magot for Megadrive will be completed, so don’t worry, its not a dead project.

Raging Orlando (C64)

HBL

Raging Orlando, another fantastic looking game, can you tell us the idea behind this game?

Warlock Entertainment

  • WiZkiD: I love the arcade game Hunchback and the Commodore 64 version of it and I always wanted to try to develop the basic idea by adding other features. Raging Orlando practically is the realization of this desire. The main character is Orlando di Chiaromonte, Roland in the english translation, story wise he was a prefect of the Brittany March but as a literary character, his deeds were sung in operas such as the “Chanson de Roland” or in the “Orlando il Furioso” by Ludovico Ariosto.

Magot (Megadrive/Genesis)

HBL

Magot, from the early screenshots we have seen, this is looking like another fine game you guys are creating, can you tell us more about this game?

Warlock Entertainment

The protagonist of the game is Magot, a little wizard who is member of a coven of magicians and his goal is to save all his companions kidnapped by a dangerous multidimensional entity. Magot begins his adventure in the tower of his coven, a tower virtually empty but that will be gradually populated with the characters that Magot will have freed. Every freed magician will support our hero in various way, selling weapons and spell, giving him a new ability or simple advice. The game is basically a platform/shooter that requires a remarkable tactical approach. All enemies have their own particular behavior and the player must necessarily learn the way they move, attack and defend. The way needed to complete every level is to kill all the enemies in it, every time the player kills an enemy another one will appear in a semi/random location of the current stage. There is even the possibility that after a certain amount of killed enemies, an entire fresh wave of monsters may appear, needless to say that this is one of the most dangerous situations to deal with. The game will feature boss fights, secret bonuses and location to explore and the most important one, the possibility to replay all levels in order to accumulate coins with which to purchase new upgrades, all things that we hope will be appreciated.

Finally

A huge thanks to the guys at Warlock Entertainment, I for one am really excited for all the games they have in development. You can see all their games HERE be sure to keep checking back at Homebrew Legends for more amazing interviews and the latest homebrew game new.

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