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When Vikings Attack! Out Tuesday: 10 (Mostly) True Facts You Didn’t Know

Neil McPhillips's Avatar + Posted by Neil McPhillips on Nov 02, 2012 // Associate Producer, XDev

When Vikings Attacks for PS3 and PS Vita

Hey folks! When Vikings Attack! is out November 6th (that’s Tuesday!) for PS3 and PS Vita via PSN, and is a Cross-Buy title — buy it once, get it on both platforms.

In the run up to release the team over at Clever Beans wanted to cast a bit more information out to help people understand the game a little better so we asked them to write a top 10 of interesting facts about the game and where it came from. The guys have loads of stories from the development of the game — probably more than you’d think.

When Vikings Attack on PS3

So without further ado, we present: 10 mostly true facts you probably didn’t know about When Vikings Attack!

1. Real Vikings didn’t wear horns on their helmets.
But they do in our game. Apologies to any Viking fans, Scandinavians, historians, or anyone else who feels we have unfairly besmirched the reputation of Vikings or taken liberties with historical accuracy. The game is deliberately based only on vague, half-remembered half-truths from high school (longer ago than you might imagine). Real Vikings are indeed a fascinating subject, but this game is about the Vikings of common mythology, rather than real history.

Also, Vikings did not really invade 1970s Britain. We made that bit up too.

2. Many of the sound effects for the game were recorded by our sound designer Jamie Finlay during a foley session in an abandoned warehouse full of stolen biscuits (cookies) that was demolished the next day.
In fact, Vikings probably has the largest sound budget of any game that we have worked on. By “budget”, we programmers mean the amount of the console’s memory that is dedicated to storing sound effects and music as opposed to graphics or computer code or other stuff. Almost everything in the game has a customized smashing or throwing sound, or both, many of which will make you laugh out loud. There are also countless funny vocal exclamations, in various accents from all over the UK; at Clever Beans we call these “Ey-Ups”.

Jamie is a real perfectionist, and even took his laptop on vacation to Spain with his girlfriend so that he could do some last-minute voice-over editing for us. We can only apologize to her for this.

When Vikings Attack on PS3

3. An early storyline for the game involved a talking horse with a colander on his head.
We will definitely include a talking horse in one of our games, in the future. There are clearly nowhere near enough games about talking horses.

4. In a (much) earlier version of the game, the player could punch, kick and jump, and also throw other characters around just like objects.
We’re big fans of “iterative prototyping”. The game started out as a massive beat-em-up, like a bar-brawl. To start with, we couldn’t figure out how to make this seem like a convincing fight; there were a lot of characters wandering around doing nothing, and it wasn’t clear how the player could control more than one character at once. So we decided to have friendly characters follow the player character around. We had the idea that they were your “lives”, who would be following you around, waiting to step in and take over when needed. From there, it was only a small step to make them all controllable at once, as a team.

5. In one prototype level that we built, player teams could walk on walls.
Another case of us stretching our ambition a little too far. It all got a bit too confusing, both to play and to code.

The game feels a little bit like an iceberg sometimes, a little pile of fun sitting on top of a much larger mountain of submerged, discarded gameplay ideas. It sometimes feels like we’ve written around three games in order to make this one, and thrown the other two away.

6. The characters that you see in the game are the 3rd or 4th iteration character models.

When Vikings Attack on PS3
When Vikings Attack on PS3

An early prototype “stick-man” character is unlockable in the game; see if you can find him! Producers at Sony liked this little guy so much that they asked for him to be put back him, even though he was only a “coder” graphic made by one of the programmers. We got an artist to re-make him with a nice smiley face, though.

A later, but equally defunct, character model can be found near the town hall in the game, as a statue.

7. No penguins were harmed during the making of the “Zoo” level.
The donkey, however, was completely bent out of shape, over the course of the project. Originally built for our first prototype world, he was re-used in the “sorting office” world, the “pier” world, then transformed into a zebra for the “zoo”. Finally, after a lot of stretching and another new paint job, he put in a stint as a giraffe, also in the zoo. Such is the nature of indie game development – we all have to wear a lot of hats. Even donkeys have to wear a lot of hats.

When Vikings Attack on PS3

8. The most time-consuming special animation was the mime artist.
But he was the quickest to make sound effects for. The robot “Auscenic” is another favorite animation. The track that he is break-dancing to is actually “I’m in the mood for dancing” by the Nolan Sisters. So he’s not quite as cool as you might think.

9. The inspiration for the “Public Information” films that punctuate the game came from a series of 1970s cold-war films called “Protect and Survive”.
These were made in case of a nuclear attack on Britain, but never broadcast – perhaps because they are so terrifying. We substituted the cold-war terror of a nuclear invasion for a load of daft Vikings. Another inspiration was a British comedy series called “Look Around You”. This is a spoof of 1970s educational programs, which has excellent period sound and music effects. It’s also completely brilliant and hilarious.

When Vikings Attack on PS3

10. When Vikings Attack! has the longest credits list in the history of gaming.
The normal credits are pretty dull, I’m afraid. But when you reach the end of the game, you will unlock the “enhanced” credits. These really are worth watching, and listening to.

//Add Your Own

27 Comments   14 Replies

1

+ Undrey on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:09 am said:

Looks fun! Can’t wait to play it with my family and friends.

I miss games like these, where it was all about fun.


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 2nd, 2012 at 1:19 pm said:

    That’s what we want to bring back!

    Thanks for the support.


2

+ aelurio1980 on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:12 am said:

I was anxious for this game. It seems incredible.


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 2nd, 2012 at 1:22 pm said:

    And we’re anxious that you guys love it!


3

+ GhostMachine1 on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:14 am said:

I guess I’ll make a sandwich during the lame part of the credits.


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 2nd, 2012 at 1:23 pm said:

    Yeah, just chill out make a cup of tea or something. Come back for the special credits :)


4

+ XxokdokyxX on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:14 am said:

Thrid hahahaha
Its like fat princess


5

+ GhostMachine1 on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:22 am said:

#4 failed
I absolutely love you guys for doing the whole cross buy thing. Day one for me.


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 2nd, 2012 at 1:23 pm said:

    We absolutely love that you absolutely love us!

    Thanks for the support!


6

+ Ryumoau on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:24 am said:

Can’t wait to try this. Not only is it Cross Buy, but i heard it will have a PS Plus discount according to the PS Blog podcast.


7

+ FeLiPe_MachiN3 on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:32 am said:

price??


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 2nd, 2012 at 1:24 pm said:

    $9.99 of your american dollars


8

+ jcthomas00 on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:39 am said:

I didn’t realize that the game has a single-player mode (‘Quest Mode’) until I saw their interview with Cindy Sherman on the clever beans website. Since I don’t like online play that is pretty important to me. Also, the devs have specified the price at $9.99 on their site: http://www.cleverbeans.co.uk/

Day one buy for me!


9

+ D-Squad3 on November 2nd, 2012 at 9:49 am said:

Sweet! I can’t wait to see my character in action! Cool fact for #8!

Now I’m gonna have to watch the super long credits to see my name! lol


10

+ jqtaxpayer on November 2nd, 2012 at 10:13 am said:

Fact #11: Where Vikings attack, there is rape. Hopefully this release overlooks this factual unpleasantness.


11

+ SAB-CA on November 2nd, 2012 at 10:52 am said:

“Look Around You” actually had some US airplay in recent years on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” block; one of the better shows they’ve played, too. Can totally see it’s inspiration here!

It’s nice to see you guys made a nice, focused game after all the other ideas! I’d have loved a Beat-em-Up (there’s almost none on Vita…), but this works out quite well, and Cheers for the Cross Buy / Play / Local Co-Op modes in this!

Question to you guys, too: Did the Japanese PS1 games “Poy Poy” inspire you in any way towards this game? That game quickly came to mind, after seeing this in action!


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 3rd, 2012 at 4:07 am said:

    That’s cool, didn’t think that show would make it to the US.

    The guys actually didn’t know about poy poy until quite a bit into the game, it does kind of fall into the Poy Poy and PowerStone realm but it’s pretty different when you get into it.


12

+ Xoombie503 on November 2nd, 2012 at 10:54 am said:

sweet i hope its as fun and competitive as fat princess is. also cross buy im sold


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 3rd, 2012 at 4:08 am said:

    It’s a different kind of experience really, a lot more fast and focused. Think classic Bomberman style quick tense rounds.


13

+ snakeeyes211 on November 2nd, 2012 at 11:04 am said:

Can I know the price please so I can buy myself a playstation $10 card or a PlayStation $20 card ?


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 2nd, 2012 at 1:26 pm said:

    it’s $9.99 so you’ll have a penny left! Don’t spend it all in one place!


14

+ Ryumoau on November 2nd, 2012 at 11:43 am said:

@13 i don’t know the exact price, but on the Blod podcast they said the game will be under $10 for Plus members.


15

+ CatatonicAlex on November 2nd, 2012 at 11:54 am said:

As I don’t have a PS3 crossbuy doesn’t matter to me. What matters is gameplay, and this game looks like it satisfies that requirement.
So day one purchase…or rather whenever the PSN store gets updated.


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 3rd, 2012 at 3:59 am said:

    and look at it like this, if you ever happen upon a PS3 one day you’ll already have 1 game!


16

+ Ryumoau on November 2nd, 2012 at 12:02 pm said:

@15 you have a Vita without a ps3? o_O


17

+ SAB-CA on November 2nd, 2012 at 12:31 pm said:

@ 13 – The price has been mentioned as $10,

@15 – I had a Vita before PS3 as well. Games like Gravity Rush, Dokuro, Ragnarok Odyssey, and Assassin’s Creed: Liberation offer plenty of reasons to get a Vita, even without a PS3. PS3 does make a nice filre transfer device, though! XD


18

+ Beast780 on November 2nd, 2012 at 2:53 pm said:

Hadn’t heard of this game til now. Went to YouTube and it looks fun. Since its only $10 and Cross Buy ill bite.


19

+ snakeeyes211 on November 2nd, 2012 at 3:48 pm said:

Awesome thanks


20

+ Dragun619 on November 2nd, 2012 at 5:10 pm said:

I see you can mix it up with multiple vita’s and PS3s, But if I play on one PS3, how many players can I have in one game? 4 or 6?

Sorta just wanna pick up cause it looks a like pretty good game to play if I have friends or Family over.


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 3rd, 2012 at 4:00 am said:

    It’s a max of 4 in any combination.

    You could have 3 on one local PS3 and 1 person playing over PSN.


21

+ plaztiksyke on November 2nd, 2012 at 5:57 pm said:

Looks really fun, and cross-buy is a huge instigator to make me purchase :) Couple of questions, tho:

1. does the PS3 version render in 1080p natively? with FXAA?

2. are the audio assets on PS3 HD-quality (24-bit and/or losslessly compressed)? or at least 320kbit/sec Ogg or AAC?

3. will there be a demo?


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 3rd, 2012 at 4:05 am said:

    Very particular :)

    1 – Yes, the game renders at 1080p in 60fps naively.
    2 – The audio assets are HD quality, can’t speak to the format though as it’s a PS format I believe.
    3 – Eventually yes but not at launch.


22

+ KGH on November 2nd, 2012 at 6:32 pm said:

will there be demo?


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 5th, 2012 at 3:10 am said:

    Yes, not at launch but soon after.


23

+ Erdricks_Boxers on November 3rd, 2012 at 10:39 am said:

Does this game have a good single player? Or is it only worth playing online?


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 5th, 2012 at 3:11 am said:

    I’d say it’s definitely better in multiplayer, local or online but single player has a ton of challenges you can only complete alone. Each level has 3 challenges for score, deaths, and speed and you have all the unlockable characters to go for as well.


24

+ Jak23ft on November 3rd, 2012 at 9:55 pm said:

It has cross-buy, but what about cross-play? If not, how about local multiplayer?


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    + Neil McPhillips on November 5th, 2012 at 3:12 am said:

    It has cross-buy, cross-play and cross-save.

    All is playable online and offline with up to 4 people.


25

+ syscoman on November 3rd, 2012 at 10:24 pm said:

Looks like an interesting game. Need a game play video.


26

+ NEKORBSMAERD on November 6th, 2012 at 11:25 am said:

I know i speak for alot of people when i say that we thank the developers and everyone associated with making this game. for the fact of making a game that is about fun and nothing more just good old fashion games that we dont get to often anymore i thnk you and everyone involved THE WORLD OF GAMING NEEDED THIS!!!!!! me and my wife are really exited for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


27

+ rjejr on November 6th, 2012 at 3:06 pm said:

I’ve been really looking forward to this game for awhile but if the store doesn’t update soon I might wait until the inevitable half-off sale, though 30% is nice.


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