Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Frayed Knights 2: First Official Screenshot

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 15, 2014

Getting Frayed Knights 2: The Khan of Wrath in photogenic state was a lot more difficult than expected. Aside from having a major rethink on the art style to try and improve the apparent quality of the graphics, and totally redoing the UI (I’m still paying the price for that one), and the Steam release of Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon (ditto), there were just a lot of little challenges getting it from the world of gray boxes and stand-in monsters to something we can use in a promo shot.

Now, there are a couple of schools of thought on these. Some people will think nothing of throwing together pretty visuals into a mock-up and calling it a screenshot. However, I’m not one of those people. While there was a little bit that was staged, I wanted the actual game to be running, so what you see is what you get. Kind of. I wanted stuff to come through the actual pipeline, viewed from the party perspective, with the (current, minimalist) UI running, the works.  I wanted it to be a true screenshot from the game.

This entailed a lot of technical work as we’re ironing out the kinks in our process. But I think the final results are… well, reasonable. I don’t know if this particular orc is going to survive the art pass without having some kind of surgery to change his looks, but for now, he’ll do.

This is a dungeon known as the Valerian Vault. For backstory that might not ever be fully revealed in the game, this vault was built by the Valerian family in the early days of the Wizard War to protect their entire family – and fortunes.  However, while some precious treasures were stored there, the family never fully relocated, waiting for the imminent threat to appear. Instead, their city was destroyed quite suddenly one night, and the family was slaughtered almost entirely, the bulk of their treasures looted by the forces of Nepharides. They never did use their vault. The entrance eventually collapsed and was revealed via erosion, and the vault was filled with vermin of various levels of deadliness. A small orc tribe recently found it, and were amazed to learn that they not only had a new lair, but that it came pre-stocked with a handful of precious treasures. But there are parts of the the vault where the orcs will not go. The old Valerian family had cleverly built defenses into their lair, should it ever be discovered or breached by the wrong people.


Of course, the Frayed Knights are, almost by definition, always the wrong people…

Filed Under: Frayed Knights - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • Cuthalion said,

    Looks nice! I think smaller UI is better (whether what’s actually shown is near-final or not), as a too-big UI makes you feel like you’re looking through a tube or something. Looking forward to it.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yeah, there’s a lot of information to convey with such a complex game, but we’re trying to fix it so that the UI is less intrusive this time around. We’re missing some key elements that aren’t gonna be included in the demo (like Drama Stars), but that’s where we’re going.

  • Cuthalion said,

    Ah, cool. I think my primary usability problems with FK1 as I work through it are spell selection. It’s slow and cumbersome to look through spells and decide which one (and which upgrade!) to use, so I end up just sticking with the same 2 or 3 that fit on the quick menu and that I can memorize what they do. The character progression system is really cool though, so don’t let it sound like I’m down on the game. I’m trying to make Arianna a shield specialist, Dirk a dual-wield + fade guy, and I think Chloe and Ben are standard healer and mage with bows and blunt + throwing respectively.

  • Cuthalion said,

    I die a whole lot though. Maybe I’m underleveled and need to fight more wandering goblins? Alternatively, I could be playing exactly as intended, but without the patience to trek back to town every other fight.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    No, trekking back to town after every fight is definitely *discouraged*, but you do need to make sure you take advantage of your potions & spells. Oh, and did you deal with the quests back in town before heading out to the Eastern Wilderness? If not, you may find that you are missing out on some resources.

  • Modran said,

    I… Ah… Effectively trekked back to town every 2 or 3 fights… The healing potions were too scarce and too costly for me to rely on them. I … Mostly used them to ensure I could trek back.
    And this coming from someone who had made everything in town :).
    Getting back to the point, that’s a nice screenshot ! Wanna see more !

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    If I were to go back and do it again, I’d smooth out the difficulty level of the Eastern Wilderness a little bit better… probably with the addition of a new non-optional quest before you go there. It’s a little rougher than it probably should be. I strongly recommend hitting the Farmer Brown quest *and* the abandoned mine (to the east of the tower) before you hit the upper levels of the tower, at least.