Viking Chess: Hnefatafl, The Boardgame From The Viking Era, Launches in Early Access on Steam

Norwegian studio Diamond Sky Games is proud to announce its first game, Viking Chess: Hnefatafl, based on the historical records of a board game from the Viking Era. To produce Viking Chess: Hnefatafl, Diamond Sky Games partnered with Rain Games.  We are very happy to support them in this adventure!

Viking Chess: Hnefatafl is a strategic, chess-like 1v1 board game with its roots in the 5th century. You can play singleplayer, against the AI, or online multiplayer. Play as the attacker faction, with a 24-piece army, and make the enemy King surrender by enclosing all his escape routes. Or become the defender, with 13 soldiers at your service, and protect your King from the opponent’s siege. With the interactive tutorial, you will learn the mechanics in minutes. Master all different win conditions, create your own strategy, and showcase your skills by unlocking collectibles that you can add to your profile.

Check the trailer here!

Viking Chess: Hnefatafl uses the popular ruleset for Hnefatafl named “Copenhagen Ruleset”, based on the historical ruleset “Fetlar Hnefatafl”. Even Kjelby, from the renowned indieband Great News, and Maciek Ofstad, guitarist in the famous Norwegian rock band Kvelertak, have composed the title music.

Viking Chess: Hnefatafl will be available on Steam, in Early Access, on October 16th. Press keys are available at request.

A bit of History… About Hnefatafl and “Hunt games”

Most scholars believe that games like Hnefatafl, where you have to chase and capture a centrally located piece (so-called “Hunt games”), descend from one Roman game, Ludus latrunculorum. Hnefatafl is mentioned in classic literary pieces like Hervör and Heidrek, Frithiof’s Saga, or the Völuspá. Hnefatafl is thought to have been a notable part of the everyday life in the Viking Era, according to the findings from that period (many game tables and pieces have been found in burials), and many archeologysts highlight its significant symbolic and religious value, as well as a metaphor for military strategy.

We do not have the exact rules the Vikings used for their games, since no written or imaged accounts have been found through archaeology for the game rules.

However, in 1732, a Swedish botanist by the name of Carl Linnaeus traveled in Lappland in Sweden. He came across a game being played there called “Tablut”. Linnaeus wrote down the rules for the game in Latin, and drew some pictures of the game. Much later, in 1952, a chess historian by the name of H. J. R Murray wrote a book called “Board Games Other Than Chess”. Murray had read Linnaeus’ account of the game “Tablut”, and Murray deduced that the game Linnaeus described was the same game that was mentioned in the Viking sagas.

It is from these accounts that modern recreations of the game “Hnefatafl” has been made, in different variations.

About Diamond Sky Games

Diamond Sky Games is the indie studio of Kenneth Engelsen, based in Bergen, Norway. Prior released products include a social competitive game for mobile platforms called Barcrawler, and a recipe app for mobile platforms called Book of Cocktails.

Kenneth Engelsen took up partnership with Rain Games in 2018 to produce a game, with help and collaboration from developers in the Rain Games studio. After several prototype productions trying out different ideas, they come out with the idea of producing a digital version of the ancient Norwegian board game Hnefatafl.

Are you ready for the revolution? Mesmer, our new project

header_mesmer2Last year, in May, we announced that we had received new funding from the Norwegian Film Institute to help us develop our next game. For an independent studio like us, this means not only an economic boost, but also peace of mind: we can keep working on the kind of games we like, and giving more life to our worldbuilding as we wish.

Continue reading

Newsround! Spillprisen awards, changes on social media, Lunar New Year Sale

teslarainHi, dear visitors!

It’s been a while since our last update, but let’s fix that. First and foremost, Spillprisen was a success! As you remember, we were nominated to 5 awards. Well, we won four of them: Best Audio, Best Visuals, Best Game Design and Best Fun to Everyone. A huge congrats to our friend Machineboy and Milkmaid of the Milky Way, for winning the Best Handheld and Game of the Year awards, and Fugl for Best Tech.

Continue reading

World to the West, nominated for the Spillprisen 2017 awards

Captura de pantalla 2018-01-12 a las 18.17.58Spillprisen is an annual award show for Norwegian developers, organized by volunteers and hosted by Virke Produsentforeningen and Spillmakerlauget, to honor the best games made in the country each year. It will take place tomorrow, January 13th, at 7pm CET, and we’re happy to share that World to the West is nominated in five categories:

  • Game of the Year
  • Best Fun For Everyone
  • Best Art
  • Best Design
  • Best Audio

It’s a true honor to be nominated, but most of all to be in such an excellent company: Milkmaid of the Milky Way, The Frostrune, Fugl, Corroded, Monster VR, Poio and Woeful Woebots. Cross your fingers for World to the West, but don’t forget to take a look at them!

Teslagrad is out now on Switch. Stay tuned for World to the West!

wallpaper7The day has come! We’re all huge Nintendo lovers at the studio, so we’re excited to see our beloved child Teslagrad landing on Nintendo Switch. Never played the game on PC, missed the chance to get it on Wii U? Well, third time is the charm :). You can find it now for 14.99 USD / EU / GBP on the eShop, and buy it from the comfort of your tactile screen. And if you already explored the secrets of the Tesla tower, help us spread the word! Tell your friends about the game, give it in your Secret Santa… many possibilities!

But there are more good news coming this Winter. In about a month and a half, January 18th, World to the West will also be released on Switch. We’re also giving the final touches (hopefully!) to the Wii U version. Wii U owners, we still love you!

World to the West included in November’s Humble Monthly

Captura de pantalla 2017-11-03 a las 19.12.36Oh, we love Humble Monthly. We can’t deny it. It’s like a candy box where candies are a surprise. And they’re not candies, but games. Even better!

So, we’re happy to announce that World to the West is part of November’s Humble Monthly! And in good company, indeed: this is the complete lineup of games that subscribers can get this month.

  • Resident Evil 5
  • Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
  • The Elders Scrolls Online
  • Quake Champions
  • The Elder Scrolls Legends
  • Dead Rising 2
  • Silence
  • Emily is Away 2

And that’s not all: Teslagrad is also included in Humble Trove, the DRM-free collection of games available for free. Isn’t this a nice candy box?

Captura de pantalla 2017-11-03 a las 19.10.24

 

It’s Nintendo time! Teslagrad and World to the West are coming to Switch

DIp3lifXoAAnxhyIf you follow us or our Lead Artist Ole Ivar Rudi on Twitter (if you don’t, you should!), you are well aware of our love for Nintendo. Our release plans for World to the West included the Wii U version along with the rest of the platforms, but the process of optimizing the game is taking us longer than we would have desired. So, as you know, we couldn’t make it on time; actually, we’re still working on it. But barely a couple of months before the release of World to the West, Switch landed on the market. A brand new platform with tons of possibilities. Of course, we had an eye put on it from the very beginning.

Continue reading

Let the Summer Sales begin!

26The time has come: Steam Summer Sale is here again! Two weeks of madness to fill our libraries with all those games that we’ve been yearning for. It is also World to the West‘s first sale, and we’re pretty excited about it. We know many of you have been keeping the game on your wishlist, waiting for an opportunity like this. So, here it is. Don’t miss the chance to discover the new continent that lies far in the West, and join Lumina, Teri, Knaus and Clonington in their adventure.

Of course, Teslagrad is on sale too: Our debut title is still a fan favorite, and we’re really grateful for that. But that’s not all. We have some surprises for you: We recently uploaded to Steam both World to the West and Teslagrad’s OSTs, and we created a bundle with all our contents so far. Rain Games 2017 Collection is the best way to enter our universe without missing a single item, or get the games and DLCs you don’t own with a juicy discount.

We’re not finished yet. Brace yourselves for other announcements in upcoming weeks. More discounts for consoles, and yes, we haven’t forgotten about World to the West for Wii U. We’re working hard to solve the issues that delayed this version, and we hope to give you good news very soon!

World to the West In Stores Now!

headerwttwSo… the day has finally come!

All these months we’ve been sharing news with you. Showing you concept art, screens, the exhausted yet excited faces of our team members in events. We have introduced you to Lumina, heir of our beloved Teslakid; the young and optimistic Knaus, the bizarre strongman Lord Clonington and the talkative adventurer Miss Teri. Now, the time has come for you to join them and begin your journey to the West.

World to the West is now available in stores, in both digital and physical editions (thanks to our publisher Soedesco). We sincerely hope that you like the result and enjoy the story we have crafted for you.

Get World to the West on Steam, GOG or Humble Store. If you want to play in console, the game is currently available for PS4 and Xbox One. Wii U users, fear not! We haven’t abandoned you: although we encountered some unexpected issues, we’re still releasing the game, as we stated recently in our social media. Stay tuned!

Don’t hesitate to reach us in the comments of this post, and also on Facebook and Twitter, and give us your feedback.

Play World to the West at EGX, and wishlist the game on Steam!

Captura de pantalla 2017-03-21 a las 8.36.12Two big news in one post!

Next week, from March 30 to April 1, we’ll be part of the EGX Rezzed Show Floor, in London. Our Programmer Thomas and our Administrative Assistant Vincent will be there showcasing World to the West to the public. Probably the last chance to play the game before its release, and the first one since we announced our launch date. We hope to see many of you there! And we want to say a big THANK YOU to Soedesco, publisher of the retail version of the game: they gave us the opportunity to be there along with other fantastic titles in their catalog.

Our Steam page is live! This means that you can already add World to the West to your wishlist. A simple gesture of support that may help a lot: not only to remember our launch date, but also to spread the word among your contacts. Check it here, and take a look at the amazing artwork that Olli has created for the occasion.