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.
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: Hnefataflwill 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
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.
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Hi everyone. My name is Peter. I am project lead on Rain Games new game, Mesmer. I am also the game designer for the project.
With Mesmer it occured to me that over the last one and a half year, we have been working on and building a lot of things that as far as I know have no equivalent in other games. Perhaps this is something that people would be interested in knowing more about?
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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 Machineboyand Milkmaid of the Milky Way, for winning the Best Handheld and Game of the Year awards, and Fugl for Best Tech.
Spillprisen 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: