Monday, 13 August 2012

The Lawless Funding Press Release

The Lawless Online less than 1 month from completing funding campaign

The Lawless Online has only a month left to try and raise enough funds to complete development on their free, multiplayer-only Role Playing Strategy game set in the Old West due to be released in Spring 2013.

 The game has generated $3000 of a $9000 target goal with just under a month left to go on IndieGoGo, a crowd-funding website where people contribute small amounts for rewards and one-time only opportunities to get involved with the development from the beginning.

The team behind The Lawless Online are half way through development on a role-playing strategy game based in the turbulent and violent towns of the Old West, but the final $9000 funding goal is needed in order to complete the web systems, outsourced development and help with initial hosting costs. The team aim to produce a “fun, free and deep Role-Playing Strategy game that will be free from micro-transactions, subscriptions fees and paid DLC and accessible to everyone, for free - forever. “

The game itself combines elements from classic Role Playing Games like Diablo with the tactical strategy elements from games such as Company of Heroes, using a combination of online character development tools and a downloadable game client. They hope to release the game on their own, free platform accessible to anyone with a PC or Mac to avoid creative restrictions from publishers and external investors.

The funding campaign is active right now and can be found at, and claim some perks like getting your face in the game!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Dev Diary #4 - Marketing? Whaaaaaaa

Hello readers of blogtown.

So we've got to $1,633 as of this point (18:00 on Monday 6th August) which is, again, absolutely fantastic. It's a real credit to the wonderful people that we have around us that have and are supporting us on this huge project!

The only issue we're facing right now is that that faces almost all crowd-funded projects.. How to get it out to the masses? Well this is something we have all been pondering ever since we thought of crowdfunding. We have had a number of ideas and some of them have worked and something haven't worked but right now it's push time.

Fortunately, a Dutch newspaper is interested in doing a story on The Lawless Online and our development, although confirmation and further details will have to come in the next few days :)

This has inspired us to write to a number of different newspapers in the local area as well as the BBC local sites to see if they'll feature us at some point.

We have also produced a mid-development business card as displayed below:

It was done so that I had all the necessary links in one place. It was hard speaking to someone who was interested in the project and just hoping they would remember the addresses.

Tomorrow morning I will also venture into town and hopefully speak with a number of managers in particular video game shops such as... well... one of the only ones - GAME, and see if they would be interested in striking a deal. For every purchase, they hand them a lawless card and say about the rewards on offer, and if they leave a comment / contribute and mention that they heard about this from GAME, then I will send them a free, special edition wallpaper (with a little credit to GAME somewhere on it).

I'm pretty sure they won't do it... But they should. It's win win for both of us. It costs them nothing but they look like they're "cool" and "supporting indie studios" plus they get a bit of free advertising... It's just good business?

Either way, we're doing it! Nothing to lose!

So to make the cards seem a little more appealing I got on my way producing a card holder!

I first started with a large slap of 5mm thick foamboard. This stuff is amazing. You can get it in a number of art shops as well as online. It is a thick, extremely lightweight board that is very easy to build things out of.
Using spray mount I stuff the graphic to a chunk of the foam board.

I had also printed out a back graphic that I could stick onto the back of the foam board and cut it all to size!

Then I got some no nails glue from Wilkinsons and stuck a plastic card holder onto the frame. 

Ta da! And here we have the final product (yaaayy):

I will post another blog update soon to see if it worked.... Or not....

But until then please keep commenting and contributing to our IndieGoGo project page! :)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Dev Diary #3 - $1000 Checkpoint

It's the very start of August and it's around this time that The Lawless Online has been in development for around a year. Sort of. I think.

As far as I'm concerned, I have been developing The Lawless Online for a year, and full production with Philip has been going for around 6 or 7 months (again, I'm not sure) - but it has been epic!

This 45 day period in The Lawless' development is actually one of the most important time we've had and probably one of the most important we'll ever have. Being on the crowdfunding website -, is our first major public 'release'. Although there is not a software release, it's the first time everything has been open and introduced to an international audience.

We are about a sixth of our way to our $9000 target and our hopes are high. Rockin' on $1,362 is awesome and can only get more awesome(erer). Thanks to all of you lovely kittens that have contributed, commented, liked, shared and talked about The Lawless Online.

If you haven't check out our IndieGoGo project page recently and haven't seen this little video on a part of our development then feel free to take a look!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Dev. Diary #2 Funding & Support

Oh hey, didn't see you there!

Well it's finally got to that time when we have published The Lawless Online funding campaign! The campaign is entirely based around the crowd funding website - IndieGoGo. IndieGoGo and similar crowd funding websites are platforms for indie developers from every aspect of life (game developers, fashion designers, product design etc.) to receive small amounts of money from everyone who want to be part of a really cool projects that may otherwise not get funded by big corporations. Every one of the projects will also reward every contribution with a variety of prizes.

To check out our IndieGoGo funding page, click this link!

Or if you're the old school type of person, then the address is - 

On that site you will be able to find out everything you need to know about the game and how to help us finish this game :)

There is also a new page to your right --> which has a little more detail about the game play, so please feel free to check it out. Also there's new videos on youtube! In fact, I think I will embed those bad boys in this post!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Dev. Diary #1 - Filming & Pitching

Well as you may or may not know this week is an incredibly big week in the development of The Lawless Online. So much so that I have started to label these dev. posts as... Dev. Diaries :O! Just to add a touch of class ;)

Earlier this week Philip Roozendaal the lead programmer of this project came all the way from the Netherlands to my "Office" here in the UK. He is staying until Saturday morning and so much work has already been done.

After the near 12-hour journey from Holland to the UK, I met Philip at the hotel that is literally 5 or so minute's drive from my house, had our introductions and headed over to my house that currently holds The Lawless HQ.

If you are reading this and are working in an international team I highly recommending putting in the effort to meet in person. We have been working on The Lawless properly for around 6 months now and just being able to talk about it's future together, in-person has really made a difference, let alone the work we have both been putting in.

Yesterday was a big, big day for many reasons. For a start we have a website online at the moment. It's not anyway near the shape of the final website, but it is great to finally have a web presence after so long and it's a great tool for re-directing visitors to the numerous ways of support our campaign. Please, if you have the time, check it out at and give us a bit of feedback. There are a few buttons that don't work, such as the buttons to lead you to our indiegogo project page, but we don't have one of those yet so when we do, it will be updated.

We also completed all the filming for our IndieGoGo pitch video, thanks to Ed Southwell, the absolute lad behind the camera. Although now the daunting task of editing it all is looming over us... Here are a few pictures from the shoot.

But it's really good to see everything coming together and the final pieces being put into the level editor and ironed out.

As things are coming along you shall hopefully be seeing a lot more from us on the developer's blog. Everything is about to kick off now like I had always hoped!

Please help it by spreading the word!
Thank you,

Friday, 18 May 2012

Deadlines and Checkpoints

Well it has been a long time since I have written a post on here, but that doesn't mean that work isn't still going on every day. There have been a lot of things going on and a lot of progress has been made. Especially as our goal to reach a state where we can start our funding campaign is drawing closer (First week of July!). At that point we should have the first version of the website up where you will be able to create an account and start creating your first characters. The level editor will be finalised and all our efforts will be on making it into an actual game.

We now have a substantial library of buildings and objects all composited and ready for the final game. We have also started work on the first, "test" character model and is ready to be rigged and animated.

(Head mesh thanks to Jamie Bakewell)

Got to love scary UV maps... Well I do anyway... Hopefully I will be able to upload some videos of the character animated some time soon.

In terms of the website, a lot of the vital graphical elements are done and finished, and we're now just working on those lovely time-consuming little pieces that are vital, but that no one notices - Gun descriptions, skill icons and level badges.

Well that's all for this quick update, but the next post should be when the website is up and running. (yay!)

Hope to see you all soon!

-Jack Bromhead

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tour of Gameplay!

Oh hey, didn't see there!

Check out our new Facebook page! Yaaay, and be sure to Like (if you want... Please :) )

Well as you are here, I guess I'll take you through the basics of how the game works! (Shocked face!)

Let's start with the basics. The Lawless Online is a free (FREE) Online, Multiplayer-Only Role Playing Tactical Strategy... As a way to help get your lovely heads around the concept, imagine Diablo but with the gameplay similar to the old Commando games (or Desperados) and based around objectives like Company of Heroes... all set in the world of the Old West.

Make sense? Didn't think so. But if it did then that's excellent and we'll continue.


Everyone starts by creating an account on our website (which is still under construction). From the Account pages on the website the Player, you, can create a new Character. This Character is the main Character in your game. He or She can be anything you want... A Bank clerk who is seeking revenge for the violence against his family... Or a General Store owner who is tired of being harassed by bands of Outlaws, or just a bat-Schmidt crazy Outlaw hellbent on killing everything and everyone  - Whatever you want, it's up to you! The more creative the better and these stories will help build the world of The Lawless Online with it's own user-created history and culture.

Once all the information has been set up about your Character and chosen what he/she looks like, you can start playing the game via a downloadable game client!

Let's say you have joined a game and it's a 3-player free-for-all match.

Each Player in the game starts with one unit - their Character they created on the website. They also have two resources - Notoriety Points and Cash.

Cash is the main resource. With Cash you can purchase Units, Equipment, Tech and maintain a healthy economy.

Notoriety Points are an in-match level system. So the more Notoriety Points you gain from killing people, capturing buildings etc. the more buildings, equipment and techs you have access to/


Every map in the game contains one or more Towns and each player's objective is to have Persuasion over the whole Town by securing the Town's important buildings such as:

Houses are the staple to the Towns. Although they are common they are extremely useful. It is up to each player to "capture" these Houses to gain territory and gain Notoriety Points.

OR you can choose to Rob the building and get a quick injection of Cash but you make the building inactive for a set amount of time.

Saloons can either be Captured or Robbed like every other building. 

A Saloon generates Cash per minute, capturing buildings like Saloons are vital to secure a good stream of income to fund your efforts. It is important to protect the ownership of these buildings and fight to capture other player's Saloons.

The Saloon also allows you to Hire Men. Once a unit has been hired, the unit costs per minute. But the unit is under your control until you sack him, he gets killed or you run out of Cash.

Gunsmiths can be Captured and Robbed like every other building, but they also generate Cash per minute.

Another benefit is items can be purchased (using Cash collected in the game) from these types of buildings and you can equip your Hired Units or your Character with them.

There are many other buildings but it would be a waste of time to go through them all, so imagine a map that has a town that consists of these important buildings and you and the other opposing players have spawned in different areas of the map.

It is every player's objective to capture the town and fight for possession of buildings and land that may tip the balance of power.


Ok, so now time to discuss combat! Each unit in the game has certain abilities and stances (depending on items and weapons you have equipped them with). It is important to learn the different attributes a certain weapon or item bestows on the selected unit.
For example a unit with a rifle has better accuracy and reload time when in a crouched firing position than when running around, although a unit equipped with a revolver isn't affected much by a crouched position but gains a fire rate boost when running around or charging.

Along with the changing attributes of items and equipment, the whole map is divided into areas of effect. So if your unit is, for example, standing in the middle of a road in the open, he/she suffers a dramatic decrease in their ability to take damage and can easily be surrounded. Although a unit perched on a hill gains a Range and Damage bonus which can prove useful when covering other units that are capturing a building.

Due to the constant cost of the units and shifting building ownerships, each player would only be able to reach a unit count of around 6 or 7. This means that each man counts and it is vital for the Player to choose equipment, weapons and tactics carefully in order to win fights that may break out.


The difference between a good player and a great player will be about who has learnt how to use the terrain to their advantage and equips each unit with the best set of stuff. But that's not everything. Everything you do in-game is recorded and translated into XP. At the end of the game, this XP is transferred to your account on our website and you can use the Account panel to "Spend" earned points.

Each Character has a choice of several Masteries. As an example, one of these Masteries is Attack, another is Business. These Masteries then contain a set number of skills and abilities - some passive and some deployable and are unlocked when Characters reach a certain level.

Each level awards the player with one skill point. For example, at a high enough level a skill in the Attack mastery is Charge. Once a skill point has been added to Charge - the unit can use the Charge ability. The Charge ability has a recharge time, but the more skill points you add to Charge, lower the re-charge time and add Speed for example.

Very much like Diablo!


That's all of the basic gameplay elements. Check back for updates and for more details or if you have any questions, leave a comment! or follow us on our Facebook page and ask us there foor allll to seeeee.

Jack Bromhead

Friday, 2 March 2012

Terrain time

Again, perhaps not the most imaginative of titles, but imagination isn't meant to be my thing.. Oh wait!

Both Philip and I have been working our way through the never-ending list of jobs to do but it's really coming along. Work on the tools (level editor etc.) vital to making the game is hitting a steady pace, so much so that elements of the GUI are being produced! Which is incredibly exciting as you can imagine.

Yesterday also saw the first day of our intern, Rory Tatton! Who helped us out a lot and will hopefully be helping us out even more in the near future. Thankkks Roorry!

In terms of my side of the job, I have been working hard on the terrain. Worked out a standard terrain tile and now working on all the little decals to bring it all together. To make my point, I will attach a selection of pictures showing the progress.

All the maps are built up layers of images. For example, we start with a tiled Terrain texture -

"Horrible seams!" I hear you scream at my face, with curled back lips and teeth showing. But not to worry! That will all be masked and hidden, hooray! So let's add some buildings to make a little... street -

Bang! Ok see we have some buildings there. That's a Blacksmiths, a General Store, a cheeky Saloon and a House on the end. Looks like it's popping out a bit and is not blending. So lets add the shadows in -

Shadows in, shadows shadowing. Quite nice, makes you feel like they're actually attached to the floor. Time for some details on the ground to make it look like they've been used and the ground is actually dirt and not just a .png file tiled with a simple bump map on. Footprints and erosion at the doorways! -

And then some track marks where wagons have been churning up the ground! -

In this arid land though, it's not a great place for farming. But that doesn't mean that stuff doesn't grow! So it's time to add one of the most successful species on the planet to make an appearance. Grass :D

Then some final landscaping for underneath the grass.

Ok, so that's a quick example of how the decals can blend in the buildings and the objects around. If I was to add a fence or two or a hitching point outside some of the buildings it would bring it out even more. But I don't want to spoil you slaaaaaaaaashhh I haven't got round to those little cheeky objects. But I will do soon.

Anyway, off to work I go. Hopefully I will have another update soon.

-Jack Bromhead

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Grinding through...

So it has been a month since the last post and a lot has been going on since!

It has literally all been a case of both Philip and I grinding through the huge list of things that need to be done, but as each day goes past we can feel we're getting closer to the end (which is only the beginning!)

Drawing to the end few entries on the list of buildings to be modelled, textured, rendered, composited and then all the shadow passes it's feeling good to see how its all coming together. In these pictures below you can see how they will look in-game and with their respective shadow passes. Each building has 16 angles and 16 different shadows.

All of these buildings are 'active' buildings and are available to be used by the player in-game. Almost all of them have a strategic advantage and most of the gameplay focuses on securing specific buildings in the hope of gaining an upper hand on the opponent. In future posts I'm sure I will go into further detail about how each one is used and effects the player's choices and in fact tell you a little more about the gameplay.

We are all set for a deadline in May. If we keep on with the speed we are doing at the moment, I'm sure we may be ahead of schedule. When May time comes around, we'll be spreading the word. Forums, Internet communities and other such wondrous and scary things that lurk around the darkened corners of the internet...

If by any chance you are reading this before May, then please leave a message! : D

Until next time.. Perhaps not a month this time,
Jack Bromhead

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Occlusion Layers just made my life.

So here we are, two weeks into full development and now I have started cracking out the old Occlusion passes and it's rocked my world. I have been playing round with all sorts of different lighting and lighting effects and various post-production ammendments in Photoshop but it has nothing of an effect like an Occlusion pass!

Here are a few images to help you really understand the difference. The definitions that the Occlusion layer gives means that I can do a lot of Colour Correction without worrying about over-adjusting the shadows and creating washed out renders.

Those two are Occlusion layers of two separate buildings - (Left) General Store and (Right) Saloon.

In Photoshop I then load up the original render that was rendered in full texture, full colour and with HDRI lighting.

I then add another layer on top, paste over the Occlusion layer and then change the Blending mode to Overlay. The white goes and the black stays - meaning Shadows!

The definition is gives really, really makes the difference, and it's taking these models from works in progress to the finished article.

Next on the list is to build the camera rig and sooner rather than later we can start developing a little preview -  and start getting some more followers.

Until next time, my few readers!
Jack Bromhead

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Beginnings of Something Big

Well, I'm hoping the title says it all. As of about a week ago, The Lawless Online has taken a massive step in the right direction after finally acquiring a new, lead Programmer for the project! His name is Philip Roozendal and hopefully you'll be seeing some posts from him in the near future! Momentous occasion!

Interesting, I met Philip via Newgrounds.. I place that never ceases to help me out all the time! Philip was posting on the forums looking for some programming work that he can get stuck into. Sound like a man with experience so I contacted him straight away. After a few e-mails it was clear to see that this was the man for the job! We had a meeting via Skype and now the project is well under-way.

It's not only the best step forward, its also a massive source of inspiration for myself and given me the motivation to get on with all the buildings.

Hopefully the next update will be from Philip!

Until next time,
Jack Bromhead