Messhof has confirmed that their sword-fighting sequel, Nidhogg II, will be released for the PC and PS4 on August 15.
In addition to its deep fencing mechanics, the original Nidhogg was well known for its ultra-simple graphics. The developer decided to go in a different direction for the sequel, and Creative Director Mark Essen explained the reasoning behind this change for the PlayStation Blog today:
We were proud of the original Nidhogg’s visual style, but that’s not to say we weren’t a bit surprised by how well the chunky, featureless pixels were received. We were pushing the limits of old-school aesthetics, after all. What many people didn’t realize was that Nidhogg’s style actually grew out of practicality more than some daring vision.
When Kristy and I started thinking about Nidhogg 2, we looked back at our general to-do list from the original game. As always, there were a lot of items that had drifted from “Gotta hav this,” to “Wanna do this if we have time,” and on to “Can’t really do this, but man it would be cool.” Of everything on that list, a new animation process sat at the top.
I had been experimenting with 2D bone animation programs, which allow you to independently animate separate body parts instead of redrawing entire character sprites. This makes it infinitely easier to combine things like fencing footwork, various upper-body stances, and weapon types. Plus, it means you can swap out the sprites without breaking the animation.
It seemed silly to use all this potential on pixelated stick figures. So, instead of minimalism, why not try out some maximalism? Animated faces, sweet outfits and hairstyles, bustling environments – the doors had swung wide and Nidhogg 2’s visual style was born.
Nidhogg II will offer several ways to play when it launches next month including single-player, two-player versus, and eight-player tournaments. Full character customization, ten stages, four swords, and ten different customizable rules will also be available.