Short and unpretentious game within days has gained incredible popularity.

Steam often scolded for easy access. Not a day goes by on the site without the release of games that deserve to be called crafts – without original ideas or even assets. But it would be unfair because of that to call the whole store a ‘dumping ground’. Rather, it is a sedimentation basin: real pearls rise from the rough gray stream to the surface.

We remember how a free visual novel before our eyes Club de littérature Doki Doki! won minds and hearts. And now his success repeats an equally free puzzle Helltaker. About her and will be discussed. About her and her creator, Polish artist Lukasz Piskorz, better known as VanRipper.

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Long way to hell

Twelve years ago Deviantart The page of an unknown beginner artist appeared under the nickname VanRipper. As the novice did not present anything particularly remarkable, it was from time to time on duty to wish him success in the field of illustrations and animation. But he didn’t give up.

One of VanRipper’s first sketches: nothing special, but the identity of the company is already starting to be guessed.

For the first time, Lukasz Piskoj tested his strength in the gaming industry in 2015. Polish independent developer Tomasz Wenceslas and Return digital Steam Stealth Action released Roninwhere VanRipper design and animations are used. The game obviously turned out to be raw, but it was rated positively, so Wenceslas decided to work on it as well.

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Two years later, in 2017, the game designer released his next game, this time self-published under the brand teedoubleuGAMES. Hardcore role-playing action movie Immortal planet collected even more positive reviews. Piskozha’s style can be traced very clearly: an exaggerated change of proportions, an emphasis on simple shapes and a meager color scheme, an aggressive outline, because of which the figures sometimes resemble a mosaic.

Ronin and Immortal Planet copyright screenshots and sketches

In 2018, VanRipper took on “something new”: his own animated series Daystonewhose main character was Kotya. A confident cat who gets involved in a variety of adventures to save the world and the victory of good over evil. To work on a cartoon, the artist had recourse to Patreon: He shared the art with subscribers and conducted live shows, where he showed the process of working on sketches.

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Public support didn’t just help release three episodes of Daystone: with his help, Lukasz Piskož created his first game.

Piskozh himself depicted surrounded by manuals on C # and Unity, as well as “gifts” from Russia

Demons, skeletons and pancakes

For those who are adamantly opposed to all spoilers: Helltaker is completely free, and you can go through it in half an hour; especially since most of the levels except the battle with the final boss can be skipped. In any case, learning it personally is worth it, because the game is really good.

The Persona 5 artifacts made by Lukash make it easy to see the characteristic tricks that make his demons so charming. But we can not help but remember another … Keyword – pancakes

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The basis of Helltaker is puzzling style puzzles. The protagonist, the Conqueror of Hell, or, as he is sometimes called, the Adbrater, wakes up with a strange idea: he wants to ride a harem of demonic girls. Looking for them, of course, makes more sense in hell, wherever he goes. There are nine levels in the Underworld, and they’re all organized the same way. Between the admiral and the next demon are boulders, skeletons and treacherous traps. To get to the girl, a number of movements were attributed: they did not fit – death. At some stages, secrets and bits of parchment are hidden, and in some cases, they even grant an “achievement” for special actions.

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As the puzzles can be safely skipped, VanRipper sees the salt of the game in the demons themselves, an encounter that awaits at the end of the level: each of the girls has proven to be of character, although they do not. have only a few remarks. During dialogue, one can easily die choosing the wrong answer – understanding which is right is only possible by intuition.

Lukash “copied” his hero with Larry Laffer, the hero Larry leisure suit. And the characteristic polyester costume is clearly visible on the excellent fan art of Khajiit_123

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And after the ninth level demoness enters the harem, the most interesting begins. Justice, the highest attorney in hell, does not allow the admiral to leave with his prey, and we must join the battle. Plus, this battle, based on a sense of rhythm and absolute reaction, can starve tons of nerve cells.

Those who are tuned to erotic games with charming demonic beauties will have another surprise in the finale. No vulgarity: the adbreter just treats the girls with pancakes, and they burst them with pleasure. For the more curious, there is also a secret ending: the corresponding code appears in the menu if you collect all three scrolls on the levels. We won’t spoil it – let’s just say Beelzebub is in it.

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All is well, it ends well: Adbrater, his harem, his pancakes and his police in front of the door

Soft and nutritious

Helltaker was released on Steam on May 11 and made its way into the top most popular projects very quickly. As usual, streamers played a big role in this: the game seemed to have been created intentionally for live broadcasts. It takes place in a single session, but sudden changes in the gameplay and an uphill battle with the boss give a lot of emotions.

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After the banners, the masters of fanart entered the scene. The idea of ​​presenting scary and powerful demons in the form of dangerous, yet incredibly cute girls has turned out to be really fresh and promising. And artists from around the world have gladly teamed up to draw their own versions of Azazel, Lucifer, Cerberus, Zdrada, and other harem dwellers. This topic turned out to be beneficial, as the author offered a demo for every demon like love for coffee or turn-based strategies. Lukas Piskož released his game in English, but made it a simple and practical tool for locators. As a result, in the Steam Workshop you can find over a dozen Russian-only translation options, so modders don’t feel left out either.

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What is it that falls from the author himself? We seem to have already mentioned that Helltaker is a free game. But those who want to support the creator can buy a supplement for 260 rubles. It includes an art book with many sketches, artist’s notes (” for most all nonsense») And a recipe for the fans, symbolic for the fans, that demonic girls with such pleasure eat!

The author’s recipe for deliciously demonic pancakes quickly ignited the network, but it didn’t affect the bonus sale

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No one is forcing you to buy a paid Helltaker kit. In addition, access to the art book is unlocked following passage. Nevertheless, many have decided to express their gratitude to the virtual “flower”. And thanks to this, Piskoz will even shut down his Patreon: he feels that it is wrong to accept money when he can now finance all his projects on his own.

How did the free Helltaker become a cult sensation?

The Helltaker Pancake Recipe is selling very well on Steam. If all goes well, I’ll be trying out the pay-as-you-go model on itch.io soon. And I won’t stop there. Soon I will come to a situation where I can draw all day without worrying about money, hire assistants, and at the same time release everything for free, without any restrictions. The expression “It’s time to buy a private helicopter!” Suitable for my current situation.

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It’s unclear what else VanRipper will offer and what will surprise the assembled fan army. Now that he has enough money, he can very well set up a studio and announce something ambitious. Or, after a year or two, he suddenly announced, “Hi i released a free game it’s short and silly but i’ll be happy if you pass it!« .

Source : Game Informer