Plans for Frankie in 2018.

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Happy new year!

Time flies when you’re having fun and 2017 totally flew by. I haven’t done a great job at updating this blog but this all changes TODAY. You know, in the spirit of all good new year’s resomolutions.

First things first. What the hell have we been up? Well, since I haven’t posted in a while and I don’t want to make this a behemoth of a post, I’m going to conveniently itemize the most important points.


Definitely not hiding behind a vase like this guy.

  • Online multiplayer! This is a pretty big deal and used up most of our programming time. Nearly done now.
  • Finalized the design for inter-mission stuff, including rewards, challenges, cosmetics and progression. It was a hefty design problem and it’s pretty much done. Well… at least insofar as anything is done before you test it with actual users.
  • Levels levels levels! We’ve been experimenting with different mechanics and completed the visual design for the second campaign. Working on a lot of new levels right now.
  • Destructible objects! With things in them! Radu built some awesome utility items that you’ll find in crates dispersed across the world. Smashing!
  • Aliens! More details when the time is right.

Alright enough about that. I promised to talk about 2018 so let’s dig into that. First off, some great news. Radu just started working on Frankie full time! That’s great news because our programming backlog was really starting to go down the drain and Radu’s arrival is not unlike a knight’s timely intervention in regards to damsels and their state of affairs.

Second, we gathered our resources and upgraded our studio to Level 3. Here’s a photo of Dragos working hard while Radu gazes ponderously into his screen:


Boxes have taken residence in the studio and are refusing to leave.

Most importantly though, we’ve done a lot of planning and design work and I’m happy to say that WE HAVE A PLAN! It’s not the first one mind you but what’s new about it is that it stretches out until release. In other words, we’re starting to see a glimmer of the light waiting at the end of the development tunnel, although there’s still some way to go. Here’s our schedule, in a nutshell:

  1. Finish online multiplayer
  2. Run an alpha test and absorb feedback
  3. Release in early access and iterate
  4. Full Steam release
  5. … profit?

Dates, you ask? Don’t be rude! Well ok, I can tell you that this is all happening in 2018 and I hope we can run the alpha sometime in February-March. We’re going to need your help to spread the word so a tip of the hat to you if you’d be so kind to subscribe to our newsletter and help out when the time comes:

To sum up, Team Rikodu is starting 2018 with big plans, lots of energy, and a desire to do better at keeping our community in the loop. And it’s on this point that I’ll make the final announcement: we’re going to start recording and sharing our internal bi-weekly demos. Think of it as a sort of dev diary. We’re going to release these videos on our YouTube channel regularly, starting in a few weeks.

Stay frosty.



Getting ready for Reboot Develop. Meanwhile speaking at CodeCamp in Cluj.

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Nope, we’re not dead. We just have to pick our battles and make hard decisions about where to spend our time. This blog doesn’t win that contest very often so follow our Facebook page if you’re hungry for regular updates. Still, we’re committed to posting major updates and interesting stuff here even if the frequency is lower than we’d like.

So here’s the deal. We’ve been super, duper busy since Casual Connect adding the next big system: robot customization and player progression. Now, I know this may not sound like much but it is in fact a HUGE addition. It’s basically the part of the game that will form… *drumroll*… THE OUTER LOOOOOP! If you’re not a game designer you may not have heard about this so let me explain with a quick diagram:


Until February we’ve focused entirely on the “Core Loop”. It defines the sequence of actions that the players will keep doing over and over, most of the time that they’re in the game. It’s what makes a game enjoyable at a micro-level. As the name implies, it’s really important to get the Core Loop right, lest you risk getting into a mode I fondly call “polishing the turd”. That’s when you add a bunch of sprinkles and other pretty things on top of a ‘meh’ core. And that’s just sad.

Post-Casual Connect we evaluated all the feedback and we think we’ve got the core loop right! The minute to minute combat is enjoyable; players like the world, the characters, the way the controls feel and they find the combat satisfying. Job well done! Let’s pop the champagne and wait for the money to start flowing in! As you might have guessed by now, we’re not quite there yet. See, while the minute to minute experience is interesting, there’s not enough in the game to get players wanting to come back. So here we are, working hard on the Outer Loop to give players long-term goals and keep them interested after playing.

This is more of a teaser but I’m going to write up a longer article talking about how we tackle these things after we’re back from Reboot.

Speaking of which, here’s what’s happening next for us:

  • Tomorrow, we’ll be at Codecamp (, the largest tech conference in Cluj-Napoca. Radu will start the Gaming track at 10:00 with a 45 minute session about how we’re planning to build multiplayer for Second Hand. Then I’ll take over the mic at 11:00 to ramble about what it’s like to start an indie studio and how that’s different from regular tech startups. Come join us if you’re in Cluj.
  • In less than two weeks we’ll be at Reboot Develop ( in Dubrovnik. It’s going to be an awesome conference and we’ll be showcasing Second Hand there at the Indie Area as well as participating in the Indie Awards. Definitely come visit if you’re around.

That is all. Enjoy the finicky spring weather.



Second Hand will be at Dev-Play!

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We are super excited to bring Second Hand to Dev-Play, the first Romanian conference about game development!

It’s been awfully quiet around here lately but that’s not for lack of activity. We have in fact been super busy getting a playable build ready for the conference. Rikodu is one of 6 studios who will present their ideas at the Dev-Play Indie Pitch so if you’re attending I hope you drop by to see it. We’re also going to have a booth where you can try the game out and meet some of the devs so don’t be shy, come by and say hi! That rhyme was accidental and I apologize for any damage it may have caused.

Now, back to stuffing more things into the game at the last minute.

~Alex out