Launch Announcement

November 17th, 2017

Stand and deliver!

Positech Games (publisher) and Grey Alien Games (developer) are excited to announce the release of the full official trailer for SHADOWHAND, the new indie card-battling adventure game set in 18th Century England, along with the final release date for the game…

A full copy of the trailer can be grabbed from the Positech website here:

Or found on YouTube here:

Set in late 18th Century England, we follow the story of Lady Cornelia Darkmoor, a beguiling young aristocrat who masquerades as the notorious highwaywoman, Shadowhand. Fleeing a crime scene and forced to act under the cover of darkness, Shadowhand’s mission to safeguard a woman she holds dear leads to a web of corruption, smuggling and blackmail.

Shadowhand is coming to Windows 7 OSX on 7th December 2017, and will be priced $14.99 (With a one week launch discount of 10%).

Shadowhand’s Steam page is already up and live, so people can add the game to their wishlists in anticipation of the release right now:

On release day, the game will be availble from Steam, GOG, The Humble Store and direct from the publishers website at

The developer Grey Alien Games is also the developer of the PC game ‘Regency Solitaire’ (Currently on Steam). Publisher Positech Games has previously released the Gratuitous Space Battles & Democracy games and currently has ‘Production Line’ in Early Access.

For more information contact Cliff Harris at Positech Games ([email protected]). A full press kit is available for download from the Shadowhand website at:

Shadowhand Dev Diary #28: Final Graphics and Steam Trading Cards

November 13th, 2017

Click here to wishlist Shadowhand on Steam!

It feels like ages since the last blog post but we’ve got loads done since then including plugging in all the remaining final art. Also we will be announcing a launch date at the end of the week!

Final story item graphics

We plugged in the final art for the story-related items that you find in crates. Sometimes these are purely plot-related (like the map above), and other times they are cool things that you get to use.

Final locks and keys graphics

We also plugged in the final art for various fancy lock and key cards. Some of the cards are quite large (like the gravestone above) and they cover up a lot of ordinary sized cards until you unlock them.

Added levels for chapter 8,9,10

Helen has designed enough levels for the rest of the game (22 chapters in total) and we added some more of them into the game. We carefully choose them depending on what we think looks best for the chapter background and theme, and then edit them for difficulty as well as adding any special locks/keys or story items that are required in that chapter.

Finalised enemy loot

Jake also finalised all the loot drops for the remaining enemies (see screenshot above). Players are going to get some pretty cool loot that’s for sure!

Steam trading cards

We also designed 8 Steam trading cards (see image at top of post), 5 wallpapers, 6 badges, and 5 emoticons! It’s a surprising amount of work, but we are pleased with the results and have submitted them to Valve for approval.

More test runs and balancing

Jake spent a long time updating the automated test run code and running test runs on character stats and active/passive abilities in order to balance them appropriately. Now that has been done we can add in the remaining levels and perform test runs on them and tweak them to be an appropriate difficulty for the abilities and stats that the player will have by that point in the game.

The great list of misc

As per usual there’s a huge list of smaller tasks that have been completed. We are getting very close now folks!

- Plugged in final surrender flag graphics.
- Plugged in final status icons.
- Plugged in final rat and throwing knife particles.
- Added soldier dialog to hand 8 of “Highway Robbery”
- Finalised which hands have duels on for chapters 8,9,10
- Added new pre/post duel dialogs for chapter 9 “Fleetwood’s Armoury”
- Checked/Edited story and dialog text for chapters 6,7,8,9,10
- Made sure all story item dialogs trigger on the correct levels.
- Added ability to have mirrored large lock cards (for the hedge cards in chapter 20)
- A bit more save-related code.
- Forced players to replay a hand if they fail to find a goal item unless they are in normal mode in which case they are allowed to skip ahead.
- Player’s weapons are now hidden and restored in the Gaol chapter.
- Added item drops for remaining story goal items.
- Finalised story-based item drops.
- Finalised shop-based item drops.
- Made sure player has the vicious dagger on the correct Gaol hands.
- Filled out enemy properties in code as per design spreadsheet.
- Limited random crate contents to consumable items introduced up to the current chapter.
- Created fixed IDs for item drops and locked down the save file format.
- Make sure replays of a chapter still generate enemy gold loot.
- Ran some tests on group B weapons to compare/balance them against each other.
- Balanced Chapter 6 duels and chapter goals and enemy stars and economy.
- Fixed timing of 1 star animation and post duel dialog.
- Fixed scaling down of crate item picked up before duel mode refresh.
- Made sure log file didn’t output hand gold earned when you retry, abort or restart a hand.
- Tested Chapter 6 again with Family Jewels passive powerup to see how it affects key stats.
- Made a list of all passive powerups and their likely effects on key stats.
- Made Test Run work with Hangman’s Noose properly so it now reduces suit locks.
- Tested passive abilities on easy and hard levels.
- Made Test Run take prosperity stat into account.
- Made Test Run take lucky cards into account.
- Balanced character stats via test run on easy and hard levels.
- Fixing Rabbit Foot exploit with equip button
- Coded active abilities in test runs.
- Tested active abilties on easy and hard levels.
- Generated a list of key active/passive abilities I should be by using by the time I start each chapter.
- Added player AI support for using wildcards so I can better model duel outcomes.
- Tested duels with and without wildcards to compare.
- Added luck stat to player AI in duels for testing.
- Tested duels with key player stats and passive abilities.
- Removed unused particles from particles folder.
- Created a new large blank card for particle effects on large locks.
- Output cards per turn on non-duel test run as it’s a useful value.
- Reviewed list of stackable effects and tested some of them to make sure they are not OPed.
- Fixed bug where if last thing picked up on a hand was a wasted key it doesn’t do a layout refresh.
- Fixed bug with dark cards in AI duel test runs.

Back soon, with a launch date announcement!

Shadowhand Dev Diary #27: Lots of new enemies

October 24th, 2017

Click here to wishlist Shadowhand on Steam!

We’ve been working on two major things since the last update, and a few other things. Here’s the lowdown!

New Enemies

We added enemies into the second half of the game, which was a BIG task. For almost a year we’ve been sitting on the art for the remaining enemies because we knew it was going to take a while and there were a bunch of other things that needed doing more urgently.

Anyway finally they’ve all been edited and plugged into the game!

First Jake uses Photoshop to fixes errors in the source psd files. He check the poses, hands, weapons, outlines, transparency and other stuff. Then he plugs them into a master enemies psd file and scales and positions them to be consistent.

Then those images are exported and loaded into the game and offsets are calculated for enemy strikes on the player and vice versa, and gun smoke particles are added where relevant.

The following enemies were added:
- Soldier with pistol (a variant of a previous enemy)
- Art(hur)
- Gamekeeper (see screenshot above)
- Marsh Man Lance/Percy (2 versions)
- Marsh Woman Gwen
- Marsh Woman Guin
- Merl
- Ostler Joe (2 versions)
- Revenue Boss
- Revenue Man1
- Revenue Man2
- Lady Spry (2 versions)
- Shipwreck Sue
- A secret enemy

Enemies have between 3-5 stances and now there are over 200 enemy images in the game! (see image below)

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Enemy Properties

Once the enemy graphics were in the game we made a giant spreadsheet of all of the enemies (see snippet above) in order to assign them properties such as health, defense, stealth, gold, special defenses, gear etc.

However, they all still need to be tested and balanced using the automated AI duelling system, which will be done soon.

New Save System

Another big change was that there’s now a new save system that basically records two different states: the state at the start of the chapter and the state mid-chapter.

This way if players fail a chapter and retry, or quit a chapter, the state can be reset back to the start of the chapter. The mid-chapter state is just the most recent save that gets loaded if the player shuts down the game mid-chapter OR if they retry a hand, perhaps due to losing a duel.

It was weirdly complex and took a long time to get right, and it’s a departure from the way that Regency Solitaire handles chapter/hand progress, but it was needed due to having an inventory system that can change mid-chapter.

Chapter Cards

Now that the enemies are done we were able to finalise the text and character images for the chapter cards (see image for Chapter 10 above)

These look pretty cool and we are pleased with how they turned out. Here’s another one…

Misc stuff

As per usual we did a bunch of other minor stuff including:

- Added a Play/Equip panel before puzzle hands so that players can swap out active/passive abilties.
- Fixed a bug with restarting a hand not rolling back some chapter stats for the current hand.
- Made mirrored throwing knife and rat particle effects for when they are used on the player.
- Added separate x offset for bombs hitting enemies so it doesn’t have to be the same as gun impact x.
- Enter and Space can be used to activate the Retry button on Level End screen if there’s no Next/Loot button.
- Added second blood splat/pow to pitchfork because it has two prongs.
- Made special weapon cards for the Ostler’s various punches.
- Made special weapon card for Whip Lady’s pistol.
- If there are two crates on a level the 2nd one doesn’t fade in! FIXED.
- Set music for all new enemies.
- Edited chapter names and shop message text.

OK that’s it for now. We’ll try and upload a video soon. We are getting there!