Ancient Enemy Dev Diary #2

November 21st, 2018

We are really delighted to be working with artist Jen Pattison on Ancient Enemy. This week in our dev diary Jen shares a bit about the art development and progress:

A world in tatters
The overall visual design of the characters in Ancient Enemy is intended to follow the theme of the story that the world has seen a lot of conflict and everyone has mostly been left in tatters as a result, one way or another.

That manifests in scruffy or damaged clothes; armour rusted, bloomed, or falling off; fungal growths; and in some cases people just being stitched back together to join the fight again.

Here are a couple of poses for an enemy bandit character:

All the human characters are not quite human anymore, and the bandits are maybe the simplest expression of that by not having faces, just empty dark hoods like wraiths, but otherwise displaying the physically fit body type you might expect from their lifestyle.

Warped nature
The Boarstool, on the other hand, is an example of warped nature, partly grown over and partly altered in fundamentals to be somewhere in the middle of plant and animal.

We did a few iterations to get him a bit meaner and a bit more gross along the way, altering his expression and giving him a rotting leg.

I also tried out a number of palette options for him, as some colours that could read as toxic/poisonous were also quite friendly/cute fantasy in tone.

Ultimately we decided to have different colours of Boarstool in different areas of the game to add to the variety and to fit in with the mood of the zones where they appear.

The aim for the characters’ stances was to create something dynamic and illustrative, within the limitations of the card based UI, which has taken a lot of back and forth to get right but it’s the sort of thing that’s very satisfying to work on as a team when it all finally comes together.

Ancient Enemy Dev Diary #1

November 16th, 2018

It’s been less than a month since we announced Ancient Enemy, and we’ve been making good progress.

Jen has been finalizing the main character’s various fighting stances. First she drew some sketches, which we tested in-game, and then she spent a while painting them.

Jake plugged them in to the game and made videos of them animating so that the team could check them out and suggest improvements.

Since the announcement we brought Dan Emmerson on board. He made the game logo, which we really loved, so we asked him to design the playing cards, collectible cards and user interface in a similar style to the logo. We hope to have some screenshots we can share next week.

Jim has been working closely with Jen and Dan on art direction and has generated a draft map screen.

Jake has been working on detailed art lists for Dan and producer stuff like updating the schedule and making sure everyone is fully aware of the budget and time constraints. He has also been coding a map node system, which allows us to have non-linear mini maps for each main map location. We’re also going to use this code for a skill tree system later on.

Jake is now finalizing a list of collectible cards that the game will have so that we can code these and make art for them. And Jen is working on some awesome enemies that will take several weeks, we will post some of these soon…

Grey Alien Games to unleash Ancient Enemy

October 23rd, 2018

Bridport, UK, 23 October 2018 – Grey Alien Games, the independent development team behind Regency Solitaire, and Shadowhand, has today revealed their forthcoming title, Ancient Enemy.

Awakening from centuries of slumber, a fallen mage returns to battle twisted folkloric foe across sprawling, ghostly landscapes. His ultimate destination: the nameless antagonist, a dread nemesis waiting patiently in the dark fastness of a monstrous citadel, his Ancient Enemy.

An unusual, strategic RPG card game, Ancient Enemy is launching on Steam for PC & Mac next year. You’ll embark upon a quest inspired by British mythology and the Mabinogion, so expect card battling, visceral fights, mixed with bleak and evocative folklore! Loot the fallen to fill your hero’s RPG-style inventory with collectible cards, capture strongholds and gather talented henchmen. Only powerful magic and iron determination will enable revenge upon your ultimate foe.

A collaboration between Grey Alien Games and Big Robot’s Jim Rossignol, and featuring art by Jen Pattison, this is a project that brings together indie development talent from across the UK. “This is a long-overdue collaboration between myself and Jake,” said Rossignol, “and it’s fantastic to be working with Jen, whose art I have admired for years. We’re all having a lovely time.” Additionally, Ancient Enemy is supported by Bithell Games.

“I’m incredibly excited to play Ancient Enemy. One of the coolest things about selling games is using some of that cash to support other people’s visions,” said Mike Bithell of Bithell Games (Thomas Was Alone, Subsurface Circular). “Like Regency Solitaire and Shadowhand, I’m sure this award-winning team’s latest game will blow us away.”


- Card-driven, turn-based battles. The new, faster, turn-based combat puts the focus on the player’s choices.
- Strategic challenge. Play your cards wisely. Your enemy’s next move is revealed, and you must respond accordingly.
- Legend! Draw power from the stone circles, drive back the blight. Crack open the secrets of the dark land, and see the myths spill out!
- Painterly production. Jen Pattison’s exquisite painted style brings Ancient Enemy to life with expert vision.


Jim Rossignol: [email protected]

Jim Rossignol is a writer and developer. He co-founded Rock, Paper, Shotgun in 2007, and then the micro-studio Big Robot – best known for the smash-hit survival epic, Sir, You Are Being Hunted – in 2010.

Grey Alien Games, based in Dorset, UK is an indie game company run by husband-and-wife team, Jake Birkett and Helen Carmichael, and has shipped more than ten commercial games over the past decade, including Spooky Bonus, Regency Solitaire and Shadowhand.

Jen Pattison is an illustrator & concept artist working in games, TV and film. She has previously worked on GAP Project, Steam Marines 2, Quest for Infamy, Roehm to Ruin, Order of the Thorne, and Serena, and has worked with clients including Disney, Twitch, and Komixx.