News from the Seven Realms • Issue #18 • March 4, 2016

Note: This issue is archived from a previous version of the V&H website. It may be missing images or content.

The Headline

A Sneak Peek at The New Fire Wizard!

Not long ago, we mentioned to you all that we planned to make some much needed improvements to the combat aspect of Villagers & Heroes. So we thought you might enjoy getting a brief preview of the progress made so far on the ever incendiary and powerful Fire Wizard (more on the Ice Wizard later!)!

“The main goal,” explains Diet, “is to make the wizard FUN.” Diet’s focus also included cleaning up certain random aspects of the class so that ultimately the wizard would feel entirely whole – he enhanced, trimmed, and consolidated the build into that of a single forceful entity in which every spell and feat now serves a powerfully relevant purpose.

So what kinds of things can you expect?

  • An all new game mechanic known as ‘Devastation’ in which wizards can ‘kindle’ their fire energy to create the ultimate power!
  • All new animations and audio effects for all fire spells!
  • New Fire Spells! (Volcanic Blast, Flame Bolt, Spark of the Mind to name just a few)
  • No more heavy reliance upon Auto-Attack!
  • The addition of Cast Bars to display the timing of events during combat!

Furthermore, a whole slew of improvements to combat in general, which will be beneficial to all classes, such as:

  • Talent Window and Tooltip make-overs
  • Scaling Powers
  • Global Cooldown
  • A new way to track combat stats (more about this in a future issue of the Ledger!)

And, much, much more!

Fan Works

From Sighfrid’s Easel

Oh, my. He’s done it again — Sighfrid of EU 1 never ceases to amaze! Thank you, Sighfrid for this fantastic rendition of Kaone!


V&H Player: Armageddon

Player: Armageddon
Server: US 1
Class: Warrior

Ace reporter Puzzler is back in action! Her interview subject is someone you all know on the forums as Kapr. In-game on US 1, he is Armageddon, a young man with an incredibly sharp mind and a quick wit, who has been playing Villagers & Heroes for a good many years now, and who has consistently helped our game community and the game for the better. True, sometimes he drives the devs nuts (actually, many times come to think of it), but that is why we Otters love him — because he is forever challenging us to do better! And he’s also a pretty cool guy. Enough rambling. Here is….Arma! (And thank you, Puzzler, for grilling him!)

By some cosmic accident, the world of V&H hasn’t learned your deepest, darkest secret, so what is is? Hmm, something about me that the people of V&H don’t know? Well, truth be told I’m not actually a mean psychopathic killer like I am in-game. Well at least not all at once.. but really, my secret is probably that I have a fear for water/swimming… no it’s not because I’m a witch.

Other than this one, what is your most favorite game? Games? Types of games? Favorite Game (Other than this one of course) would have to be a very old PS2 game called ‘Star Wars Battlefront 2’. Probably not old by the standards of most players in the game however… I enjoyed it because it was back in the day before everything came bundled with season passes, DLCs etc. and when gaming meant going over to a friends house and playing split-screen. That just never happens anymore. My overall favorite type of game would have to be medieval fantasy RPGs. Hey would ya look at that?

What is your one talent that no one on this forum knows about? I’m actually heavily into MMA (Modern Martial Arts) and more specifically XMA. I’ve been doing it for about 6-7 years. I specialize in the bo staff.

Would you rather travel in time to the future or past? Why? And as a traveler to either of those times, would you use your time-traveler-status to seek fame and fortune? Definitely the future! About 3 years in the future so I can play V&H without waiting for the updates. Oh and if I could use time traveling to get fame and fortune, you can bet your buggers I’d do it.

Left or right handed? Left! Makes for awkward handshakes and weird elbow bumping when taking a test in close proximity to a ‘righty’.

We all know you are full of ideas on how to change and improve the game. But, imagine you can do just one thing, right now, this second… what would it be? (please say gardening boost!) Villages vs Village! Creating dungeons with your allies through crafting, monster ranching, and teamwork and then attempting to conquer the dungeons made by another village? That is something I could do daily!

If you invited your guild to a karaoke party what song would you perform for them? I’m not good at making dolphin noises or I would say Skrillex..

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? (Or, if it hasn’t happened yet, what will it be?) In-game: Obviously the guides website! (Shameless advertising) which is in the process of getting a huge update! In real life: Surviving high school… never going back *shudders*

Tell the world about your hats. Top 3 hats (or outfits) in the game please. You’re making me do the impossible… I have 7 vaults full of clothes! My favorites include (but are not limited to) the purple nymph outfit, the dark sentinel pack from way back when & my lime green lederhosen! Biggest wardrobe failure is when I bought that Clementine dress (for 500 crowns!) because it said it would have a male version. Turns out males and females wear the same thing in V&H.. dresses. A patch or so later they cut the price too.. go figure.

If you were puzzler asking Arma a question, what would she ask you? What would be your answer? Hmm, so you’re asking me a question of if I was you asking me a question what would I ask myself? Am I me too or are you me now? I guess I would ask this: “If you were puzzler asking Arma a question, what would she ask you? What would be your answer?” That’ll boil your (my?) brain!

Favorite food of all time? I once ate Taco Bell every day for a week. I’m Indian and I love Indian food – but Mexican food will always have a special place in my stomach.

What’s your favorite pun-based joke?
There are way too many hilarious puns out there. So I’ll just think of the first that comes to the top of my head (and coincidentally the google search): “I’d tell you a chemistry joke, but I know I wouldn’t get a reaction.”

What was your favorite event that was organized by you? My favorite events are the crafting events I get to host for my Guilds. Nothing makes me happier then watching people flash.


The Winners of the Sneaky Scribbler Caption Contest!

Once again, the Sneaky Scribbler kept V&H players busy on the forums this month with another lively caption contest! You can read all of the wonderful entries here.

Congratulations, to the winners! And they are:

First Place: RedEye (US 1):

Second Place: Elan Dark (BR)

Third Place: Rayne (Server ?)

And the winning caption by RedEye is:

“Chant of the Butterfly Hunter – I am a tree, I am a tree, land on me, land on me.”

Royal Guardians

Congratulations, and a sincere thank you to the following five individuals for their outstanding contributions to Villagers & Heroes, and for always going above and beyond in their efforts for the game and community.

The Royal Guardians of the Realm for the month of February are:

  • Adrilinda (BR)
  • Tnarg (US 1)
  • Frigga (US 2)
  • GogoGadgetGo (EU 1)
  • Isdurit (EU 2)

Behind The Scenes

Adam deGrandis

Though many of the original members of the Mad Otter team (the ‘Founding Otters’) have moved on, their immense contributions to Villagers & Heroes remain today, and always will. These early Otters not only fashioned the unique look and feel of our game, but it was through their vivid imaginations and wildly creative talents that much of the personality of V&H, that quirky playfulness and harmonious spirit we all know so well, sprang into being.

With that in mind, we are so very pleased to be able to introduce to you today one of these founding Otters – lead artist, the tremendously gifted Adam deGrandis whose zesty warmth can be seen and felt in all that he creates. Thank you, Adam, for taking the time to talk with us today! (And also: We miss you!!)

From Adam deGrandis:

Hi Everyone! My name is Adam deGrandis and I worked at Mad Otter from 2007-2011. I was one of the principle artists on the original version of the game, though a lot of my work can still be seen in V&H’s current form; many of the 3d models for characters, monsters, houses, and weapons are mine, and I also did a bunch of animation that’s still there. In fact, one of the male player head options – the stern old man head – was based on an art test I did to get hired at Mad Otter.

Back then, our goals for the art style were twofold. We wanted to create an aesthetic that was bright, punchy, and welcoming. But we also needed it to be a look that allowed for ultra-fast asset creation (“asset” is an industry term for a piece of art). That’s how we settled on the look for V&H. It’s colorful and approachable and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it’s also fairly simple. During crunch periods, we could do concept drawings of a new monster, model it, and texture it all in the same day. That process usually takes at least a week, if not more.

I also worked with our scripters/quest writers, Darren and Katie, to help build up the lore and figure out how the world flowed. A lot of that has changed, but there are big set pieces that still remain from my time as an Otter. I was around for the naming and theming of Ardent and Greenhaven and Stormhold. How the process worked was we’d get a request from Damon (something like “we should have a snowy realm”) and then Darren, Katie, and I would start talking about what that realm might be in V&H. We’d talk about snowy areas in other games we liked or ones we didn’t. I’d sketch about the things we were talking about.

We’d riff on ideas for potential quests. It would start with someone suggesting a quest story that was pretty run-of-the-mill. Then one of us would excitedly say “yeah, that’s cool, and also X could happen as a misdirect.” We’d keep building on the idea until it eventually devolved into suggesting purposely absurd stuff just for laughs. Those goofy ideas were often the best ones, though, and made their way into the game.

I left Mad Otter in 2011 to move back to my adopted home – Maine – and began freelancing as well as teaching at my alma mater, Maine College of Art. In 2013, my wife and I started our own small studio, Chickadee Games, with the intention of making visually stunning comedy games. We released a mobile title named Notorious Inc, and started a few others. Eventually, though, we decided to rebrand the studio as an art contracting company, which is what we do now.

Our big project right now is called Tooth and Tail, which is being developed by Pocketwatch Games. It’s an arcade real-time strategy game with a modernized pixel aesthetic, and features armies of animals fighting each other for food; the victors eat the losers. Check it out if that sounds like your thing, and follow me on twitter (@adamdegrandis) or tumblr ( if you want to see more of my artwork! Thanks for reading!