What’s the number one question that Nidhogg 2 devs are asked? You got it. Looks.

The first Nidhogg was a surprise. With a very minimalistic graphical presentation, it managed to do what bigger games strive for, achieve a gameplay balance that was pretty easy to lear, but excruciating to master.

No wonder that the second game in the franchise is now a much more sought after title, and the devs decided to answer, what they called, the most popular question put out there by the fans.

The art style has considerably changed since the first installment, yet the gameplay stayed much the same. Mark Essen, co-funder and creative director at Messhof, explained in a Playstation Blog post that it was in many ways a conscious decision the studio is proud of but at the same time limiting themselves to simple, pixelated style was a necessity.

“I had been experimenting with 2D bone animation programs, which allow you to independently animate separate body parts instead of redrawing entire character sprites. This makes it infinitely easier to combine things like fencing footwork, various upper-body stances, and weapon types. Plus, it means you can swap out the sprites without breaking the animation.”

It seemed silly then to the creators to waste all that potential on stick figures and thus a new art style was born.

Nidhogg 2 is out on August 15th.