Original Cally’s Caves 2 Design Document

We were just going through our archives, and we found the original design document we made back in October 2013.  How much did we stick to the original design? The text of the document is as follows:

Cally’s Caves 2

General Plot Synopsis

Intro – told in a series of slide animations

After saving her parents, life returns to normal for young Cally.  One day, as she is browsing Facebook on her phone, she gets a Snapchat from Dr. Herbert showing her parents have been kidnapped AGAIN.  Knowing what she has to do, Cally sets out into her backyard, ready to journey into the caves once more.

Interstitial Plot – told in a slide after each boss is defeated

After Cally defeats each boss on her way to find her parents, she gets another Snapchat message from Herbert, mocking her and telling her she will never rescue her parents…


After Cally defeats Herbert at the end of the game, a series of slide animations will show how she and her parents decide to move away from their family home, as her parents have gotten kidnapped twice now, and it’s getting kind of ridiculous.  The final slide depicts a pile of rubble, when BOOM Herberts hand rises out of it in a clenched fist (similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 when Shredder comes back).  Herbert then sends cally a snapchat telling her HE IS HER FATHER in an homage to the ending of empire strikes back.


Cally’s Caves 2 will function on the same engine as Cally 1, with some improvements to the engine and obviously completely new graphics.   The majority of the game will be combat-focused but there will also be an emphasis put on exploration, and replaying old areas with new tools that will get you into areas you couldn’t access the first time through. 

Layout Details


Cally’s Caves 2 is going to consist of 100 levels.  Each level will be smaller in scope than the first game (mostly due to optimization problems with the big areas in Cally 1).  The levels will be displayed on a metroid style mini map that shows up every time you enter a door to a new area.  There will be branching paths for certain parts, which will end with a new weapon/tool for cally to pick up and head back to the “critical path.”  An example of this is the spike gun: Cally will enter a level with two doors, the obvious door is locked behind a jump that is too high for cally to make, but if she takes the other path and finds the spike gun, she can shoot spikes into the wall and use them like platforms, allowing her to progress to the area where she couldn’t before.  Basic Metroidvania stuff really. 

Weapons and Upgrades:

Much like Cally 1, there will be a shop, but this time around the shop is for upgrades only (some that come in the form of costume changes).  Weapons will be found throughout the environments instead of being bought, to put more of an emphasis on exploration.  Enemies will still drop coins when they die, which is the currency Cally will use to buy upgrades.  There will also be an iAP store, which will have a single upgrade Cally can buy which will allow her to progress more quickly through the game.  The item has yet to be determined at this point. 

A big focus this time around will be leveling the weapons up.  Each time Cally hits an enemy with a given weapon (eg. Pistol), she will accrue experience for that weapon, and the weapon will eventually level up.  The leveled up weapon will change appearance and do more damage or cause extra effects.  This usage based weapons leveling system worked really great in games like the Ratchet and Clank series, and will incentivize the use of a variety of weapons (or allow the player to specialize in a few specific weapons they love).  Each weapon will have 10 levels. 

Story Characters

Cally – Our hero is back.  Cally is a badass 6-year-old girl, who is out to save her parents from the evil doctor Herbert again.  Her signature feature is her blonde ponytails.  She will be wearing her red vest/jeans combination to start, but buying upgrades will change her appearance this time around.

Dr Herbert – Dr. Herbert is back and as evil as ever.  Bent on revenge against Cally, he will stop at nothing to defeat our young hero.

Burt and Dolly – Cally’s parents, they don’t have many lines, but serve as the motivation for Cally to work her way through the game.

Lloyd – Lloyd is a family friend, who is always playing guitar.  Lloyd will basically serve as the means for getting tutorial messages to the player (and always have a guitar song soundtrack).  Therefore he will pop up at various places in the Caves, when Cally (aka the player) needs direction or instructions on how to use a new ability or weapon.


1)      Pistol – straightforward pistol.  As it levels up, it will do more damage, eventually setting enemies on fire at level 10

2)      Shotgun – similar to the shotgun in Cally 1, but with a slower firing time.  As the weapon levels up, more projectiles and faster firing are available

3)      Bow and Arrow – The bow and arrow functions by having an arc pop up when Cally holds down the button.  The arc will start small but then tighten up into a straight line, requiring the player to hold the shoot button until the arrow is “drawn.”  Upgrades increase the aiming time, and eventually shoot 3 arrows at once.  Arrows stick in enemies if they don’t kill them

4)      Blade Gun – This weapon will function similarly to the grenade launcher in Cally 1, it will bounce around and if it hits an enemy, it will “saw” them for a specified length of time before destroying itself.  The blade gun will be a gating weapon, as wooden platforms are blocking certain areas and cally can shoot a blade at it to saw the wood and get through.

5)      Flamethrower – The flame thrower will shoot flame projectiles, that burn enemies and cause lasting damage.  It will act as a gate weapon by destroying ice blocks that are blocking cally’s path

6)      Spike Gun – the spike gun shoots a spear type projectile, that will knock enemies back and also stick in the environment.  Cally can use the spike gun to create platforms for herself to reach previously inaccessible areas. 

7)      Assault Rifle – The assault rifle is the ultimate gun weapon, and will provide the player with a weapon where they can just hold down the fire button, instead of rapidly tapping it.  Upgrades to the assault rifle will cause it to shoot faster and be more accurate

8)      Rocket Launcher – The rocket launcher will be more powerful this time around, and cause a better explosion than it did in Cally 1.  The rocket Launcher can be used to destroy “cracked” environment blocks, allowing access to new and secret areas.

9)      Freeze Rifle – The freeze rifle is back and better than ever.   Not only will the freeze gun freeze individual enemies, as it levels up it will create area of effect freeze bombs that freeze groups of enemies.  Can also be used to counteract fire walls. 

10)   Bomb Launcher – This will be kind of like a grenade launcher, but will actually just explode normally instead of keeping exploding on guys until they are dead.  Higher level means bigger explosions!

11)   Boomerang – a weapon that will pass through multiple enemies and return to cally



Cally will find 4 different swords in various places throughout the game.  Each sword does more damage than the last, and is great for repelling enemies when they get too close

1)      Wood sword – this is the sword cally starts with, very weak

2)      Metal sword – the first sword cally finds, has increased power

3)      Bone sword – the second found sword

4)      Fire blade – third found sword

5)      Energy blade – a lightsaber type sword

6)      Shock sword – this sword is the final sword and unleashes a wave of energy when swung (similar to Zelda a link to the past)



1)      Triple Jump – this is an upgrade that allows the player to jump a third time and reach higher areas

2)      Power Upgrade 1 – reduces all enemy HP values

3)      Power Upgrade 2 – reduces enemy HP values further

4)      Coin multiplier x2 – multiplies the amount of coins you collect from all enemies by 2

5)      Coin multiplier x5 – multiplies the amount of coins you collect from all enemies by 5

6)      Health refill – allows the player to refill 1 heart at any time

7)      Kevlar vest – reduces the amount of damage Cally takes when hit

8)      Last resort – this is an upgrade that causes an explosion to release from cally when she is down  to one heart – guaranteed to kill all enemies on the screen except bosses

9)      Rock Climbing kit – this allows cally to stick to walls and reach higher areas – can be used as an alternative to the spike gun

10)   Level up – cally can buy up to two level ups (which increase her max hp) but the price is very expensive

11)   Nanosuit – this upgrade increases cally’s run speed


Enemy Types


This time around, there will be a higher variety of enemies, and many of them will be animals/monsters instead of human enemies

1)      Bat – the bat is a basic monster that is sleeping on the ceiling until Cally gets close to it, when it wakes up and chases her

2)      Spider – a low HP enemy that hops around and hops towards Cally when it sees her

3)      Wolf – a basic prowling enemy that has strong melee attacks

4)      Bear cub – a smaller bear enemy that runs very fast at cally when she is spotted

5)      Mama bear – a mini boss who is much larger than the bear cub and does more damage

6)      Slime – an enemy that bounces around randomly and has a lot of HP

7)      Knife bandit – a basic human enemy that walks back and forth, and does melee damage

8)      Pistol bandit – a basic human enemy that shoots projectiles back and forth

9)      Hulking Bandit – an enemy that fires 2 rockets at a time at cally from a rocket launcher

10)   Turret – a stationary enemy that fires at cally when she is in its vicinity

11)   Squid face – a weird bipedal monster with a gross face, shoots waves of energy at cally that knock her back and traps her against walls for the squid face to come in and melee attack

12)   Zombie – an enemy that is slow, moves towards cally no matter what direction she is in, and does massive melee damage

13)   Skeleton – a reanimated corpse that throws bone projectiles

14)   Shock trooper – a human enemy covered in armor, does somersaults to move around and stays low.  Shoots energy projectiles at cally

15)   Fire demon – a hulking creature that shoots fireballs at cally

16)   Tarantula – a variation of the spider that shoots webs at cally then pounces on her

17)   Bee – a simple enemy that flies around and goes up to sting cally. The stings do massive damage but the bee dies too when it stings her



1)      Giant Bear – this enemy is surrounded by bear cubs an a mama bear or two… Cally has a place to hide to shield from it’s damage, but it’s a moving enemy that does melee damage, not projectiles

2)      Queen bee – a flying boss that shoots projectiles at cally from its stinger and has a hive that launches the smaller bee enemies at certain intervals

3)      Battle Tank – an automated tank enemy that shoots tons and tons of projectiles at Cally and has one specific weakpoint above it’s cannon

4)      Carl JR – a massive slime that hatches smaller slimes at certain intervals

5)      Cyborg Cyclops – a massive Cyclops giant that has a huge club, and turrets at its knee level for two different types of damage

6)      Herbert – Herbert is the final boss, and this time instead of a tank he is going to be riding a Dr Robotnik style spaceship/hovercraft.  Tricky to get to, and he fires a lot of projectiles/grenades at cally



There are going to be 6 tile sets, each consisting of a “path” block, a “background” block, and a “boulder” block for some variety

1)      Dirt and Grass

2)      Clay and Mud

3)      Stone and Moss

4)      Stone bricks

5)      Obsidian blocks

6)      Lava bricks


In addition to these terrain types, there will also be various multipurpose blocks such as:

1)      Water – surface and background blocks

2)      Lava – surface and background blocks

3)      Wooden Platforms – Cally can jump up through these, but lands on them if they are below her

4)      Doors – warp you to the next or previous level

4 thoughts on “Original Cally’s Caves 2 Design Document

  1. Thank you for Callys Caves 2 man. It is one of the best games I have ever played. Please create a next episode soon 🙂 Greetings from Czech republic

    1. thanks so much rago3!! we will have another out in about 8 months or so, and we promise it will be bigger and better in every way! Greetings from Canada, we love the CR

  2. Hey man, love the game, I played it on my ipad while on a road trip and got hooked (leveled all my guns to 10 and max level character) I am somewhat interested in speed running the game, and I would much prefer to do this on a computer than on my ipad. Is there any computer port of the game that I could use?

    1. Hey man, yeah totally! We have a pc version of the final build but there’s a couple small quirks, can you email me at jordanfwc (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll send it to you with the details?

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