Cally’s Caves 4 Trailer and Release Date!

We are excited to announce that Cally’s Caves 4 is going to be coming out on iOS in November!  Here is the official trailer:

Cally’s Caves 4 picks up three years after the end of Cally’s Caves 3, with Cally and her friends searching for a cure for Rupert’s Curse.  Cally will set out on a worldwide journey to find “The Amulet of Valerius,” an artifact that she believes can cure Rupert and give him a normal life.  As the story unfolds, Team Cally will uncover the origins of a secret society that controls the world, and meet a new nemesis that threatens to destroy everything that Cally loves.

Features:

  • 320 levels packed with enemies, collectibles and secrets.

  • 11 huge bosses to fight, reason with, and maybe even become friends with.

  • 24 enemy types spanning Regular Game, New Game + and Survival Modes.

  • Costume choices for Cally.

  • The return of Cally’s ninja bear cub friend Bera as a playable character.

  • An in-game wiki to collect information about the story, characters, and enemy behaviors and weaknesses.

  • All-new engine runs at 60fps for better control and visual fidelity

  • New Weapon Mod system that allows you to customize your weapon’s effects.

  • 11 weapon classes, with 88 unique weapon forms (not including modded weapons).  Level your weapons up by using them and experience new, powerful effects!

  • MFi controller is fully supported.

  • A bigger story with new and returning characters.

  • Cally can now strafe and autofire.

  • A new hubworld area with shops to buy Power-ups, Consumables, and Weapon mods with in-game currency.

Dev Diary #23: Choices, Choices

How do we create a new game in the Cally’s Caves series that feels fresh and changes things up?  The first 3 games in the series were very light on story, and although we were able to plant some seeds for future story ideas, we could take the plot for Cally’s Caves 4 anywhere.  This dev diary will go over some of the decisions we’ve made to make Cally’s Caves 4 stand apart from our previous games.

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Setting

All 3 Cally’s Caves games took place in “the Caves,” a place that started in Cally’s backyard and gave us a good amount of variety to work with.  The story of Cally’s retaking of the Caves has now been told, and we want to take the environments in Cally’s Caves 4 in some new directions.  Instead of taking place in one interconnected Cave system, Cally’s Caves 4 takes place all across the globe, in facilities owned by the Golden Skull Society (more on the G.S.S. later).

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Cally’s Caves 3 Free Expansion “Melvin’s Prototype Factory” Coming Next Week!

After a busy couple of months, we’ve just submitted a huge new content update for Cally’s Caves 3, “Melvin’s Prototype Factory.”  The update should be out for iOS and Android next week.

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This is the biggest update we’ve ever done for a game, and will include a bunch of new features:
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Massive New Zone:
We’ve added a whole new 34-level zone, with all-new art, a fully functional map and lots of Checkpoints.

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New Weapons: 3 new weapons and their final forms can be found in the new Levels!  Try using the power of the Slimes for your own benefit with the Slimegun, trap enemies and prevent them from hurting you with the Web Shooters, or use the Bow and Arrow from Cally’s Caves 2 to pepper enemies with arrows.  All of the new weapons have 4 evolution tiers, and can be used throughout all of the other game modes.

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New Enemies: Melvin has been creating bosses in his prototype lab for years, and to destroy him, you’ll have to defeat them all!  5 new enemy classes with unique behaviors mix up the combat and test your skills.

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Beyond all of the new content, we will have a ton of bug fixes and optimizations including the following:

iOS

  • fixed issue where Final Bladegun isn’t being awarded for beating Survival Mode
  • fixed issue where Bera would sometimes transform into Cally in “Bera: the Long Way Home”

Android

  • greatly reduced frequency of video ads
  • fixed missing Sniper Rifle issue – find it in level 101
  • fixed rating message in pause menu
  • fixed several small resolution bugs
  • several new tracks on the soundtrack

We are also happy to announce that the expansion is totally free and is not an in-app purchase or anything like that.  We wanted to find a way to thank all the people that have downloaded and supported Cally’s Caves 3.  We will have at least one more free expansion out before Christmas, and an announcement of our next project shortly after.

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Development Diary #17: Tile Systems for 2D Games

When we started working on Cally’s Caves 3, it was clear that we needed to improve our tile system to give the game a better, more detailed look.  In our previous two games, we used a really simple tile system consisting of 3 tile types; a “path” block, a “fill” block and a “boulder” block.  We used the boulders as our “walls,” and flipped the path block for our ceilings.

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It was a very simple system, and it worked for us at the time.  A couple of months into Cally’s Caves 3 development, however, our artist 0HK0 suggested using a much more complex system to give our game some more visual flair.  The suggested tile system would have two types of walls: environment walls and background walls.  The environment walls tile set consists of 16 block types, and the background walls have 9.  This dev diary will outline exactly how our tile system works, in the hopes that others may find it useful.

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Dev Diary #14: Releasing Upates for an iOS Game Using Gamemaker: Studio

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With the recent release of new iPhones and iOS 8, we found ourselves in the position where we had to update our iOS games.  If we didn’t, our apps would crash on boot, and even if they did run, we wanted to make sure we custom laid everything out for the new iPhone screen sizes.  We had wanted to release updates for Cally’s Caves and Cally’s Caves 2 for a long time, but held off because we weren’t 100% sure how to do it, and updating player save data was intimidating.  Faced with the prospect of having our apps pulled, we buckled down and got our updates done.  Our process was probably unconventional, but we thought we would share how we did our updates for iOS without losing players’ save games in the process.  So, let’s begin.

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Saves

The way we handled saving variables across play sessions in Cally’s Caves and Cally’s Caves 2 was the most basic way you can save things using Gamemaker: Studio.  We created an .ini file and had the game save variables that we wanted to keep saved in the file.  For example, say the player levels Cally up and increases her max hitpoints to four.  We don’t want that player to come back for their next play session and have their max hitpoints be three, right?  So after they level up, we open the .ini document in a line of code, save that variable (global.maxhp = 4), and then close the .ini document.  The next time the player starts the game, the global.maxhp value is read from the .ini document, so they will start with 4 max HP.  It’s a really simple system that you can find in the GM:S help.

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Happy One-Year Anniversary, Cally

Hey everyone,

Well it’s now been a year since the original Cally’s Caves was released, and sixteen months since we set out on this journey to make games.  Thank you to every one of the 20,000 people that downloaded and played our little free game!  If you’ve never checked it out, we have lots of dev logs on our experience making the game, and you can download Cally’s Caves here for free.  Here’s to many more Cally-versaries!

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Dev Diary #13: Cally’s Caves 2 Postmortem

Well, it has now been about 75 days since we released Cally’s Caves 2, and we figured it was about time to write an article about our experience since the game came out.  If you missed it, we got an awesome PlayPressers Trailer, and some attention from some media.  It was all wonderful, but this article is about the stats so let’s just get right into it.

Downloads

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We currently have 131,000 free downloads after two and a half months.  It was way more than we expected to get, and our team feels incredibly lucky to have reached that many people.  To many game developers, 131,000 is nothing, especially considering that Cally’s Caves 2 is free game.  To us, however, it has far exceeded our highest hopes.  When we first started working on Cally 2, we set a lofty goal of getting a hundred thousand downloads to try and grow our name and build an audience.  It was the kind of goal you set because you know it’s so high you’ll never hit it, but the act of aiming for it will make your product better in the end.  The fact that we actually reached and exceeded it is a dream come true. Continue reading