We have just submitted massive updates for Cally’s Caves 2 on iOS and Android. This update will bring the Cally’s Caves 3 engine to Cally’s Caves 2, and a ton of improvements will come with it. There are also a ton of bugfixes, and the game has been optimized to run much smoother on iOS and Android devices!
In addition to the mobile updates, we are also very excited to announce that a Steam release of Cally’s Caves 2 is on the way, complete with controller support and graphics options. We are still working hard on our next game as well, so expect more updates soon!
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.
Massive New Zone:
We’ve added a whole new 34-level zone, with all-new art, a fully functional map and lots of Checkpoints.
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.
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.
Beyond all of the new content, we will have a ton of bug fixes and optimizations including the following:
- 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”
- 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.
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.
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.
One of the greatest challenges developing Cally’s Caves 2 is how to go about designing 100 levels while keeping the game fresh. Cally’s Caves had 27 levels, not including boss rooms or the challenge “subrooms.” At the time, it seemed like a good idea to differentiate each level by the use of music, tile sets, and area names. Every time you entered a new level, a new song would start playing, and every five levels the environment sprites would change. While this worked to a certain degree, a large number of players played the first few levels and then gave up (either out of frustration at the difficulty, or just not enjoying the game). This unfortunately led to a number of the levels and environment sets never being seen. In retrospect, we may have been better off if we had changed the tile set every level and just rotated the four sets that we had. Hindsight is 20/20, and having that hindsight doesn’t affect the product we already released. It does, however, allow us to approach a sequel with the lessons we learned in mind. Hopefully, using the lessons we learned, we can make the levels in Cally Caves 2 do a lot more for the player.
I’ve decided to write a weekly development diary about the process of making Cally’s Caves 2. I’m doing it mostly as a design tool to help me reflect upon decisions I’ve made while designing the game, with the hope that it will help me think about the ideas from another perspective and help me create the best game I possibly can. So it’s a personal tool, but if you read it and enjoy it, it certainly can’t hurt! To begin, here’s a bit of background:
In June 2013, having quit my day job, I decided to try and make a video game with my good friend Dave. The main barrier we faced in this venture was that neither of us had any experience in game design. Sure, I had programmed some little bits of software on my Commodore 64 as a kid, but nothing resembling a full game, and that was 20 years ago. Inspired by the likes of Tom Francis and Steve Gaynor, who both made amazing independent games (Gaynor had experience but left a big company to make a solo game, and Francis had no experience but kept his day job and learned how to do it at night), I enlisted Dave and we set out on the path. By October we had finished Cally’s Caves, and released it on the iOS Appstore. There’s no need to get into the thought process behind the design decisions we made here, but since its release we’ve had 7000 downloads and although we didn’t make any money, it was a personal success for us both – we proved to ourselves that we could ship a game.