Cally’s Caves 4 development is proceeding at a furious pace, and we recently had a chance to revamp the way our start screen works. Our first game’s start screen was simply a logo on a black screen, and with each successive game in the Cally series, we want to improve every aspect of the game. In this dev diary, we will outline the method we used to create the Cally’s Caves 4 start screen.
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.
This is the biggest update we’ve ever done for a game, and will include a bunch of new features:
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.
We posted our first Gamedev stream! Sorry for the audio, we will work on it for the next one.
When we came to the decision to make Cally’s Caves 3, we knew that we would have to radically rethink many of the gameplay mechanics that were in Cally’s Caves 1 and 2. One of the biggest benefits of creating a direct sequel is that it gives us an opportunity to do things differently. We are proud of our first two games, but it’s always helpful to take a step back and try to evaluate what you’ve created from a different perspective. Then, we can use our experience making the first two games to make Cally’s Caves 3 bigger, and much better. This Dev Diary will outline many of the design decisions we made during the planning phase of Cally’s Caves 3 development.
Bigger, but not Always
Cally’s Caves 1 and 2 were made of art assets that were mostly 32×32 pixels. We managed to get away with it by zooming in a little bit on the assets, so they appear larger on an iOS screen that 32×32 pixels. While we are happy to keep going in that direction, we know that we want to have some enemies or bosses that are quite large on the screen. This presents a unique challenge, as some of the boss sprites are so big, they won’t fit on the in-game screen. To account for this (and maintain the large size), we decided to implement a better boss introduction mechanic. When the player first sees a boss, the game camera focuses solely on the boss object, to highlight the size of the sprite, and make sure players get a good look at the boss before the fight kicks in. Continue reading
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!
Happy Halloween! To celebrate the GMC Jam 16 – Halloween Jam, Cally’s Caves 2 artist 0HK0 has released “Razor Treat.” Razor Treat is a horizontal schmup with 0HK0’s signature art style and an awesome soundtrack from his brother, Facefuzz. It was made in a single day, using Gamemaker 8.1 and FL Studio. You can check out Razor Treat in this thread.