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.
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.
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.
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.
Well, it’s been a pretty crazy week, ending up with Cally’s Caves 2 being talked about on our favorite podcast. It’s pretty surreal to tune into something we listen to every week, only to hear our game talked about! Here is the link to the Toucharcade article, where you will find the links for whatever you use to listen to podcasts!
We already posted on some of the thoughts behind the level design in Cally’s Caves 2 a while ago. In the time since that blog came out we’ve made a number of crucial decisions regarding how the levels will be laid out. Also, the overall level design is such an important part of developing a 2D game that we figured it would be worth another post to discuss some of the decisions we’ve made. We’ve already written about how we approach tutorials, the smaller level sizes, and increasing density of objects in a level, so this time we are going to focus on the smaller things that go into making a level for Cally’s Caves 2.
A good 2D platformer should always be fun to run and jump around in. Player movement mechanics are incredibly important, and part of developing player movement is figuring out how the player’s interaction with the environment works. If the player stands on a brick block, they shouldn’t fall through it. If the player runs into a wall, horizontal movement should stop. Basic stuff, right? But if that’s all there is to the game, it might get a bit boring after a while (although plenty of games don’t, and are awesome). Introducing hazards allows a designer to inject some danger into a level design, which helps keep the player on their toes. It also increases the reward value for a player when they beat a level. Would a player feel more satisfaction if they ran down a level that was designed like a hallway, or if they navigated through a maze-like level filled with spikes and lava pits? We believe the latter provides more opportunity for player satisfaction, although there isn’t an objectively correct answer.
Today’s Dev Diary is written by Yal, who is one of the two artists working on Cally’s Caves 2 (along with OHKO). She shares some of her experiences and insights into the process of creating art for a 2d platformer.
A guest article? Does that mean… there is a guest?! Um, well, yeah. Long story short: OHKO asked me whether I was interested in helping out doing some weapon graphics for Cally’s Caves 2. I said yes. Done, stop yawning. Now let’s change subject to the actual graphics! =]
Since a large majority of all AAA games released nowadays are FPS games, it’s only natural that they use guns. The problem is, most of them also try to be vaguely realistic, which in turn means all weapons are of the type “fires bullets in a straight line”. Now how fun is that? This also generally results in unbalanced weapons, since if all weapons fire in a straight line, why bother getting more than one? The answer is: because every new weapon is tons better than the previous one, so why bother keeping that anyway?
Contrast that with a game like Cave Story by Studio Pixel:
Levelling up and increasing different aspects of a character is one of my favorite parts of playing games. Series like the Elder Scrolls and the Ratchet and Clank games have always kept me hooked through the promise of being able to see a little meter fill up and know I’m about to reach that next level. Considering how deeply RPG mechanics hook me, it should come as no surprise that Cally’s Caves 2 includes a number of mechanics that will help Cally grow more powerful as the game progresses. Player leveling, finding weapons, leveling up those weapons, the upgrade shop, and in-game currency – these are the RPG mechanics at the core of Cally’s Caves 2. Since we are making a sequel we can some of the ideas we had for the original game and taking them as far as we can.