Hello all, we have some dev diaries coming soon for Cally’s Caves 3, but in the meantime we wanted to share some exciting news from our friends across the pond. PixelSpill is a UK-based game developer that we’ve worked on a few game jams with (See Skylands and Blopathon). They’ve just released their first game, KatataK on the Appstore in collaboration with the popular Youtuber Tomska. It’s been so cool to see Twitter blowing up with people talking about KatataK, so join the discussion and go download KatataK today!
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.
Wow, we didn’t ever think this could happen to a couple dudes who make games in their bedroom offices. We got a 4/5 star review from Toucharcade.com, the biggest mobile gaming site in the world! We are feeling pretty lucky right now, you can read the review here: Toucharcade Review
So our game has been available for 9 days now, and things are going pretty well. We thought we’d post a bunch of links to the various videos and articles that have popped up since release (and hopefully we will do a blog post on how we approached marketing shortly).
We just released our first trailer for Cally’s Caves 2… Here it is!
Putting something you crafted into someone else’s hands is a harrowing experience. When that person’s gaze locks onto the object you created, a shift happens. What was once your private project is no longer your own, and a singular experience becomes shared one. It can be amazing or terrifying, but either way you will walk away from that shared experience with an idea of how you could have approached your creation differently. The beauty of game development is you can choose to incorporate the feedback you gain from sharing your creation with others before your product is finalized. This is why we have dedicated a two-month period to beta testing Cally’s Caves 2. In today’s Dev Diary we will discuss how we have approached the 8-week beta test period of our game’s development, and what we hope to gain from putting Cally’s Caves 2 in the hands of playtesters.
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.