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Battle Princess Madelyn gets New Stages, weapons and a Logo!

February 20th, 2016 Posted by Go!Go!Maddi!, News No Comment yet

Well, it’s been an eventful few months since we’ve announced the game and the support and interest has been absolutely outstanding! So first we’ll thank you for all the love!!

On a sad note, the real Fritzy has passed on to doggy heaven. He was roughly 18 years old and had a heck of a good life! We were all very sad with the loss but it was his time and he’ll live on forever in the game with Maddi now! Maddi still has her two hairball black cats, Arthur and Maximo (I didn’t name them!) and they will be making an appearance in the game as a special weapon called out by Fritzy! RIP Fritzy! We miss you!!! <3 <3 <3

I took a break over the holidays, though that just means I only slowed down a tad. We did one last giant update to Insanity’s Blade to try to get the bugs out and I think it’s as close as it will get. The wrapper will fight us forever and we’re just wasting time on it now. We added a lot in though, so if you haven’t checked IB out since November, now’s the time to get at it!

I’ve been super picky about the logo. I wanted it to look like an authentic 1988-1992 Japanese styled logo with a splash of the Irish in there! So after several attempted, I ended up with a very Golden Axe/Altered Beast bit of text. But the English lettering wasn’t sitting right with it. So I came up with a different plan and made a logo that looked much better. This isn’t quite final either.

titleDemo

Lighting strikes a stone and carves the letters out. And once the debris has cleared away, flowers start randomly growing around the sides of the text. The Japanese text is now underneath of the English text for the English version of the game. The animation will be different when it is localized for Japan.

New weapons have been added to the current arsenal and the graphics for some have already been updated. All of the weapons for the magic armor are completed. Fire Sword, Cursed Chakram, and a few wands with special powers (Twinkle Fire, Epic Wand of Cheesing and Evil’s Bane that reverses evil and turns enemies into cute woodland creatures). The cats have been made into a special attack that is obtained on the current level I’m designing. I’m not going to give any of that part away though!

For now we’ll call the next part the “Winter Stages”. Since Maddi has been designing the game somewhat, she’s asked for levels that have themes. Some of them are a little too out of the story to really do but we may figure out good plot bits to work them in. For the other stages, it’s mostly just monsters, bosses and locations she’s given me. But the winter levels have been by far her most detailed.

A couple of weeks ago she handed me some drawing and said, “Daddy I did these pictures for the game. I made winter kitties and a haunted house and ghosts.” This isn’t all she did. There was a desert picture with cactus men and bad birds, the haunted house level was more like a big castle with rain and skeletons and ghosts, and the winter level had a picture of a giant cat thing in a cave and food in front of it. So I asked what was going on with the cat.

“This is the snow kitty boss, Daddy.” She said. “You can’t just hit him or he’ll eat you. You have to feed him so he comes out of the cave and you can hit him in the back.” I was pretty dumbfounded by the super description of the picture in front of me. Let alone the whole ***how to beat the boss*** bit. I was shocked she came up with something so clever. She kept telling me she wanted a snow kitty in a winter place so I was just going to make a big saber tooth tiger looking thing in a cave. But from that description I had enough to go on a full Mario style boss fight. She must be either picking stuff up from watching me play games or something in her cartoons? Still – super impressed and it is indeed going in the game!

She went on to tell me she wanted winter cheese heads. Cheese heads are what she calls the things in Ghouls n Ghosts that are called Mud Demons. They are just yellowish piled of mud that turn into pedestals in the 4th stage (I think it’s the 4th). So we can do the pedestals but those things in GNG are like 2 frames of animation and super boring. So I came up with a much more animated abominable snow thing that spits snow balls at you. You have to get close enough to duck and shoot or they pick you off. The other request was “winter zombs”. Zombies – easy.

So the level will begin with people in a small village on a mountain being attacked by things coming out of a cave that was just unsealed by the great wave of magic (happens at the start of the game). We’ll have some villagers spin around and become zombies. I already have children running away from them and into houses. I also couldn’t handle the typical GNG style zombies either. So these ones randomly follow you and attack. And if they can see you from above, they will belly flop on top of you too into a cloud of snow. One more animation I need to add is for when they are on slopes and fall. They will become giant snowballs and roll down the hill until they hit the bottom or a wall and break out and go back to their regular routine.

To do for this stage will be wolves, another style undead, something big before you enter the next stage (not giving this away) and some sort of annoying flying monster. The following stage will be an ice cavern full of giant mammoth bones and other gross bits. This will be the mandatory slip and slide level. I won’t make it too annoying since I often hate these stages the most!

Once the winter stages are complete, I’ll do some video snippets of the game play there!

winterIScoming-web4

I’ve focused mainly on the map graphics first. The blue platform under the mammoth skull is one which will fall after a few seconds. It’s a bit of a challenge since there are either Winter Zombs or the Abominable Snow Spitters sitting on the platforms. So you’ll have to either be in heavy/magic armor to kill them quickly (powered up dog also clears screens quick) or just time your jumps and duck as soon as you land.

I’ll be posting the pictures Maddi has drawn at some point as well. I’ve had a few people ask to see the pictures already – just don’t expect them to look like what I draw, she’s 5 after all 😉

Cheers and I’ll be back with more exciting news soon!!

 

Chris

Battle Princess Madelyn is Console first *then maybe* Windows etc.

November 24th, 2015 Posted by News No Comment yet

Battle Princess Madelyn is Console first!!!

Well it seems people are speculating that Battle Princess Madelyn is going to be a Windows only game because Insanity’s Blade was. We’re programming the game in Unity to put it on consoles first! At no point was it said that the game was going to be Windows only. The Windows release will more than likely come out after the console version has made the rounds.

The reasons we are doing this are mainly because we are a very tiny team trying to deliver a high quality game. Insanity’s Blade was built using an engine called Construct 2 – this was promised to have Wii U portability. But logically this never made sense. A full blown game built in the C2 engine barely runs on a quad core intel chip at 2.4ghz. If you have ever looked up the specs for a Wii U, it’s not even close to this. It ran as expected when we tried to port it – not at all. Now that being said, there is nothing wrong with the Wii U at all. Html5/JavaScript/WebGL is a poor choice to do anything but web games in. The clear choice for us was to move to another engine, and we have – Unity.

The only thing “Windows” about our new game is the prototype. I’m coding it on a pc, I’m testing it on a pc. It’s for proofing out my ideas, and I’ve been building my art assets in it. The final game will not be running in the Construct 2 engine, period – it will be Unity. Our aim is consoles and handhelds first. Maybe mobile but I’m not a fan so that’s very iffy, then lastly Windows.

Consoles have one set of specs to test on (each), Windows for a tiny team is a pain in the ass with the millions of hardware configs out there. I can not even begin to explain how much time has been wasted for example, trouble shooting one persons pc woes a year after the game came out, when they are playing on an operating system that didn’t exist at that point. At the point of writing this Daven has been pretty much on Bug Detail and trouble shooting while I eventually moved ahead with the next game.

The Weapons of Battle Princess Madelyn!

And now for a more cheery note 😀 All of the weapons. The final game should have up to 12 weapons with 3 versions of each based on what armor you are wearing. The prototype has 9 of them completed already. Certain weapons have magical abilities for destroying spectral enemies. The sword for example is a plain sword when you are in your training armor. When you are the in the Valkyrie armor it’s “Daddy’s Cursed Sword – Insanity’s Blade” which you can pogo off of enemies with when you hold down and the attack button in air. Or if you’re in the magical dragon armor, you slam the sword into the ground causing a giant magical blast of lightning that kills just about everything thing on the screen. The cursed or magical versions of the sword can kill ghosts and other monsters the regular training weapons cannot.

 

The axe on the other hand changes with the first two sets of armor but becomes a wand with similar abilities to the sword but also shoots a low range powerful blast when you have the magical dragon armor. There will be several wands in the game as well. One that turns the enemies into a giant block of cheese which you can either use to climb and stack to reach hidden treasures or shoot it down to an edible block and get a hit point on your armor back. The love wand will either turn your enemies into fluffy wild life pals that bounce off the screen leaving you all sorts of goodies or poo, or it may randomly cause an enemy to fight for you!
Another thing that was not in the prototype that will happen is the ability to pick up the weapon you just had/dropped if you didn’t want the one you just got. Think the secondary weapon in Castlevania – this will work the same way only it’s your main weapon that you can do this with. This makes it easier to cram through the game with your fave weapon and I’m pretty sure I’m going to do achievements for finishing the game with each weapon 🙂 Now for real fun, when the player gets the backpack ability, they’ll be able to choose a secondary weapon to swap to as well if this is the ability they want. This game may look like Ghouls ‘n Ghosts on the outside, but it’s far more fun and innovative than the series ever became.

I will post videos of the weapon system later down the road when I have them looking the way I want!

 

The Self Adjusting Difficulty

I’ve seen a bit of confusion about this bit too so I will address it. The game is always watching how you play. If you die too much in one stage it will ramp the difficulty down a notch to help you get through. Alternatively, if you are blasting though stages without getting hit, the next stage will ramp up a notch to challenge you more. The game will start at a neutral position and fluctuate depending on your ability. We want everyone to enjoy the game – not just the hardcores or the casuals.

Watching me playing the prototype probably makes the game look easy 😀 So I would want more challenge out of it, it would ramp up on me and make me cry eventually! Well probably not, we’ll put a cap on difficulty since there will be the “Loki” mode to play as well.

Since there is no “lives” system in the game, the worst thing that can happen is that you’re booted back to the start of the stage. This should happen only a couple of times at the most until the game has adjusted itself to an easier level of play. But more than likely most players will destroy monsters constantly, which gathers up magical energy for the dog to resurrect you.

 

I’ll be posting videos over the next little while to demo bits of the game out as we do them. And at some point soon we’ll be doing our terrifying post-mortem of Insanity’s Blade.

 

Cheers!!

-Chris

It’s Official! Battle Princess Madelyn is a Go! Happy Birthday Maddi <3 <3

November 18th, 2015 Posted by News No Comment yet

Happy Birthday to my beautiful princess Madelyn who turned 5 today! You get your own video game!

My daughter wanted to be in Ghouls ‘n Ghosts and fight “Green Head”, I said it was someone else’s game but I could make her one that was like it. Then she said “But girls can’t be knights, Daddy. Only boys…” to which I answered “Pshh…What color do you want your armor to be?”. The answer was pink 😉 And that’s how this game started. My daughter Madelyn loves the first stage of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts and makes me play it over and over because she want’s to see me fight “Green head”, the Shielder boss at the end of the first stage. It’s not hard for her to twist my rubber arm as it’s been my favorite game since it came out years ago.

So here we are almost a year after I started tinkering with the graphics to a full blown polished prototype. We have all of the pieces in place with this one! Using Unity as our engine not only for reliability but moving to consoles where people wanted our last game to be. A beautiful movie quality sound track. An actual cut scene artist. And oh yeah – a children’s Author to co-write the game plot and dialog with me (this is based on a story I wrote when I was 9 year old… it needs heavy editing 😉 ). We’re going to take our time on this and not give a release date until we are satisfied that we will hit no snags with development.

That being said – the prototype is pretty much the full 3 stage playable training tutorial and the full 3 stage first level of the game! The player graphics are 90% finished. I think 6 or 7 different Enemies, 2 bosses. But that’s far from what we’re planning. Depending on the story, we’ll aim for 7-8 Levels of game play each with 3 stages.  Tons of cut scenes! And for the hard core GNG fans there will be a “Loki” Mode where you can (like in the original GNG) get sent back to the start of the game to replay it again to get a different ending. But the twist here is that you have to play as Daddy (who’s graphics are about 90% completed as well) with a slightly altered version of the stages as you can only use Daddy’s cursed sword (Insanity’s Blade)!

Onto the gameplay features! Aside of the basic GNG style game play we’ve added special weapons and abilities as well as items you can select to alter the way you play a level. Your ghost dog has different abilities depending on which armor you are wearing. He always has a charge attack which works in different ways depending on the armor you wear, but he cannot do his basic shoot attack until you have beaten one of the bosses in the game. The shooting is also changed by what armor you wear. One set of armor will allow you to climb in unreachable places!

And as if the dog’s abilities weren’t enough already – he has the power to resurrect the player. You cannot die! The one problem people always complain about in the GNG series is the difficulty. The half way check points drive most regular gamers nuts. Only the hardcore survive the real ghouls n ghosts (apparently I’m very hard core then ;)). So the dog collects spirit orbs as you destroy enemies. The orbs keep his magic level topped up. Using his charge attacks drain the magic a little at a time but resurrecting takes half of his magic away. As long as you are destroying enemies, you can’t die. The only time it gets really tricky here is when you get to a boss. But the bosses all have attacks that unleash minions, and these guys are destroyed to get the orbs.

Onto Quest items! As you progress through the game, you will receive items that can boost your performance during the game. One of the first quest items you obtain will be a magical bag which you can store an item in which will aid you. Basically this is an equip slot. The dog’s fire power is one of the items that can be placed here, a second set of armor, and a few other items which will enhance an aspect of your game play. They can be equipped on the map screen. This lets the player choose which object and strategy they will use for a stage. Some people may find blasting their way though to the end is best with the dog, or having the ability to have a second set of magical dragon armor during a boss fight to be much better. The choice will be up to the player.

Self adjusting difficulty. If the game finds you are struggling, it will ease off on what it’s throwing at you etc, If it sees you are having way too easy of a go, it will throw more at you. The player will never be penalized for the adjustment in difficulty. And it will allow beginners and pros alike to enjoy the same gameplay without having to alter or lose anything. One game for all!!

Game progression. This one is for the completionists!! Stage stats – Hidden Chests found, Hidden Areas Found, Hidden Items Found. Get 100% if you can! This is something that got cut from our previous game because of the addition of the second player. There are hidden areas in every level that contain different items. Some can only be found when you are using a special weapon.

So that’s it for now! We’ll be posting dev blog updates as we progress. Screens and vids, and also be featuring some of the music on our site! And stay tuned today for some more news and videos of the prototype! I’ve dropped some screens on here to hold you over and now I’ve got to get back to the birthday girl!

– Chris

Extra enemies…

June 17th, 2014 Posted by News No Comment yet

Hey Everyone!

Well, the bug fixing is still coming along but we’re finally getting close to the tweaking stage! We have some exciting updates to share too! Since only one of us can be in the code at a time, I’ve been doing extra art assets for the game! In the past two nights I’ve drawn up seven new enemies for the game to break up the relentless onslaught of the undead in every stage.

Although the story itself is about the sword and a demon who raises the dead, I found it was just too repetitive to kill undead enemies in every stage. Also I felt there was a lack of medium sized enemies too. I had code kicking around from other projects that made it quick and easy to add the AI in, while we could cut and paste the rest of the things (damage to enemy, damage to player and XP) and do a simple replace of objects in the code. Repetition in enemies was a concern of my own and a couple of the beta testers. So that’s one major thing down!

New Enemies
A list of new enemies are:

  • Giant Slime
  • Skeleton Archer
  • Wisps (5 kinds)
  • Orc (3 kinds)
  • Stone Death Heads
  • Hopper Goblins
  • Tree Giants

Chris