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Pre-Alpha Build and Live on Kickstarter!

March 16th, 2017 Posted by Games, News No Comment yet

Hello All!
We’ve released the Pre-Alpha Build of Battle Princess Madelyn on Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/603930/

Click Download Demo to give the first level (five stages, 3 main and 2 secret) a try !

Also, we’ve launched a Kickstarter!

Come check out some of the unique Battle Princess Madelyn rewards on offer while the campaign is still going at: http://www.battleprincessmadelyn.com

Thanks to all of you for your support so far in the journey through Greenlight,  and we have a lot more exciting information on the game coming ahead!

-Chris and Daven
Causal Bit Games Inc.

Battle Princess Madelyn and the Normal Maps!

May 28th, 2016 Posted by Games No Comment yet

Hey Guys!

We’re still here working on Maddi’s game – busy with our day jobs as usual but still squeezing in the time to get the game up and running in Unity and then some! Here is what we’ve been up to in the past little while:

New levels/stages designed:

On top of porting the rebuilt original stages from the prototype, we’ve also been building entirely new stages too. The “Winter Level” as we call it right now, is pretty much finished aside of a few enemies and working out the boss fight for the 3rd stage of level. On top of the artwork and coding for those stages, we’ve also been experimenting with the lighting using unity’s lighting and normal maps. Some of it has turned out pretty good and only requires minor tweaking while other bits were not so hot on yet. Overall it’s adding an incredible amount of depth to the artwork that wasn’t there before. Bloom and Glow give off a misty effect as you blast through the rebuilt boneyard stage, while light shafts and candle light show you the way through the old crypt. The winter stages end up getting lots of twinkle and glow from the crystals in the rocks while lanterns swing in the mine!

Another set of stages we’ve been working on are the ruins in the swamp. This stage comes directly after a bonus level of coffin riding out of the side of the crypt (stage 1-3 cutscene). Demon Bugs, swamp ghouls, mutant rats, skeleton fish and giant frogs are just of the few of the baddies you’ll encounter in this stage. Giant trees and breaking branches along with retracting vines will make up the challenge for the stage.

 

Continuing the porting of the C2 prototype/engine to Unity:

Daven has been hard at work, coding/re-coding the AI and event systems from the prototype and our designs. We’re on track for development as he is moving into the pick up system. Base AI for enemies is pretty much completed aside of fine tuning. Daven has switched the Unity 2d Physics based collisions he had originally done over to a ray casting solution for high precision detection.

Though the ideas behind all of the events in the prototype translate over to the Unity just fine, the event system does not exist. Daven has recreated some “behaviors” from the prototype over to C#, a hefty task since the visual events in C2 don’t convert nicely into code. Instead, he has gone by the feel of the C2 prototype while playing it to get as accurate of a recreation as possible, while researching the best practices of Unity to avoid any performance pitfalls and overhead.

Currently he’s working on porting the first boss fight over which is tricky since the boss is split into many pieces, and so that part of the C2 event sheets becomes basically useless for translation too. So far we have the animations rebuilt and in some cases they’re even slightly better. And we should have a video showcasing clips of the original stages rebuilt as well as some of the newer work in the next month.

 

We’re super exited to be sharing video footage of the game soon. It’s not too far off but we want to make sure it’s looking great before we show full clips!

For now we’ll leave you with some screen shots of the game from both the Unity version to see the progress, and the raw levels that are currently being built and tested in the C2 prototype!

 

Unity Shots of completed/mostly completed stages:

runToTheFood2 13271789_10209852156922574_1640114218_o stg2a stg1b stg1a

C2 WIP stage shots:

winterCave80percent runToTheFood saturday

Chris and Daven

 

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