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Twilight Tower Defense Open Development – Week #9

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Hi!

Progress on Twilight Tower Defense was a little bit slow this week since I had to focus a bit on Super Jumpy Ball which is launching on Nintendo Switch on Friday¬†ūüéČ

As always if you like this game and the concept head over to the Discord Server and give me a hand with features, feedback and ideas that I can add to the game.

What have I been up to this week?

I’ve focused on improving the construction of Towers during this week. There is still a number of improvements left but it’s a big leap forward compared with the previous version.

There is a new version that you can play on¬†itch,¬†this is what’s new in it.

Improved construction of Towers
There is now a UI showing how much a Tower will cost before you build it. And¬†there is also the ability change change Tower. A bit of juice has been added with a nice “thump” animation when you place Towers and suitable sound effect. The Tower indicates in red when you cannot place it, if there is a tower already in that space or if you simply can’t afford it. Behind the scenes there was a plenty of work so support this with data structures to support many different Towers in the future.

Buttons
I’ve made some decisions which influences the controls in the game. With gamepad X is now the “Cancel” button. So if you start to build a Tower with B you can cancel it with X. The Y button is now the pickup weapon button.

On Keyboard I changed the E button to be the pickup weapon button.

Detailed change log
v0.1.8
* New Tower: Wood palisade Tower.
* Improved: Tower placement, towers get red when they cannot be placed. Added Particle + sound effect + shake effect when Towers are placed.
* New feature: Ability to cycle towers.
* Improved: Ability to cancel construction of Tower.
* Improved: Show cost when building Tower.
* Improved: If you have too little money to build a Tower then flash the color of the cost of a Tower, and play denied sound effect.
* Improved: If you press B a Tower will appear even if you can’t afford it.
* Improved: Bow Tower shows a ! when it’s out of ammo.
* Improved: Changed weapon pickup to Y on gamepad and E on keyboard.

Super Jumpy Ball
This week on Friday, Super Jumpy Ball, is launching on Switch¬†ūüéČ
You can buy it with a 10% pre-order discount here.

Twilight Tower Defense Open Development – Week #8

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Howdy!

Sorry this¬†post was supposed to be published yesterday but I wanted to squeeze in some features into the weekly build. I hope that you’ve had a nice week. My week has been a little bit more fragmented than I wished but I managed to get a lot of things done.

As always if you like this game and the concept head over to the Discord Server and give me a hand with features, feedback and ideas that I can add to the game.

What have I been up to this week?

This week the focus has been to create more variation in enemies and I really wanted to get a enemy with a long range weapon. So I came up a skeleton archer, read the story about it below.
I also created a Discord bot for the Discord server, currently it doesn’t do that much but I hope to build some mini-game into it. There is a new version that you can play on¬†itch.

Skeleton archer
To make it easier for me to handle various weapons in the game I figured that the it would be great if the AI player could use the same weapons as the player. To avoid having to create a gazillion animations I tried a system where I create the a weapon as a separate object which can be carried by the player or an AI enemy. But the process took a¬† bit of time, just giving the AI a bow didn’t have the effect I plane.¬†At first the AI tried to use it as a sword, which sort of works actually so that is now a feature when they run out of arrows.

2nd attempt went a bit better but still had some issues with the AI killing itself.

After a number of attempts it started to act the way I had envisioned it.

Aiming 
Having an AI archer also meant that I need to figure out how to aim and spent a fair time reading about ballistics and how I would be able to calculate a trajectory. I felt like I was about to drown in the deep-end of the pool but then I found this article which explains how to that in various ways and included source code to a sample.

Bow Towers 
Well now that I had an AI that could carry a bow I could easily duplicate the same mechanism for a turret.


Detailed change log
v0.1.7
* New Enemy: Skeleton archer.
* New Test Level: Two Towers are already built for you on this map.
* New Tower: Bow Tower that can aim & fire bow.
* New feature: Added SFX when zombies gets into the house, like mmmm brains.
* New feature: Added shake effect on door and turrets when Zombies hit them;
* New feature: Added SFX baning sound when Zombie hits turret or door.
* New feature: Added SFX screaming when Zombie enters house.
* Improved: Only allow enemies to enter house while they are on ground.
* Improved: When placing towers all sprites get 0.5 in alpha value so you can see through the whole turret.
* Improved: Created general shader & material to make a sprite go white, this makes the process when hitting something much easier to handle instead of a material per sprite.
* Fixed Bug: Enemies turn around when they encounter a door at times.
* Fixed bug: Enemies won’t hit towers if they are too thick.

TRAC -> TAR (Total Arcade Racing)
Ok so TRAC doesn’t compute to Totally Rad Arcade Racing, not sure what I was thinking about so there is a new name for it and you can try the first version on¬†itch¬†already!

Twilight Tower Defense Open Development – Week #7

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Hey there!

Wow another week has already passed and there’s been progress ūüôā¬†But creating games takes a lot of time and during the process you’ll need to learn new skills.This week I spent a significant amount of time into¬† improving my skills around Unity’s UI system.

As always if you like this game and the concept head over to the Discord Server and give me a hand with features, feedback and ideas that I can add to the game.

What have we been up to this week?

The very¬†first early build of the game is available on¬†itch.io¬†which is a big step for me and I feel slightly nervous about people playing the game at such an early state.¬†There isn’t much you can do in the game yet, you can move around pick a bow and fire at things. At night Zombies come out and you’ll need to survive while protecting the people in the house, don’t let any enemies in. The goal is to upload new builds weekly.

UI Menu system
In my previous games I’ve used nGUI instead of the built¬†in system in Unity. My main reasons for using nGUI was performance since the old UI system in Unity 5.x was extremely bad. The guy that did nGUI was hired by Unity to make the new UI system so it’s has a lot of resemblance but it’s not the same so it took a while to get everything to work as I wanted with support for gamepad, mouse¬†and keyboard.

Fixing bugs in the animation and AI state machine
Last week the animation system and AI state machine was added but it did a few bugs that came out when testing the game. On funny bug was the the state machine didn’t notice if an enemy died of a heat shot and tried to keep animating it, causing this slightly unnerving death twitches.

Kenney Jam game -> TRAC (Totally Rad Arcade Racing)
I feel a little bit that I’m cheating on Twilight Tower Defense but I had a lot of fun making my tiny racing game so I keep working on it and now it’s got a proper title: TRAC (Totally Rad Arcade Racing)

Snake vs Snake sold more than 10 000 units
I can’t stop myself talking about this but it’s just amazing! Snake vs Snake has sold more than 10 000 copies across all platforms. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

How is the time budget doing?

This week I’ve been able to spend¬†12¬†hours¬†on¬†Twilight Tower Defense.

The initial time budget for Twilight Tower Defense was¬†1 840 hours, roughly 1 year of me working work 40 hours per week on the game. Now every week won’t be 40 hours, currently I’m aiming at 20 – 25¬†hours per week.

Twilight Tower Defense Open Development – Week #6

 

Hey there!

I’ve decided to try something new, a weekly development newsletter about my journey as a game developer and the games I make. Starting out we’ll be following the development of¬†Twilight Tower Defense.
In this newsletter I’ll try to share how I create games and the challenges I face.

I’d love to have you on-board for my journey so please head over to our¬†Discord Server

And yes… This is sort of a rip-off from¬†Flying Oak Games¬†which I happen to be a big fan off.

Who am I?

I’m Fredrik and I work as a part time indie game developer. Yeah that’s right I can’t afford to work with games at full time but I hope to change that soon. I run the game studio¬†CasualGames.nu¬†(sorry no cool name like DeadToast) and currently I’m the only one working there. I’ve released a few games during the years and started out with mobile game development and have drifted into the console market. My biggest release so far has been¬†Snake vs Snake¬†which is out on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Steam and has sold over 10 000 copies so far.¬†Super Jumpy Ball¬†is also one of my creations that is coming to¬†Nintendo Switch¬†in September.

What is this game about?

Twilight Tower Defense is a mix between platform games and 2D tower defense. The concept is that you’re a hero that is sent to save a village from the oncoming Zombie invasion. During daytime you can collect various items and build your fortification and then at night the Zombies arrive. As a hero you will be capable of doing some fighting on your own but you’ll need to build towers and other things to help you out.

What have we been up to this week?

I re-started the development of¬†Twilight Tower Defense on June¬†24th. It was actually an old game concept I had before a few years ago but I lacked the skill and technology to do it. Well now I’m back and hopefully it will go better this time. The game is built using Unity and it’s using the new LWRP with the new 2D lights. The game is still in the concept stage where I’m trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Animation system
I’ve been testing out various ways of animating the characters and tried the new 2D skeleton system but felt it was a bit overkill for this game. So I went with the traditional Unity Animation system. I also separated the parts of the characters which gives the ability to do true head shots and other good stuff.

AI state system
Previously I was using my own home brew state machine for AI but decided to move it to use Unity’s build in Animator which did a surprisingly good job at this. With this system I can expand the AI system more easily in the future and it becomes more understandable why the AI is acting the way it does.

Better handling of platforms
One aspect of being a platform game is that you want to be able to jump up through certain platforms that are not too thick. Initially I was using an effector in Unity that solves this for you. While it’s nice to use a built in feature it didn’t feel good enough. Another problem was that things started the fall through platforms which is bad. So I coded my own system which does the job better.

Turrets/Towers
Turrets are back now but they need a lot more work. But here is a basic bow turret in progress of taking care of some enemies.

Kenney Jam
During the weekend I joined the Kenney Jam and did a little racer game that turned out better than expected. You can try the game here.

How is the time budget doing?

This week I’ve been able to spend¬†17¬†hours¬†on¬†Twilight Tower Defense.

The initial time budget for Twilight Tower Defense was¬†1 840 hours, roughly 1 year of me working work 40 hours per week on the game. Now every week won’t be 40 hours, currently I’m aiming at 20 – 25¬†hours per week.

Super Jumpy Ball Reviewed on Northern-gamer.com

“The multiplayer mode is quite a lot of fun and allows up to 8 players to bounce around at once. While I haven‚Äôt played with 7 other people, I have played the game with my 6-year-old son and we have had quite a bit of fun playing the different modes together.¬†In conclusion, Super Jumpy Ball is quite a fun little game for those casual moments you want to take a break from serious games and just unwind a little bit.”

Read the full review here:

Super Jumpy Ball Review (Nintendo Switch)

PS you can pre-order the game already on Nintendo.com

A 10% pre-order discount will be available in the following regions and dates:

Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa
August 7th – September 6th.

North America
August 17th – September 6th

 

Super Jumpy Ball Play on Nintendo Switch & Xbox One

 

Download

Nintendo Switch
Xbox One & PC
itch.io (PC & Mac)

Feedback and discussions

Join my discord server: https://discord.gg/AyYtKXT

Super Jumpy Ball coming to Nintendo Switch

Stockholm, Sweden (July 29, 2019)

Super Jumpy Ball, a challenging & fun 2D platform game for 1-8 players, from CasualGames.nu, is coming to Nintendo Switch on the 6th of September 2019. Faced with clever level design and challenging obstacles, players must find their way through each level while bouncing, wall jumping, avoiding spikes and spike balls.

Super Jumpy Ball was initially released 2017 on Xbox One and was one of the first titles in the Xbox Live Creators Program. Since then Super Jumpy Ball has been recognized as one of the fan favorites and one of the top games in the Xbox One Creators Program.

10% Pre-order discount
10% pre-order discount will be available in the following regions and dates.

Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa 
August 7th ‚Äď September 6th.

North America
August 17th ‚Äď September 6th

Review keys

Review keys are available for press, review sites, YouTubers and streamers. Contact press@casualgames.nu to request keys.

Screenshots, trailer and clips and more details about the game is available on our Presskit site. http://hello.casualgames.nu/presskit/sheet.php?p=super_jumpy_ball

Trailer

Game Description

Super Jumpy Ball is a challenging & fun 2D platform game for 1-8 players, inspired by retro platformers. Faced with clever level design and challenging obstacles, players must find their way through each level while bouncing, wall jumping, avoiding spikes and spike balls.

Super Jumpy Ball has been recognized as one of the fan favorites and one of the top games in the Xbox One Creators Program.

Key Features

* Local Multiplayer. Play up to 8 players in various local multiplayer modes.
* Global leaderboard. Compete with other players from around the world and reach the #1 spot. Prove once and for all that you are the best player in the world.
* Speed run support. Beat all levels as fast as possible and see if you can become the fastest player in the world.

Game info

Title: Super Jumpy Ball
Developer: CasualGames.nu
Publisher: CasualGames.nu
Genre: Platfomer/Party
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC
Engine: Unity
Price: $4.99/ ¬£4.99 / ‚ā¨4.99
Release Date: Nintendo Switch (September 6th, 2019), Xbox One (August 11th, 2017), Microsoft store (August 11th, 2017)

Game Rating: PEGI 3, ESRB E (Everyone)

Stores & Downloads

Nintendo Switch https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/super-jumpy-ball-switch/
Xbox One https://microsoft.com/store/apps/9ng8b8qn86dd
PC https://microsoft.com/store/apps/9ng8b8qn86dd

About CasualGames.nu

CasualGames.nu is an independent game studio based in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 2013 by Fredrik Kellermann. The studio is focuses on delivering simplistic yet awesome games that everyone can enjoy. http://hello.casualgames.nu/

PR & Press contact

Press kit with screenshots, videos, PR contact details and more is available on: http://hello.casualgames.nu/presskit/sheet.php?p=snake_vs_snake

Snake vs Snake v1.3.6 is out!

One of our¬†Discord¬†members, Neube, requested to have a volume slider in the game for the SFX. It’s a great suggestion and it should have been in the game from the start but was lost somewhere in the development process.

Keep the suggestions coming and feel free to join our Discord Server

An Xbox streamer contacted us about missing Snake vs Snake on Mixer. com and that has been fixed now so you can happily stream Snake vs Snake now.

Download

Nintendo Switch
Xbox One & PC
itch.io (PC & Mac)
gamejolt (PC & Mac)
Steam (PC & Mac)

Feedback and discussions

Join my discord server: https://discord.gg/AyYtKXT

Details of what’s new in¬†v1.3.6

* New feature: Ability to adjust SFX volume
* Improved: Volume UI works more like sliders now. You can use the stick to increase/decrease volume
* Improved: Reduced the sfx volume when you pickup an apple

Super Jumpy Ball pre-order on Nintendo Switch

The game page for Super Jumpy Ball is up on Nintendo.com and is available for pre-order on the eShop on the Switch device.

A 10% pre-order discount will be available in the following regions and dates:

Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa
August 7th – September 6th.

North America
August 17th – September 6th

 

Super Jumpy Ball Play on Nintendo Switch & Xbox One

 

Download

Nintendo Switch
Xbox One & PC
itch.io (PC & Mac)

Feedback and discussions

Join my discord server: https://discord.gg/AyYtKXT

Super Jumpy Ball is coming to Nintendo Switch

Hey there!

Sorry about the lack of news and updates, we’re still alive and kicking. We’ve been busy with building new games and trying out a bunch of concepts.

We’ve also been working on an all new version of Super Jumpy Ball for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The 1 year anniversary edition for Xbox One was enjoyed and played by a lot of our fans and we felt that the Super Jumpy Ball journey wasn’t quite finished.

So here it is the new and improved Super Jumpy Ball with better graphics, even better controls and support for up to 8 players.

Here is the new trailer for Super Jumpy Ball, please feel free to like it, share it and comment on it.

The Nintendo Switch version will be published on the 6th of September. Once the store page is up we’ll add another news post.

We’d like to thank everyone for your support in this game, without you this game would never have made is as far as it has. Thanks!

So what’s new in this release?

Super Jumpy Ball Play on Nintendo Switch & Xbox One

Well obviously Nintendo Switch support is the big news but we kind of forgot to post any news during the recent development so here are a bunch of new release that already got published on Xbox One. However there are some bad news, we’re cutting development of the mobile version. Yeah it’s a pity but it’s not worth the effort at this point and the old version still works.

Detailed changes

v1.3.8
* Nintendo Switch release is ready!
* Improved: End of level cheer sound is too loud, reduced volume.
* Improved: UI tapsound is too loud, reduced volume.
* Fixed Bug: Rotating swords level was using old graphics.

v1.3.7
* New graphics for all levels.
* New graphics for endless runner.
* Improved: Better background in the main menu.
* Improved: Added music volume setting.
* Improved: Added impact sound when ball hit’s ground and basketball rim.
* Improved: Added UI indication how to change character, only shown if you’ve never changed character.
* Improved: Character play sound when you are ready in multiplayer mode and when selecting character.
* Improved: Added country selection which is used for Hall of fame.
* Improved: Multiplayer win screen added.
* Improved: Added number of stars unlocked to level selection page.
* Improved: Added slider for particle effect in settings to increase or decrease particle emission.
* Fixed bug: Camera moves back to start when player dies in endless runner mode.

v1.3.6
* New feature: Character selection screen in multiplayer and single player.
* Improved graphics with new balls.
* Improved: You can access Hall of fame from the main menu.
* Improved: 8 players support added.
* Improved: Added particle trails to ball when jumping, little moar juice.
* Improved: Added option to disable controller vibration.
* Improved: Better UI Navigation, increased size of buttons when they are selected and increased contrast.
* Improved: Time has better UI framing.
* Improved: Basketball reduced game time to 2 min instead of 3.
* Fixed bug: UI back navigation was working at times.
* Fixed Bug: Camera lags in survival mode.
* Fixed bug: Spike balls shot at you lagged at times.
* Fixed Bug: Remove ability for all players to press forward & back and move back in UI, only P1 should be allowed to do this.

v1.3.5
* New game mode: Basketball.
* New Feature: New score UI for Basketball mode.
* Improved: Tweaked the controls a little bit to make them a tad more responsive.
* Improved: Added variation to Endless Survivor.
* Improved: Ball movement in sideways in the air felt over responsive on keyboard and Switch, reduced the max velocity sideways a little bit.
* Improved: Multiplayer changed rim colors of players graphics instead of changing the actual color of the players sprite.
* Improved: Ball jumps tighter against a single wall which makes it climb a single wall faster.
* Fixed Bug: On Endless Survivor when you die the screen goes black.

v1.3.4
* New game mode: Basketball.
* New Feature: New score UI for Basketball mode.
* Improved: Tweaked the controls a little bit to make them a tad more responsive.
* Improved: Added variation to Endless Survivor.
* Improved: Ball movement in sideways in the air felt over responsive on keyboard and Switch, reduced the max velocity sideways a little bit.
* Improved: Multiplayer changed rim colors of players graphics instead of changing the actual color of the players sprite.
* Improved: Ball jumps tighter against a single wall which makes it climb a single wall faster.
* Fixed Bug: On Endless Survivor when you die the screen goes black.

* Internal: Changed GameState from int to enum instead.
* Internal: Increased spawn ahead distance on Endless Survivor.
* Internal: Refactor old HallOfFame to new leaderboard.
* Internal: Added system to fetch player color.
* Internal: Destroyed store manager on load if the platform is not Android since it polls once and a while and can cause lags in UWP.
* Internal: Removed own ads system that was still enabled on Android.

Download

Xbox One & PC
itch.io (PC & Mac)

Feedback and discussions

Join my discord server: https://discord.gg/AyYtKXT

Snake vs Snake v1.3.5 is out!

I got a feature request from a player asking for the option to disable power-ups in the Tail Runner battle mode so he could be able to play the game “Tron lightbike” style. In the update I took this one step further so you can disable power-ups in all battle modes so you can also play regular Snake and use more tactics to win against your opponents.

Contrasts on some of the power-ups have been improved as requested by another player.

A bug that causes snakes to re-spawn when you added a new AI opponent has also been fixed.

Keep sending feedback and don’t by shy to send feature requests.

Download

Nintendo Switch
Xbox One & PC
itch.io (PC & Mac)
gamejolt (PC & Mac)
Steam (PC & Mac)

Feedback and discussions

Join my discord server: https://discord.gg/AyYtKXT

Details of what’s new in¬†v1.3.5

* Improved: Added option to disable all power-ups for people who just want a pure Snake experience, tactical style.
* Improved: Add more contrast to the slow down power-up.
* Improved: Leaderboard on Nintendo Switch has been improved.
* Fixed bug: Pressing Y adds an AI snake to the game in battle mode. But if there already was 6 snakes in the game then pressing Y caused dead snakes to respawn.