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Twilight Tower Defense Open Development – Week #10

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Hey!

I was contemplating for a long while whether or not I should write a post this week. The reason for that is that I didn’t make a lot of progress on Twilight Tower Defense due to the release of Super Jumpy Ball on Nintendo Switch. But then I realized that this is exactly why I need to do it! Working with indie games often means that you work solo or in a small team and at times you are not as productive as you’d like to be. In the end it’s all about pushing through that and get back on the horse!

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?

Super Jumpy Ball was launched on Switch last Friday and the week was spent doing a lot of marketing and of course some bugs was found in the last minute.

When it comes to Twilight Tower Defense the focus is still on Towers and I did manage to get one features implemented related to that.

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

Restock Bow Tower with arrows  
The bow tower, that was added a while ago, has a set number of arrows in it’s stock. After a while it will run out of arrows and will display a large ! sign. There was no way to restock arrows and when it ran out of hours it was just a sitting duck. Now you can restock the tower but it’s a little bit awkward, fire an arrow close enough to the Tower and it will drag it into it’s stock. In the future I’ll add the ability to add more than 1 arrow at a time.

Bow damage
Before the Bow did equally amount of damage regardless how much you pulled it back. That is changed now so the longer you pull back the bow the more damage it will deal, and the same goes for your enemies, so archers are more deadly now. Headshots require a certain amount of force otherwise they won’t count as critical kills.

Detailed change log
v0.1.9
* New Feature: The longer you pull back the bow the more damage it does. If the force is too low enemies won’t die from a single headshot.
* New feature: Bow turrets pulls in arrows close to the tower to resupply.

Super Jumpy Ball is out on Nintendo Switch

Super Jumpy Ball Play on Nintendo Switch & Xbox One

Super Jumpy Ball is out on Nintendo Switch and so far people seems to enjoy it! You can order it here

A big thanks goes out to everyone that has bough Super Jumpy Ball on Xbox One and PC. An even bigger thanks goes to the testers and members of on our Discord Server who constantly comes with new ideas and suggestion that improves the game, you are all amazing!

Super Jumpy Ball launches today on Nintendo Switch

Stockholm, Sweden (September 6, 2019)

Super Jumpy Ball Play on Nintendo Switch & Xbox One

Super Jumpy Ball, a fun & challenging 2D platform game for 1-8 players, from CasualGames.nu, is launching today on Nintendo Switch. 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.

Reviews & Rating

  • “Super Jumpy Ball delivers instant fun and entertainment”
    Rating: 7/10 – Hype.se (In Swedish)
  • “Super Jumpy Ball is quite a fun little game for those casual moments”
    Rating: 3.5/5- Northern-gamer.com
  • Xbox One players rates Super Jumpy Ball 4.5/5

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

Nintendo Store Page: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/super-jumpy-ball-switch/

Xbox One & PC Store Page:  https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9ng8b8qn86dd

Super Jumpy Ball Nintendo Switch release 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
Trailer: https://youtu.be/34P1AqchR1Q
Developer: CasualGames.nu
Publisher: CasualGames.nu
Genre: Platfomer/Party
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC
Engine: Unity
Price: $4.99/ £4.99 / €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

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=super_jumpy_ball

Twilight Tower Defense Open Development – Week #9

Read previous issues

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 🎉

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 🎉
You can buy it with a 10% pre-order discount here.

Twilight Tower Defense Open Development – Week #8

Read previous issues

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

Read previous issues

Hey there!

Wow another week has already passed and there’s been progress 🙂 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’t 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 serverhttps://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 – September 6th.

North America
August 17th – 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 / €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 serverhttps://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