Tallowmere 2
Work in progress. Subject to change. More fun than you can shake a kitten at.
Tallowmere 2

Lady Tallowmere has begun expanding her empire.

Tallowmere 2 is an upcoming 2D dungeon platformer game, currently in its early stages, being developed by Chris McFarland in Auckland, New Zealand.

Delve Further
Blog Post

...and back to Tallowmere 2

13 March 2017  •  Chris McFarland

I am working on Tallowmere 2 again.

I tried returning to Tallowmere 1, but the code is so old and badly structured. I'm over adding new things to the 2-year-old game (apart from new languages!).

I got depressed. Took a break. Now I'm back.

About a month ago I started rewriting Tallowmere 2 again from scratch. A smaller, more pixelated art style, rather than trying to be hi-def. Did a couple of enemies and weapons, including a bouncing fireball spitter. Feels good. Looks silly and gritty. Zero attack animations for the player is the way to go. Haven't added arms and legs yet, but that's half the fun. Animating limbs gets in the way of instant feedback. Things still waddle and jump around and gib and splat though. I think there's room for leg animation and hand animation for enemies, but that will come later. This was what was annoying me last year with the 2016 art style – things were trying to be too realistic in an unrealistic game.

I'm now in the process of getting my network code back to where it was last year. Currently using LiteNetLib. Lobby server works and you can host and join games, just have to network in the creature movement next.

Also started on a dungeon editor so you can create your own room layouts and place your own monsters.

Won't post any images this post (apart from the thumbnail), but it's safe to say the art from last year is no more. I will update this website's look at some point.

Savefile structure

A character's savefile structure dictates what the game should have, so I'm sorting out this structure first before I delve too far.

Common requests from Tallowmere 1 players has been:

  • Character slots
  • Story
  • Unlockables
  • Endless mode (not everyone likes permadeath)

Proposed game structure for starting a new character

  • Characters:
    • Each character has a permanent trait and starts with a specific weapon.
    • Each character has a character level. (level up, gain some stats, pick a trait)
    • Each character has a completion rate. (have you completed everything in every room?)
  • Game Modes:
    • Story Mode (things unlock gradually and randomly, so you ease into everything the game will throw at you)
    • Rogue Mode (everything is unlocked and thrown at you from the start)
    • Cursed Mode (forced to only use the weapon type your character starts, similar to Tallowmere 1's weapon challenges)
    • Chance Mode (every room, you are randomly assigned and forced to use a new weapon)
  • Difficulty Modes:
    • Cuddly (softcore, casual, unlimited lives)
    • Voracious (stock, start with 3 lives and you can gain or lose them, game ends when lives are depleted)
    • Feral (hardcore, one death and it's game over)

      Mode aside, will you be able to inflate your max health with some sacrificial kittens again? Have they all been kidnapped, or does Esmerelda have some hidden away spare for you?
  • Character Types
    • Axe Maiden (Axe)
    • Fire Spitter (Bouncing Fireball)
    • And more
  • Unlockables:
    • Weapon types are unlockables.
    • Enemy types are unlockables.
    • Traps are unlockables.
    • Shrines are unlockables.
    • Consumables are unlockables.
    • Pets are unlockables.
    • Curses are unlockables. (curses can be room modifiers)
    • Gems are unlockables.
  • Dungeons:
    • There is one dungeon for every unlockable.
    • Each dungeon contains 6-10 rooms.
    • Dungeon is made up of unlockables that have been unlocked.
    • Each dungeon contains a boss.
    • Upon defeating the dungeon’s boss:
      • Player rescues a crystal kitten (because the kittens have been kidnapped, right?) which unlocks an unlockable.
      • Player receives a nice weapon, pet, or other loot.
  • Bosses:
    • Each boss contains 3 phases.

Thinking

Could a Feral character play with a Cuddly or Voracious character? If a Feral character dies it's game over for them, but a Cuddly or Voracious character could keep going - is it okay to combine these? If you want to play with your friend but you both have different character types, should I limit the ability for you to have fun, or is it best to let fun prevail despite someone being at a harder disadvantage?

Should character classes be locked away to start with? Play through Story Mode once and you'll unlock all the characters (eg rescue them so you can play as them). Or should all classes be available from the get-go?

Last year, dungeons were randomly named and randomly generated. This year, I think it will be better to have staticly-named dungeons, but have their rooms be random. This way I can control the bosses and story flow.

Further thoughts:

  • Is grinding fun? Is it more fun to just level up when clearing a dungeon?
  • Sould bosses have loot tables?
  • Are trash drops fun?


– Chris