Sega Dreamcast PC (Microsoft Windows) PlayStation 4

Pics or it didn't happen

Posted by Roel, 24 Aug 2017 09:32
As said in our previous post, GamesCom visitors had the opportunity to play a demo of Intrepid Izzy on SEGA Dreamcast. And so they did! Many thanks to retrospiel for the photos and of course for facilitating the demo!

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Also, as scrutinous observers will, um, observe, we've planned a KickStarter campaign to run in "September/October". That may seem a bit vague, but that's partly because it's still a lot of work to get it all set up, and partly because KickStarter simply doesn't "do" exact start dates. So, it's coming soon-ish!

Also also, Intrepid Izzy now has a third target platform, which is PlayStation 4!

New moves. Also, GamesCom!

Posted by Roel, 22 Aug 2017 20:41
Each of Izzy's costumes comes with a unique set of special moves.

By default, Izzy can throw a fireball. As of today, she can also do an aerial fireball:

Dressed in vampire fashion, she can change into a bat - as you may have seen in one of our earlier posts. And as of today, she can also perform an energy burst as a variation on the default fireball:
The energy burst is faster than the fireball, but has a shorter range.

For those of you who are visiting GamesCom in Cologne this year: sorry, but we're not there! But don't be sad, because our games are! Visit the Retrospiel booth in the Retro Gaming Area to play our Dreamcast games and even a playable demo of Intrepid Izzy!

Voice recordings

Posted by Roel, 03 Aug 2017 07:06
Yay, another video! This time we unveil Izzy's brand new voice!

Many thanks to Arthur for supplying a microphone, and to Shi Shi for her lovely voice!

Creating HD sprite animations

Posted by Roel, 02 Jul 2017 08:58
Hello again dear readers!

In today's dev log post we present a "making of" video, explaining how the animations for Intrepid Izzy are created. This is a first for us and it took a lot more time to record and edit than perhaps it should have, so your feedback would be appreciated even more than usual! As before you can drop your opinions, suggestions, requests and other comments on YouTube, fb or Twitter.

Interview on The Dreamcast Junkyard

Posted by Roel, 20 Jun 2017 09:58
Good morning, or whatever time of day it may be in your dimension!

The Dreamcast Junkyard's Tom Charnock interviewed yours truly and it's well worth a read, if I do say so myself. Tom is an expert on all things Dreamcast, as well as a skilled interviewer.

Read the interview on The Dreamcast Junkyard!


Do you wish to engage in fisticuffs?

Posted by Roel, 14 Jun 2017 11:38
New stuff is being added to Intrepid Izzy every day. In a recent update, Izzy's repertoire was extended with a powerful new move: the uppercut.

As a finisher, this powerful upward blow disintegrates enemies into a fountain of fruity gore.

The uppercut can also be activated directly, by pressing up+attack. If your enemies think they have the advantage by taking the high ground, they have another think coming!

Smash them into the ceiling for double damage!

The katana wielded when wearing the ninja costume adds even more range and power, reducing those vile mutant kiwifruit to slices.

Intrepid Izzy running on Dreamcast

Posted by Roel, 22 May 2017 14:34
Hey there, space cats!

So far most footage of Intrepid Izzy was taken from the HD version, running on a PC. But let's take a closer look at the Dreamcast version today.

Here's a video of the game running on the actual hardware, recorded this very morning:

For those of you who are interested in the technical details, this is how it was done:
  • Using a nifty tool, all the game data from the HD original was scaled down by 50%, and the bit depth of the images reduced from 32 to 16. So all the levels and characters and such are still exactly the same, just smaller and with fewer colours.
  • The Dreamcast is running a tool that allows it to load the game and the data files from a PC via a network cable. It doesn't load quite as fast as it would from a CD or GD, but it saves a lot of time burning CD-R's.
  • This TV has a VGA port, so the Dreamcast was simply connected via a VGA box. No upscaler was used.
  • The game is running at a resolution of 640x480 pixels, and the frame rate is a stable 60 frames per second. Sadly this video doesn't have such a high frame rate, but trust me, this game is running super smoothly!

Because a video can only say so much, here's a screenshot so you can see exactly what the game looks like on the Dreamcast, down to the last pixel:
On account of the reduced bit depth of the images, a banding effect is visible in the water. There are tricks to counteract that, but that is a detail that will have to wait until much later.

As always, thank you for reading and come again!

Platforms, as far as the eye can see!

Posted by Roel, 15 May 2017 14:05
Hello again!

If there's one thing a platform game cannot do without, it must obviously be its namesake: platforms. To make sure Intrepid Izzy has a wide range of them, that part of the engine was reprogrammed over the past week. Let's take a look at some of the results now.

Here's a platform that's attached to a rail. Or so it appears - it's not really attached to the rail, it's actually following an invisible path that was defined in the level editor. Paths can have any shape or size. The image of the rail is really just a visual cue for the player.

The following platform reacts to being stepped on, moving in the opposite direction each time. Again, to avoid confusion, a visual cue is provided in the form of a spiral-shaped logo on the platform.
This is of course only one of many ways in which a platform may behave. Others may for example collapse when stepped on, or move to a certain location when a switch is activated.

And finally, here's a slightly more complex example. By combining several elements, we've created a situation where timing is critical!

Thanks for reading, and until next time!

Costumes in Intrepid Izzy

Posted by Roel, 08 May 2017 11:00
Hello dear readers!

As promised, here is the first real dev log entry about Intrepid Izzy. The idea is that we'll discuss some of the reasoning that made this game what it is, and reveal some features along the way. Today we'll be talking about a feature that you probably didn't know about yet, which is costumes.

Upgrade by costume
Costumes are the primary means to upgrade Izzy's abilities. Each provides her with a unique set of abilities, which are required in order to progress through the game. For example, in her default attire, Izzy's special ability is a fireball. Wearing the vampire costume, she can change into a bat for a limited time, and it also lets her collect health and spirit power from defeated enemies. Dressed as a ninja, she uses powerful sword attacks, double jumps and wall jumps.

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There are other costumes as well, but let's not spoil the surprise just yet.

Design considerations
As you can see, Intrepid Izzy is not your standard metroidvania. Rather than cumulatively adding new abilities to your character one by one, the costumes provide abilities in specific combinations - and obviously you can't wear them all at once. This doesn't make the game any easier to develop, but it does offer some advantages:
  • You don't have to start the game with a completely nerfed character. Izzy can do moves like slidings and fireballs right from the start, so you don't have to feel underpowered.
  • The control scheme can remain simple. In some games that employ the cumulative upgrade system, you have to deal with ever more exotic button combinations. The combinations of Izzy's abilities are selected to be easy to control, so you never have to tie your fingers in a knot.
  • Dressing up your character is fun!

We hope you've enjoyed this little insight into the ideas behind the game, and that you'll be back for more!