by Tom

Patch v1.0.11 & Cassette Beasts

June 14, 2020 in Announcements, New Version by Tom

Firstly, I want to give a big welcome to all the new players who picked up the game in the itch.io bundle for Racial Justice and Equality! The response to the bundle has been incredible, and I’m so proud that we were able to be part of it! Thank you for supporting the bundle!

The patch that went out just now (v1.0.11) is a small one. This update fixes the GIF upload feature on the arcade challenges. Apologies that this wasn’t fixed sooner–I only found out about it yesterday!

In case you missed it, we announced our new game Cassette Beasts last month. Some of you may have noticed hints about it in Lenna’s Inception, in the lead up to its announcement!

Cassette Beasts is a monster-collecting RPG where you transform into the monsters you collect, and then fuse with your companions to create combined forms! Check out the website and the trailer:

If you want to see for yourself how the monster fusions work, there’s a web-based demo over on itch.io!

The v1.1 update for Lenna’s Inception is coming along too. And–oh, what’s this? Are these monsters fusing? I wonder what else Cassette Beasts and Lenna’s Inception have in common… 🤔

Until next time!

by Tom

Lenna’s Inception is out now!

January 17, 2020 in Announcements, New Version by Tom

Hi folks!

It’s finally happened — Lenna’s Inception is releasing today! It’s been a long journey and I’m so thankful for all of the support and encouragement that everyone has given over the years. Right — let’s get to business, shall we?

What is Lenna’s Inception?

Lenna’s Inception is an action-adventure RPG from our indie team, Bytten Studio! You can find more info in previous blog posts and our game’s site. It is currently available on Windows and Linux platforms.

Where can I buy Lenna’s Inception?
Lenna’s Inception is available on Steam and Itch.io, and costs $9.99 / £7.19 / € 8.19.

What’s more, we are pleased to announce that we’re also selling the soundtrack on Steam! The soundtrack contains both the 32-bit and 8-bit versions of each track from our composer Joel Baylis. The soundtrack is available from today alongside the game, and will cost $5.99 / £4.79 / €4.99.

If you want to support both us and our talented composer, we also have a Steam bundle that contains both the game and the soundtrack, saving you 10%!

I bought Lenna’s Inception in Beta! Can I get the game on Steam?

If you bought the game on Humble or itch.io in Beta, you’ll be able to claim a Steam key through your purchase page on the respective store!

I’m a streamer! Can I request a key to stream?

You certainly can – we’ve had a great time watching streamers play our game! You can request a key through Keymailer here.

How can I support the game?

Tell your friends about the game, and leave us a good review if you like it! You can also get involved with our community to keep up to date with all the news and happenings (see below).

How can I keep up to date with Bytten Studio and its community?

Join our Discord! We’d love to chat to you about Lenna’s Inception and other things! If you have any questions about the game, feel free to stop by and ask us! You can also post to our Lenna’s Inception Subreddit.

You can also follow Bytten Studio on Twitter to keep up with what we’re up to.

Thank you all so much for coming on this journey with us. Catch y’all next time!

– Tom & Jay

by Tom

Releasing 17th of January!

January 10, 2020 in Announcements by Tom

Hi folks! Lenna’s Inception is releasing on Steam on Friday the 17th of January!

I’ve been working on Lenna’s Inception for 8 years now—that’s most of my adult life! It began as a spare-time experiment with procedural generation, mutated into game that helped start my career in the games industry, and has finally grown into something I’m proud to release to the world. I’ve been very lucky to be able to turn this dream into a reality.

Here’s what you can expect:

Two Art Styles:
The entire game is playable in both 8-bit and 32-bit styles! Inspired by Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games respectively, both styles also have their own soundtracks.

Recruit companions:
Will you choose Henrietta, the free-range chicken with a vendetta, or perhaps Gourdon, the sentient pumpkin? There are four potential companions to discover!

Local Co-op:
Make peace with Shadow Lenna and have a friend join you for the adventure in local multiplayer!

Randomised Worlds & Multiple Routes:
The entire overworld of Lenna’s Inception is procedurally generated, everything from the maps to the location of valuable items will be different every playthrough! With multiple boss forms and endings, the decisions you make mean that you won’t see everything in a single playthrough. Be the hero you want to be!

Challenges & Online Leaderboards:
Play through daily dungeons and various challenges, then show off a GIF of your run on the online leaderboards afterwards!

The time has arrived to unravel the mystery of Lenna’s Inception! You can wishlist Lenna’s Inception on its Steam store page here.

by Tom

Patch v0.15.2

January 6, 2020 in Announcements by Tom

Happy new year!

A little patch has gone out to address some issues with the 0.15 update. To get the latest patch, beta owners should follow these instructions.

v0.15.2

  • A bit more dialogue has been added to the “good” ending.
  • Fixed the wrong music being used in a few places: forest dungeons, the eastern island, etc.
  • Fixed a few bugs in the hidden final boss fight.
    Spoiler

    8Fridge

  • Fixed the wrong number of hearts displaying for Paige.
  • Fixed pets being stuck on the edge of the screen, unable to escape properly, during boss fights.
  • Added sound effects to Hatasiah’s and Crabaddon’s attacks.
  • Fixed heart containers not appearing until all the boss’s minions are dead.
  • Fixed a soft-lock in the 0-heart and 3-heart challenges, where the heart after beating a boss could disappear before you picked it up.
  • Added an option to disable the CRT filter.
  • Fixed certain parts of monsters (skeleton archer and warriors’ weapons) not palette swapping correctly.

by Tom

Patch v0.15.1

December 20, 2019 in Announcements by Tom

Hi folks!

A little patch has gone out to address some issues with the 0.15 update. To get the latest patch, beta owners should follow these instructions.

v0.15.1

  • Added 4 tracks that were missing from 0.15.0.
  • Fixed the “item get” jingles resetting the current track that is playing.
  • Fixed a softlock that could occur during one of the final boss fights.
    Spoiler

    Delvin’s boss fight

  • The bleeding mechanic has been significantly altered: you won’t start bleeding until you take a hit that knocks you down to 0 hearts. Taking a single hit while bleeding will cause you to instantly die, but if you can survive 15 seconds you’ll heal half a heart and stop bleeding.

by Tom

Update v0.15

December 19, 2019 in Announcements by Tom

Hi folks!

Beta testers have access to the v0.15 build now. Follow the instructions here to get it.

Here’s what’s new:

  • A brand new soundtrack by Joel, which comes in 32-bit and 8-bit variants!
  • The lighter can now be used to perform a rocket dash (see the gif above)
  • The Missinglasses puzzle in the Palace has been partially redesigned
  • An extra stage has been added to one of the final bosses
    Spoiler

    Delvin has a new final form

  • Skeleton warriors now spawn in a few places outside of the Palace
  • 64-bit Windows builds are now provided, which should fix a crash reported by a few users on Discord
  • And a ton of other miscellaneous fixes and improvements…

Save files from 0.14 will continue to work in this update, but note that maps generated by 0.14 may lack music. For the intended experience with all the new music you should create a new save file.

Join us on Discord to talk about this update! Beta testers, please remember to keep discussion of spoilers to the #beta-testing channel!

For now, this build is only available to our existing beta testers. But you can wishlist the game on Steam to get notified when it releases. Beta testers can join our Discord server to request Steam keys.

Press, streamers and youtubers can email press@bytten-studio.com to be put on a list for preview access.

by Tom

Update v0.14

December 7, 2019 in Announcements by Tom

Hi folks!

Beta testers have access to the v0.14 build now. Follow the instructions here to get it.

Here’s what’s new:

  • The Missinglasses have a secondary function.
    Spoiler

    It loops the screen, allowing you ‘out of bounds.’

  • A mind-bending new puzzle at the Palace tests your mastery of the Missinglasses’ secondary function.
  • Snails can be picked up and thrown when they’re standing still.
  • Larger map displays. In the overworld, both islands are shown on the map.
  • 54 new achievements (in the Steam version only).
  • Screen-shake, flickering, and glitching effects can be disabled in the options.
  • You can now switch between the 8-bit and 32-bit art styles in the main menu.
  • Various miscellaneous fixes and improvements.

Join us on Discord to talk about it! Beta testers, please remember to keep discussion of spoilers to the #beta-testing channel!

For now, this build is only available to our existing beta testers. But you can wishlist the game on Steam to get notified when it releases. Beta testers can join our Discord server to request Steam keys.

Press, streamers and youtubers can email press@bytten-studio.com to be put on a list for preview access.

by Tom

Patch v0.13.2

October 24, 2019 in Announcements by Tom

A couple of patches have gone out to fix issues in the 0.13 update. To get the latest patch, beta owners should follow these instructions.

v0.13.1

  • Fixed an error that always occurred after pizza delivery
  • Reduced the rate that screenshots of the game are taken at

v0.13.2

  • Fixed pets not being able to pick up hearts sometimes
  • Fixed items (such as the sword) remaining in your hand after you’ve unequipped them
  • Fixed memories being usable outside of story mode
  • Fixed a world generation bug causing approximately 1 in 64 worlds to give you immediate access to the bridge from the start of the game
  • Fixed a difficult to reproduce crash on the map screen
  • Made swords able to destroy starfish
  • Made all shields able to reflect starfish
  • Made the player character strafe while the shield is in use
by Tom

Update v0.13

October 21, 2019 in Announcements, Screenshots by Tom

Hi folks!

Beta testers have access to the v0.13 build now. Follow the instructions here to get it.

Here’s what’s new:

  • The 32-bit art style is here at last!
  • Four new dungeon bosses, bringing the total to eight. Each one has a second form you’ll only see if you encounter it in the second half of the game.
  • Spoiler

    Three final bosses

  • Massively rewritten story.
  • You can now equip 3 items in addition to a sword and either a shield or spring.
  • Improved game controller support: it now automatically recognizes when controllers are attached/removed, and it’s no longer necessary to manually configure the button layout.
  • Various little bits of polish: camera movement, faster world generation, a new CRT shader, etc.

Join us on Discord to talk about it! Beta testers, please remember to keep discussion of spoilers to the #beta-testing channel!

For now, this build is only available to our existing beta testers. But you can wishlist the game on Steam to get notified when it releases.

Press, streamers and youtubers can email press@bytten-studio.com to be put on a list for preview access.

Two art styles

While the 0.13 build comes with both art styles, we don’t yet have a built-in way to switch art style. Currently, you will need to open up launch-config.json with a text editor, and remove the “assets/advance/” line.

Note that there are still one or two places where we lack art for the 32-bit style. In those places, it’ll fall back to the original 8-bit style.

What’s next? When is it releasing?

We’re waiting for feedback on 0.13 before we nail this down, but generally we’d like to do one more pass over the core gameplay. We have some cool ideas for secondary uses of the lighter and missinglasses, and there are a few simple ways we can improve enemies, caves, etc.

Steam Keys

Since our lovely beta testers have been asking…

We currently have an extremely limited number of keys we’re planning to give out to members of the #beta-testing channel on our Discord server. Valve has provided us with these keys for the purpose of helping us to test the game’s integration with Steam.

After the game’s release on Steam we’re planning to request a larger batch of keys. However, you should be aware that Valve has the right to deny any request for keys, and they do change the rules from time to time!

A few words on OS support

You might have noticed the Steam store page doesn’t list the macOS system requirements. That’s because we’re dropping official macOS support. We’ll continue providing builds for Mac users, but note that you may need to apply some workarounds to get the game to work… And that at any time, Apple may release an update that kills it entirely.

Why?

If you’ve been following tech / indie game news lately, you’ve probably heard about macOS Catalina’s gatekeeper. If not, suffice it to say that Apple are raising the walls of their little walled garden, and now the only way for developers to get into it is to repeatedly jump through several utterly pointless burning hoops, in a process called notarization.

This isn’t the only time Apple has taken a direction that has made their OS difficult to support in Lenna’s Inception. Recently they deprecated OpenGL, leaving their graphics drivers in a perpetually-broken state. If you played any earlier betas on macOS and had the game launch into a black screen, you’ve been affected by this! I spent over a week this summer investigating that issue, one cause of which was a lack of support for NPOT textures. NPOT textures have been a core part of the OpenGL 2 standard since 2004! (Version 0.13 has a fix.)

And besides that, every new version of macOS brings in weird new idiosyncrasies for developers to work around… Like for instance the OS intercepting long key presses to bring up a menu that steals all keyboard input, which (for some reason) is invisible in Lenna’s Inception and causes the game to randomly stop responding to key presses. (The workaround for this is to run a command in the terminal.)

The rate at which Apple are introducing massive breaking changes is terrifying. Everything I’ve listed above is stuff that has been introduced to the OS since I began work on Lenna’s Inception. Apple aren’t very open about their roadmap, and nobody knows what they’ll do next. Without being able to plan for the future, it would be dishonest and irresponsible to claim to be able to support this OS.

If you’re a Mac user who has already paid for the game, I’m sorry this has affected you. As mentioned, we’ll continue providing builds and workarounds where possible. If that ends up not being possible, well, currently the game runs well in Wine, and CrossOver should work too. Desktop Linux is also looking really good right now… 😉

What about Linux?

We’re not dropping Linux support. Linux distros tend to be much better about preserving backwards compatibility. Furthermore, we see considerably more wishlists from Linux users than macOS ones–about 20% of our wishlists come from Linux users! Lastly, I use Linux to develop the game, so dropping it would be silly and pointless 🙂

Ubuntu 16.04 and SteamOS will be officially supported. YMMV with other distros!

by Tom

Bytten in Brighton

August 13, 2019 in Announcements by Tom

Hi folks!

So much has happened since our last blog post, so here goes. First of all, Jay and I left our jobs at Chucklefish, to work full time at our own company, Bytten Studio! Since then, we’ve moved to Brighton and we’ve been working hard (from the beach) to finish up Lenna’s Inception as soon as possible.

It’s overwhelming for me to think that this project has gone from a side project in my spare time to something I’d dedicate my career to, and I couldn’t have done it without the continuing interest from the fans and the game dev community alike. I hope you’re as eager to play it as we are to finish it!

With that said, in October beta owners will find that the 0.13 update has landed. You can look forward to:

  • All of the planned 11 bosses in the game
  • Significant story changes
  • A new, more realistic, CRT shader
  • The GBA-era graphics Jay has been working on

Since we now have all the beta testers we think we will need, we’ve decided to close the beta. If you read this and were hoping to get a copy, you can join the Lenna’s Inception Discord server to keep up to date with the latest info, or you can also follow Jay and myself on twitter.

Press, streamers and youtubers can email press@bytten-studio.com to be put on a list for preview access.

We have more to reveal over the next few months, but right now there’s a monstrous seagull sizing up my laptop. So, until next time!