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 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.


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 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!

by Tom

0.11 now stable

March 29, 2017 in Announcements, New Version by Tom

Version 0.11 of Lenna’s Inception is now available on and through humble.

Among other things, this version includes a new boss, new minigames and new side-quests.

For a fuller list of changes and some screenshots, see my previous post.

Instructions for updating

by Tom

Now available: Beta10

September 30, 2016 in Announcements, New Version by Tom


The beta10 update is now available. It includes new areas, story events, various graphical and map generation improvements, and fixes for some serious bugs affecting Mac users.

Get it here.

See my previous post for the full summary of improvements:

Lenna’s Inception has come a long way in the three months since beta9. Beta10 is almost here, so here’s a quick roundup of screenshots and information I’ve been sharing on twitter!

The storyline has been mostly implemented. Just the endings, and the optional side-quests are missing right now. The laboratory and palace locations have been redesigned and reimplemented, along with hand-designed puzzles you’ll need to solve to get through them.

The laboratory has fallen into disrepair:


Read the rest of the changes »

by Tom

Beta8 has landed

December 19, 2015 in Announcements, New Version by Tom

I’ve just pushed the button to release beta8 on! Humble will get the update as well, after a short delay. To get the update, follow these instructions.


It’s past 4 AM on a Saturday morning, so I’ll keep this post short and instead refer back to my previous post for the contents of the update:

I’m currently putting in the last of the new features for beta8 this evening (sound effects for new items, actions and tiles). What’s left after that is fixing the remaining bugs, testing and then releasing the beta8 update! You can see my progress towards the release on my trello board.


As I wrote last month, the new GBA-style graphics won’t be included in beta8, they’ll be in a future update instead. The current plan is for both styles to be available in the final game.

While I’m here, here’s a full list of all the new features in beta8:

Read the rest of this entry →

by Tom

The plan for the next update

November 5, 2015 in Announcements by Tom

It’s been a long time since the last update. That’s partially down to the graphical upgrade taking longer than we thought, so we’re moving the new graphics into a later update. That way you won’t have to wait for other new features, bug fixes and polish.

More information follows.


Read the rest of this entry →

by Tom

Rezzed and Beta8 plans – art upgrade!

March 17, 2015 in Announcements by Tom

Here’s an update on what I’ve been doing and what’s coming up for Lenna’s Inception!


  • Rezzed
  • Artistic upgrade
  • The plot and the ending of the story (no spoilers)

Read the rest of this entry →

by Tom

New purchases enabled & beta7a available – caves, biomes, bicycle, …

January 29, 2015 in Announcements, VAT by Tom

It’s been a tense month trying to figure out my response to the new EU VAT rules, but in the end Leaf, operator of came to the rescue! now offers the option of handling VAT for indie developers, which is really awesome! 🙂

You can buy Lenna’s Inception on

And finally, finally, I can release beta7 to you today, which includes these lovely new features:

  • The autumn biome has been added.
  • The graveyard biome has been added.
  • Randomized caves have been added to the overworld.
  • An obtainable bicycle has been added. This can be used for fast travel by selecting it on the inventory screen.

  • The coffee break challenge has been added. This is a short (~10 minutes) challenge mode on a single dungeon with a random ruleset from the other challenges. There is no online leaderboard for this.
  • The daily challenge has been added. This is like the coffee break challenge, but based on a standardized per-day seed shared between all players. The leaderboard for this challenge is cleared at the end of the day.

  • New music has been added to the laboratory and the nuclear dungeons.
  • New music has been added to mountain biomes.
  • A new story line chapter has been added to the graveyard area.
  • A new building has been added to the town: the Church of N’GHA.


by Tom

Beta6 – Secret laboratories, and fighting back against the bankers

October 28, 2014 in Announcements by Tom

Lenna’s Inception version 0.6 (beta6) is live. Get it from the usual place. (There was no beta5, I’m just doing a Windows 9.)

As per usual, in order to access most of the new features you’ll need to visit the starving artists’ house in the town and speak to the NPC inside to regenerate your maps. This won’t cause you to lose any progress.

By the way: I’m going to be giving at talk about procedural generation at the start of #procjam on the 8th of November. Tickets have already sold out for attending in person, but the talks will be streamed online! Check the website and @procjam to keep up to date on the details for that.


I strongly encourage you to take part in the jam as well if you’re curious. I’m really looking forward to it!

What’s New


  • New story-line character Delvin is introduced during the “save the prince” quest.
  • More story-line content occurs after completing the “bring Rupert peace & quiet” quest, including:
    • A laboratory location.
    • A new NPC.
    • Progression in the main arc pursuing the Archangel that killed Lenna’s students.

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  • Unfriendly guards in the main town.
  • New boss fight at the current end of the story-line content. This is the penultimate boss fight, so the final boss is still yet to be added.


Read the rest of this entry →

by Tom

Beta4 out now – bears, blacksmith, story and pet evolution

September 16, 2014 in Announcements by Tom

Lenna’s Inception version 0.5 (beta4) is live. Get it from the usual place.

As per usual, in order to access most of the new features you’ll need to visit the starving artists’ house in the town and speak to the NPC inside to regenerate your maps. This won’t cause you to lose any progress.

What’s new


  • Random ursine (i.e. bear) NPCs have been added.

  • The shopkeeper is now an ursine person at the start. The shop is taken over by the human shopkeeper halfway through the game.
  • The ursine blacksmith Rupert has been added. (GIF)
  • The Damascus Katana is no longer found in a dungeon. You must do the blacksmith’s quest to get it.
  • More story-line and cutscenes have been added (roughly 50% complete now).

  • The chicken pet will now evolve when given a certain item. (GIF)
  • There’s a slightly modified cutscene inside the palace if you find the prince before visiting there.
  • There is new music:
    • On the game over screen
    • When you use the Missinglasses
    • In the town and inside certain buildings
    • In the palace
    • By the sea
    • (Some of these require you to regenerate your map by visiting the starving artists’ house.)
  • There are new transitions between tracks in some places:
    • When you enter a boss’s chamber, the dungeon music fades out.
    • In the overworld, most tracks don’t swap immediately, but only after the current one has finished.
    • Temporarily switching into the glitch or victory music will no longer cause the previous track that was playing to reset and start from the beginning.
  • The lost library books “Tursiops Sapiens” and “Ursus Sapiens” have been written.

Bugs fixed:

  • NPC and pet AI has been improved to hop over the fewest obstacles necessary to reach the required tile.
  • Roads no longer disappear under obstacles (and avoid going under walls and obstacles where possible).
  • A bug causing randomized NPCs to sometimes sell “Urine Tunics” has been fixed. (There are meant to be urine potions around, but not tunics. It’s one of the few potion-only effects.)
  • A bug causing the virtual screen to sometimes (rarely) move permanently from its usual central location is believed to be fixed.


  • Tunics appear as random drops more frequently.
  • The secret room in the library has moved.
  • Roads are better designed now. Rather than go everywhere, they tend to hint at the way to go. Going off-road is more likely to get you interesting loot, however.