by Tom

Shady Business

January 7, 2019 in Screenshots by Tom

Happy new year everyone!

We’ve got a couple of new things to show you today. First up is the introductory cutscene of the second player character.

We’ve already shown how the game allows a second player to control Shadow Lenna, a character with all the same abilities and stats as Lenna. Starting in 0.13, Shadow Lenna can be unlocked near the beginning of the game. Certain cutscenes have special dialogue for Shadow Lenna that you’ll only see if you’re playing co-op.

In other news I’ve scrapped the CRT shader we had before and written a new one. It’s best viewed fullscreen, so be sure to click below for the full-size version.

The same scene with the old shader can be viewed here. The difference is night and day.

There are a few effects the new shader applies:

  • Barrel distortion
  • Scanlines
  • Color bleed

Barrel distortion serves to magnify the center of the screen, making it appear like the curved surface of a CRT screen. For the curious, this can be achieved in a couple of lines of code – it’s a transformation of the position of the pixel being shaded:

Scanlines and color bleed I implemented together. It helps to look at a zoomed in section to understand how it works:

This is a composition of two layers. The base layer is a slightly darkened version of the original texture, scaled up by nearest-neighbor (i.e. without interpolation):

On top of that–and if you’ve ever seen a CRT screen from very close up, you’ll recognize this–each of the red green and blue channels is drawn as a radial gradient. Each gradient is offset by sub-pixel amounts, creating a triangular pattern of red, green and blue blobs:

As you extend the radius of those gradients, they blend and start to reproduce the original colors of the image. Extending the gradients outwards, beyond the original pixel, until they blend into neighboring pixels creates the appearance of color bleed. This can be seen around the edges of the yellow fire sprite below: red bleeds out down and left, and green bleeds out up and right.

If the gradients are squat ovals instead of perfectly round, pixel blend into each other horizontally more than they do vertically. That means the space between neighboring vertically-aligned pixels is (relatively) darker than the space between neighboring horizontally-aligned pixels, creating the illusion of scanlines.

All together, this makes for a fairly simple, efficient, single-pass CRT shader.

by Tom

Season’s Glitchings

December 19, 2018 in Screenshots by Tom

Meet the latest boss we’ve been working on, Santaquiel, Archangel of Ice and Unwanted Gifts. He has a major weakness to fire, but be warned: once he’s fixed you with his icy stare, he’s a cold-blooded killer. Definitely do not accept any presents from him.

We’ll be posting again in the new year with more info on the new bosses, cutscenes, and our new CRT shader. Until then, spare an occasional thought for Lenna’s students, who are trapped in a glitched out school where not even Santaquiel can get to them. 🙁

by Tom

I squid you not

March 2, 2018 in Screenshots by Tom

Since our last post, we’ve been busy with a number of things!

Here’s a preview of subterranean squid ‘Tentaluchus,’ our newest boss:

You’ll find Tentaluchus in the dungeon where you get the bombs. You know the drill… 😉

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by Tom

0.12 and the future

September 20, 2017 in New Version, Screenshots by Tom

Hi everyone! A new version is available today! Also included in this post is some info about future plans for Lenna’s Inception.

v0.12 update

v0.12 is now stable and available for download on and Humble. As always, you can get it by following these steps.

If you’ve been playing recently on the unstable branch on, not much will have changed. The ‘unstable’ branch is intended as a preview of the features I’m currently working on. Compared with yesterday’s unstable branch version, the only change in this new version is a handful of bugfixes.

For everyone else, here’s a quick run-down of the new features:

Local co-op

Local co-op has been completely revamped. The second player now controls Shadow Lenna, a character with all the same abilities and stats as Lenna herself.

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by Tom

Upcoming 0.11 features – minigames, side-quests, bosses

March 23, 2017 in Screenshots by Tom

I’ve been working on the next update for a while now, only sporadically tweeting progress screenshots. Here’s what to expect in 0.11!

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by Tom

Beta10 coming soon – Status Update 2016-09-20

September 20, 2016 in Screenshots by Tom

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:


In the palace, you’ll need to figure out how to get through a locked door, while the key sits on the other side:

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by Tom

Now available: beta9

July 5, 2016 in New Version, Screenshots by Tom

The beta9 update is now available. This update contains a lot of new content, bug fixes and polish.

If you have bought the game already, you can get the update by following these steps. If you haven’t bought it yet, but are enticed by the new features below, you can get it on or on humble.


Amongst the changes are:

There are some massive story changes occurring, but they’re not complete yet. In its current state, not all quests are completable. If you’re not sure where to go next, check your map for the location of the next dungeon.


More screenshots from this update can be found in the two previous blog posts:

by Tom

Game of Phones – Status Update 2016-06-09

June 9, 2016 in Screenshots by Tom

Here’s a collection of screenshots and GIFs of new features I’ve been working on.

I’ve done some work on pets/companions, including adding a ranged companion (below). It’s now also possible for a second player to control companions – local multiplayer! Like in Sonic 2, if there is no player 2, or player 2 leaves the controller untouched for a while, companions revert to their ordinary AI behavior.


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by Tom

Status Update 2016-02-27

February 27, 2016 in Screenshots by Tom

Hey everyone! Here’s a quick update of everything I’ve been working on lately.

Firstly, I’ve been working on a new script for Lenna’s Inception with SamuriFerret. We’ve made some large changes to the story-line in order to ensure all the threads come together into a satisfying ending, and to make sure parts of the story don’t obstruct gameplay. As an example of the latter, several story characters will now contact you via Lance’s mobile when something’s up, so that you don’t have to return to the town and hunt down specific NPCs.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve added 5 new types of enemies to the game:

From left to right: smileder, sharktula, dolphinja, snail, bombshell.

Yes, Lenna’s Inception will finally have water-based enemies – the sharktula and dolphinja. I’ve completely rewritten the monster-spawning code to support this properly.

Next up, I’m going to be adding a new follower, and then I’ll start implementing the new script in the game.

Finally, if you haven’t seen it already, Stardew Valley just released on Steam. It’s well worth a look!

by Tom

Combat and polish

December 4, 2015 in Screenshots by Tom

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:

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