Penny Laine: The Lady Grenadier

Here’s a page for my newest game project, The Lady Grenadier.

(You can see an animated GIF of the main character here.)

Work on my other projects has bogged down somewhat. There are a couple of issues which make further development a little tricky. I hope to get around them in future, but for now I want something I can work on which will hopefully address some of those issues and make a game of it.

Since I made CRAZYBOMBNINJAfor BGMC 16 I’ve wanted to go back and make an arcade game.
I’ve struggled to come up with ideas, mostly because they end up becoming too complicated.

With this game I want to sick to a couple of gameplay elements.

  1. Sword fighting. You can attack weak enemies with your sword. The player moves forward when attacking and knocks enemies back. This can be used to push them in to traps or pits, even if your sword isn’t effective against them (powerful monsters won’t take damage from swords). Sword fighting will be risky though.

  2. Small bombs, grenades. You can stun enemies with small grenades. Weak enemies might be killed. May also have knock back effects. Can be used to destroy crates and other obstacles. Grenades are limited and need to be collected.

  3. Big Bombs can be found and picked up. When carrying a big bomb you can’t jump or fight. Big bombs can destroy crates and other obstacles and are good for dealing with bosses.

  4. Jumping. You can jump over pits and if you get the right pick up you can jump on weak monsters to eliminate them.

You can also power up your character using treasure at the end of the level. Add levels in speed, health, sword damage etc… I think taken all together these elements can make for an interesting game.

Levels will be procedurally generated and populated with random enemies and pickups. The settings will be historical world locations from around the end of the 18th century. There’s a lot of ground there for ideas, pirates, American revolution, Napoleonic Europe, Samurai Era Japan, British India, lost Amazon tribes, The pyramids etc…

Mostly the style of enemies and settings will be kind of clockpunk, similar to steampunk, but pre-industrial. Think life sized clockwork soldiers, Leonardo Davinci’s drawings, hot air balloons and some dark magic mixed in. There’s going to be Mummies, Aztec warriors, Voodoo priests, thugee assassins, natural and un-natural beasts such as Bengal Tigers and Giant Scorpions. Ideas for bosses include a giant clockwork spider robot, Aztec Statues come to life, and dinosaurs!

I’ve got lots of ideas for it and a model of gameplay that I can put together in a couple of weeks.

Sounds awesome, can’t wait to see more of this.

Gorgeous character model…is a plan to release it on Steam for a green light?

The game sounds fun, I always wanted to do wrectified similar but you carry robot/vehicle/puzzle elements (and potentiality build a bomb)

but with sime 3 Viking elements (3 actor team you can swap control of) and all 3 can carry items or fight, and you can give orders to units your not directly controlling kinda like kingdom hearts.

so the player can defend his allies while they both carry a large item, or one allie pushes a cart with a weapon emplacement the other is manning etc,

Did you see ActStripBeta? its a list based state machine that calls functions using a dictionary, and it ‘seems’ to handle complicated animations and scene interactions… (you can feed it a list of actions to complete in order over time)
you can add actions to the list or clear it etc…

Thanks, it’ll take a long time to get the game up and running, but yeah, maybe I’ll try and get it greenlit.


Thanks for the interest, the game is going to be pretty simple, so there’ll only be one player controlled character.
I experimented a lot with multiple player controlled characters and discovered why there are so few games of that type around; It’s not easy to get it working well. The characters need a really good AI or it gets frustrating.

I think I found a workaround, but I’ll be coming back to that one later.

The action queue system you made looks pretty good. It’s a good technique, but I won’t be using it here. I’ve got to keep things as simple as possible so I can do as much work as possible.

I wish you could post GIFs here.
I’ve added one over on my deviant art page so show some of the combat animations and a special effect that goes with them.

Awesome effect. Something like that is what i ideally wanted for my boost effect at electrified runner. How do you achieve that? are this all different models, a shader or particles?

Excellent animations by the way.

There’s a copy of the armature with another model parented to it. I add the armature and play a one frame animation for the same frame as the character’s armature. Do it many times to get the trail effect.

That is what i expected. Unfortunately this is a bit to heavy to do on mobile, so i have to stick to my imperfect but acceptable particle version.

If you have fairly simple animations you could make a copy of the player mesh for each frame (or every 6 frames or so) apply deformation of the armature and add that.

Good idea. That will be worth a try. I will try that when i am sure that my animations wont change anymore.
Thanks for being helpful. I will stop now hijacking your thread.

Finally some gameplay to show.
I took a lot of what I was using in my Roguelike game and rebuilt it.
I took a lot of the functions that were residing in the FSM and turned them in to actions (a timed object using lerp or another method to execute a task), this has helped a lot since a lot of code can be reduced to single line calls to create a new action. Also the actions can be checked to see when they’ve finished so a lot of repetitive checking can be avoided. The nicest thing as far as I’m concerned is the ability for the actions to tidy up after themselves, this reduces a lot of trash code in the FSM and avoids a lot of bugs too.

Here’s an example of a simple action to make the actor face in a certain direction:

<b>import </b>bge
<b>from </b>mathutils <b>import </b>Vector, Matrix

<b>def </b><b>smoothstep</b>(x):
    <b>return </b>x * x * (3 - 2 * x)

<b>class </b><b>AgentTargeter</b>(object):
    <b>def </b>__init__(self, character, duration):

        self.character = character

        self.start = self.character.agent_hook.localTransform
        self.end = Vector(self.character.facing).to_3d().normalized().to_track_quat("Y", "Z").to_matrix().to_4x4()
        self.timer = 0.0
        self.done = <b>False
         </b>self.speed = 1.0 / duration

    <b>def </b><b>update</b>(self):

        <b>if </b>self.timer &lt; 1.0:
            self.timer = min(1.0, self.timer + self.speed)
            self.done = <b>True

         </b>self.character.agent_hook.localTransform = self.start.lerp(self.end, smoothstep(self.timer))

I’m not that happy with this line:

end = Vector(self.character.facing).to_3d().normalized().to_track_quat("Y", "Z").to_matrix().to_4x4()

But it’s not so easy to turn a tuple in to a 4x4 track-to matrix that can be lerped with localTransform

A new update with monsters and it traps. I think the levels feel like they are really coming alive.
There’s a lot of things I wanted to do in CRAZYBOMBNINJA which I just didn’t have time for, since it was a BGMC game, so I’m going to try and include a lot of the ideas in this one.

The game is going to feel a bit different though, this one doesn’t have the restrictive 1x1 grid of CBN, each area is a grid of 4x4 squares and most characters are 2x2 squares. It gives you a lot more of a feeling of freedom of movement.

Here’s this week’s devblog:

Hi, I posted a blogwith a couple of new animations on it. New development diary coming soon.

I’m thinking about the game and how Penny can be just one of several playable characters.
Any suggestions on some interesting characters from a kind of alt-steampunk history?

Some ideas I’ve got:
circus strongman
desert warrior
kung fu monk
zulu warrior

I wouldn’t choose all of them, They would have a kind of steampunk/clockpunk/comic book flavor… and they would be more developed with some other attributes. Like a Viking frozen in ice for 800 years with a magic shield which he can throw, or an elderly samurai, or an afro sporting kung fu Zulu warrior, or a Ninja pirate, or a circus strongman with clockwork arms or a British Bobby with a truncheon and big hefty boots which he jumps on enemies with or some other interesting combination of traits.

I’m open to suggestions of interesting character ideas…

I’d like to have a system where you have to try to complete the game by clearing a number of different areas, but you can choose which character and which play style to use for each one. But if one of the characters on your roster gets killed they are out of play permanently. Some will be better than others, and some will have strengths which are useful only in certain situations and you could end up with just a few lame ones left at the end, trying desperately to stay alive despite their handicap.

Some could be collected during the game, and wouldn’t be available at the start. You might have to complete special tasks or quests, like getting 10,000 gold on level 5.

1.Steampunk steamknight / clockwork exoskeleton

2.Madam Chemist

3.Rollerskater with baseball bat

4.Bareknuckle boxer

5.Native American Warrior medicine man

Number 3 reminds me of Paranoia Agent, Lil’ Slugger.
It’s difficult to think of a fresh idea for a character. Especially if you start taking Manga in to account. The Japanese have thought of everything already!

When coming up with the idea for the Lady Grenadier, I found there’s already a kind of similar named Manga Character. Luckily All I had to do to make my character unique was to make sure she’s wearing clothes. :smiley:

I like the idea of the Lady Chemist. I’ve go a few ideas around that one, I was thinking along the lines of Scientist, Surgeon, or Barber (in the old days Barbers used to pull teeth and perform minor surgery too). Someone with a white coat, dirty apron and round glasses… Maybe throwing Vials of Acid or the like. Maybe with a special ability to do a Jekyll and Hyde transformation. The more I think on this one I don’t feel like being a woman is integral to the character. I want a balance of male and female characters and this one could easily be a man.

The Native American one is one that I’m considering, I want a kind of tribesman/woman, like a zulu warrior or Native American but it needs to be something more than that. I want the game to have the feel of a round the world adventure so I’d like a bit more of an ethnic mix. I’m considering a black cowboy, since it would be interesting to have a black character who is cool and tough and not just a “native”. He would have a bullwhip special ability so he can swing up to higher levels. And maybe a Bola for entangling enemies.
Another idea for a non-white character is a black or middle eastern female pirate. Like a Muslim, with a headscarf. I’m tired of Muslims only being portrayed as terrorists and bad guys, and Muslim women being portrayed as submissive. How about a character to challenge that stereotype?

Bare-knuckle Boxer would fit somewhere in my idea of the Circus Strongman. I’ve got a vision of a man with big bulging muscles and maybe wearing an animal skin over his head. He would attack with bare-knuckle attacks. Again he doesn’t have to be white, but I’ve got an idea forming about making him Scottish too, or is that too much in the mix at once? If he’s wearing a kilt, does it start to become unclear what’s going on with him?

One character I’ve been considering is an undersea diver with a big metal helmet and rubber suit. This character could be used on a special bonus underwater level (one idea I’ve got is that certain characters are needed for special bonus levels which the others can’t do. I think gameplay wise this would end up being very similar to the idea I had about a rusty old knight in creaky armor. Can you imagine an old knight, with pointed shoes and helmet, and drooping mustache? Maybe having two very similar characters wouldn’t work that well.

For the Samurai I’ve considered the idea of a kid Samurai, or because Japanese Culture is so thoroughly mined for ideas already, perhaps making him a Korean swordsman or swordswoman. They would probably have an archery attack too, considering the part Archery plays in Korean culture.

One design element I’m thinking of having is that all the characters should have their face partially or fully hidden, under a big hat, or tall piled hair or a Ninja mask or something, in the same way that the first character, Penny has the Bear skin covering her eyes.

Wow, I like where this game is going, it looks fantastic- I am looking forward to more updates.

Looks really cool so far m8. I like it.

I wish you could post GIFs here.

You can if you add an image from url.

Well, I’ve got the idea of the Doctor, but it’s not going to be a Lady…
Doctor Freidrickson was working for the Big Bad creating monsters but he got a taste of his own medicine.
He will join the party in the hopes of finding a cure for his particular condition:

This is an early draft to get the armature and animations worked out. it’s always best to animate before texturing, as you never know where you’re going to find problems. Textures coming soon.

I like the idea about a strongman:D
How about a big bald-headed italian circus strongman with a big mustache who can grab enemies and throw them against walls to kill them or at others to deal massive damage to both of them. Maybe he could smash a certain type of walls to access hidden parts of the level. His weakpoint could be that since he’s huge he will make lots of sounds which leads to him being detected by enemies faster:)