Zoel's Amazing Castle is an action platformer with a heavy focus on exploration in which the Player must traverse a castle full of traps and trickery in order to reach the mad and powerful illusionist that awaits on the top. However there is a catch! The castle is constantly changing its shape to confuse the heroes, so every time you step in, the layout will be completely different.

Zoel's Amazing Castle will also be a (soft) roguelike, so if you die you have to start from the first level. What I mean with soft is that even if you restart at the beginning when dying, there is still some kind of progression system that persist trough different play troughs, unlike other (mainly older) roguelike games when all the progress is completely lost on death.

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Hello! How have you been?

Disclaimer. this update was originally posted on Smoke and Mirrors on date 3 December, 2016. Happy new year!

Once again I am back, and I come with a new update of Zoel’s Amazing Castle. In the first two updates, the core mechanics of the game have been explained, and now it is time to start taking a look at the content. This week we will take a look into the different types of platforms that will appear inside the castle, being this components the pieces that will be used to build the platforming challenges of this game.

As usually, this update was done in a very early build, so both graphics and mechanics will probably change trough the project development, but hopefully the general feel will remain the same.

Without further to explain, let’s take a look at the different platforms available in the game.

Platform types

Since at it’s core, Zoel’s Amazing Castle it is a platformer, we need a big variety of platforms in order to build interesting challenges that feel different and unique. This are the types of platforms currently implemented in the game.

Castle walls

The castle walls are the bread and butter of the castle. They represent the core structure of each room over which we will build the rest of the elements.

They are solid blocks of 30x30 pixels, that can be either a border, a corner, or an inner wall. In order to have some visual variety, there will be different slight variations on the block. Also Different levels will have different wall styles in order to change the game visually from level to level.

However, Zoel is a big cheater, and likes to play with the minds of the heroes, so some of the castle walls are fake (You can go trough them) and even invisible! Don’t let him fool you and pay attention, otherwise you can miss many secrets hidden within the castle.

Small Platforms

Very similar to the castle walls, but smaller.

Again, like the castle walls, they can be fake or even invisible. You can see that there is an invisible platform when you get close because of the sparkly sparkly magic.

Wooden Platforms

Wooden platforms are also a variation on the small platform formula. They follow a similar purpose, but with some interesting differences.

The main difference is that, unlike the rest of platforms, you can go trough the wooden platforms when you are going up, but they are solid when you are going down.

Additionally, when you are on top of a wooden platform, if you duck and them press the jump button, you can go trough them again.

Moving Platforms

Moving platforms that go trough a rail.

They can have vertical or horizontal movement, and will help the player reach places inaccessible otherwise.

Turning Platforms

This platforms will be used to build platforming scenarios where the player have to react fast, since slightly after the player lands on them, they turn around, letting the player fall.

There are two different varieties of turning platforms. The first one you just pass trough when they turn, but the other one has spikes on one side, so you will also get hurt apart from falling.

Disappearing Platforms

This platforms will appear and disappear following a pattern that the player should try to learn in order to progress (Not unlike some infamous platforms in a game about a blue robot).

They appear and disappear taking 2 seconds normally, but this time can be altered in each individual case.

Traversal options

Having such tricky obstacles to traverse, it is important to equip the player with enough tools in order to solve the problems presented in the different rooms. Let’s take a look at them.


Who would have thought that you are allowed to jump on a platformer…

In Zoel’s Amazing Castle, Player retains full control of the character while jumping, being able to change directions mid-air. Also the longer you hold the jump button the higher you will jump. Releasing the jump button results in the vertical inertia being interrupted at that moment.

Ledge grabbing

When jumping towards some platforms, the character will grab to the border of the platform if he doesn’t make the jump.

Once the character is in the hanging state you have 3 different options to proceed. If you press down, you will release the ledge and fall. If you press up, the character will climb the ledge. However this can be troublesome if there is an enemy waiting for you on the platform. For this situation, you should use the third option, which is jump from the hanging state, being able to attack instantly and defend yourself.

However, this mechanic will not apply to all the different kinds of platforms, so it will be up to the player to experiment and see which corners can be grabbed and which can’t.

Utility Spells

Some utility spells will help the player with the platforming, such as the Mage being able to float for a second. This spells however have to be obtained, as the character will not be equipped with them by default.

Double jump

The ability to perform a double jump will be present in Zoel’s Amazing Castle. However as the utility spells, this will not be available by default, an special item has to be found in order to be able to perform the double jump.

Well that concludes the third project update. If you read through the whole update, thank you a lot, and I hope that you come back next time. For the next update, in order to chance the content a bit (You will probably be bored of the game mechanics at this point!) we will be taking a look at a few characters and enemies, in order to give a little depth to the world of Zoel’s Amazing Castle.

See you next time!

Project update #2: Rooms, doors, runes and puzzles

Project update #2: Rooms, doors, runes and puzzles


Today, we will be taking a look at the random element of the game, such as how the castle is built and what are the challenges you will have to overcome...

Project update #1: Welcome to Zoel’s Amazing Castle

Project update #1: Welcome to Zoel’s Amazing Castle

News 2 comments

In this update I want to introduce you to our first project: Zoel’s Amazing Castle. Firs thing first, as this is the first update it seems appropriate...

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