Phantom Gear for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive

Created by Mega Cat Studios

A new original Action-Adventure platformer game for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive console

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Update: The Floor is Lava
about 1 month ago – Sun, May 23, 2021 at 01:40:55 AM

Hey Everyone! We’ve heard you loud and clear and are super excited to share the latest updates with you.

We are bringing you three new levels to explore, each with its own gimmicks, like the overflowing lava in Level 2 below! There’s also a brand-new level intro animation to look forward to.

Our total revealed level list looks like this now:

  • Lab City: Josephine’s home is under attack and the Ocular Force isn’t holding any punches. Josephine has no choice but to protect the Ancient Artifact at all costs.
  • Under City Cave: Deep below the ground is the city's energy source. A labyrinth of caves hides rivers of magma and many dangers.
  • Valley Forest: A dense and old forest where Josephine must stay on the path to make it out alive. No one promised the chase would be easy.

Want more concept art? Here’s a sketch of the level intro sequence:

With new environments to explore, we couldn’t neglect the call for something a little extra, so we are introducing the new shop: trade your collectables to buy upgrades, power ups and weapons!

Want a sneak peak on future updates? Check out our latest video!

Updates, Pixels & Bits!
4 months ago – Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 11:13:04 PM

Hello everyone! I hope you're all doing well and staying safe.

I'll jump straight into the updates – there's been some really great progress lately!

As most of you know, this is all in pure Assembly and crafted with care. We have had some amazing feedback from the community, and have been applying it along the way. This type of iteration is hugely valuable for game development, and it's something we have loved participating in. Emails, Discord conversations, and Twitch streams have been invaluable for us! That does mean some serious adjustments and code refactoring. We are through those optimizations, and fully on rails now with the remaining content! 

We have some exciting updates to share with you all soon, and can't wait to show you some new art in the next few weeks.

New cover art and rewards progress
7 months ago – Tue, Dec 08, 2020 at 02:16:39 AM

Hi everyone! Today we want to show you the work we are doing on the rewards.

First of all, we have the final designs for the cover art of the game. We decided to imitate old SEGA releases and have 2 artwork variants: one in an anime style that you would see in a Japanese release, and another in a Western style for America and Europe.

Just like the original SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive releases, you can choose between 3 region cover style. Don't worry, your game is going to be compatible with any console because is region-free. And all posters and box versions of the game are going to be double side print so you have the two illustrations!

Other Rewards

We are working with 4 artist friends from Argentina to produce the art of some of the rewards. Each of them is going to use their own style to show the world of Phantom Gear. We have a sneak peek of their progress here:

Collector Edition exclusive poster

Comic Book

We are working with another artist for the comic reward. Right now we have the script and the first draft of all the pages completed. The artist is cleaning up the pages so we can't show you anything now, but we are going to show our progress with the comic in the next update.

This is all we have to show you for now. Next update we are going to show our progress on the game. See you next time!

New Boss + Programming Tricks
9 months ago – Fri, Oct 02, 2020 at 10:47:57 PM

Hi everybody! We want to show you a little more of our progress and tell you about some of the tricks that we use to optimize the game to fit m so we can fit in more exciting content.

The Snowy Mines's Boss: The Driller Worm

Inside the Snowy Mountains, Ocular Force has mines where they extract metals and other resources to build their arsenal. To dig deep under the mountains, Ocular Force uses this earth-shattering machine. Once you cross path with this driller it'll chase you relentlessly, so be aggressive to defeat it!

Concept Art

Programming tricks

The boss Magmus has multiple states when you fight him. This mean that we need to optimize his assets to leave space for other bosses. The most problematic state is his lava mode because a fluid magma animation could take a lot of frames to look right and take a lot of ROM space. To avoid this we use an old trick: color cycling.

To achieve  this we need to chose an amount of colors that are going to simulate the lava flow when they change in a constant cycle. Now we can use those color always in the same position in the animation. This makes the lava look static:

But wait, what are those blue colors? When we try the animation for the first time we noticed that the wobble animation didn't look good with the color cycling. So we decided to duplicate some of the cycling colors and leave it in a fixed position on both palettes. This make more easy to animate some actions and effects.

Now that we reduced the amount of frames per animation with lava, we can further improve the performance of the animation in the game. To use the animation we need to cut each frame in different areas:

Arranging the areas in the right way, we can improve the amount of tiles that we are going to load to the VRAM each frame. In this example, we can see that the center never changes because we use color cycling. Here you can see that the center is loaded only once (notice that the eye is in another layer):

This has another advantage: we need to save the center in ROM only once, leaving more free space!

Here is another example of an animation that use both color cycling and fixed colors:

And here we have an special case were we need to change palettes in the middle of the animation:

Demo Update

We are still working on the new demo, improving the Magmus boss fight and fixing the logic of the skeletal animation of Scorpikon. We want to amaze you when you see Scorpikon moving in your TV, so please wait a little longer. Here is a little sneak peek:

Waiting for his prey...
Chasing you!

See you soon!

New release date and new boss
12 months ago – Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 02:54:52 AM

Hi everybody! We hope you are all doing ok. It has been nearly a year since the launch of our campaign, and we are SO excited to share our dream project of creating Phantom Gear for the mighty Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. 

We are also excited to share some news with you in the coming weeks on the Phantom Gear universe, as well as some free perks we'll be unlocking down the line for our original backers. 

COVID has not been easy for any of us, and we have had several challenges with both of US team, as well as our team members in Argentina.  We are sorry to say that we aren't hitting our original target release date, but fear not--we are determined to deliver the best game with the best quality that we can fit into a 32 Power cartridge!

To start, we have a new demo coming down the line in the coming weeks with two new sprawling levels within the Phantom Gear world, and two new exhilarating bosses that will challenge even the savviest Sega fan. 

Introducing the boss of the forest: Scorpikon

In the forest, a machine hides deep within the shadows, awaiting its prey. Scorpikon was originally designed to eradicate the forest. Anything in its path, it is programmed to destroy. 

Attack patterns

Sneak Peek to Further Progress 

We couldn't help but share some sample animations of Magmus, the boss of the Under City Caves.

Idle animation
Jump animation
Breaking armor
Throwing rocks

Here, you can look at how an animation looks in our custom editor while Leo is working on them.

Last but not least, we have some further refinements to the intro: