The Magic Bowman


The Magic Bowman

The Magic Bowman is a adventure-platformer, filled with comedy and story-rich characters.
You play as mr Bowman, a skilled magic-archer with a passion for dancing, and part of the Bowman family. You deal with failure, loss and living up to other's expectations.

In the beginning of the game you travel with Umbra, another member of the Bowman family, he's quite clunky as well, but people adore him.

Player (left) Umbra (right)

I've been working on this game for a year now. It started as a test-project to test something out and turned into my main project. Right now (09-august-2019) I'm working on the basics-of the game again. Extra-polishing the core features like platforming and battling.
I dislike this game to be all about combat. So I'm working on a system where you can approach enemies in 3 ways; Combat, Stealth, or Talking. I want it so that when you but your bow away and approach enemies you can get conversations with them. And if you look at the narrative design good enough, or listened to any conversations they may have had, you can talk your way out of combat or even become friends.
I'm also planning for the character to be able to dance when you don't have a bow in your hand. And some characters or enemies react to that. Some will like it, some will get angrier. etc.
And of course your approach choices will effect the levels. If you let someone live, maybe he'll betrays you later on, if you kill someone, maybe you've hurt someone else.

Features in-game:
  • Movement (walking, jumping, crouching, slant walk, jumpthoughblocks, dodge/roll)
  • Platforming (walljump, ledge-grabs, skill jumps (like, roll then jump for higher jump) )
  • Stealth (you can crouch and hide in objects like plants or behind boxes)
  • Combat (you can aim 360degrees and shoot, the bow has 3 stages of power the longer you hold the button)
  • Dialogue (a branching dialogue system with choices)
Working on:
  • Enemies recognizing you don't have a bow and start a conversation.
  • Text Juice (I want to be able to have text-effects)
  • Upgrading gear (I want that you can gather materials to get minor upgrades to your skills/gear, like going invisible for x amount of seconds after a roll, or dance better by getting better shoes.)
  • Smoother movement (still some minor glitches here and there)
  • Animations (some core animations are still missing)
  • ... more soon

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I really like the art style in this game, would love to get my hands on a playable version. It sounds to me like you're in need of some organisation and planning! I know what it's like to want to keep redoing things as you go though.

Hope to see some more soon - good luck with the rest of it :)


Art style is very nice. Gameplay looks interesting, and the dialogue system looks good.

Maybe releasing a demo, even if it's just to a small group of people might generate some inspiration for you? It looks pretty solid so far, regroup and get some fresh perspective on where the project is going so you don't wander about and give up


Thanks so much for the kind words and feedback, that means a lot! :)

So I'm quite happy about my game "intro". It's playable, I even let some people play it somewhere last week and got lots of laughs and good feedback!
So that's exciting haha.
This playable intro is doable in 3 minutes though. I'm really struggling to write the 2nd part of the intro, which will be inside an old crypt. I'm planning to make some cool indiana-jones-like puzzles and stealth elements.
Along with finally some platforming and more comedy.

I find it really hard to come up with a proper pacing. I really like what I have now, and I don't want to ruin it with the next scene.
I'm planning some sort of lightning puzzle but can't come up with anything good. (anyone who wants to brainstorm with me some time about good side-scroller puzzles?)
It's also that I haven't really established the story. I have some ideas but it's still vague. Game design has never been this hard haha.

looks excellent! Great visual style! Combat looks fun!
Will the player be using only a bow and arrow??
Thanks! Still tweaking the whole battle-system. It's the one thing I dislike the most right now.
Using just bow and arrow is the plan yeah, but you also have dashing, and the bow has 3 "power levels". The longer you hold the better the arrow (as seen in that first gif).
But I'm still thinking about a better system.

I'm also planning stuff like, when you hold you arrow close to a fire, it gets on fire, and then you can fire it. Maybe to solve puzzles. But not sure how a fire arrow would be better than that 3rd level red arrow.
I was also thinking about letting the player teleport to the arrows position. But I'm getting headaches if I think about the coding work and the bugs that it would bring. Also, how to control it as a player?

Thanks again!
I'll post some more if I have something visual for that next area.
Also, maybe if lots of people want it I might be thinking about releasing this small intro to play. But not sure.


So I never made a video of my game before, but here is one.
I'm messing around with the stealth system of my game. This is just a test room (so keep in mind this ain't final art, these are just squares mostly).

What you think? :)

Little bit of stress-testing:
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So I had a roadtrip, got lots of inspiration. And I'm planning to go back to the basics a bit, so that level-design becomes more fun.
I'm rewatching my core-gameplay. I want the player to have more control and options. I rewrote the original page on this thread in where I talk about 3 ways to do a standard-encounter.
Combat, Stealth, or Talking.
I want the player to be able to put his bow away, and then enemies wont attack you directly. You can get a conversation with them and try to understand them. Talk yourself out of combat or even become friends.
or, I want the player to fully use stealth to not even talk or combat an enemy.
OR ofcourse combat. Which I'm also improving. The first thing I did is edit the DASH.

The dash used to be some sort of dash-teleport which you could always do and it gave me a lot of trouble with level design. There was no room for skillful-platforming, because if you could dash fast enough you could almost fly through a level.
I removed that dash and changed it to a very flexible roll:

It can only be used on the ground and is quite flexible in the way like when you roll to the right and hold left afterwards, it sort of tries to cancel the roll and the roll is less far.
I think this is a cooler way to behave in combat as well, roll around enemies, trying to get some arrows in them.

This also gave me a cool platformer idea. If you roll, and jump right after (you can hold jump while rolling), the jump is faster and gets you to new areas:

I'm planning a lot of cool stuff. Especially the whole new feature that you can put your bow away, and that this creates a different play-style.
I might replace the combat buttons with dance buttons, and that some characters react to this. (some will like it, maybe dance with you, maybe there will be some dance competitions. But maybe some people will hate it and get even more angrier.)

Also planning upgrades. I want exploration to be more of a thing, and with exploration collectibles are nice. So I might let the player collect "materials" which can upgrade your gear/skills.
These upgrades won't be drastic. But cool stuff like, go invisble for x seconds after a roll. Or dance better because new shoes, or just draw your bow faster.


August 11th update:
Working on "text-juice". I wanted to give every letter a single ID so that I could do text shakes and colors and stuff. But after two days I sort of gave up, or thought, this is too much trouble for me and my already written system, I could do it simpler maybe.
So I am doing "overall" text effects. Like shake the entire text for a while, and effects with the "balloon".
Like right now it "breaths" and can change color for a while, bouce, or resize the text, all within the same line of code:
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Red Phantom

Hey, I think a lot of people would love to tryout a playable demo! You should consider releasing a demo, even if it's just of a small part of your game. This game looks interesting and fun, also the art is nice and comes together well.


Sorry guys, but I'm still working on this.
I seriously will release something soon. Like, a room to test the engine so far in. Not yet the game.
I'm still polishing and polishing (and adding small ideas haha).
Today I've worked on the look a bit, I added some colors to the trees instead of making it all flat one color like before (which has it's own aesthetic but I wanted the world to be a bit more alive)

It gives the graphics more depth as well.
What do you think? Better? Or were the "silhouette"-like graphics better?


maybe a little gif to see how the platforming is looking now?

The thing I like the most if how you jump a bit further if you jump right after a roll.
Literally the only way to get to that spot on the left.
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Still working on this silly little adventure game. Working on actual gameplay finally.
I'm redoing the first area of the game where you go through a small little crypt. It's part of the tutorial a bit, you learn basic stuff like walljump and talking and there is also an 'enemy'.
I'm working on the story a lot lately, have lots of ideas finally and it's really starting to take shape (like what will happen throughout the game, how long it will be etc.)
The "intro" or "first act" is finished on paper, but still have to program half of it.
Also working on a lot of engine-cleaning and redoing some stuff. Like the enemy parent object and some stuff in the player object. Everything is a lot smoother and easier to edit now.

Going through a dungeon and solving puzzles is a lot harder when your buddy is making his own rules.

His name is Walter and is actually a very nice guy if you get to know him.