16 bit Action Game – MajiKana – Free Demo Available!
Welcome to the Next Level of retro-style indie games! MajiKana is a Sega Genesis style platformer with colourful 16 bit graphics, FM synth music and great play-control! Download free demo for Windows here
[[UPDATE]] If you have the demo version 0.011 or 0.02 you can download this patch to update it to version 0.021 This update fixes some bugs, tweaks some enemies and adds a 3 character naming system to the score and time records! The download link above has also been updated and it always leads to the newest version!
(This patch is not compatible with version 0.01, if you downloaded the game in the first couple of days it’s been available you can just download the new version off of that same download link as before.)
About me: Hello everybody! I’m Ruko Michiharu, founder and sole member of the doujin game development team Haruhana Soft. I dedicate to making accurate 16 bit graphics and advanced chiptune music that ranges from FM synth to Wavetable, and my goal is to bring you back to the past!
About the game: MajiKana is a 16 bit style platformer that accurately mimics the hardware limitations of the Sega Genesis / Megadrive video game system. It is being developed in GameMaker Studio, but I’m making sure that the game is being made in a way that a Sega Genesis port would be pretty much identical to the PC version. Its graphics were drawn using the same colour palette with 512 colours, and it uses 4 palettes of 16 colours for the sprites and background tiles for a total of 64 colours on-screen at a time. It also runs under the same resolution as the Sega Genesis, 320 x 224 pixels, but you can stretch it to various different sizes to fit your screen. The sound and music were produced using Deflemask, a tracker that produces music that will run on real Sega Genesis hardware, but it also supports many other systems like the Turbografx 16, the Game Boy / Color, the NES, the Commodore 64 and the Sega Master System for example…
The plan is to release the game on GOG and Steam for $5 by the end of the year, the full game should have versions for Windows, Mac and Linux, but don’t be surprised if the game takes longer to be made… It will have 8 main stages, 3 difficulty settings and a lives and continues system, and in true arcade fashion, completing the game on hard without using continues is highly encouraged, but casual players shouldn’t shy away from the game since there’s no shame in playing on easy mode, and using continues won’t take you too far back… There are infinite continues, by the way, so you can keep trying and trying to your heart’s desire. But if you complete the game under specific conditions without using continues, your efforts will be rewarded with unlockable in-game content! But mind you, actually unlocking certain content will NOT be an easy task… Currently the demo only supports Windows, so Mac and Linux users will have to wait until the full release of the game… Check out the Readme file for instructions on how to play the game!
Fund-raising: In order to continue making the game, I need to raise some funds… So if you enjoy the demo of the game, then by all means consider making a donation!
I highly appreciate any donations, and none of them will be in vain! I’m willing to offer 3 rewards for anybody who donates a certain amount of money:
If you donate $5 or more: You’ll get a free digital copy of the game for your OS of choice as soon as the game is out!
If you donate $20 or more: You’ll get a free downloadable CD quality Original Soundtrack!
If you donate $50 or more: You’ll get your name and/or alias in the “special thanks” section of the credits!
I’m trying to raise at least $2000, but no matter how much money is donated, the game will come out complete! And in true retro fashion, there are no plans for DLC, no DRM (unless you buy the game through Steam), no micro-transactions, no shady business practices! When you buy the game, you own it!
But hey, anything that is donated more than the main goal will help the game’s development go faster, smoother, and will also help development of future games I have planned! And I have plans to make games of all the classic late 80s and early 90s arcade-style genres! Starting with platformers, but I also want to do shoot’em ups (shmups), Beat’em ups, Fighting games, and even pseudo-3D racing games! And not just in the style of the Sega Genesis, but also in the style of the Super Nintendo, the Turbografx 16 and even some 16 bit Japanese Computers! I hope you look forward to them too! (Note: When you donate, make sure to inform your email address when it’s asked so that I can send you your rewards through the email when the game is out!)
About the team: The graphics and sound of the game were made by me, but the code of the game is being handled by the programmers from Team Gaijin Alex, so I’d like to publicly thank them for their help! If it wasn’t for them, I’d still be stuck in development hell to this day…
One more thing: Just before I launched this website, another composer joined the team! They go by “K.Faraday” and they’re far more musically talented than I could ever hope to be, and while the music you hear in the demo was all made by me, the music in the full game will be made by both of us, and I can pretty much say for sure that what you’ll hear in the full version will be much better than what is in the demo!
The recommended way to play MajiKana is by hooking up a CRT TV to your computer and playing the game using a Sega Genesis controller using an USB adapter to plug it into your PC. That way you’ll have the truest retro-experience! But don’t worry, if you don’t have a CRT TV or if you have no way (or patience) of hooking it up to your PC, the game has visual options that emulate the look and feel of a CRT TV! It doesn’t look quite as good as an actual CRT TV but it gets the job done… The CRT screen visual options look best in full-screen, and some of the supported resolutions don’t allow you to pick certain CRT screen modes… But hey, if you prefer the sharp and pixelated emulator look of most modern retro-style indie games, the game also supports that.
As you can already experience in the demo, the stages are designed in a semi-linear fashion. There will be lots of branching paths within the stages, but all will lead to the same end, what is different is what you see and find in each part of the stage. For example, if you fall in a hole, unless it’s an obvious hazard (like spikes, water or lava), you don’t die! Instead, you’re taken to another part of the stage and can proceed from there, and you’ll still fight the same boss in the end of the stage! Some paths are easier but less rewarding, some other paths are harder but more rewarding. While you play the demo, keep in mind that it is just a demo, and this demo stage is separate from the main game! Also, we still have quite some stuff to do and ideas to implement in the game. But as far as the demo itself goes, it has not only the branching paths but also a score attack and a time attack mechanics to keep you coming back to play it! I hope you enjoy it!
As you may have noticed, this game is very early 90s Japanese-inspired, and I love to draw my characters in a 90s anime fashion… So I’ll be posting official artwork of the game and its protagonist here as the during the game’s development!
Questions you may want to ask:
Q: Don’t you think the indie market is over-saturated with retro-style platformers?
A: Definitely! But I can’t help it, platformers are my favourite genre! Besides, most other retro-style indie games either go for a fake NES style and respect NONE of the limitations of the system or go for a generic retro-style with 16 bit-esque graphics and 8 bit sound-alike music…. MajiKana is a TRUE 16 bit game in every way, shape and form, and it’s a Sega-style game, not Nintendo-style! (Don’t worry Nintendo fans, I have something planned for you too, but it will come later ;3)
Q: Why Sega Genesis / Megadrive style?
A: The original idea for the game was to be a platform game with 16 bit graphics, loads of parallax-scrolling backgrounds and FM synth sound and music, and the Sega Genesis fits this description perfectly! And well, so do the Sharp X68000, and I could have gone with a game with that style but… The Genesis has a broader appeal, and I personally like mimicking more limited hardware…
Q: Any plans for console or mobile releases?
A: For now it’s PC-only, but if the game manages to sell enough copies on computers, I may want to port it to some consoles. I’m personally aiming for Nintendo consoles, but I wouldn’t have a problem to put it on Playstation, as well… But no, I have no plans to make any mobile games, it’s not the market for the kinds of games I want to make…
Q: Why is your game gonna be so cheap?
A: You see, I’ve been pretty poor for my entire life, I know how it is to not be able to afford the games you want… For my whole life I had to stick with the cheapest game system of every generation, and only buy a few games for it… So I want MajiKana to be a game that anybody can buy! I want it to be a game that’s both good and cheap!
Q: Why no DRM? Aren’t you afraid of people pirating your game?
A: People are going to pirate everything regardless of DRM… That’s just how it is… But hey, $5 is a bargain don’t you think? ;3 With the game being this cheap, why would you pirate it?
Q: My screen turned black while I was messing with the visual options! What do I do?
A: If that happens, try pressing F5 and it will go back to normal.