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  Kid Hallow Insider Info #3 - The Costumes 04:50 PM -- Sun October 31, 2021  

So don't get too excited, there aren't any new costumes in Kid Hallow (yet!), but all the old costumes have gotten upgrades! Let's run them down:
The Kid - Of course, you start every level with no costume on. The Kid has only had one minor upgrade since you last met him: he can duck now, which is not low enough to dodge any bullets at all. It's just for fun.
Frank - Classic Frank! He too has gained the mystical power of ducking. It has a slight advantage here because you can smash bricks beneath you without any risk of hitting the ceiling above you (which might be spikes, who knows?). You just hold Down and tap Action and he instantly hits the ground without having to jump first. There is also a new situation for Frank to interact using his pushy powers, but that's a tale for tomorrow.
Ghost - Spooky as ever! The Ghost has gained - say it with me - the ability to duck! Totally useless. He also now has the power to descend rapidly, which is new (it's like ducking, but in midair!). Another minor touch to his flight is that you can now hold down the jump button to continuously go upwards (not quite as fast as if you pounded it at the right speed, but decent).
Witch - Would you believe the Witch can now duck? Other than that, and major cleanup to how her powers affect the world (objects no longer get stuck inside each other, they push apart neatly), she hasn't changed. She's very puzzle-based so we couldn't mess around too much. I kept wanting to give her the ability shoot up and down, but it would completely change every puzzle for her. That feature still may come in the future though, in a very special new way.
Vampire - Now we get some interesting stuff! I know what you're expecting, but let me blow your mind: the Vampire cannot duck! Nay, pushing down when using this costume instead makes you turn into a cloud of mist for a very short time. Very short. With this, you can dodge bullets (even Dragon Statue laser beams if you do it right), and with excellent timing, even dodge right through a Screamer. It's the Dark Souls of Kid Hallow moves.
Santa - Santa could always duck, to drop Gifts. What's so great about him now is that he can also do this in midair! It's a huge change that has made him a ton more fun to play. In addition to that, dropping Gifts is a lot better now. If you remember way back (uh, 13 years ago...), you previously needed to drop each one carefully so that it was in an empty spot. If there was already a gift too close, it wouldn't appear. So now instead, you can drop them all over the place, and they simply push each other aside for maximum explosivity. Santa has truly become a lot more jolly.
Snowman - The Snowman doesn't exactly have any new tricks. It's more that he is much easier to play now. Previously, if you froze somebody too close to you, you'd get stuck inside the ice block with them until they thawed. It was really annoying. So now, anybody caught in an ice block is gently nudged out (same feature as the Witch has when she transforms things).
Penguin - More ducking fun! But this time there's a good purpose. If you crouch as a Penguin, any Baby Penguins that reach you will stay underneath you to stay warm, just like real life. They also change their direction to match yours, so you can use this trick to steer babies away from danger and toward any Igloos you want annihilated. We've also improved how splashing out of water works and looks, which affects everybody but is most notable as a Penguin.
Bouapha - The Gourdslayer is back and probably has the most upgrades of any character. He couldn't do much originally, just toss hammers. Well now he can duck! Surprised? It's slightly useful in that it allows you to stay in place while tossing hammers downward instead of running around. We've also added a new feature to disable pressing Up to jump (there's a jump button now, you can play either way). If you do that, you can throw hammers in all 8 directions without accidentally jumping, which makes him easier to control. But that's not all! His rate of fire has also been doubled - he's got some Pants of Power now. And biggest of all, when he ducks, he can pick up Baby Penguins or Princesses, and then throw them around like he throws hammers! Oh it is fantastic fun, I assure you. The princess doesn't appreciate it much though.
Happy Stick Ninja - He could already duck. Aside from a small simplification to his controls, he's the same flippy jumpy maniac as ever.
Yerfdog - Oh you bet this dog can duck! It's actually very very useful, because it used to be very difficult to enter small passageways, with the way he would constantly bounce up and down on the ground, and he almost couldn't operate Gears at all. Now with ducking, you just hold down and crawl around. It's very weird looking, like he's some kind of mutant slug dog. In addition, like the Ghost, he can hold down in mid-air to descend faster, which is a great control improvement. On top of that, he has massive improvements to how sucking up and spitting out enemies works. And lastly, he has a whole new trick! He can suck up water and spit it out too. Use this to put out fires, charge up batteries, or a few other weird tricks. It gives Yerfdog an entirely new dimension.
Elf - Just one little change for the Elf - he shoots faster than before.
Wizard - Wizard's teleport was a subject of much consternation. So we cleaned that up a lot. He now aligns his destination with a whole tile, so if you are a pixel off, you don't end up with the very top of your hat stuck in a wall. Along with a few other tweaks, his teleport is vastly more reliable now, but it'll still kill you if you end up inside a grate!
Knight - Last and just about least, the knight has gained a really nifty duck move in which he hides behind his sword (odd, since he's holding a shield, but also it was an accident, and I loved it so I kept it!). That's all the new stuff he's got that I can recall... He's still really fun though, with his pogo-jumping and electricity-conducting and bullet-deflecting.
Phew. That is it. I had no idea that was going to be so massive. There are just a lot of characters in this game. And I don't even remember all the little tweaks we did, so I missed some stuff in here (also, I am about to go experiment with making Frank's headbutt faster right now, a day before we ship! Foolish but potentially fun). See you with another insider info tomorrow, discussing all the new monsters and items we added. And of course... you can also play them all tomorrow because it's gonna be release day!

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  Kid Hallow Insider Info #2 04:20 PM -- Sat October 30, 2021  

I forgot to add any links last time, I should probably be advertising the game while I do this... Let's talk about the new art in Kid Hallow! All the stuff that looks good is by Ben Rose as usual. It starts with the awesome new title screen which you can see in miniature above, but here's a juicier taste:

From there, we see the good ol' Costume Party menu:

Probably some level names that old Costume Party fans remember in there. The new stuff here is mostly subtle, but also we have these walls on the side. That's what goes up in order to cover up the dead space because nowadays, monitors are wider than they are tall, and back in my misspent youth (2008), they were square(ish)! So you always have those on the sides in full-screen, but they don't just sit there. You'll see what they do! It's nothing important, but it's fun.

Then there's also a game in there (click for bigger)!

If you want to dig through a bunch of screenshots, you can visit the Kid Hallow Press Kit. But there are some cool new things going on here. Obviously the display at the top is all new and cracked up. But there are also new backgrounds (the only returning one is the brick background in the middle shot. It's iconic and already pixelated), and a bunch of new stuff I should be saving for the next update... but it's hard to ignore: yes, levels can be dark now, only letting you see stuff that's not behind walls. There are also Purplekoopa's Eyeball Trees, which are pure evil. And Boneheads! Other new stuff in those shots too, but that comes in the next update. I guess in the realm of "just art" we have those brick walls in the middle and right screenshots, with torches and windows - those are new background tiles. They go in the overlay layer, but they show up under everything instead of on top of everything.

Definitely something for tomorrow, but look - there are some new animations for most characters! Specifically, ducking. Every character that used to not be able to duck, now can. For most of them, this is completely useless, but it feels nice (squats are healthy). For a few, it has real important functionality. Guess you'll find that out tomorrow when we talk about the new tricks the characters have!
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  Kid Hallow Insider Info #1 01:24 PM -- Fri October 29, 2021  

You may have heard Kid Hallow is coming Nov 1st...

It's pretty awesome. But since anybody who actually finds their way to this blog is a true Hamumian (probably, that is. If you're not, get out before you are discovered), I figured we can talk about the true details of what's new vs. the original Costume Party. We can get into the meaty details that aren't appropriate for press releases, or too nitpicky for "normal people", or just require that you remember playing the original game.

Big thanks to SpaceManiac for his huge role in reviving this game - he did all the real techno mumbo-jumbo, while I scribbled new pixels and goofy stuff (but speaking of pixels, we also have HSB on the project who did the awesome new title screen and backgrounds, like the title you see above!). So let's start with new features that are techno mumbo-jumbo:
  • You can now play the game offline! Of course you can't play any online levels when you do that, but what this means is that you can save your levels offline, and just share them with other people as normal files (you can find them in the /local folder of the game's installation folder - in Steam you can right-click on a game and select Properties/Local Files to explore the installation folder).

  • What else it means relates to our new pause menu:

    As you can see, you can just click to download a copy of any level you play! This means you can figure out what all the secret tricks in the level are, or tweak it to practice different parts, or make an offline copy for your own use or for a historical archive, or make a remix of it with your own twist.

  • Also new in that menu is "Die & Rate Level" which is kind of dumb - you can always just use Restart to die and play again. But Die & Rate Level was added because in rare cases, someone might make a level that is near-impossible to finish, but also prevents you from dying (it can't be impossible, because they have to win it to submit it, but close enough). In that case, there's no way to rate the level and warn everybody about how terrible it is. So we added this button. Yeah, we have to plan for people being terrible.

  • We've also got a bunch of tech under the hood to make the online experience more functional and tidy than in the past. It automatically logs you in with your Steam or Itch.io account depending on which platform you use, and just works magically. And - fingers crossed - we hopefully have better tools for handling bad players who are ruining the experience for others.

  • Speaking of that, now when you see your friend is playing Kid Hallow (on Steam), you can click to take on the exact level they're playing! Make it a contest. We also have a discord bot coming who will announce newly made levels, and you can click the link it shares to instantly play that level. We'll see how spammy that gets (I guess we should hope that it IS too spammy!).

  • I may be misremembering, but I think the original Costume Party would only run in a window. True or not, it's not true with Kid Hallow! You can seamlessly swap between full-screen and windowed mode any time, even while playing (Hit F11), and everything scales quite nicely, including our lovely new smooth fonts as you see in the picture above.

  • There's also a variety of new and improved menu elements and smoothness - cool transitions that make a clunky noise, decently highlighted buttons in the editor (that was hard to see before!), and a bunch of changes to the menu flow and function to clean it up.

  • And of course, the game now has 100% gamepad support everywhere! Play from your couch! You can even type in level names with a handy onscreen keyboard. Level editing with a gamepad is far from ideal, but that's about as good as you can expect. Gameplay with a gamepad is fantastic.
There's a lot more new stuff, but we'll get to those things in our next installment of Kid Hallow Insider Info!
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  Kid Hallow! Coming Nov. 1st 02:23 PM -- Wed October 27, 2021  

Remember Costume Party? Of course you do, it was amazing! Well, it's back, with a host of new features, items, and working-ness. All your favorite stuff is in there, along with a whole bunch of new ones. Sadly, the old levels are lost to time, but this new version supports saving and sharing offline (as well as online, of course!), so your new creations can be kept for all eternity (or less, depending on the storage medium you use). Behold the wonders!

Here's the marketing blurb:

No plot required. Kid Hallow is an action/puzzle game all about slipping on a variety of Halloween costumes to get past horrifying monsters that will haunt your nightmares, and of course, collecting all the Candy Corn. It's a brutally difficult precision platformer - but only if the player who built the level made it that way (mostly they do though, let's be honest). Don't like that? Make your own easy levels!

Each costume has unique abilities, shifting the gameplay from action-slasher to puzzle-solving and everything in between. Build your own levels using the extremely simple level editor, and share them online with the world! Rate and compete on endless levels created by your fellow players.

Bonus! Includes 9 more costumes and dozens of enemies and objects from the Winter Pack, Dumb Pack, and Fantasy Pack. Play as a Wizard with fire and ice powers, the fattest Santa Claus you've ever seen, Happy Stick Ninja, and more!

Originally released in 2008 as Costume Party, we've updated this game for 2021 with shiny new technology, starting with over a dozen new tiles that can interact in a myriad of ways - from the Earth Shrine that pacifies all botanical enemies (that is, if you light all the Earth Shrines in the level...), to the Poltergeist which can both possess enemies to supercharge them and possess any block to turn it into a hidden threat. We've also added a ton of visual enhancements and new effects. Best of all, many of the costumes have received upgraded abilities - the Vampire can now turn into mist to dodge bullets, Bouapha can pick up and throw Princesses and Baby Penguins (trust me, this makes sense once you play the game), Santa can drop Gifts in mid-air, and most amazing of all, Kid Hallow himself can now duck! It doesn't do anything, but it sure looks cool.

I have yet to actually get all the pages and info up about the game on our website, but the trailer was ready so I felt like I had to share it!

Go visit the game page on Steam and wishlist it to make us more popular! The game will also be available on Itch.io here.
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  The Hoedown 2021 Watch List 10:39 AM -- Fri October 1, 2021  

In the interests of getting people into the interest, and because I've already done most of the movie watching already, I wanted to share the full list of movies for 2021, so you can get ready to enjoy our podcast properly! These are not all appropriate movies for all viewers (in fact, they're mostly not appropriate for MOST viewers), and some of them are horrendously awful, so choose with caution!

We were forced to watch the movies on the left by MovieBot (listen to the podcast for details!), and I found Evil Twins for them via extensive googling. For the evil twins, I chose them entirely based on their title and the fact that some website mentioned them being horror. Of course, many amazing options had to be tossed out because I couldn't find any way to actually watch them. When I had multiple choices that were good, I did make some executive decisions, but I always aimed to get the one that was closest to being a twin to the official movie, not the one I wanted to watch the most. So not all of them are actually horror, and definitely not all of them are good. It's interesting choosing a movie based on nothing but the name.

There are 2 special cases: Dead Silence was the perfect twin to The Silence, but I've already reviewed Dead Silence! So I figured why not review it again and see what I think now? So that's happening. The other issue is that the perfect twin to Girl House is His House, but MovieBot actually made us watch His House! So those two movies get no evil twin, since they are each others' evil twins.

DateMovieBot-Demanded MovieEvil Twin Movie
Oct 1The Blob (1958)The Blob (1988)
Oct 2Detention (2011)Detention (2019)
Oct 3Cry Wolf (2005)Crying Wolf 3D (2015)
Oct 4Dark Light (2019)Brightburn (2019)
Oct 5Await Further Instructions (2018)Await The Dawn (2020)
Oct 6The Silence (2019)Dead Silence (2007)
Oct 7Ginger Snaps (2000)Ginger Snaps 2 (2004)
Oct 8Alice Sweet Alice (1976)Hush, Hush... Sweet Charlotte (1964)
Oct 9Girl House (2014)see His House below!
Oct 10Prevenge (2016)Revenge (2017)
Oct 11Cadaver (2020)The Possession Of Hannah Grace (2018) (AKA Cadaver!)
Oct 12Blood Quantum (2019)Blood Vessel (2019)
Oct 13The Veil (2016)Miranda Veil (2020)
Oct 14The Bye Bye Man (2017)Goodnight Mommy (2014)
Oct 15Black Rock (2012)Black Sheep (2006)
Oct 16Clown (2014)Clown (2019)
Oct 17His House (2020)see Girlhouse above!
Oct 18Noroi: The Curse (2005)The Curse (1987)
Oct 19Martyrs (2008)Martyrs (2015)
Oct 20La Llorona (2019)Curse of La Llorona (2019)
Oct 21It Comes At Night (2017)It Waits (2005)
Oct 22Charlie's Farm (2014)Farm (2010)
Oct 23Cargo (2017)Cargo (2019)
Oct 24The Stylist (2020)Personal Shopper (2016)
Oct 25The Unborn (2009)The Unborn (1991)
Oct 261BR (2019)One Missed Call (2003)
Oct 27Splice (2009)The Wisher (2002) (AKA Spliced!)
Oct 28Who Can Kill A Child? (1976)Where Are The Children? (1986)
Oct 29High Tension (2003)High Anxiety (1977)
Oct 30What Keeps You Alive (2018)Buried Alive (2007)
Oct 31The Loved Ones (2009)The Last Ones (2012)

Watch with us, won't you?
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