Introduction: This post is the second part of a series we’re running. We always wanted to give developers a chance to showcase their games even before they are finished. This should help developers build a fanbase and also get valuable feedback from their audience.
The Rainbow Cat Dev Diary will show you all the hard work that goes into developing a hilarious platform game.
If you want to know more about Thomas Evans read the first part.
Thomas is also looking for a better name for the game. I suggest “Asylum Cat” or “Trippy (the) Cat”. What’s your suggestion for a new name? Let Thomas know what you would suggest in the comments below. Off to Thomas now!
[Game Progress of Rainbow Cat]
So I have been pretty busy the past couple weeks working on this game, in amongst school work and animation. I am happy to say that I got pretty much everything that I wanted to get done, done!
Your first question is probably something along the lines of, “Dude! Where’s the cat gone? All I see is a box with a mustache!” This is an entirely new game I’ve created since showing the prototype a couple weeks ago, and as such it will go through various stages, some prettier than others. Also, the cat will be different graphically to the one in the prototype. The current player started out as a simple box with an arrow to show where you are facing – on a suggestion from my friend Yann Christopher, it now has a mustache and eyes!
I have been working on the basic platforming mechanics, trying to get the feel of the game just right. Construct 2 is great because it comes with a built-in platforming behavior with a lot of stuff already done for you. However, I did a lot of balancing and some physics equations to restrict it to being able to jump 2 blocks high etc. as well as a lot of custom stuff like the wall blasting and double jumping.
Implementing the wall jumping mechanics was a little tricky, but they’re working pretty solidly now. Once I implemented the ability to stick to walls for half a second, giving you some time to react, it felt a lot more solid.
The smooth camera that lags a bit behind the player and ‘sticks’ to rooms that you enter was a super gratifying addition. It instantly made the game seem like less of a piece of crap, giving it a more cinematic and silky smooth feel.
The rainbow blast was implemented too, and is actually simpler than the prototype’s one. Just one of many little ‘eureka!’ moments that happen when you’re making something. If you hold space, time slows down so you can see the blast extend to the ground (fun little debugging feature I added). Right now the blast is not rainbow colored because I found that to be a bit of an eye sore. With the low resolution I will probably be going for with the graphics of this game, I don’t think the array of rainbow colours really works well. I may opt for a pure white or other single-colour blast for the final effect. It was always more of an “I’m firin ma lazer” type thing anyway, and it reinforces the need to get a better name for the game than the current placeholder one. (Anyone for ‘Kinetic Kitten?’)
My ever-analyzing friend Samson Pham had a go at messing around in my source files early on, and suggested that perhaps multiple clones of the cat could work as a powerup for solving puzzles. I switched to instance variables and it sort of works, so that could happen in the future. Hallucinations of other cats certainly fit the premise of the game.
The last things that I added were the collectible pills and a portal to another (placeholder) level. In order for the portal to appear, you must collect all the pills, essentially creating an end condition to the level. Perhaps the finished game’s levels will be non-linear, meaning that you can collect pills in any order and the portal to the next stage only appears when you get a certain amount. And if you want to ‘three-star’ a level you have to find every single pill, not just the minimum.
After getting that done, I decided to spend a little bit of time working on designs for the cat. I’m quite happy with the 8-bit style I’ve come up with.
It’s a super cool feeling to be on top of work. But as always I’ve still got a lot to do.
Next up, I’d like to actually implement some new animations for the cat, add in some grass tiles etc. to create a more visually pretty level, and design and implement a couple refined levels. So, I guess I’ll see you in another 2-3 weeks!
[Day of the OUYA]
Please remember that Thomas has only started with his game. This is by no means a finished game. However, it is already fucking challenging to get past the first cliff thing.
If you have come up with a name, don’t forget to post a comment.
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