Trippy the Cat Dev Diary #5

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Trippy the Cat #5

Introduction: This post is the fifth 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.

Trippy the Cat Dev Diary (Yes! It’s official now! Thomas named the cat.) will show you all the hard work that goes into developing a hilarious platform game.

If you want to know more about Thomas Evans or read the whole story, go here: first, second, third and fourth part.

Off to Thomas now!

[Game Progress of Trippy the Cat]

He blinked! Hopeless!

He blinked! Hopeless!

You can play the latest build here.

Controls: For Keyboard, left and right arrows to move, space to jump, and hold ctrl to go slow-mo. Use arrow keys to aim when in slow-mo, release ctrl to shoot. For xbox controller, use right trigger instead of ctrl. Left analog stick is movement/aiming and A button is jump.

It has been a lot of time since the last update (4+ weeks) and there has been a lot of progress all over the place. I have one level that almost looks like something that could be in the final product.

Graphics

I wasn’t happy with the grass tile set I had already made (check the last update to see what I mean), so I decided to create a new one based on the concept images I had created – I also managed to get rid of an annoying bug that rendered 1-pixel gaps between tiles. I spent a lot of time focusing on creating light and shadow to give the ‘Green Hill Zone’ levels a surreal ‘enclosed’ sort of feel. It does of course still need a bit of polish, but I am quite happy with it.

 

Tiles are exactly what they sound like – square blocks that you can place next to each other. They can fill up a scene without having to draw the same thing over and over. This image layout (not a screenshot) allowed me to edit every single tile and see how it looked next to the other ones.

Tiles are exactly what they sound like – square blocks that you can place next to each other. They can fill up a scene without having to draw the same thing over and over. This image layout (not a screenshot) allowed me to edit every single tile and see how it looked next to the other ones.

There is also some incidental progress on the graphics for the checkpoint portal, a placeholder explosion effect for impacts on walls, a rainbow confetti particle effect upon death, and I have animated a new enemy. The cat still has a handful of idle animations (looking around and twitching etc. for when he is standing still) that I still need to implement.

Game Mechanics

The player now needs to collect multiple little tokens (they are meant to look a bit like tablet-pills) in order to build up their charge. One small token right now is equal to 0.25 charges.

I got around to implementing a basic Mario-style enemy – a grub that moves back and forth. It serves a double purpose as it drops a larger token worth 0.5 charges when jumped on – a greater risk for a greater reward. The grub will turn into sludge when ‘killed’ and then reform again after 8 seconds, or when the player dies.

The enemy will endlessly walk in the direction it is facing until it is flipped around by the purple markers. Also note that I first create a level with these basic ‘grids’ and then overlay the tiles to make it look pretty.

The enemy will endlessly walk in the direction it is facing until it is flipped around by the purple markers. Also note that I first create a level with these basic ‘grids’ and then overlay the tiles to make it look pretty.

UI (User Interface)

A game is difficult to understand and hard to get into unless the player can clearly understand what is going on. I spent a bit of time trying out some different ways to teach the player that they needed to collect tokens, hold right trigger (or control) in middair to go into slow-motion, aim, and then release to propel themselves. I roughly did this in a few ways.

The 'Charge Bar' when it is a bit over 2/3 full.

The ‘Charge Bar’ when it is a bit over 2/3 full.

The most obvious is the charge bar in the bottom left of the screen – it tells the player how much charge they have collected, that they have a limit of 3 total charges. When the player has at least a full charge, the bar starts flashing.

Subtle, but I think it works well - the glow shrinks to a concentrated white ball when in slow-mo.

Subtle, but I think it works well – the glow shrinks to a concentrated white ball when in slow-mo.

Whilst the bar is flashing, if the player jumps into the air, a transparent white circular ‘glow’ is created around the cat, telling the player they can go slow-mo. The text ‘hold ctrl/right trigger’ that appears is placeholder, but I wanted to see whether it was enough to work.

Playtesting

Some family friends came over recently and while they were there I got them to play the level I had designed the day before. The 12-year-old, surprisingly, picked the game up really quickly, and completed the level several times and had a lot of fun doing it, which was pretty awesome to watch. I took some notes on some places where there weren’t enough tokens, and adjusted some jumps, but you can play that level in the current build.

Next Time?

TtC Bat_Flying

Bats, more UI, and maybe another tile set.

PS. I registered www.forlorncreature.com and www.trippythecat.com – it’s official now!

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One thought on “Trippy the Cat Dev Diary #5

  1. Ryan Smith

    Congrats on registering the websites :). Must be a very exciting time for you, game is looking awesome from the video demo in last update :).

    Reply

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