Something’s askew here…

A week ago, I had a bug-free, perfectly-good platforming engine. But then out of a whim, I decided to mess around with it and added support for sloped platforms.

Aside from a few bugs with the player or enemies occassionally getting caught in the slopes, it seems to be working just fine:

Implementing the code to make objects moving up slopes was the easy part. However, in the method I’m using, it initially caused objects to “float” above the slope, with only one corner touching it tangentially.

This looks particularly bad if the sprite is wide, (which kitty is in my case).

The first solution to this problem I considered was to make the object’s collision mask narrower than the actual sprite. However in my case, this would have caused another problem: kitty would have been able to walk partially through thin walls, which would have messed with the gameplay.

The solution I ended up using was to give the object two collision masks: a narrow one (coloured orange in the image below) for detecting the contour of the ground (and ceiling) and a wider one (blue) for detecting walls and everything else.

Now some of the “floatiness” has been transformed into “phase-through-the-ground-ness”, which I think is more tolerable. Both become less noticeable when the slope grade is reduced:

Foreground scenery (red) can be used to hide the remaining floatiness. In “Cat Project”, the fuzziness of the carpet platforms does this somewhat.

A challenge with implementing this within GameMaker:Studio is that it only checks for collisions automatically in each step once, with only one collision mask, and fires off Collision events accordingly. After doing a bit of searching on the Game Maker Community forums, I found that a way to get around this one-mask limit is to cycle through a list of masks, manually recheck for collisions between each mask change and execute the appropriate code for each. Essentially, you’re implement additional Collision events inside another event (usually a Step event).

…they thought she was a goner…

Has it really been almost two months since I last made a blog post? I didn’t think it was that many Screenshot Saturdays ago. This is also my first post since I migrated from Blogger to WordPress. I haven’t fully settled in yet, so the design of the blog might feel a little…barren.

I am still working on “Cat Project” and made several additions and changes. Here is a list of those things:

  • New title menu featuring a kitty swatting the menu options to select them:
OK Kitty, now select a control scheme. No! Don’t hit it that hard!
    • The same interface is also being used for a laser-swatting minigame I was playing around with:
Now I know why cats like these so much.
  • Removed the more powerful charged swats, replaced them with a special attack that is charged/executed by a separate key/button. While they will all share the ability to use the regular swat attack, each kitty will have their own unique special attack. For example, the gray kitty can gather static electricity and shoot chain lightning at enemies.
  • Made the collisions between kitty and the environment more precise.
    • However, as a result of this, kitty can no longer change direction in midair.
    • And as a result of that, kitty can now jump backwards.
  • Experimenting with more complex backgrounds.
  • New death pose.
Oh no! We’re under attack! Abort! Abort!
  • Removed universal horizontally wrapround. It was limiting my level design choices. I might bring it back for a few levels though.
  • Added horizontal scrolling. In addition to allowing horizontally-oriented and wide-open levels, it made even the vertically-oriented levels feel less cramped.
  • Smoother camera scrolling.
  • Other miscellaneous improvements and bug fixes done to the platforming mechanics to make it more slick.
Raiding the mousey stash.

Last but not least, here’s a video showing how everything fits together:

I got some feedback suggesting I should call the game Kitty Quest. That might be a good starting point for coming up with names.

I’m On the Weird Part of Game Dev Again

I’m On the Weird Part of Game Dev Again

These last two weeks have been a bit weird. Maybe it’s because I’ve been focusing on working in game mechanics into “Cat Project” and I was getting a bit tired of it, but I’ve been adding in sillier things into the game recently.

Last week I added a crouch action to the game, mostly as an excuse to turn Kitty into a catloaf:

Loafing around.

The “loaf position” with serve other purposes in the future, other than being cute.

This week I added two things. First is a, uh, cat paw to the (interim) main menu:

This is silly.
The above GIF is just me testing the cat paw being drawn at different angles and lengths. It will be part of the finalized main menu.
The second things I added this week is a new passive enemy type: the balloon:
Balloons! Kitty is pleased. *smack* *smack* *pop*

Like the laser pointer, balloons do not harm Kitty, but he can smack them around using uncharged swats. Charged swats will destroy them. They’ll probably serve as bouncy item containers in the final game.

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

The Cat Came Back

The Cat Came Back
I took a break from posting updates last week because 1) it was very late and 2) there wasn’t much to post about. Oh well, that just means more updates to show this week! Here’s what I’ve been working on the last two weeks.
New Health UI
I have replaced the old rectangular health meters with rows of health icons:
For your conveience, here are the icons close-up and isolated:
I realize that this isn’t the best background
colour in the world to use in this case.  
The player’s health is represented by cat heads while the enemies’ are represented by gears. The smallest unit of health (1 HP) is represented by half an icon. And on a related note, I’ve also added healing hearts to make your sad, monochrome cat heads happy again.

<3 x 0.5, <3 


Cat goes in and reemerges somewhere else:
Non-Euclidean geometry. How does it work???
I like how the door-swinging animation turned out. The power of trigonometry! The doors not only allow you to move quickly between two points in the same room, but they will also connect different rooms together in certain multi-room levels, as demonstrated in the video below:

The game is getting closer and closer to becoming a stand-alone playable demo, but it still has some ways before getting there. Needs a lot more polish.
And now that I’m finished, just for fun, here are some outtakes:
Kitty and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Doors
A Glitch in the Matrix Pause Function.
Aww, kitty thinks he’s The One.
Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

Cat Concerto – Now with 80% less yowling!

Cat Concerto – Now with 80% less yowling!

(No, “Cat Concerto” is not the new name for “Cat Project”.)

I haven’t had much time to work on “Cat Project” this week; I had to take care of a friend’s dog and bird (no cats though, except for a surprise visitor in the backyard). So the game is pretty much the same as it was last week. However, I did get a chance to work on some of the background music for the game, which I’ve neglected to talk about since I started this project.

Currently, I have two tracks to show. To give a bit of background, both of them are “hand-me-down” tracks; music that was composed for other projects that got cancelled that I fixed up and remixed for this one. No point in letting them go to waste. The first one is the title theme:

I don’t know if it is technically a waltz (maybe it’s a minuet, or some perverted fusion of the two, who knows?), but I just call it that out of habit. In any case, it’s a fuzzy, lighthearted track that sets the mood for the game.

Next up is a level theme track thing; it’s a work-in-progress:

The vaguely “meow”-sounding lead synth in the second half of the track is a patch I accidentally made with fiddling and twiddling around with the knobs on the Dreamstation DXi2. It seems appropriate for the subject matter at hand and I kinda like it. I just hope the novelty doesn’t wear off to quickly.

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

Kilkenny Kitty 2 – When Cats Attack

Kilkenny Kitty 2 – When Cats Attack
M.S.T.O.P. here with some new updates on the “Cat Project”. I’m going to try to make my updates weekly, syncing them with Screenshot Saturday. Here are this week’s updates:
New combat mechanics
Last week, I demonstrated some changes to the combat mechanics: faster swats, tougher enemies and hitstun.
*smack* *smack* *smack*
This week, I made some more additions to make “Cat Project” even more action-oriented: knockback and attack-cancelling.

Kitty is not amused by practical joke. Also, an innocent
laser pointer gets caught in the crossfire and the toothbrush
begins its new career as part of a  juggling act.
Weak swats now push enemies back slightly; they can also be cancelled into another weak swat if it connects with an enemy, like in many beat ’em up and fighting games. Strong swats push enemies back further (though the hitstun the same, at least for now), but cannot be cancelled.


Increased kitty health

Begone, evil spirit of good dental health!
Don’t get too attached to it, the GUI will definitely change in the future. Health meters now show that both kitty and his enemies are no longer one-hit wonders. I haven’t worked out how kitty’s increased stamina will interact with the powerup system. (Previously, the powerup doubled as an additional hit point that was lost when kitty took damage, like in Mario games.)

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

Kilkenny Kitty – “Cat Project” Update

Kilkenny Kitty – “Cat Project” Update
I haven’t had much of a chance to work on “Cat Project” this week due a multitude of events and factors in real life that took up my time. Nonetheless, I still have a few updates to share. I was experimenting with speeding up the pace of the game; besides increasing kitty’s walking speed, I also changed the kitty’s swats so that they come out faster, but each individual one is weaker. This means (at normal strength) kitty will now have to combo enemies into oblivion.
Eww. Dirty toothbrush! *smack* *smack* *smack*
The old, slower and stronger swat is now an ambush/charged attack. Holding down the attack key/button will make kitty raise his paw in waiting, ready to to deliver a strike more powerful than a regular swat at a moment’s notice.
Kitty sneak attack
With this change, the Maneki Neko power’s beckoning ability is now exclusively performed by the charged swat.
Come to me! … I said, come to me!
Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

An update on the “Cat Project”

An update on the “Cat Project”
I am participating in the ROM Game Jam this weekend, but before I go and start talking about that all weekend, I just want to update you on the status of the “Cat Project“. I’m in a bit of a hurry, so I’ll try to make it short.

To recap, I started this project two weeks ago. I don’t have a name for it yet, so I’m just going to call it “Cat Project” for now. The game is about, you guess it, cats: their behaviours and quirks (both from my experience with cats in real life and what YouTube has “taught” me), their folklore, and some human misconceptions about them.

The basic premise of the game is you, as a kitty, have to rescue kittens from the tops of towers and swat away amnoying human technology along the way: noisy smartphones, hostile spray bottles, the unobtainable bright red dot, etc. Kitty will also collect “mouseys”, the currency of this game, that will be used to “buy” things. There will be various power-ups that transforms his appearance and gives him special kitty powers, such as “Maneki Neko”, which allows kitty to beckon mouseys to come to him.
Some changes since last time:
  • Redid the foreground and background tiles (they’re still in an experimental phase). I also changed up my tiling system so that characters and objects no longer look like they’re floating above the ground.

Out with the old…
…and in with the new.
  • Added graphics for “Maneki Neko“. In Japanese folklore, statues and figures this calico Japanese bobtail in known for beckoning (“maneki”) good fortune to their owners. In “Cat Project”, every time Maneki Neko kitty makes a swipe with his paw, nearby mouseys will be pulled towards to him.

Feline Pied Piper
  • Added a new enemy, the Spray Bottle (shown in the bottom-right corner of the picture above). This object seems harmless, but it can attack kitty by spraying him with water without warning.

And here’s a video showing the current build in action:

Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.

KITTY! First look at my upcoming game project: “Cat Project”.

KITTY! First look at my upcoming game project: “Cat Project”.

It’s been a while since I posted here, but now I’m here to show you an early peek at my upcoming game project. I don’t have a name for it yet, so I’m just calling it “Cat Project”.

The game is based on, you guess it, cats: their behaviours and quirks (both from my experience with cats in real life and on YouTube), their folklore, and some human misconceptions about them.

The idea I have so far is you, as a kitty, will have to rescue kittens from the tops of towers (and other lofty sturctures) and fight through annoying human technology (e.g. noisy smartphones, mysterious humming toothbrushes, an unobtainable bright red dot, etc.). Kitty will also collect “mouseys”, the currency of this game, that will be used to “buy” things and various power-ups that transforms his appearance and gives him special kitty powers.

A picture maybe worth a thousand words, but they don’t do as much justice as a video would. So here’s a video showing the core idea of the game (and some other little details):

So what does the feline community think of all this? Let’s do a quick interview.

Hmm, I wonder if that cat’s jaw was ever fixed.


Copyright © Quadolor Games. All rights reserved.