Monthly Archives: August 2013

Brb & Awesome Day

I’m away to Poland for a week, just so everyone knows.
So I won’t be working on anything, but I’ll probably still have internet access.

Anyway, I finally got my driving license! Hurray!
I made quite a lot of mistakes on the test, but nothing serious enough to fail apparently.
It’s a bit late, but I live in a big city, so driving isn’t always the best way to get around. Hopefully now I’ll be able to do a bit of exploring in the countryside.
(I’d also like to point out to the Americans that our driving test is a lot harder than yours, and we don’t drive automatic cars either. :P)

I had a Minecraft party to celebrate afterwards.
We explored King’s Landing and Winterfell, played some minigames, and teamed up for the Hunger Games. Great times were had.

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We got pretty good at the Hunger Games by the end of our 11-hour Minecraft session. Managed to win two matches!

 

Cat Cafe Dress Up Mode

This is pretty much the same thing as that “Cat Maker” I posted earlier, but with a new interface. I’m a bit worried that the buttons might be a bit small on devices with small screens, so if that ends up being the case, I’ll have to rearrange things a bit.

dress up

He looks happy…

Anyway! The main thing to notice here is the “Screenshot” button! Click that and you’ll get a wee JPEG of your cat saved to your device! This is a feature that a lot of my previous games would have benefited from. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to implement if the game is running in a web browser. For security reasons, Flashplayer can’t create random files on your computer, without help from some external PHP code (or something like that). So this is a feature that the web version won’t have, but will be available on your mobile device instead.

Cat_Cafe_Screenshot

This image was made by the app.

Cate Cafe Main Menu

Been working on the main menu for Cat Cafe.
It’s nothing too fancy, but I think it looks quite good so far.

I’ve also been playing around with some more Android features.
Turns out that it’s pretty easy to use the “Menu”, “Back”, “Search”, and other buttons. They’re basically treated like keyboard keys.
I shouldn’t rely too much on them though, since different Android devices have different buttons, but it’s still handy to have them.

Catherine Review

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed any games, since I haven’t played much lately, but here’s an interesting one.

Catherine got my attention because I’ve seen quite a lot of cosplays and fanart from it on DeviantArt, and a lot of people have been mentioning how great the game is. I just assumed it was a dating sim, and wasn’t interested until I watched a short review on YouTube. Turns out it’s some sort of mix of the puzzle, horror and dating sim genres. Seemed interesting enough, and it was cheap on Amazon, so I bought it.

CatherinePs3Orig

I guess the focus of the game is the story, and a huge part of your time will be spent watching cutscenes or listening to dialogue. Basically, the main character is cheating on his girlfriend, and he’s having nightmares due to guilt. And then a bunch of paranormal stuff starts happening, and people start dying in their sleep and all that. I found the plot quite entertaining.

Despite appearances, Catherine is actually a sort of block-puzzle game where you have to climb a tower of blocks by building stairs out of them, and doing all sorts of complicated climbing tricks. I actually found it very challenging towards the end, even on the easiest difficulty setting (I suck). The mechanics allow for a lot of different strategies, and the game gives you plenty of optional tutorials to teach you some of these. On top of that, there’s also boss levels, where you’ve gotta solve the puzzles while being chased and bombarded with projectiles. The levels actually happen inside of the main character’s dreams, so the bosses are things that scare him, like his girlfriend in a wedding dress, or his future baby. I think seeing the various bosses was one of the highlights of the game.

A lot of the plot seems to change based on the player’s choices, including the ending, and which secondary characters die. I don’t care enough to play the game more than once, but I did watch the other endings on YouTube, and it seems that I got the worst ending possible (no girls, no money). 😛

My only major complaint is that there’s a bit too much gameplay between story sessions. Puzzle games are exhausting on the brain, and I’d like more frequent breaks. But maybe that’s just me.

Another minor issue is that the game wasn’t actually as mature as I was expecting. There’s nothing close to nudity or anything like that; just a lot of swearing and bloody violence.  The box cover is probably more explicit than anything in the game!

Anyway, if you’re looking for something unusual to play, you should check it out. Took me around 10 hours to beat, so it’s not a huge time investment, but there’s plenty of extra stuff to do if you want to play longer. It wasn’t super-amazing, but it was a unique and memorable experience.

 

Aspect Ratios

Implemented GUI scaling in Cat Cafe! That’s a first for me.
The game now automatically moves stuff around depending on the aspect ratio of your device, for anything between 5:4 to 16:10.
I’ve also been playing around with graphics optimization, and have got the game running quite fast, even on slightly older devices. Hurray!

aspect ratioes

Mochi London

Just a little reminder that I’ll be attending and speaking at Mochi London on the 21st of September.
Mochi London is a meetup for game developers and people who are interested in the industry. There’ll be a bunch of lectures and then some sort of casual game jam the next day.

You can get tickets and a better description of the event here, including a full list of cool people who are attending.
There’s also a 15% discount if you enter the promo code “Followerdiscount”.

So come along if you can make it to London, and we can meet up and have a drink or something!

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