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A jam submission

The Mischievous Thievery Of Jessica The CatView game page

Jessica the cat has been stealing people's things! A GGJ2021 narrative-puzzle prototype that's now a full game!
Submitted by Mandy J Watson (@mandyjwatson) — 5 days, 1 hour before the deadline
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The Mischievous Thievery Of Jessica The Cat's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
MOOD | Did the game have atmosphere or make you feel something#224.2224.222
Overall#313.9443.944
FUN | Was the game satisfying to play or did it bring you joy#324.0004.000
VISUAL | Did the game have nice graphics or art direction#474.1674.167
IDEA | Was this game super interesting or innovative#603.7783.778
AUDIO | Did the game have great music or sound design#683.5563.556

Ranked from 18 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Let people know how long you've been working on the game
This little game started as a prototype I created during Global Game Jam 2021 and I've worked on it on and off for a year, with the goal of completing it by Global Game Jam 2022. Success!

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Comments

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

This was amazing! A really refreshing different kind of game, with a super cute story. I like to play detective games, or at least games with some kind of mystery, so this fit the bill perfectly! :D

The art was also really nice and fit extremely well. Together with the music (which did not become annoying even though it repeated all the time) and the sound effects at the right times, this game had a great atmosphere! I loved it a lot :D

In the gameplay I really liked that clues you found could help you make an educated guess of which location to search next. The only thing I found a bit confusing at first was that one location could give me a hint that Jessica ran to the north-east, but when I then pressed the tile diagonally up and to the right I got some completely unrelated event without any Jessica. I guess it would have made more sense for me to get a small indication that she went past this way, without giving any more clues. Maybe this will tell the player they have the right idea, but might need to search a bit further. But this is really something minor, and might just be me of course :)

Anyway, I had really great fun with this! Amazing submission ^_^

Developer

Thank you! That is similar to what perey said and is very helpful feedback. I'm definitely going to look at adjusting the language for the diagonal directions so that people don't perceive it as being absolutely literal and rather see it as a directional approximation to help them to narrow down their search.

Thank you for your kind comments too. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and that the music wasn't annoying. I worried about that a lot because it's a fine line.

Submitted(+1)

The music and feel of this game was so perfect! Had fun - Would really dig a full choose your own adventure game in this style.

Developer

Thank you! Could you elaborate a bit more? Do you mean branching text options with this style of art and music - like the intro screens before the map part of the game if they just continued as a branching story?

Submitted(+1)

This game is full of charm, from the writing to the graphics to the antagonist. Great work!

Like others who’ve commented, I sometimes found it tricky to get the link between the map and the descriptions, so I’m pleased to read that there really is such a link. I was taking it too literally, I think; for instance, the text would mention south-east, so I’d search exactly along the down-and-right diagonal but find nothing. I should’ve searched a little more widely!

Developer(+1)

Oh, that's very interesting. The cardinal points are very lucky hints because it will be in a straight line but the others are approximate directions and it never occurred to me that someone would take it as a literal diagonal in those cases. When I continue work on this I'll look at the language I use and see if there is a way to be more clear.

Thank you for playing and for that feedback!

Submitted(+1)

Fun game, the art style was really nice. The music fit really well too. The story was well written and was very enjoyable.

The only suggestion is about the randomization of the game, it feels more like guessing then strategy (if that's what you are going for). I suggest going with a minesweeper approach where you see what the space is but also how many clues are in the immediate area around. That way there is a little bit of strategy but you still keep the random element you were going for. If you wanted to go more in depth, some clues could hint at other places and highlight them on the map in some way.

Overall fun game! I enjoyed it!

Developer(+1)

Thank you for playing and for your feedback!

The map space is not completely randomised. There is some hint programming but it's not as much as I had wanted to add because then the game becomes too easy. The paw print clues point in the direction of where the teddy bear is (the direction is also mentioned in the text) and, if you get closer to the end and don't have many clues or the teddy bear, a couple of clues will give directional hints in the text as well. I realised while working on it that the map space is too small so you can't have too many hint clues as it makes the game too easy. I want to add another case for the detective that continues the story and has a bigger map so that I can experiment further using a game space that offers more hints and uses less randomisation. Hopefully that will increase the strategic experience for the player.

Submitted(+1)

A thoroughly charming text adventure, with excellent writing and a very sweet sense of humour. 

The artwork is great, I loved the wanted poster and case folder in particular - there was something particularly tactile about the look of them which stood out to me and really added to the mood, and I loved the paw prints on the perp sheet!

The randomisation made it a little tricky to catch Jessica, but given how quick and easy it was to dive back in and give it another shot this wasn't a problem at all :)

Developer(+1)

Thank you for your kind words. I am particularly proud of the case folder art. Your comments are quite correct - I realised when I was taking it from the prototype, which was basically a "can I make something like this work in Twine?" experiment/mini game, to the full map area that even the full map area is too small for what I wanted to do. I had to scale back the number of clues that give outright hints (the paw prints) otherwise it's just too easy. I did build in a little bit of rubber banding for the times when it's too hard (as you are running out of time, a couple of clues - if you have not hit them and then do - will give a directional hint in the text) but ultimately the map needs to be bigger. 

I am going to continue working on this by adding a new case for the detective to solve and in that one I will make the map bigger and work even more on perfecting balance by subtly adjusting certain things, especially to make it slightly easier when the randomisation gods are causing their bad-luck chaos.

Submitted(+1)

Epic story and mystery solving feel <3

Developer(+1)

Thank you!

Submitted(+1)

I love the sense of fun and humor in this. Good job :)

Gonna have to get that darned cat (I have 4 thieving cats of my own, and can totally relate)

Developer

Adorable menaces!

Submitted(+1)

This was such a delight to play! The story was written really well, and I loved the art and exploration mechanic. I'm always a fan of fun cat games, so your game was really nice to find.

Developer

Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Submitted(+1)

This game had a really pleasant design to it -loved the color palette and the writing was great!! xD -strong concept and an interesting approach a text adventure -awesome work!   :D

Developer(+1)

Thank you! I like to experiment with the concept of text adventures and see what can be done a little differently.

Submitted(+1)

I loved the writing and art in this game! The gameplay was so charming as well, I felt like I was playing battleship! Jessica got away this time, but I'm going to try again. 🐈

Developer(+1)

Thank you for the kind comments. Go get her!

Submitted(+1)

Enjoyed that though not got J yet...

Developer

Keep trying!

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

wow, nice experience! enjoyed it a lot (even if i failed the first time - but i will come back and try again ;) )

and: another game starring a cat, yeah! :)

Developer

Yes! I saw your game a few days ago and I'm looking forward to playing it. It's in my list to check out.

I hope you'll play Jessica again because I'm very proud of the art you get to see when you find the teddy bear and uncover enough clues.

Submitted(+1)

Fun little game. Jessica out-foxed (out-catted?) me the first time, but the second playthrough I was able to find the bear. Unfortunately, Jessica herself still remains at large...

Developer

Oh, no! She's wily, that one.

Submitted(+1)

This was sooo good! The page design, the artstyle and text in combination, the smooth music, it all works out so well! Great job, I loved it. :D (Also, I found the bear with 2.5 hours left)

Developer(+1)

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Submitted(+1)

Love it. The writing is both funny and cute. Jessica is one clever cat, but now I'm sad that she has to go to cat prison XD

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

Well, you know, Jessica is too smart to stay in cat prison. That look on her face pretty much confirms it! I have a plan for her future as I am thinking about continuing the story since I have lots of ideas to add new content to the game.

Thank you so much for playing!

Submitted(+1)

Looking forward to it :)