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Alaris

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A member registered Dec 01, 2016 · View creator page →

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Game Title: Crazy Cat Collector

URL:  https://alarikun.itch.io/crazy-cat-collector

Pitch/Information:  A simple platforming game about collecting cats.

I'd Like Feedback On:  Art, Gameplay, fun-factor.  Music as well, though a friend made it, so I can pass that feedback along to him for him to improve.  

Thanks in advance!

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My game has been submitted officially!  Please feel free to play, and comment on the page.  Accepting all feedback.

https://alarikun.itch.io/crazy-cat-collector

Day 13 Update:

Just one day more...

Alright, have the final mechanic fully programmed into the game, so I just have to flesh out level 2, and the general fine-tuning (and end screen), and we will be done.  

This was one fun project to make, I have to admit. I look forward to fleshing it out as a full game when I get the chance, and have the time.

I'll drop one last GIF below to show off the final mechanic, controlled sneezing.  After you obtain the Allergy Pill, the Crazy Cat Lady can control her sneezes to project her during jumps, giving her more distance.  This will be required for level 2.


Thanks for reading, and I'll see you all on release day!

Day 12 Update:

Welp... this may be my last devlog, depending on time constraints.  

I fixed the critical bug, as noted in the last devlog, so now it was time to do level designing.

I am almost done with the tutorial level, and I started working on the second level of the game.  This one will introduce the final mechanic (that I am halfway through programming), the sneeze-jumps!  

I don't have any video of it working yet, but here's a preview of level 2, as well as the explanation for the mechanic by our favorite Tutorial Cat.


I may or may not make a devlog tomorrow for the final day... if not, I'll see you on release day for Crazy Cat Collector!  

Have a good night everyone!

Day 12 (Early): In the whee hours of 2 AM, I have discovered the solution to my glitch!  Thank the lord, I didn't want to give up on this project.

I don't have anything to really show for it, but for those interested, in gamemaker, there are (I think) two functions for creating instances of an object.

I was using instance_create_layer, and for some reason, this was causing me to be unable to drop a cat if I have used the "room_goto" function. 

I switched over to instance_create_depth, and it seems to work 100% correctly.

I have no idea why this is the case... but maybe one day I'll figure it out.  Until then, I'm just happy I can continue my project.

Now, today is Valentines day, so you probably won't get another Devlog until Day 13, but I promise, it will have some progress!  We're in the last couple of days... so it better!  

Until then, peace out!

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Day 11 Progress:  

Unfortunately, basically no progress today.  I ran into a major glitch that prevents the player from dropping cats, either willingly, or when they sneeze.  Kinda game-breaking, since that's important to various platforming and puzzles I was going to make.

Since I don't have a cool visual for that, here's some infini-cats, from my attempts to test/fix this glitch.

DISCLAIMER: No cats were harmed in the making of this GIF.


Day 10 (Early) Progress:

I took a break from level design (as my brain is currently mush), and decided to put together a title screen, at the recommendation of a few fellow jammers (thanks guys).

I... I think I had way too much fun with this one.  I kinda love it.

I'll let the GIF speak for itself.


I shall probably have another update later today with level-related things!  Hope to see you then!

Day 9.5:  

Today is mostly just the second half of Day 9... and while I should be working on level design (and I will, I swear!), I actually ended up just working on more mechanics that I'm introducing in Level 1 (Tutorial Level).

This time, I made a Switch that can affect other blocks within the world. If you find yourself stuck and unable to progress, perhaps there is a switch somewhere that will change the world around you, so that you can?


As you can see with all the floating letters/numbers, the Switch is linked by a common variable to other blocks; right now, it can make those blocks inherit gravity, and fall.  But I'm thinking allowing it to make them float, move in different directions, vanish altogether, etc.

I'm not going to make many more mechanics, as the game jam is in the home stretch, but I wanted to add a little more puzzle before I move solely to level-making and bug-fixing.  

DAY 10 GOALS:

  • Title Screen + Maybe Mini-Intro to Show Story (might just be text-based)
  • Sneezing Tutorial + Voluntary Sneezing
    • Voluntary Sneezing:  Sneezing grants a lot more horizontal distance than normal jumps, and can be used to jump over larger gaps.  This should require you to intentionally increase the allergy meter, and may or may not require allergy medicine or something to do at will

Anywho, thanks for reading, and I'll catch y'all tomorrow for more Devlogs!

Day 8 and 9(?):

Today and most of yesterday was spent actually fiddling with a tutorial level design.  Then I figured that I needed to add some platforms you could jump through.  And boy did that take 3 hours.

On top of that, I figured I would need some sort of... well... tutorial?  Rather than just letting players run hog-wild without any instruction.

I finally found a use for the soul-sucking cat sprite that was my placeholder... say hello to... TUTORIAL CAT!


Yes, it is looking into your soul.

Nonetheless, I finished the platforming programming, and actually did set up the tutorial cat programming as well... a bit proud of that, if I do say so myself.

Lo and Behold... the fruits of roughly 2 days of labor!


And, because I thought it was rather funny... one of the many glitches I ran into while programming the platforms is below... hello, Moonwalking Cat Lady!


Anywho, thanks for reading!  Catch y'all tomorrow, for more devlogs!

Day 7: 

Uuugh... 

Today's progress was... pitiful.

I worked at my job most of the day, and when I got home, I found it hard to motivate myself.  I eventually dragged myself into attempting to draw a Cat-Lady sprite.

I'm not... too devestated by the idle variation, but I drawing the walking legs is a lesson in futility.

Below is my progress so far (very WIP), but it will have to be all for today, as I am... quite exhausted.


Anywho, thanks for reading, and come back tomorrow for more C3 Devlogs!

While I'm not sure on a specific name, I'd definitely say something music related, or derivitive of, there are a lot that could sound cool.  For instance, I have a cat named Cadence, which is "a sequence of notes or chords comprising the close of a musical phrase."

I'll think on it, and see if I can come up with something that would sound cool for this fluffy boy.

Day 6: 

I did not have as much time as I would have liked to work on my project today... I wouldn't be able to get into more coding, so I instead chose to work on sprites.

People have told me the cat sprite stares into their souls... so I figured she wold be the first one to be changed up.

Now, if you don't know me, I will explain... I am not an artist.  The last time I drew anything seriously was definitely when I was a kid... and even then.  My sister inherited all of my art genes.

So, I looked up some references, and started attempting to sprite a cat.  


After doing a little bit of shading (if you can call it that... the references had it, so I figured it would look nice), it turned out to be not... god-awful.

I took this sprite, and with some heavy modifications, got a standing one out of it.



And finally, the challenge of the day... animating.  As fun as it would be to see our cat just skate across the ground, like our Space Cat Lady... I chose to give our cat some walking legs.  Now I warn you... what you are about to see may horrify you... watch at your own risk.


So there we have it... a mostly functioning cat sprite for use. Hopefully tomorrow brings... well, maybe a Cat Lady sprite... if I'm lucky.  I can only imagine that humanoids are harder to deal with.

Thanks for reading!

Day 5 (Late):  

Day 5 has been... fun.

I went into Day 5 with two main goals:

  • Implement the Allergy Symptoms
  • Create a Win Condition

I wouldn't have complained if I had done more, but at the bare minimum, I did both of these things.

I have implemented Sneezing as the primary allergy symptom, though I still want to do more with that... possibly.

And I have implemented an end-level condition (though I intend to refine it a bit before release, obviously).

For now, the end condition is a mere door that appears when you have captured all the cats in this level.

Below, I have a GIF (my longest yet) of completing the test level, sneezing and end-screen included!

With Day 5 over, we have less than 10 days until the end of the Jam.  I feel like I'm making good progress.

Tomorrow, I'd like to work on some more art, hopefully.

Until then, thanks for reading!

Not quite the day update, but I thought it was hilarious when I was testing "Sneezing" as a function... and it did not go as intended. XD


Rumors say that she kept sneezing until she reached the end of the world...

I love the concept for your little game, and I'm definitely looking forward to it! I normally don't enjoy the runner style games, but this one sounds like it will be worth it.

Day 4 (Late):  Getting ready to head out for work, so I'm going to throw together a devlog of my last few hours of progress for the day, since I won't be working on it when I get home.

Today was a... mess of different things.

I got tired of seeing static sprites representing the characters, so I wasted some time on the placeholder sprites making them blink... because reasons.  Not good ones, but they were reasons.

I arted up some new ground, instead of that eyesore of what it was before.  This may or may not make it into the final game, I still have no idea.  I also made some background, rather than the atrocious green.  Not sure if it's better, but it doesn't hurt my eyes as much, so I'll take it.

Finally, and the big thing that took most of my 4 hours of time... was setting up wandering.  The cats will now, at random intervals, wander a random distance within their area.  They won't just wander back and forth between two walls, but actual random distances.  This is harder than it sounds, I swear.




And finally, I'll give a glimpse of my workspace currently in GMS2, including my attempts at a cat sprite (today).  We'll see if it evolves into something... passable. XD


Thank you for reading, and until next time!

Day 4 (Early):  Well, just got home from work... it's after midnight... and I feel like working on something.   But, well... not anything specifically related to what I was working on before.

Sooo... onto the Cat Temperament Mechanic!  

As I think I explained in my first post, you can directly pick up the cat to bring them to the box, but they tend not to be agreeable in regards to being picked up.  There are risks, including your allergies, and well... angering the cat.

Obviously, you'll want to use other means of moving the cat, such as using toys or food (to be implemented soon!).  However, here's what I have so far... in the whee morning hours.


First thing you may notice is that I have put in a Debug Menu on the left, to show the various stats by numbers.  This makes things easier on my development end, and will not be available in the actual game.

Next, we have a little cat's paw in the top right corner, crafted by yours truly (and his epic "art skillz").  

After picking up the cat, the anger stat will begin to increase, and as it reaches certain threshholds (30, 60, 90), claws begin to protrude from the cat's paw in the top right.  This is to give the player a general idea of how long they have until the cat attacks.

I don't have it implemented yet, but my intention is that, when you reach 100 anger, the Cat will claw the player, increasing their allergy meter substantially, as well as forcing the player to drop the cat, who will then run away (and have to be recaptured).

I know it's not what was on the immediate agenda, but my brain doesn't always cooperate, so this will have to do.

Thanks for reading, I'll likely make another post at some point after I wake up in the morning, with hopefully more progress!

Even if the specifics don't work out, a flowchart itself is a good idea to plan out the process.

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Day 3.5-ish?:  

I am home from work... it is around 1 AM, and I am feeling like gamedev.

I booted up Gamemaker, and got working.  I was really feeling the allergy mechanic, so I wanted to start work on that.  I figured keeping track of it with a basic number was the way to go, and have that number dictate the chance of symptoms appearing.  

I decided to introduce a UI at the top, which will show Collected Cats, Allergy Meter, Timer, and likely an Item Slot (for things like toys, etc?).  




Also, I've introduced the Allergy Pill; it will not likely be as effective in the final release, but I was able to code it to reduce Allergy to 0.  

Also, you might note that the cats have a name above their head now. I intend for each cat to have a unique name, and I was hoping to enlist other Jammers in putting together a list of names for them.  Perhaps named after your own pets, or just something you come up with.  As long as it's not inappropriate, I am likely to use it.  If you'd like to recommend a name, please use the link below, so I can keep it altogether.  You can add your username, and I will credit you in the credits.

https://goo.gl/forms/KXX4QyxJaI2zUlEu2

Anyway, Day 3 was fun.  Goals for Day 4 include an actual Allergy Effect, and likely shoring up some of the other mechanics, such as picking up the cats, etc.

I need to learn at your feet. A flowchart for planning things out, I love it.


Gotta say, really looking forward to your game, my friend. Keep it up.

Definitely looking forward to this; I don't think I've played a game with that mix of genres before!  Keep us up to date!

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Day 3-ish?:  Day 2 was a bit of a bust, due to extenuating circumstances... and Day 3 doesn't seem like it will be much better for the moment.  Full-Time work + some schooling is a pain.

Anywho, enough about me... you're all here to see the wonderful progress I've made.

Well... the answer to that question is... not much.  I read more documentation and toyed with my code some more to create the very basics of "collecting cats".  As I said before, this is super basic, and I intend to expand upon this a lot more once I have the time, but I wanted to put something into place for the moment.

Also, I drew a box sprite.  And you can't tell me it isn't great. XD

Anyway, like I said, very simple right now.  My intention is a bit more complicated:

  • Animated Sprites
  • Moving Cats
  • Obstacles
  • Cats fighting being moved by you
  • Using tools to lure them around
  • Allergy:  Cool concept I'd like to introduce is that the Player Character is actually allergic to cats; the more she interacts with them, the more severe symptoms appear.  This can be mitigated by finding/using allergy medicine.  

It's a work in progress, but I'll get there.  11 Days to go!

Day 1:

Before the Jam, I started brainstorming for my project, now dubbed C3 - Crazy Cat Collector.  This game will be a simple platformer where the player takes control of the Crazy Cat Collector, and attempts to capture as many cats as possible, bringing them back to her box.  She will have to use a combination of platforming, as well as various skills to move the cat to her box, as simply carrying them all the way there will not work -- cats never cooperate.

Day 1, sadly, was spent mostly working at my job, so I didn't get to do much actual work on the game.

When I finally got home, I threw together some 'programmer-art' placeholders, and started work on the basic platforming engine.  I've got collision working, some basic jumping and moving around.  



I assure you, the graphics are [probably] not representative of the final product.  I hope.

Other than that, tomorrow is another day!  I'll be keeping up the Devlog here every day (I hope) to show my progress over the next 2 weeks.  Feel free to comment, I'm always open to answering questions!

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1. Hi there! What's your name? Want to introduce yourself?

I go by Alaris, Alarikun, or Tom IRL.  29 year old hobbyist game-maker at the moment.  I hope to one day advance to more serious game making, but for now, I will jam!

2. Did you participate in the last jam we held? If so, what do you plan on doing better this time? If not, what's your reason for joining?

I didn't participate in the last one, but I did participate in MFGJ Winter 2017 (so, almost 2 years ago).

I want to get back into jamming, and I have a few ideas.  My goal is to make something simple.  Something fun.

3. What games are your favorites? Did any of them inspire you, or made you want to make your own?

Final Fantasy Tactics is my absolute favorite, and I would totally make a game in that style one day if I could.  

4. Do you have experience with game development? What did you do/with what engine?

Very limited experience; I've made 2 prototypes in gamemaker for previous jams, but that's about it.  I'm a programmer at heart, and have little to no skill in any of the other facets of game-makery.

5. Tell us about something you're passionate about!

Gaming and Writing in general.  I'm great at gaming, subpar at writing... but I'm passionate about both!  Maybe one day I'll combine my passions... you'll see an epic visual novel created by Alaris out there!

6. What are your goals for this game jam?

See question 2:  I want to make something simple, ideally fun, to help me get back into jamming.  It's been almost 2 years since I've done anything with it, and I remember having so much fun back then.

For Returning Jammers:

7. Any advice to new participants?

Realistically, set your sights low.  Do not plan to make your perfect game over the next 2 weeks.  Plan to make something playable, and to learn a lot.  That's what we're all here to do!

8. What can the admins do to improve your jam experience?

Nothing that I can think of.

9. What are some of the past works you've made for the jam? Show off your favorites!

Umm, I made 2 for jams in the past.  I wouldn't call them 100% finished, but I learned a lot from both of them:

Cat in a BoxMy first game (if you don't count something made off of a python tutorial years ago), Cat in a Box was a simple game about picking up cats and putting them in boxes.  I made it for MFGJ Winter 2017.  [Secretly, my goal for this jam is to make the original vision I had for this game... but don't tell anyone :P ]

Duels of AetherMy second game, made for Betajam 2.  This is a game I collaborated with 2 other people on, to create a Active Time Battle RPG-esque game.  It's far from finished, and the difficulty curve is definitely... well, it leaves something to be desired.  It was very fun to make, though, and I learned a ton.

1. Hi there! What's your name? Want to introduce yourself?

I go by Alaris or Alarikun online, and Tom IRL.  28 year-old male. I'm a retail-monkey IRL, but I hope to get into game-development full-time one day.

2. Did you participate in the last jam we held? If so, what do you plan on doing better this time? If not, what's your reason for joining?

I didn't participate in the Summer Jam, but I did in the 2017 Winter Jam. I kind of fizzled out after my second game last year, and I'd like to get back into 'jamming' and making games in general.  What better way than to jump back in on January 5th?

3. What games are your favorites? Did any of them inspire you, or made you want to make your own?

Well, I don't think I can say I have on favorite, but of the games that may have inspired me to make my own, I would say Undertale. It was made primarily by one guy, and that is an inspiration to solo game developers, especially since he used an engine I own to make it.

4. Do you have experience with game development? What did you do/with what engine?

I've made 2 games (in Game-Jams mostly), and while I wouldn't call them complete, they do function, and at least a few people seemed to enjoy them. I used Game Maker Language to make them, but I might branch out from that in a future jam. For now, I'll stick with it.

5. Tell us about something you're passionate about!

Well, video games for one, but I guess that's obvious. 

6. What are your goals for this game jam?

To re-ignite my passion of game-making. I hope to get back into jamming with this, and maybe... just maybe, I'll make a prototype I can branch from to make a fully developed game.

7. Any advice to new jammers (if you're a veteran)?

Umm... I wouldn't consider 2 jams a "Veteran," but if I can recommend anything, I would say to set a plan. The first thing you should do on Day 1 is open up a wordpad, and write out your plan, and how you want to accomplish it. What sprites you need to make, what code, sound assets, etc.

It's a lot easier when you know what you have to tackle, rather than leaving anything to wait until the last day.

8. If you're a returning jammer, what can the admins do to improve your jam experience?

Nothing I Can think of off the top of my head.

While this might have been pretty big scope for a first game, I don't think you should give up on the idea; maybe come back to it when you're more experienced (or keep working on it). I think it could be a really good game with some polish!

V0.2 Released to fix a Game-Crashing Bug involving Gooshy Food!

Unfortunately not yet. If you ever do, please let me know... it would be nice to know how it works.

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It is simply hosted through Wordpress (going to upgrade to Premium at some point, but it's not self-hosted regardless).

I'll give switching themes a try.

Edit: I'm using the simple Twenty-Sixteen theme. Tried 3 others, and it will not embed.

Does the free-Wordpress not allow Itch.io? Like I said before, it's fine with Youtube embedding... so this would seem arbitrary and weird.

I've tested it in several other places with much success, but attempting to embed the Widget for my game to my Wordpress site does not work.

I'm able to use other iframe features, like for Youtube, but Itch.io simply does not work.

Any suggestions? Anyone else have the same issue?

So uhh... given the simplicity of the game, I wouldn't think there would really need to be a Post-Mortem, but... well, here I am.

I had a very minimal amount of GameMaker experience going into this game, as well as Zero Artist experience, Zero Music experience... well... all in all, it was a project doomed to fail.

But seeing how many people were working diligently on their own games, I kind of pushed myself to finally do it; after all, I really do want to get into Game Developing as more than just a passing thought or a hobby.

Anyway... my initial thought for Cat in a Box was as a platformer; you would control a Human, picking up cats and putting them in boxes. It seemed like a simple, cool idea to me, for a first game anyway.

So... as a non-artist (my sister got all the artist genes in the family), I started scouring the Asset sites for sprites. Found a decent cat one... but I couldn't find a Human one that really... clicked for me.

I figured I would get to that later, and decided to focus on getting the basics of the code down. I got a basic walking system down, as well as gravity (because what platformer DOESN'T have gravity).

Real life kind of got in the way in droves shortly thereafter, and the rest of my first week was pretty much eaten away.

And with the start of the second week, I decided that, since I couldn't find a Human sprite that would satisfy my needs, I guess I would completely change how I envisioned the game; let's just pick the cat up with the mouse! Because that won't have any issues...

This had many issues. Many... many issues. Collision. The mouse leaving the room. Getting stuck in walls.

I sought some help from a mentor, and managed to get it at least... semi-functional. I could pick up the cat. Drop it. Put it down. So on and so forth.

I threw together a box sprite, as well as a food sprite, and started working on the mechanics of AI for the cat; it must follow food. Harder than it sounds, actually.

Real life (hate work) ate up even more of my time, and then I was down to a day and a half to finish the game. So I scrambled together a 'rage' mechanic, and with my last few hours, threw together a handful of 'test levels.' It... didn't turn out how I really wanted it... but it was a game. One you could play from start to finish. And I was proud to be able to submit it.

What I Wanted:

I wanted to create a puzzle game involving putting cats in boxes. You would use toys to lure the cat, and food to appease it so that it would not attack. Various different items and mechanics were in mind, but I just didn't have the time to implement them properly.

Instead, I got a game where you must grab the cat and rush it to the box ASAP, because a timer starts when you pick them up. Ideally, I wanted their 'rage meter' to rise the further you moved them, not the longer you held them. But I couldn't figure out that mechanic in time either.

Where Do I Go?:

Well, I'd like to polish up the game; get some consistent sprites, program the mechanics the way I'd like them, implement a lot of other features... yeah.

After that, I'm not sure. I definitely want to do more Game Jams; they've pushed me to actually make my first game!

This all kind of turned into a long rant about my shoddy development, rather than a decent post-mortem, but it definitely helped to put this down in writing.

I'd like to give a special thanks to the MFGJ team, for hosting this event. You guys are pretty freaking awesome!

A very playable prototype, especially for your first game! I had some fun with it, and I could see it becoming really awesome if you worked at it.

I did run into a small glitch (couldn't switch to red magic when I got it, I had to restart to be able to do so). Other than that, it was cool.

Thanks again; it's been bought. I look forward to this course!

That would be awesome; I will definitely purchase it if you can do that for me. Thank you so much!

I remember coming across this page a few weeks ago, and I didn't have the funds to purchase it early. I can't find the button for purchase anymore; was it removed? Is there any way to still get early access?