Vertical Void DX is live!

Hey guys!

My Ludum-Dare-October-Challenge-Game Vertical Void DX just got accepted into the AppStore. Get it while it's hot! (And the 50% launch-discount is on :)



Features!
  • An endlessly generated cave-system
  • iOS Tilt-controls!
  • 12 unique caves
  • Awesome glowing crystals!

Go Get It | LD-Entry

-Matthew

LD24-results

Ludum Dare #24 has ended!


Boxy The Boxcat fared pretty well. Results:

Remember, these results are out of 1406 games submitted in total.

Coolness100%
#40Humor3.57
#103Mood3.28
#109Overall3.51
#111Graphics3.71
#149Fun3.27
#165Audio3.02
#190Theme3.39

I'm happy about my 109th spot Overall, and the very good ranking in Humor and Mood. I also got the 1st spot in Coolness, for the 5th time in a row.

In the parallel Kongregate-Contest Boxy The Boxcat reached the 4th place. This is quite frankly amazing, seeing the high-quality game I had to go against :D

It also got several reviews, including this piece on IndieGameMag and this lovely Let's Play:

 

Go Play :)

-Matthew

Thoughts on Boxy the Boxcat (a post-mortem, if you will)



What went well

Music
People love the music. If I knew I'd be able to make such a well-received track I would've put more time into it than 1 hour right before the deadline :)




The response to the music-track has been hugely positive, being described as "oddly fitting" and "catchy" and *moves head to rhythm*. After hearing it repeatedly I feel I should've switched the Cello for another instrument

Humor
I didn't really have humor in mind per se, just a bunch of interesting/irrelevant stuff to collect for your home, which I presented in a matter-of-fact deadpan way. Apparently it worked :)

Kittens
Because everyone loves kittens. In the end I got up to 8 cats in total, missing the goal of "1000 Kittens" just short of 9992 cats.

Pacing
Works well. Note how the game starts immediately, there is no in-game intro. The title is maybe 2-3 seconds long, and changes with the music. After some exploring and learning the rules of the game-world you slowly evolve and learn how to undo said rules, culminating in the ability to blow up the environment, and ultimate wreak havoc on the human race.

Cuteness
The other general consensus is "it's cute". I didn't expect this at all :D

Reception
Holy hell this is going well. As of writing Boxy the Boxcat is the 2nd most-played-game this LD, it got a rather big piece on IndieGameMag, and  lot of Let's Plays. Here's a fun one.

Lasers
This one went really well. The lasers look good, feel right, and the explosions have a good amount of WHOMPH to them. Note how the just says "You now have laser-eyes", and the players naturally figured out how to blow up cars, and then the barrels. I was a bit afraid the latter wouldn't be readable, but it worked perfectly.

One plan for the game was to have an evolving home/base, where you would periodically return to during the game (think the Normandy, or the Bastion). The "nest" is the result of this, changing each time after the player has found something. The items are displayed, and the kittens-effects change from "Feed us!/We're hungry!" to "NOM".

Sadly, players naturally didn't return that often during gameplay. Still, it feels good :D

Tophats
These seem to become my trademark, it's the third time they appear in a game (the others being Badass Locomotive and the spiritual predecessor Let's Protest!)

What went just adequately

Level-design
The level lacks the usual long-time-polish and testing I put my level-design-through. It's a bit too big, the hotspots are spaced too far away from each other in an order that isn't occurring to the player naturally. The second half is also horribly laid out, with most players going straight for the other cat, and skipping the melon (which barely anyone found) (yes there's a melon in this game. Can you find it?)

Cat-speed
One common complain was that the cat-speed was too slow. This is a common fallacy in feedback. The cat-speed was actually pretty well, if it would be faster the game would feel worse. It is the level AROUND the cat that is wrongly adapted to the speed, requiring the said bit of tightening.

Pickups
The "pickup-effect" is awesome. I feel I should've added a sound/fanfare.

Timelapse
Decided to set the picture-intervals to a shorter time, resulting in a rather long video. Go see my post on creating timelapses for a detailed breakdown.



Title
For some reason I thought "Boxy the Boxcat" was too short, and I wanted to an evolution-referencing subtitle. "Evolution Escapades" was my take on creating something akin to "Hooky Hijinks", but in retrospect I feel it doesn't fir at all the rather sombre game (before it admittedly goes off the rails).

Conclusion

So how does it fare? Pretty well. Good score, currently 2nd most-played-game this LD, which is quite frankly amazing. I'll need your help to reach the top!
I also had a great time playing  435 other games so far. Go check out my picks for some nuggets.

Also, I have an actual chance of ranking in the Kongregate-contest. I'd appreciate any quick 4-5 star votes, if you could spare them /puppyeyes/

Go Play | LD-Page

-Matthew

Sad Kitty in Space

The first part of the 0hgame-jam just ended. The goal was to make a game in the daylights-saving-time interval, technically in "zero hours"

Mine is Sad Kitty in Space


You're a sad kitty in space, trying to eat good emotions and to avoid bad emotions.

Critics have this to say:
"Cute as hell"
" 'Squirrel' is not an emotion"
Go play :)


-Matthew