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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsA Cat's Manor - Creepy Atmospheric Platform Puzzler
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Author Topic: A Cat's Manor - Creepy Atmospheric Platform Puzzler  (Read 14220 times)
leblackdragon
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« Reply #80 on: May 28, 2016, 02:05:52 AM »

Really enjoyed seeing all the lovely shadow/lighting effects. The trailer is really good too, some excellent voice acting there!
Thank you so much bro! It's really exciting!
With no marketing or advertising we've managed to reach rank 28 so far! Shocked


So please, everyone please vote for my game and help us climb even higher till we can get it green lit!  Gomez

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« Reply #81 on: May 28, 2016, 02:42:48 AM »

Creepy cat hands I love it.
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leblackdragon
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« Reply #82 on: June 07, 2016, 12:25:04 AM »

Update on how my game is doing on Steam Green Light. I'm happy to report that it's currently ranked #12, and shows no signs of slowing down. The reception and comments have been thankfully incredibly positive.



In related, I'm honored to have my game not only accepted on "Made With Unity" official website, but also featured on their front page. WOOP! WOOP! Gomez





So please, if you haven't voted, kindly pass by the game's Green Light page and give an indie dev a helping.  Smiley

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leblackdragon
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« Reply #83 on: June 10, 2016, 09:38:15 PM »

A Cat's Manor has been Green Lit!  Beer! Coffee  Toast Right Toast Left



It took 2.5 days to break top 100.
It took 5 days to break top 20.
It took 18 days to make it to #8.
And it took 20 days to get Green Lit.

These are the final statistics as of being accepted:


Finally in, now begins a lot of mundane paper work!  Cheesy
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« Reply #84 on: June 27, 2016, 02:07:05 AM »

Agh, I haven't been keeping up with anybody's work lately. Congrats!
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« Reply #85 on: August 06, 2016, 08:47:49 PM »

Agh, I haven't been keeping up with anybody's work lately. Congrats!
And I too have been seriously slacking off here!  Who, Me?

Although work on the game hasn't stop, I've been neglecting updating here. So here I am rectifying this.
Recently I've been exposed to an Unreal4 crash course, and have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make beautiful effects in it straight out of the box. These effects really raise the level of polish and sheen on games, and its value. It made me wonder what does Unity (the engine I'm using) offer that is comparable.

That lead me to Unity's Standard Assets Package. A nifty collection of useful tools and prafabs that ship with the engine. More specifically Camera Effects and Particles Systems. So here's my attempt at implementing some of them in my game without going overboard.

First on the menu, Sun Shafts, Light Shafts, God Rays, call it what you like. I've applied it on the garden part of the map where it adds to the eeriness of the location:


Smoke and fire prefabs. You can see here a side by side comparison of my first attempt at creating fire and smoke on the right. On the left are the standard assets. A vast improvement!


The Explosion prefab I've used as an electrical short for a faulty panel There's actually two versions of every asset, a regular one and a mobile version that's less intensive. Here I use the mobile explosion as its reserved nature looks similar to an electric burst.


For claustrophobic areas like the A/C vents and ducts I used the Fish Eye Lens camera filter. It really gives a visual contrast to open areas.


Here I use Sun Shafts to greatly enhance an opening door and enter a very bright next area.


Last of the Standard Assets is the blur filter. Here I use it in the intro of our main character waking up.


Not part of the standard assets, a free plugin that does electrical bolts from point A to B. I rewrote the code and modified it to be able to specify path point for the electrical current to flow through. Here you can see how I can manipulate the current flow.


Here's a snippet from the boss fight where I employee both electrical currents and standard assets explosions. It really livens things up!  Cheesy


... and that's enough for today! I'll post some more stuff that has been in development soon.  Coffee
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« Reply #86 on: August 08, 2016, 11:51:42 AM »

Just found this...amazing work indeed. Got elements of Hellsing and Limbo in here, but clearly its own thing. I am super excited for this one!
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leblackdragon
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« Reply #87 on: August 08, 2016, 07:54:09 PM »

Just found this...amazing work indeed. Got elements of Hellsing and Limbo in here, but clearly its own thing. I am super excited for this one!
Thank you for liking my work. It really motivates me to see kind comments such as yours and it makes me very happy that you are excited for it. Cheers mate! And keep watching this space!  Gomez
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« Reply #88 on: August 29, 2016, 12:32:32 AM »

Continuing to develop the spider nest area. The prize of this boss battle is the spider's eggs pouch. So I needed to create a secluded, dark, and safe area where the eggs pouch would be stored. Or more precisely where the pouch would be strung up. I researched how spiders would weave their web around an object. I found something similar to what I have in mind and started to trace the web threads.

This produced a very flat looking web. I used a few trick to help give the web some volume. I duplicated the layer, and began to gradually erase the middle parts of threads. This make the threads thicker at their edges and stretched and thinned out in the middle. Giving a nice variable thickness effect. Next, I drew the layers on 3 layers before hand. What this means I could now add some drop shadows that overlay the thread groups below. This adds to the overall depth of the web construction.



Another challenge I faced was that the eggs pouch layer should be in a secluded dark, not easily noticed area. Not too hard to find and yet still rewarding to those who find it. I wanted the threads of the web to be white but that could be seen a mile off. I don't want them black or else they would be indistinguishable from the rest of the web and roots surrounding it. At the end I opted for a compromise that only the web around the eggs pouched would illuminate if the cat got near enough to it, revealing it's true nature, and rewarding explorers.



Once you're in possession of the eggs pouch, I didn't want it to be a dead inanimate object. I wanted it to be icky and gross by having whatever is inside of it move and try to get out. I accomplished that by adding a few frames made by the nudging tool in an image editor program. I added to that a slight, quick rotation to the object to simulate a shake. I couldn't animate it's position because it's stuck in the cats mouth. So rotation was the only choice here.



The mirror effect is something I've been trying to do since day one! I ended up using the same trick I used for fake shadows. I nested a child quad on top of the mirror. Its material is getting its texture straight from a local toilet stationary camera that only sees the cat and renders to texture on that material. I just lower the brightness of the resulting texture to make it looks like a shadow reflection.


In another part of the game world, the elevator has been receiving some serious upgrades. At first the elevator's carriage movement was controlled via script, and it traveled realistically up and down the elevator shaft. What that meant was it took forever for it to reach you if you were at the top and it and the bottom. After the upgrade, the elevator always arrive at the same time to your floor. This so there's a nice rhythm to it as you punch the button and begin to hear the rattling and see it arrive to the doors open. It's added work, but enhances the players experience.


Now, having tested the game at conventions, I noticed people began button mashing while walking about in hope to activate whatever the puzzle requires of them. Some actually managed to do so and find hidden objects. So I've been wanting to implement some sort of anti-mashing measure. This came in the form of a meow. Whenever you pressed the action button and there was nothing near you that you could interact with the cat would stop and do a meow. I needed to create new frames of animation for the meow. So I had a little dilemma with the eyes, whether to go with an anime-like and cuter vertical squint, or a more realistic horizontal squint. In the end the horizontal one won. The transition from an opened eye to a vertical squint didn't feel right.


An issue I've been facing in the meat storeroom was that it had a cold mist particle generator that would leak it's particles out of the storeroom and fall onto rooms below it in the map. To solve this I added thick 3D colliders to encapsulate the room. The cold mist would travel along the floor now convincingly. However, there seems to be a bug that spawns particles else where on the map! Will need to investigate it later.


A new puzzle called for you to steal an item from right under the eyes of mommy. Mommy would watch you closely when you grab the item and head track you as you carried it about. I needed to draw new frames of animation for mommy since this happens during the part of the game where everyone dresses up in a fancy way. I drew 5 frames for this.


I then set her up with a new animation state where she assumes a ready upright stance to watch you. During this ready stance her head sprite uses a blend tree animation state tied to your location. So it will look like she's tracking you as you walk around.
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« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2016, 06:43:45 AM »

Can't say too much since you seem to have achieved all of the things you were trying to this time, and in a good way. Nice job! c:

Ooh, blend trees. Haven't looked into those. How do they work?

Horizontal squint is indeed the better choice!
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« Reply #90 on: September 05, 2016, 08:52:51 PM »

Ooh, blend trees. Haven't looked into those. How do they work?
Helloz Submarine Wizard Girl!
You create a regular Animation State in your current Animator Controller. You right click it and choose create new BlendTree to convert it. Now when you double click this state it will take you into it where you can specify singe or multi dimensional modes. Specify the variable that will act as a range for the blending. Specify which animations the blendTree will blend as the range value changes.

It looks complicated, but it's fairly simple.

Cheers Ava!
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« Reply #91 on: September 09, 2016, 06:23:54 PM »

Seriously, each update you keep impressing me more and more!!! Well done mate!
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« Reply #92 on: September 09, 2016, 07:59:28 PM »

Pretty solid animation character !
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« Reply #93 on: September 09, 2016, 09:18:57 PM »

Quite late on the Greenlit congratulations, but well done! This game aesthetic and story is really cool.

Can't wait to check it out on the Steam store!

Thanks for sharing your progress and Unity experiences. I'm going to really have to dig into your posts, because I know I've run into similar issues on some of my earlier games.

Keep it up!  Coffee
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« Reply #94 on: September 11, 2016, 12:42:42 PM »

Pretty solid animation character !
Thank you! It took many iterations to arrive at this quality. Never be satisfied and always strive to improve.

Quite late on the Greenlit congratulations, but well done! This game aesthetic and story is really cool.

Can't wait to check it out on the Steam store!

Thanks for sharing your progress and Unity experiences. I'm going to really have to dig into your posts, because I know I've run into similar issues on some of my earlier games.

Keep it up!  Coffee
Thank you for your kind encouraging words. Hopefully we'll see an early 2017 release.
If you have any question I'll be more than happy to answer them. Cheers!

Seriously, each update you keep impressing me more and more!!! Well done mate!
Thanks! Your game too has recently received a major and impressive upgrade. Keep up the amazing work.
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« Reply #95 on: April 03, 2017, 12:07:52 AM »



A Cat's Manor was invited to be part of PAX Rising and showcased at PAX East 2017. The public got the chance to try out the game first hand!



One of my long running dreams was exhibiting my game at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). A show that I had written off long ago due to cost, distance, and competition. So it came as a complete shock and surprise to me when I received an email inviting A Cat's Manor to be part of PAX! My game was offered the chance to be part of the Rising booth at Penny Arcade Expo East 2017 Boston. I gladly accepted the honor, and it was one hell of a ride!



PAX Rising is a booth space that represents a selection of standout indie titles who are doing something special. I was very honored that A Cat's Manor was selected to be showcased among "Rising" titles, because it was humbling seeing the level of games displayed by my neighbors. Very polished, playable, innovative, great graphics, better setups... these were some trully amazing indie devs there!



Nothing could have prepared me for how massive this show was! The show floor was immense! Not counting the board game area, the tournaments, the lounges, theaters, playrooms, workshops above. It was simply massive! The amount of indie developers and studios there eclipsed the big players.

Even the crowds it drew were massive! Each morning I'd go take a look at the visitors lines piling up since 7am. Each corner of the convention building had its own lines. And when the countdown reaches 10am, the horde is let in. Crowds just make a run for it in a very energetic spectacle.



For three days, visitors of PAX East 2017 got the chance to try out A Cat's Manor first hand. This would be the first time A Cat's Manor be playable at a public event in the United States. It's first test at the hands of a Western audience... and how did the cat fair? Take a look at the pictures!









Visitors and gamers absolutely loved it! A Cat's Manor managed to successfully pull in crowds the whole time it was displayed. Getting praised for its art style, creepy atmosphere, cute and lovable main character, voice acting, and amazing soundtrack. People were queuing up to play it. People who played just wouldn't let go! Lots questions, interviews, offers, discussions. A Cat's Manor was a success!

We even got live playtime interview on the XSplit show. Chris got us a time slot and set us up technically. The lovely Anna interviewed me, we talked about the game and the story behind it and it's creator while we played the game.







Granted it wasn't all smooth sailing. I did run into some nuisances. The build for the show had game breaking bugs. I even forgot a debug feature active in there! Luckily I had an old, but more stable build in a flash memory in my bag. Yet even with the old stable build, a new game breaking bug emerged for the first time for the first player of the day! Talk about bad omens!

I only managed to get business cards with me into the show, and those ran out on the first day! So I had to print more and luckily there was a print shop nearby. It was exhausting cause I basically stood there on my feet for 12 straight hours for 3 days. No breaks for food nor toilet runs!



Penny Arcade Expo East was an amazing experience. The exposure and opportunities you get there is unparalleled. The organizers were super helpful and made sure things went at smoothly as possibly. Lots of game related parties filled the city during the days of the event. So it was great mingling with the local devs and checking out their creations.



All that's left now is finishing the game and getting ready for it's imminent release. If the reception at PAX is anything to go buy, it looks like the Cat has a promising future ahead of it!
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 12:21:59 AM by leblackdragon » Logged

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« Reply #96 on: April 03, 2017, 01:07:05 AM »

Whew, I get dizzy just looking at it, both as a developer and a player, I just couldn't do it. Too much people. Too much exposure. Impressed and happy for you!

How did you end up getting that mail? Do you already have contacts/deals of some sort, or do they invite anybody they think is up to it anyway?

While I've kept up somewhat well with this on Twitter, I haven't seen the interview! Is it up on YT or something?
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« Reply #97 on: April 03, 2017, 09:09:32 PM »

Whew, I get dizzy just looking at it, both as a developer and a player, I just couldn't do it. Too much people. Too much exposure. Impressed and happy for you!

How did you end up getting that mail? Do you already have contacts/deals of some sort, or do they invite anybody they think is up to it anyway?

While I've kept up somewhat well with this on Twitter, I haven't seen the interview! Is it up on YT or something?
It's amazingly crowded. You have to keep yourself in your own little bubble to maintain your sanity. They told me they came across the game during its Steam Green Light campaign. I guess they then checked out the presskit to get my email and sent me an invite.

Sure! Here's the XSplit PAX East 2017 live play through. Catch my part of the stream at 5:44:30
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/128181279?t=05h44m39s

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« Reply #98 on: April 03, 2017, 11:16:58 PM »

I like cats :3
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« Reply #99 on: April 04, 2017, 03:46:11 AM »

That was neat, thanks! c:
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