About Casey Jordan (twitter: @cat5casey)

I'm Casey! Indie dev from Texas. I made Cat Goes Fishing. This is my second Ludum Dare.

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Ludum Dare 35

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Pillars of Life – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @cat5casey)
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 3:13 pm

I still haven’t put together a time lapse; I’ve been busy playing and rating. But I still want to write a post mortem to elaborate on my goals and express what I feel I accomplished.

Topic is Shapeshift – 48 hours to go

Within an hour and a half of the beginning of the compo, I settled on the “caterpillar lifecycle” concept:
game idea 3

The goal was to create experientially different moments of play during the different phases of your caterpillar life. As the design sheet above depicts, an important early thought was creating a sense of freedom and openness when the player emerges as a butterfly. This was accomplished by providing wildly different controls after the player emerges from a cocoon.

(The player is immobile as a cocoon, but has the freedom to move the camera — something they couldn’t do as a Pillar. Being given a brief opportunity to scout the map is useful, and it serves as a cue for the player to make the control shift more intuitive.)

The loop was complete, and roughly balanced so that total population was dependent on player actions. Neat.

I hang out in the IRC chat for a few before some kind soul yells at me, “SLEEP!” (more…)

‘Pillars of Life

Posted by (twitter: @cat5casey)
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 8:49 pm

Lots of iteration happened these last 14 hours. Didn’t take the time to write up any blog posts because I was working to the wire. Didn’t get audio, but I’m happy with the graphics I was able to rush out of illustrator in the last hour. I’ll make a more detailed wrap-up post later. I might even put together a video; I recorded pretty much the whole compo. 😀

Submission here:
YaButterFly7 2016-04-17 20-14-37-84

I’m going to chill in the IRC channel and recover.

‘Pillar of Hate (Update on my Caterpillar Simulator)

Posted by (twitter: @cat5casey)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 5:54 pm

'Pillar of Hate Screenshot

I’m getting to that point where the core loop is actually fun, and it’s distracting from further development. Time for a blog post to focus thoughts and course correct.

Made a new design sheet that removed a lot of the clutter that has been iterated away:
Pillar of Hate Saturday Design Document

Orange circle is the current area of focus. I implemented the crossed-out “starve” mechanic, but it feels too similar to the Piller lifecycle stage to provide an experientially different moment of play. I’m going to just put them on a timer. After it runs out, they’ll revert to a cocoon. I’ll see how that feels. It’ll probably mutate into something more interesting. Stay tuned. :3

Edit: just noticed this design sheet doesn’t include the “collecting food to make babies” aspect of being a butterfly that I talked about in my previous post, but I implemented it. And it’s good!

‘Pillar of Hate (Caterpillar Simulator 2016?)

Posted by (twitter: @cat5casey)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 5:22 am

Design document took some doodles to the face:
Pillar of Hate Design Document

The core loop is basically here, as depicted by the green checks in the image above. I think the next sprint is going to be gating the number of behbehs a butterfly can make somehow (MAYBE food?). This should allow us to remove the arbitrary expiration date on being a butterfly that is really cutting into what would otherwise be a fun loop.

Aaaand screenshot:
Pillar of Hate Screenshot

Not much to look at.

Here, look at this general schedule instead. It includes when I intend to make blog posts. (Two hour time blocks)

Click to expand:
Timeblock Schedule

Came up with a working name “‘Pillar of Hate”. Caterpillar. GET IT?

I’m in! (And late.)

Posted by (twitter: @cat5casey)
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 1:02 am

Spent a lot of time brainstorming at the start of the compo. First I was like, “Yo. Let’s make some shapeshifting blobs.” But then I realized everyone probably thought to go that direction. So I said, “Nothing Organic!”

That didn’t stick.

The product of an hour and a half of brain storming:

Nearly 4 hours in, and a terrible prototype is just starting to come together.

Will be streaming most of the compo at CaseyGoesMeow on twitch.

Edit:
PS. I’m using Game Maker: Studio. Photoshop (and occasionally paint) for sketching design docs. Final art will be done in Illustrator. Audacity and Reason for sound/music respectively (if I get to that).

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