April 29th-May 2nd, 2011
Theme: It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take this!

More Info: Ludum Dare 20 Has Begun! (Keynote), Theme Voting Results.

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Priority Cats

by Tom 7 - Competition Entry

Priority Cats in "It's dangerous to go alone. Take sis!"

This is a short platformer written in Flash for the competition. I used (and modified) the same "physics engine" and tile library I used and modified for "Disco? Very!" and some other games. All the content is new and then some.

The chief innovation here is that the game is controlled entirely with mouse motion (no buttons). It's fairly intuitive, although it may be realistically frustrating. :) The ending should be pretty easy to find. If you're hardcore enough to collect everything then there's a little bit extra.

- 4 original tunes, some with lyrics and everything! A new record!
- 25 accessible rooms, some more interesting than others. :)
- Biologically plausible seeking behavior!
- Single-input gameplay! Go ahead and use an eye-tracker!
- Surprise ending!

I may polish up some of the jumps for a post-compo version, since some are fiddly. Hint: Line-of-sight matters and the cats have different behaviors.

I recorded a timelapse, with picture-in-picture webcam. It's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUphCeVHoWg

Downloads and Links




pgil says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 2:57am

I love this. Controls are totally frustrating but I don't care. I'll figure it out.

vandriver says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 6:19am

getting those dumb animals out of pits was likely as frustrating as real cats. this was aces, though some of the screen transitions were frustrating to deal with especially climbing up.

increpare says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 9:32am

love the concept, made me laugh, but found the controls really frustrating (esp screen transitions)

bmfs says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 9:57am

Funny controls.
If you scrolled along the map instead of just changing the screen it would have been better. When you have to go up, in the following screen you'll appear in the botttom, but the pointer will still be in the top and it isn't easy to control the cats movements in that situation. Besides that, liked the controls and the initial music. GJ

ladron says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 7:31pm

Agree with others that the controls were a pain. When jumping up to the next screen I found it nearly impossible to move the mouse down fast enough to get some side motion on the jump.

The idea is clever, though, and has a lot of potential.

trialbyfun says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 9:45pm

I found the controls let this down a bit, it was really tough jumping places and especially up screens which led to quite a bit of frustration. However the opening song ... brilliant. Contextualizing the controls with the lazer pen was also genius. The wobbling cats bums is also worth an extra star in my book.

May 4, 2011 @ 3:15pm

Hard not to score a perfect audio when you write and sing original and very funny tracks!

I like the player movement mechanism a lot. With a bit more iteration this could be really engaging.

Good work!

TellusE says ...
May 6, 2011 @ 9:19pm

All the singular pieces are really well done. The animations of the cats with small details like their eyes following the dot when preparing for a jump, sometimes not, it quite elegant. The music (realz, whoa!) - delish.

The control scheme is a different matter. I commend you, sir, for trying something as difficult as this :) For better and for worse, controlling two cats with a laser pointer is as difficult as it is in real life.

The theme didn't really seem to come into play as more than a nuisance when trying to get two cats up on a platform from a screen below, but really the game quite good none the less.

Draknek says ...
May 8, 2011 @ 12:38pm

I was expecting sis to have gameplay ramifications but I couldn't find any. Re-reading instructions they have different behaviour? I was controlling the grey one the whole time.

Some jumps were very frustrating. I stumbled into the end without feeling like I'd explored the place to my satisfaction.

Could do with a sound effect when you catch a fly, general cat sound effects would also be nice but possibly get frustrating quite quickly (not a reason not to do it though).

alexlarioza says ...
May 8, 2011 @ 8:59pm

I'm a sucker for cats. Is it a laser-light they are chasing? xD I really loved the sprites for them! Even though the mouse control was really creative, I found it to be too frustrating. Plus that damn orange tabby would hardly move. =[

amassingham says ...
May 9, 2011 @ 2:25am

I really enjoyed this! I didn't think the controls were frustrating at all! I think once you realise that the cats can't actually steal the cursor from you, then it's pretty self explanatory.

Loved the music, and the cat animations. As others have said, maybe scrolling levels rather than screen transitions?

someone says ...
May 9, 2011 @ 1:38pm

Nice take on the theme.
Controls are a bit frustrating when getting them to jump.
The screen transitions were irritating as the pointer would effectively jump across the screen causing the cats to dash off wildly, usually back of the platform you spent ages trying to coax them onto. Quite fun once you get the hang of it.
The music is great though some sound effects would have been nice.

elbowroom says ...
May 16, 2011 @ 12:38pm

argh.. the controls I thought them challenging *and then I saw

the tree top platform.. where you have to jump the gap and on to the high wall on the other side!(and from there on a moth flying at the top of the first screen) well, challenges your patience more than anything

It may look like a cute game but if you plan on making that last jump. . . it requires mastery of the game.

Very interesting and fun effort, however I think there are some design issues*

1. The orange cat is pretty much dead weight.

If the gray cat is hard enough to control.
The orange cat simply does not respond most of the time.
More often than not you are only controlling the gray cat and hoping the orange one stays put so she doesn't fall into some gap while the gray one is making his way to the intended goal.

This goes against the theme.
It is dangerous to go alone, yeah it is.. it is more dangerous to go together.

2. When you switch screen while jumping up, you often find that it is more difficult since it somehow affects control.

This is noticeable in the area where you can re-enter the forest from within the cave.
It is also noticeable on the way to the end, inside the cave.

3. The cat always seems to jump one moment too late.
This is noticeable when you have to make a quick jump.
It always seems like the cat jump is a little delayed.

Overall one of the cool games in the compo.

Pierrec says ...
May 18, 2011 @ 10:14am

I loved the idea, the controls aren't frustrating because they're bad, they are frustrating because cats don't obey...and it's well known that cats obey whenever they want. It's funny and clever. I think I manage to get all the insects, but the "surprise ending" wasn't very rewarding due to all my efforts.

Whatever, if you're interested, I made a small review in french on my blog (http://oujevipo.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=398:priority-cats&catid=36:10-minutes&Itemid=55)

aglade says ...
May 27, 2011 @ 7:12pm

I adore this game!! The idea of having the cats chase the laser pointer dot is fantastic, and the fact that they hunch down and wiggle their butts is PRICELESS. Cat animation overall was amazing. I loved the creative interpretation of the theme, the cat pouncing on the button on the start screen, but I think my very favorite thing was the "Laser cave" song, which is so catchy and fun that I listen to it over and over and over again and sing along! Summary: perfect blend of adorable and hilarious!

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