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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Save The Cats

by epaik - Competition Entry

Tools used:
SFXR for all sound effects
FL Studio for the BGM
Code::blocks for coding
C++ and SFML, engine written during compo by me :)

The download includes a readme! Check it out!

Here's a gameplay video:

Downloads and Links




SSJMetroid says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 2:58am

I didn't get a chance to make a game due to being too busy, I am sad. But I just got a chance to try your creation so I shall describe the experience!

Firstly I had to download OpenAL due to a .dll missing when I tried running your release. :(

After I got it working, my first playthrough consisted of me trying to figure out how to get the controls to work and everything. I couldn't figure out how to get the cats to the girl. She died.. no cats were saved... :(

The second time around, shit got real yo. I found out you do path detection shit for the cats and I was like "awwww yeah" and started getting out dem ladders. After a little experimentation I started to find bombs to be useless. Gold was so hard to find it made getting pick upgrades useless too after like level 4ish. All I could spend money on was ladders.. Lots of ladders.. I found some situations where the cat AI got stuck to, but with some bomb/ladder messing around I was able to get them un-stuck. Sometimes if you fall from a distance you'll go through some tiles from collision detection bug.. Other than that it was rather enjoyable (aside from my detest of your button layout.. WHY IS SHOP FOR ITEMS 'B'???).


Good job!

epaik says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 3:11am

Thanks for the comment! Good catch on the missing .dll, I've included it in the download so nobody has to manually download anything.

4 kittens isn't bad for a first try! I've only managed to get 7 in a run myself.

TellusE says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 4:49am

Hey epaik

Doesn't... really... start :-/

I get a console window that just sits there. And continues sitting there. No errors or anything. Any ideas?

ekangas says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 5:11am

It took a few tries to figure out how to do it, but I got the hang of it mostly. I agree with most of what Metroid mentioned. I managed to save 12 of em on a run, but then 2 cats got stuck and the lady died. Pretty impressive for such a short programming time though. Somewhat addicting.

ekangas says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 5:59am

lol 15 kittens! http://goo.gl/i34kx (It was actually 13, but while I was trying to post a pic, I kept the game running, and 2 more got saved.)

epaik says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 6:11am

@TellusE That's very odd. Could you tell me a little about your computer specifications? I've only done testing on my own machine, but as far as I can tell two other people have run it successfully.

@ekangas Thanks for the comment! 15 kittens is way more than I've managed yet. Yeah, the cat getting stuck can be annoying. I'm keeping a list of changes I want to make that I can put into a post-compo v.2

7Soul says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 9:02pm

Bombs are useless, so use all the money on ladders

I had to read the readme because the in-game instructions said nothing about putting ladders to save the cats, so the first time I played I was like "how do I get the damn cats?!"

Sometimes the cat would get lost and stuck inside the ground
Another bug I found is that you can dig a block diagonaly if you're in a dead end of rocks, and you will walk through the rocks if you do that

Fun game anyway. If wasnt for the bug where the cats got lost, I would have played for much longer :)

recursor says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 10:29pm

This game made me purr. Nicely done. I put it in my "Games to come back to later" folder.

epaik says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 11:58pm

Hey guys, thanks for the comments! I just fixed the bug where the cat gets lost, as well as collision issues. I hope its not against Ludum Dare rules to fix a bug before voting is over!

TellusE says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 9:13pm

Any specific specs?
Windows 7, i7 processor, an old ATI 4870x2 card... all but the RAM and graphics card is top of the line as of march 1st. I do run a dual-monitor setup. I tried disabling one without any change in the results :-/
Unless you make use of some very specific hardware-related code I can't see how it would be affected at all.

epaik says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 10:20pm

Hi telluse,
After spending a good amount of time trying to figure out the problem, I realized the issue: the resolution of the game window was too large! Initially, it was 600x800. This meant that if your desktop resolution was less than 800 in height, the window wouldn't open.

Hopefully this is your issue, I went ahead and patched the download so its compatible with lower resolutions if you'd like to try downloading it again. Thanks for your report, I wouldn't have found this bug otherwise.

Ashera says ...
May 4, 2011 @ 5:00am

I have a 64-bit Windows 7 box with 1920x1080 screen res and I can't play the game either. Same thing as TellusE, a console window appears and nothing else happens.

Rikkard says ...
May 5, 2011 @ 5:38am

Pooooor Girl.
I saved 20 kittens before she died. I'm sure a few were on their way, but I was soooo far down it was impossible for them to climb up that far in time (mainly due to lack of money, but then I found like 10 gold all together and decided to go back and rescue them). Had all the upgrades (tooooo fast) and a few bombs due to some kitties being stuck in rocks.

In writing this I got another kitten! Oooh, another one! Another! Weee another, and another. There they all are! 25... 26... 27... I think 27 is it.

Anyways, I played this far longer than I thought I would. Good game. Too bad the theme wasn't kittens :(
Oh there is 28. Well, world record is 28.

Rikkard says ...
May 5, 2011 @ 7:01am

Correction: 30 kittens. 2 more came up while I was watching TV.

May 5, 2011 @ 11:49pm

Everybody loves digging for cats. Looks like someone wanted to incorporate a bunch of the themes, and it worked out pretty well.

Loved the cute little sprites, nice looking, nice playing.

Good job!

epaik says ...
May 6, 2011 @ 5:04pm

To anybody having trouble running the game. I looked into the problem, and it appears to be an issue with ATI Catalyst drivers version >= 10.10. Sorry to everybody with the issues, but unfortunately its a problem with the library I used: SFML.

To everybody else, thanks for playing my game!

Endurion says ...
May 9, 2011 @ 2:12pm

Have Windows 7 64bit, unfortunately with ATI as well. Damn, had always NVidia before and never any problems like these.

Mr. Wonko says ...
May 17, 2011 @ 11:23am

You could've just updated to a more recent SFML 2 revision, the ATI bug has been fixed. Too bad, I'm not going to roll back my drivers to 10.10 just to play this...

epaik says ...
May 22, 2011 @ 5:20pm


If you downloaded my package, you would notice that I am using SFML 2. I too, thought the bug was fixed (it was mentioned that it was fixed in 2.0 by Laurent in a forum post) but it still persists.

I think I'll try grabbing the latest snapshot and recompiling though, maybe it was a more recent bugfix than I thought.

epaik says ...
May 22, 2011 @ 6:27pm

Ok, so I've uploaded a version with the very latest snapshot of SFML2. If anybody with an ATI card wants to test the game and report whether it works or not, it would be greatly appreciated.

Mr. Wonko says ...
May 22, 2011 @ 9:38pm

That's what I was talking about, the latest snapshot. Works now. :)
Going to check it out right away.

Mr. Wonko says ...
May 22, 2011 @ 10:46pm

I really liked this! Strangely addictive. How much? I saved 57 kittens. http://www.mrwonko.de/images/savethecats.png

I only stopped because I got stuck due to a bug where you can sometimes move & dig diagonally down:
still for multiple minutes the game kept running since the kittens I had already saved were still walking up. I don't know how far they had to go, but appearently it was pretty high. Which gave me an idea:

You should add stats. Once the player's lost, tell him how many blocks he digged, how much ore he found, how many ladders he placed, how deep underground he went and maybe make the camera pan up to the house, showing to the player how much he digged. Possibly calculate a score based on this.

Wow, I'm done writing this little review and the game is still running - that must've been a lot of cats. How long have I been playing - an hour? Looking at my last comment's time - yeah, almost an hour. Nice!

tzachs says ...
May 23, 2011 @ 8:51pm

Very nice concept!
Only I had to watch the youtube video to understand that you need to build the whole path in order for the cats to climb. I just put a ladder next to the cat and then was surprised that the cat didn't move. Then I tried to put a bomb next to the cat to scare it and that also didn't work. Then I tried to bomb the cat & myself out of frustration and that also didn't work.
And then I closed the game and watched the video and went: D'oh!

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