Confessions of a Crap GameDev

Making “Kitty Quest” – my submission for AdventureJam 2017

They say, “Never work with children or animals.” And that was indeed the phrase that instantly popped into mind when my wife responded to my question, “What do you think I should do for this year’s AdventureJam?” with, “Why not make a game about our cats?”

I couldn’t help myself, though. It was such a hilarious idea. Cats and the internet are always a winning combination; talking cats even moreso. And it fit right into the mindset I’d had since the first time I participated in AdventureJam, when it was called Point & Click Jam, that I wasn’t so much in this to win approval as I just wanted to do something batshit crazy and hopefully freak the judges out.

Cocaine-dealing squirrels oughta do the trick.

So, without really knowing how I was going to get my two cats to actually appear in the game, I set out to create Kitty Quest — a story more or less born out of a five-minute brainstorm with my wife about how our indoor rescue cat, Pemberton Flæsk Mis Mis Brunata Odenkirk (yes, that’s his name), wanted to escape the confines of our house on a warm summer day. His companion would be our other cat, Carlin Spinoza Bøffelsovs (also real name), who is an energetic but dopey Maine Coon cat.

It wasn’t a fully fleshed out story by any means. In fact, the escape part turned out to just be the first act of a (very small) two-act game. Escaping our house would then send them on a small adventure where they faced the horrors that lurk outdoors, eventually causing them to change their minds and head back home.

Confessions of a Crap GameDev

What’s In the Safe – Talkie Version out now!

Last year, for the game jam AdventureJam 2015, I made a short first-person adventure game called What’s In the Safe?.

It featured digitized graphics that had been downscaled to the point of Commodore 64 blockiness (160×200, if you must know), and a weird story about an ex-criminal who gets teleported through time by his former crime partner. Don’t ask. I was drinking at the time.

Also, grave robbing. Can't have too much grave robbing in indie games.
Also, grave robbing. Can’t have too much grave robbing in indie games.

Anyway, not long after the jam ended (in April 2015), I somehow got hung up on the idea of making a talkie version of the game. You know, like they did in the olden days. One where the characters talked and all. Believe me, that was a big thing back in the early 90’s.

So I commissioned voice work from my friend, YouTuber Amayirot Akago, and he delivered in a very timely fashion. Note that we are still talking somewhere in the summer of 2015 here.

Fast forward many, many months, and we are now in the latter part of February 2016. And I finally make good on my promise!

Feel free to start on your own list of swear words now.
Feel free to start on your own list of swear words now.

You can now download the full talkie version from GameJolt at the exorbitant price of absolutely nothing!

Apart from the excellent voice work by Amayirot Akago, this updated version also features:

  • A new intro sequence that took me about 10 minutes to put in
  • Some minor bug fixes, courtesy of Kevin Wallace and Ben Chandler
  • A fixed spelling error! (“Lose” ends? No, “LOOSE” ends, thank you!)

Now I can breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to taking forever making my next game; the one I’ve been hinting at in the previous post. We’ll see where that goes. But, for now, champagne and confetti for all!

Update: If the game starts out full-screen but the size of a postage stamp, just go into the winsetup.exe program and set the image filter to 3x: