Greenlit in Seven Days!

by Matt, posted on Saturday 27 June 2015.

Autopsy of an Indie MMORPG

The Cat Machine was Greenlit by Valve! In just six days, twenty three hours and thirty minutes, the game got the attention of the Steam Greenlight team, and so I'm working towards the final build for the Steam platform right now. The first thing to say is a massive thank you to everyone that voted! It means so much. Also, secondly, to everyone who has preordered on this site so far, you'll receive a Steam Key when the game is released there, but using Steam isn't mandatory, you'll be able to download the game here without using Steam. Whichever you like!

The last seven days have been a very exciting time, from the first day I flipped the switch on the Greenlight campaign, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The second best thing about Greenlight, the first being the opportunity to get a game on Steam, of course, was the stats page. Here it's possible to see a real-time update of just how people are responding to the game. Let's take a closer look at those stats.

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Autopsy of an Indie MMORPG - Part 1

by Matt, posted on Thursday 18 June 2015.

Autopsy of an Indie MMORPG

When an indie developer gets a previous project down from the shelf, dusts it off, and inspects what went well and what didn't, it's often titled a 'post-mortem.' Despite having written these kinds of articles before, I'm just not keen on the term myself, the connotation of something lying lifeless in a mortuary seems a tad too negative for me. But for some projects, the vocabulary just... aptly suits it.

I never set out to write an MMORPG, indeed, the game that was eventually named Scarlet Sword to this date still lives in a folder on my harddrive entitled "SummerProject," even though it ended up taking about eighteen months. That's one thing English people just can't be mistaken about; summers here don't quite last that long. No one thinks its a good idea to write an MMORPG. As you're reading this, somewhere in the world, a 14-year-old is typing a forum post on some hobbyist forum, essentially asking for instructions on how to make an MMORPG, and within a few hours will have received the standard replies. First; the snarky cynic joking about a big "make game" button, a well-meaning developer linking to a Hello World tutorial for C++, etc. And as someone who has made games, even with some commercial success, I'd never set out to start something so unrealistic.

This is my experience of accidentally making an MMORPG.

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Whatever Happened to Piano Cat?

by Matt, posted on Sunday 31 May 2015.

The Cat Machine - Music

The Cat Machine's music was created by Peter Nickalls. It's a tricky kind of game to create music for, chiefly because the player can be sat trying to figure out the logical puzzle of a level for ages. A common problem in puzzle-y games is that the music drones on and on, repeating the same melody sixty times, until you're entirely convinced the music itself is mocking you. Peter's answer to this common problem has been to write some very pleasant and almost-ambient pieces of music for accompany the gameplay. Lovely stuff.

The main theme of the game, on the other hand, is certainly not ambient:

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Never Enough Cats

by Matt, posted on Friday 29 May 2015.

The Cat Machine - Update Time

The Cat Machine, as previously announced, is a game all about logic and cats. But how many cats? Plenty, is the reassuring answer. One of the best things about developing a game that involves cats, and I was shocked to discover this, is that there's not a single person enforcing a maximum cat population limit on independent developers like myself. Despite the overwhelming similarities between game development and industrial fishing, one difference is that unlike fishing there's no maximum yield imposed by governments on the number of cats that can be contained in a single game.

Turns out, we're in no danger of depleting the oceans of its cat population.

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The Cat Machine - Coming Soon

by Matt, posted on Tuesday 24 February 2015.

The Cat Machine

As we all well know, the world has been completely run by cats for a good few thousand years, and only conspiracy theorists maintain that humans are top-dog. Cats grudgingly put up with us. Cats grudgingly put up with our use of phrases like 'top dog'. They know how stupid that phrase is. It was, after all, the cats that built the giant subterranean machine that stops the world spiralling out of control, the sky falling, and the land saying "oh forget this" and melting back into the sea. But to this day, no video game has been created that has accurately depicts this top-secret feline science world preservation project.

Until now.

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