by Matt, posted on Friday 15 January 2016.So much The Eldritch Zookeeper development has happened in the last couple of months. Video games don't emerge fully-formed from a volcano every now and then, you know. Unless that's a metaphor for a particular gruelling development, but I don't think it is, because I would be the one making the metaphor, and I would just know. But much like a volcano, most of what goes on takes place underground, and only rarely does it erupt in the form of a devlog. Okay, now I think I've slipped into the metaphor. Click through and give the new video log a watch while I extract myself from it.
by Matt, posted on Monday 2 November 2015.
Since announcing new, shiny, exciting The Eldritch Zookeeper, I've been hard at work, so it's time for another video devlog! This time, I delve into exactly how the various AI actors within the game, like the visitors to the zoo, and the monsters find their way around a world that is constantly changing.
by Matt, posted on Wednesday 21 October 2015.
After releasing The Cat Machine in August, I've been hard at work on a new game, The Eldritch Zookeeper! In this game, the player runs a cursed zoo, badly.
Unwisely accepting a zookeeper job from a suspiciously skeleton-looking chap, our unfortunate keeper must home and exhibit inter-dimensional cosmic horrors, all without endangering the general public.
by Matt, posted on Wednesday 12 August 2015.
Go buy it now, and tell your friends!
by Matt, posted on Wednesday 8 July 2015.
Up to this point in development, it’s been the server-side of things that has gotten the most thought and the most planning, for understandable reasons. The client can be thought of as a somewhat dumb terminal, in the sense that it merely displays to the user what the server tells it, and accepts input from the player. The client’s design of the client is largely dependant on how the server is put together. One example of this is the way the world map is split up into ‘screens’.
by Matt, posted on Saturday 27 June 2015.
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.
by Matt, posted on Thursday 18 June 2015.
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.
by Matt, posted on Sunday 31 May 2015.
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:
by Matt, posted on Friday 29 May 2015.
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.
by Matt, posted on Tuesday 24 February 2015.
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.