Game Dev

Story telling

One of the feedbacks I got lately from a company auditing game performances (AdTiming) is that the player will get more attracted if the story is deepened. In addition, they suggested to continue using the cartoon style for that as it had a unique vibe. Well, I don’t know if it will help but since it’s quite easy to do, I’m giving it a try.

So far I did introduction animations for the 3 first levels. I’ll monitor the retention with that already (Only 8% of the players finish the first 5 levels so far!).

Here are some drawings I did for these small level introductions

The story is still really basic though. Haha!! Let’s see how people react to that.

Game Dev

So, how is it going?

It’s been a while I didn’t write here!!

Truth is I was busy as hell. And Cat Killer is one of reasons why.

To be honest, there are so many things to say about the game that I don’t know where to start.


Let’s summarize the key events to remember since the release of the game (Jan the 11th):

Youtube Reviews

Probably one of the first thing that happened was that lots of people actually tried and reviewed the game without any marketing from me.

Right after the release, Pocket Gamer tested the game and made the following video:

The content was quite harsh but really accurate. So from there, lots of changes were made to the game (the joysticks I introduced in previous posts are an example). Even if some changes were in my mind, I didn’t expect early reviews of the game. That’s probably why we should always prefer closed Betas instead of “throttled” releases! I learnt my lesson!

Since then, many other videos were made. The game was featured in many tops!

Some streamers had fun testing it!

Ohayoo contest

Ohayoo (from ByteDance, makers of TykTok) organized an Indie Mobile game and proposed me to submit Cat Killer there.

Surprizingly, Cat Killer ended in the top 10! More info here.
Well, the good thing about this is the prize ($1500) will serve to do some marketing anytime soon.

Also, Ohayoo did some User Acquisition for the game to monitor a bit the performances of the game before eventually proposing a deal.

Sadly the game didn’t perform well there. The retention seemed quite bad. And they suggested me to look for blocking bugs in the game because according to them it might have been the main reason for people dropping on Cat Killer early.

Performances on low end devices

Most of the bad reviews I received were initially pointing out lags and crashes. I didn’t consider them at first because the overall ratings were really good. I took this seriously when Ohayoo decided to not invest on the Game.

That’s when I started to check on the Android Developer Console what devices people who were complaining actually used. Most of them used what we often call “low end” devices which are simply smartphones that have low technical specs. Truth is those devices are actually quite decent, but it all depends on the requirements of the game.

I purchased a used Xiaomi Redmi 9A (2Go or RAM) as some players had. And as some of them mentioned the game simply crashed.

It took me 2 weeks to resolve the issues, optimize the graphics and finally get a version fully running on the A9. Since then, I didn’t get any bad review for performances.
Sadly, the side effect is that the graphical quality really dropped.


My takeaways:

  • Forget about testing your game with your high end device (last iPhone or last fancy Samsung Galaxy). It’s a bad idea and it represents only a small percentage of what people actually use on the market.
  • Optimize on the go, not at the end (obvious, I know).
  • Get different devices to test.

4. Discord

I created a Discord server when I launched the game. Not so many people joined BUT it doesn’t take much to have a positive impact.and

A player named “Feat Bunny” tested the game a lot and completed the 30 levels. In the process he shared many bugs and improvement ideas. This definitely helped making Cat Killer a better game!

Finally

At the moment, I’m preparing a new release, taking into account some feedbacks a gaming company was willing to share with me for free! Then I’ll do some UA by running some campaigns on Instagram or elsewhere. I hope the game will keep attracting more and more players. Oh, and the multiplayer mode is work in progress.

Uncategorized

News carousel

After making so many changes, I decided to make a basic news popup to share the release updates.
I know just few people are playing it but at least, I want them to be informed of the changes!

That’s how it looks like.

I’ll submit this version to Apple in coming days. I’m currently testing it a bit more.

Game Dev

Controls selection menu

Following the introduction of the new controls, it’s now possible to switch from one control mode to another.

I made 3 modes:

  • Joysticks: From now on, it’s the default one
  • Hybrid: Joystick to move, gestures for anything else. I think I would play with this one…
  • Gestures: Old one!

The controls mode selection is accessible from the Pause menu.

As we see on the picture, changing the mode can even be done in the middle of the tutorial. The tutorial will change accordingly.

I’m currently doing the tutorial animations for the joysticks mode.

I still need to make some other part of the gameplay compatible with that such as the Mecha and the block moving mini game. It’s a pain but I’ll probably do that after work another day or on the weekend!

Game Dev

New controls and combo mechanics!

Alright, most of the early reviews of the game show people really don’t fancy the controls.
To be honest, after playing so many hours with gestures, I really have a hard time on some levels playing with sticks. But still, here are the sticks:

Joysticks:

  • Left stick for Movements
  • Right stick for gun Gun. The gun is a stick because you can shoot while moving

Other buttons:

  • Sword button: The gestures enabled you to choose which sword direction to do. But here tap multiple times on the button to do right, left, top-down, thrust (thrust pushes the enemy backward)
  • Dash button: Will be de-activated if the stamina bar is empty
  • Combo buttons: From this version onward, only 2 combos will be selectable before level starts. As of today there are only 3 combos but more are already designed and will be integrated later. One of the advantages of the gestures here was to allow multiple combos based on real gesture combinations. But buttons make it readable, for sure! The combos are also consuming the stamina so same as the dash, you can’t trigger a combo if you have no more stamina!

A new menu has been created to unlock and select combos. Following these new changes, I decided to lock the aerial combo by default. Sorry for that.

The update I’m preparing is not just about the controls by the way. This version will be named 2.0 due to the number of updates.

So here are the changes to come:

  • Choice of controls: Buttons (will become by default: a warning prompt will be displayed for people who already started the game), hybrid (move with joystick, everything else with gesture), full gestures (I’ll still keep it!)
  • Combo choice (2 max)
  • 1st chapter enemies are being updated: Classic cat life reduced (1 instead of 3), classic cats will run (instead of walk), more spawns to have dynamic fights from level 1!
  • 2 types of enemies removed: Enemies requiring specific combos are not compatible with the choice of combos mentioned before. Also, they were quite hard to deal with, even for me… So let’s get rid of those for now!
  • Swords are updated: First sword is now faster so you can enjoy a bit more the first fights!
  • Level 1 gets some styling update (water and mountains). Level 2 will get the same updates soon.
  • Story telling: The introduction story may differ a bit. It will be a bit more polished and come with some more jokes, hopefully.
  • Number of starting stamina increased (from 1 to 2)
  • New upgrades: Mentioned in the previous post (speed, shield).
  • Minor bug fixes in customization menu.

Game Dev

iOS updates

I patched the first version already. There were some annoying issues that were raised! Thanks to players who shared those. So here is the list of changes:

  • Level 8 and 9 from Chapter 2 are now locked by default (for some reasons they appeared unlocked)
  • Daily rewards fixed! There was a loading issue
  • Account updates on different devices are fixed! A wrong versioning was preventing from updating your progression on a different device.
  • It’s now possible to skip the tutorial. But doing so, the first reward won’t be unlocked!

That’s it for the updates. I’m still working on the Android version. To be honest I was not expecting the Android release would be such a pain! Maybe I’ll do a post about how to troubleshoot various issues that may occur in the process. But the thing is I’m still using Unity 2018.x so I’m a bit faulty there.

Game Dev

Weapons on Home screen

Well… After I wrote the previous post, I started to think about the home and the weapons that were not reflecting the player’s inventory… It was really not a problem but the more I was thinking about it, the more I wanted to change it. So it’s done!

Here is my customized character:

And here is the home screen:

Alright, tomorrow I’ll work on the app icon and the trailer!

Game Dev

Home menu polish

I did some polish on the home menu. So here is the last look and feel.

  1. The title

I’ll release the game under the name “Cat Killer”. I mentioned it before but at some point I felt like changing. It may seem a bit aggressive and killing cats is obviously a bad thing. But honestly, I could not care less so I stopped thinking about it. Still, other candidates were “Cat Slayer” and “Killer Kills”. Right, I didn’t have much imagination there anyway.

2. Single Player Screen

Right after the Title Screen, the single player screen is displayed.

From there the player can access to the levels (“Start”) or to the training room (“Training”). On this screenshot there is also a reset button. It’s only for my testing. It allows me to clear the saved data (Unity’s PlayerPrefs) and thus reset the game by launching the Tutorial scene. It’s convenient especially when I’m testing on iOS. On Android it’s quite easy to clear an app cache while on iOS it seemed to me the only option was to uninstall the app and re-install it… If there was any other option, Apple didn’t make it obvious!! Crazy.

The rabbit displayed there reflects the clothes and the colour from the player’s customization. The sword and the gun though are always the same. I will probably spawn the actual weapons in the future. It’s just I didn’t feel like attaching the gun muzzle to the gun barrels programmatically. To put it simply: I was lazy. Right.

3. Online

Well the first version of the game won’t be released with any multiplayer mode. But I implemented the whole thing using Photon Pun, so it should be almost ready for that. To be honest in the past months I didn’t test this anymore since last time.

I plan to get back to it only if reviews are good!

4. More

Well, that’s pretty much where I put everything left: audio configuration, store, contact, credits… Probably more coming later.

That’s it!