Get the Update from itch.io right here! Remember, this link always has only the most recent version, so if you’re seeing this in the future, you won’t necessarily get Demo 1.2

It’s been a few months. But only a few months! And boy, there’s a whole lot that we’ve added. This list is not exhaustive:

  • A brand new Level/Game Designer has joined the project. Kent Noble’s work is all over this demo!
  • We’ve extended the quest beyond simply finding the Tea Pot
  • Cats can now wear costumes on their bodies as well as hats
  • We’ve added some of said costumes — and more hats! Not all are accessible yet
  • Notes can now be found and picked up!
  • Saving and loading are implemented
  • The shop is now available
  • The existing areas have been expanded, a little, and there’s a brand new area available!

The New Level/Game Designer

Kent Noble has joined the project and has played a big part in producing the new area. He’ll continue to help build out the world of Catlandia, and has some great ideas about expansion.

There are no significant changes to the combat in this release, but Kent will be playing a big part in balancing that aspect of the game as we move forward.

New Quest Stuff!

The previous demo ended after reporting your success to Sergeant Fluffles. This version should allow you to go beyond this, with additional conversations and new characters to talk to that hint at the larger story.

COSTUMES

Our artist Jessica sent me some sushi outfits. I promptly implemented bodywear. They’re entirely cosmetic still, but as we flesh out the combat system, they’ll provide protection and unlock additional abilities. We’ve sprinkled them around the world — some may not yet be accessible. Oh, and some of the costumes may not look correct with fat cat bodies. Sorry!

As well, we’ve expanded the customizable cat options. Most notably, ears are now customizable! Go out there and make a better cat!

Better Lore with Notes

Catlandia is a story-based RPG, and as such, we want to give players more than just the basic conversations. A total of five notes are now in the game, available to pick up and read. These offer you greater insight into the goings on and history of the world of Catlandia. Be sure to seek them out to expand your knowledge!

Saving and Loading Now Supported!

Once a feature way back in the more primitive versions that was forgotten about during this last year’s overhaul, saving is now back. You should be able to play through the game without worrying about this as it will automatically save whenever you see the banner icon swing in the top corner.

There is only one save file, and starting a new game will not warn you about erasing your old game.

Also, going forward, save files from previous versions will almost certainly not work with newer versions, at least for the time being, so don’t get too attached!

Buy Stuff at the Shop!

Another feature that was left behind during the big overhaul, shops are now back. You can purchase a few items for now. As I’ve said, combat still needs balancing, and as items will have their biggest effect in combat, actually going deeper than that hasn’t been a priority.

And, uh, I did notice a last-minute bug that remains unfixed. You can only buy one item at a time. The +/- buttons won’t work. Sorry!

New Areas

After you obtain the Planks item, you’ll be able to traverse the stream at the end of the first Whisker Woods area. I’m very happy to finally be at this stage, as the areas the player can visit have essentially been the same since the very first demo, even as we have built them up more.

The caveat of course, is that this new area is likely not in its final form.

Oh yeah. After you’ve completed the Tea Pot quest, you’ll also be able to nap until evening. Spooky Night Mode! Happy Halloween!

Behind The Scenes Improvements

A lot’s been going on that’s less visible that I’ll write about for anyone who’s interested.

We switched to Unity Collab when Kent joined, and it’s more or less been pretty smooth to use. Despite having learned programming by necessity, I am no actual development expert, and it’s been much preferable to have managing git stuff off my plate.

I also updated to a new version of the dialogue system and with it, found some new tools for handling conversations and quests. It took some time to switch away from less efficient setups (including an unwieldy custom script to manage how GameObjects appear) but this is now done and quest management should be much easier going forward.

Then, as we began expanding the world, we quickly found that performance suffered when there was too much stuff. I’d hoped to have had all of Whisker Woods as one big scene, but it just wasn’t feasible. So, it’s split into various zones now.

One change that combat did get is I removed some final vestiges of the old system. When you still went to a different scene in combat based on random encounters it was easiest to define encounters based on set arrangements of enemies. This meant that enemy parties until now were one of a small number of combinations that were manually defined. But with this new system based on what you see in-field and staying in the same scene, it makes more sense to simply build the encounter on the fly based on the enemy pockets you actually see.

One other minor change is that enemies do move toward you now.

But no, I won’t implement any smart pathfinding. That’s kind of beyond the scope of a simple RPG.

Next Steps for Catlandia

With the updates in this release, I can safely say the bulk of the remaining work lies in the content and the combat. The rest of the framework is kind of there now. It’s just a matter of filling it out.

This means more art, more writing, more quest building, and more level design.

And a lot less time trying to implement actual features.

I don’t think we’ll show anything more in terms of quests in the demos. As I keep telling myself, this first release needs to stay “small”. If only I knew what I meant when I first said that.

But perhaps we’ll share more previews of the game as we fill out the art, balance the combat, and generally polish.

I hope you enjoy this new glimpse into the world of Catlandia!