Quantic cat

This is Quantic cat, a jam game that I feel has a lot of potential but I ended up having very few levels and not exploring som other mechanics I have in my head, mostly cause the code for pushing is a goddamn mess.

I probably want to make a full version out of it and some feedback and pointers would help a lot, especially in:

General game design: Do you think the format of the game and its mechanics are appealing? Would you play some of those puzzles in your phone / in PC?

Game structure: What would you expect from a game like this (probably PC + mobile) in terms of size and structure? Probably a level editor? Shouldn't be too hard to make.

Character design: I ripped off Mae from Night in the Woods, and people noticed, even with the palette swap. How can I give such a smol cat some personality?

Aesthetics: I really like how the look turned out, but maybe for a more complete release I should make sprites bigger and with a bit more detail and resolution. Whactha think?

Thanks for playing and have a nice Feedback Fortnight!

Comments (9)

Wan
2 months ago

Wow that final level was brilliant, I turned it in my head for minutes being convinced it was impossible before having my eureka moment. Satisfying!

The theme works perfectly with the twist mechanic, so I found the overall concept quite clever. The choice of using cardboard boxes was cute, and that observation camera thing was a clever trick, using the Schrödinger metaphor again to make the "reset" mechanic intuitive (…including its corner cases, like again in the final level).

On one hand the art was very effective at explaining the mechanics, on the other hand I found the overall aesthetics to be quite basic (especially in the environments): I think the art has overall less character than other work I've seen from you. I do love watching the cat entering the box though! I also see potential in exploring further the theme of "a cat making a mess in a first-half-of-the-century lab".

To go back to the gameplay, in the end this game is a Sokoban variant so there no reason this could not be extended into a bigger game like Sokobond was. The question being whether the Quantic Cat concept still hides enough nuggets of brillance to make it more closer to Sokobond than plain Sokoban (which I don't like much) in terms of excitement.

The concept would definitely fit the mobile format too. Cats sell, casual puzzle games sell, so why not explore this route :D It would mean probably a smoother difficulty curve with more filler-ish contents.

Overall I feel the potential is there, but if you want to target he market of "puzzle lovers in need for something fresh", the first thing to do would be exploring the gameplay possibilities more!

Raindrinker
2 months ago

@Wan I fought the other day to try and make a cleaner, easier to expand, and not in GMS (for Andorid purposes) version for the code and its crazy. Especially when you want to have "turns" that last more (imagine putting a box inside a teleporter, so it needs another animation) and you also wanna have an undo button. Might be a bit out of my league for now, but I might keep trying every now and then.

As far as mechanics goes, I had so much more ideas for the entanglement thing, and then you could also justify other sciency stuff like messign with time and whatever, I'm sure there could be enough varied levels. Add a very lite story with a scientist becomign mad and experimenting with his cat and you got yourself a proper Android game, I think.

The art is a bit jammy but it does have more colors and detail than most of my other stuff, so I'm surprised you like it less. Maybe it's less polarized and impactful and looks like "normal" pixel art stuff, yeah.

The second level was a sad thing. The solution you used is not the intended one. I was trying to make it unbeatable unless you do somethign really mechanically beautiful thats a more complex version of the last level. Didnt manage to block all other possibilities correctly, so it feels really meh when you beat it.

The main inspiration was indeed the steam games in the sokobond family, especially stephen sausage rool and pipe paradise.

Thanks a lot for feedback! Always insightful.

Wan
2 months ago

Oh I did forget about the undo mechanic, indeed it would be necessary for a commercial version! Also messing with time & teleportation would be interesting, you got me hyped for more now :D

dwemthy
2 months ago

This is really nice. Music and graphics are tight. The visual effect for splitting is really cool. The last level is definitely really well designed and makes me want to see more levels. That's the number one thing missing for me: more to play. This is definitely the type of game that I could spend an afternoon occasionally going through level after level.

katuiche
2 months ago

Hello there, here go my feedback:

At the start i through it was a common box puzzle, those that you need to push blocks to make a way to the goal. The game sort of is a box puzzle, but it have a nice catch. The doubling mechanic works very well.

The first three levels works both as puzzles and tutorials, and this is great. They are not annoying easy and not blatantly obviously. The mechanic of killing yourself and pushing isn't very explained, but i liked that. It gave me a eureka moment.

The aesthetic and music of the game are nice. Simple and to the point.

Ztuu
2 months ago

So at first I was like, as a little box puzzle these are fun. Then when I first saw that you could split I thought "that's a really cool idea wow". I really liked it, its a fun and complex mechanic. I think you could make some mind bendingly difficult puzzles in this game without even adding any other mechanics.

The art is cute, I like how it looks and I also like the character design and the theme choice etc. Surprised there was no "chew the cardboard box into 1000 tiny little pieces and scatter them everywhere" because thats what my cat does in real life :P

It would be a fun little mobile game for sure, I liked it on PC too, would maybe be good as a web game.
I liked the aesthetics and the music. I think it's cute and small, don't think it should be bigger. I do like the character and as a night in the woods fan I didn't actually make that association until I read your post (if you did rip off the character then so what, EFF THE COPS).

I completed the first 4 levels without understanding the lights and that you could revive your dead skeletons. I cleared them without using that mechanic. It finally clicked in level 5 and I was like THAT'S WHAT THE LIGHT DOES.
Level 4 you can run out the edges of the level, didn't know if this was intentional but seemed different to the other levels.

If you want to expand it I'd start by just adding more levels. There's a lot more you could do with the mechanics you already have and you don't necessarily need to add more features. Give the player a few levels to work with the mechanics they've already worked out then you can consider adding new stuff too.

Overall I think this is an absolutely great little game :)

dollarone
2 months ago

First of all, congrats for successfully taking a classic type of game and adding a cool twist! That's not easy!

I thought the art was clean and cute - love the sinking into the box animation! The music is fine but obviously loops quite quickly - the style works though.

I like how the first few levels act as tutorial while being fun in their own right. For example, in level 2 I was forced to learn that you can push two boxes, which wasn't necessarily something I'd assume to be true. The splitting effect is great and the last level gave me a "eureka" moment which is great!

One thing that briefly confused me was that I couldn't put boxes over spikes in the later levels. Replaying level 2, I see the spikes are lowered in that level. Might be good to add a normal set of spikes so the player can learn the difference?

As for your feedback categories: the general game design is fine - it's a genre people know, and I would love to play a puzzle or two on my phone on my commute. The splitting mechanic adds a lot of unexplored puzzles in the genre, I think.

Game structure: I'd expect quite a few levels, maybe grouped by difficulty like lemmings. A level editor would be cool, and ideally some way to share them and download other people's levels (outsource the level creation job!)

Character design - how can I give such a smol cat some personality?

Definitely add a hat. Hat == personality

Aesthetics: I really like how the look turned out, but maybe for a more complete release I should make sprites bigger and with a bit more detail and resolution. Whactha think?

Yeah maybe a bit? I like the pixel art but you could add a couple more colours and have a teeeeny bit more details. Just keep it clean!

All in all good work, I look forward to an android release in 2019 ;)

Securas
2 months ago

Not much to say about this game. I've played it before for TigerJ's October Jam.
Following typical Raindrinker's approach, the level design is excelent and the
puzzles are very engaging and additctive. This game is asking to be further
developped into a full puzzle game, which could work by adding a few more mechanics.
The choice of the controls is pretty straightforward. Arrows and R to restart with
holding down a couple of arrows to phase. No much more could be done there other
than adding gamepad controls with a separate button for phasing. This is not really
necessary though. The dificulty curve is well ballanced with first learning the basic
mechanics then moving on to the phasing and then the camera observers. But it may
be a little daunting if one is not familiar with entaglement phenonema.
The presentation is very straightforward. A typical sokoban scenario with boxes
blocking the path of the protagonist with clear indication of the obstacles and path
This game makes no attempt at hiding the way forward from the player and it can be
praised for that. Raindrinker could have chosen to take the easier path of concealing
solutions but instead made it so that everything is exposed to the player. So when
things go wrong (and they will many times), it's the player's fault and non-other.
There are some bugs in the game. Sometimes, fast player reactions will throw off the
graphics. But nothing serious.
Overall this is a good game with carefully thought out puzzling, which exploits well the
core mechanic.

timbeaudet
2 months ago

General game design:

I have played puzzle games like this on PC before, but I do think it fits better on phone. I tend to find these puzzles extremely difficult but the warping mechanic makes it even more crazy! Perhaps a good things for those that play a lot of this push only puzzle, but kinda hard as someone noobish with them.

Game structure:

I would expect a level select screen that has some form of stars below each level and/or perhaps a best move counter to track the number of moves to win on each level, either getting 3 stars for least moves or showing the best number.

Character design:

Just keep trying different designs, I would find this super tricky as well.

Aesthetics:

It feels like a mix of pixel vs vector art with the spikes feeling like they don't quite fit, otherwise it looks great perhaps needs more things environment fill going on. The floor was rather plain.

Login to comment

Info

Mind-bending puzzle game

Links

itch

Author

Raindrinker