Project CATAM Pt.1

This is my first entry RE: Cool New Project. I’d like to talk a little bit about what the project is, how far along we are, and some of our development plans. I will be continuing this series in parallel with the “Creating a Platformer” series in order to keep a lot of the design and game-specific stuff separate from the programming tutorials that have been getting a lot of positive feedback.

CATAM?

Months ago I tweeted something about a project that I referred to as ‘#CATAM’. It is a project that has been on the back burner for awhile. It is one of my dream projects that I have wanted to work on, but couldn’t afford to invest time into due to its scope. It is a fairly large game that is tech-heavy, design-heavy, and asset-heavy. At the time, I could afford none of these. I didn’t have the time or resources to pursue its production any further than jotting down a few plot/character ideas.

For now, I will continue to call it CATAM until we have a proper reveal trailer. I don’t want to spoil the story, characters, and themes until there is at least something visual to pair it with.

The ‘C’ stands for Crown. Crown is the female protagonist of this game. I’ll leave it at that for now.

Timeline

I have been working with some people to get this project off the ground for about a month now. We have mostly been discussing budget, timeline, and other boring logistics. Basically, the game is in its earliest stages. We have some of the plot fleshed out. Enough that we are confident of our vision of the world. Crown, the protagonist, is fairly realized. The bosses, items, and dungeons are somewhat laid out in front of us. The game is also playable via a few of my engine demos that I had released on the Game Maker Marketplace. Most of you know that the combined features of some of my products were meant to make up a future project. So yes, you will see ropes, water, and melee combat in CATAM.

I have planned our milestones and am currently approximating 10-12 months of solid development starting on January 1st, 2015.

Moving Forward

As I said before, our first steps are to create a first-playable and officially reveal the game via some form of trailer.

As far as game content goes, we are no longer going with the step-by-step development cycle that we tried using on our previous projects. For example, the end-game of SUPER III was never fully experimented with. Same goes for Frog Sord. With those titles, we started at the beginning. The first level that we made was the first level of the game. The second level was the second level of the game. And so on…

With CATAM, we’re going to focus on creating a vertical slice of the game, upfront. If you have been following me on Twitter, you will have noticed that I mentioned that I have been designing a water-themed dungeon. This dungeon will be presented to the player during the latter half of the CATAM. We want to create a mid to end level chunk of the project so that the gameplay and mechanics can be fully fleshed out and tested ahead of time. We want to test our more complicated and challenging AI as soon as possible.

This dungeon will not likely be the final iteration, and we won’t spoil the entire dungeon in the alpha build, but you can certainly look forward to a more challenging and exploration/puzzle-focussed build rather than the typical “tutorial and the first few levels” pack.

Stay tuned for more on Project CATAM,

-Z

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Project CATAM Pt.1

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