Author Topic: Social Caterpillar  (Read 14039 times)

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Merlandese

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Social Caterpillar
« on: June 14, 2013, 03:26:32 PM »


THE PREMISE

This game is a diorama that elaborates on my thoughts and feelings about introversion and socializing. Each piece is some wildly personal metaphor for interacting and progressing. It mirrors my beliefs and my successes and my failures.


Social Caterpillar is the story of an introvert stepping outside his/her bubble for the sake of curiosity and the possibility of love... and maybe just to ace that big speech on insects. (Life's weird like that.) It incorporates context-sensitive puzzles as a way for the inexperienced character to work through social interactions while simultaneously ignoring a rather unhelpful Inner Voice.

This is a short, simple game that expresses the nuances of social interactions through bite-sized puzzles. There is very little text and most of the story is implied rather than explained. It's designed to evoke some neat thoughts while also looking kind of pretty and feeling kind of new. Also, caterpillars.


THE GAMEPLAY

        The gameplay consists mostly of multiple choice puzzles. Each puzzle is an oversimplified metaphor for a particular type of social interaction. Fitting in with friends might require choosing which single picture combines with the others to form a whole rectangle. Talking to parents may require the player to pick a jigsaw figure that best bridges the gap between two family members. Even walking to the store can be complicated by a friendly wave or eye contact from a stranger.

        As puzzles are completed, the player gains Social Points which help build social stamina. Traveling to new areas reduces energy temporarily, but opens up a different array of social puzzles and life experiences.

        And when the player is completely exhausted, he/she heads home to recharge by playing videos games and relaxing on the couch. Peace and quiet can be rejuvenating.


Solving a puzzle (top left), recharging energy by playing video games (top right),
socializing in a crowd (bottom left), and navigating a romantic encounter (bottom right).


Spoiler: Long picture. • show

The first five areas. A set of dioramas in order.



THE CATERPILLAR

        There aren't actually any caterpillars in this game. I mean, not in the most obvious sense. But wouldn't it be cute if there were? Feel free to play with any caterpillar friends you might have.


THE OTHER FEATURES

        Social Caterpillar is fairly straightforward and quick to move through. However, it does have several notable features:

        - Custom pixel art and music
        - Over 15 unique puzzles
        - Four characters to play as
        - Multiple secret areas and hidden puzzles
        - Minimal text
        - Pretentious metaphors (indie grade!)
        - I lied; there's at least one caterpillar
        - Multiple endings (probably three)



        If I get to where I like in the development, I may add an "Extrovert Mode." This will be an unlockable side-game with loose extroversion-based mechanics. But don't hold your breath. I mean, if you want to play a game about extroverts, go play Animal Crossing. Those adorable critters are ALL up in each other's business.




THE CREDITS
Spoiler: show



PROGRAMMING

Lannie "Merlandese" Neely III
Kan "Reives" Gao

ARTWORK & MAPPING

Lannie "Merlandese" Neely III


RUBY GAME SCRIPTS

Fantasist -- Save Layout
gerkrt/gerrtunk -- Text to Image
Ccoa -- UMS
Josiah Ivey -- Pans Free
Zeriab


MUSIC

Compositions by Lannie "Merlandese" Neely III
Mastering by Fernando "Ferdk" Carabajal

"Romantic Game," "Simple Game," and "Emotional Game"
by Kan Gao
Arranged by Lannie Neely III

"Charming Game"
by Laura Shigihara
Arranged by Lannie Neely III

"Interesting Game"
by Alice Lo
Arranged by Lannie Neely III


SFX

infobandit -- Telephone sound
HerbertBoland -- Telephone click
Benboncan -- Telephone vibration
fuzzpapi -- Heartbeat
THE_bizniss -- Door close
D W -- Door open
lauriesafari -- Glass door close
Percy Duke -- Happy Birthday
carminooch -- arguing
hinzebeat -- car passing
Pingel (free) -- car passing
claudiooliveira2 (free) -- Students talking
festivus31 -- PA sound
wshintani -- Airplane landing
OwlStorm -- clapping
monnie101 -- Mouth pop
MrAuralization -- Electric buzz


TESTERS

Akira Rafhael J.P.
Carlo Rey Gibas
Chie
Daniel "Lance Stone" Birtus
Emmy "Naska" Toyonaga
Fernando "Ferdk" Carabajal
Jack Hazelden
JessBMcCoy
Joel "Raxus" Marzzarella
Josh Tredinnick
Kan Gao
Kyo
Lance Stone
Laura Shigihara
Meelika "Moony" Mölder
Sean Gorey
Tier 3 Strangler
Unnamed


GAME ENGINE

Enterbrain (RMXP)


SPECIAL THANKS

Laura Shigihara
Alice Lo
Josh Tredinnick
Petter Ljungqvist
Strawberri
Unnamed

« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 11:29:31 PM by Merlandese »

Tumbles

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 05:05:23 PM »
...Great. Now I need some caterpillar friends. XD

Can't wait to give the full version a shot. :seraismile:

Spoiler: show


                                         

~

Vasha

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 12:32:49 AM »
Cool, dude! You gonna add a page for it to your twelvetiles website? I'll totally spread the word to some of my interweb friends if you do! ;)

Raxus

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 05:29:02 AM »
Rather, if I may ask, how's progress? This sounds super interesting, especially seeing as this is the other side of the coin for me.

Merlandese

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 01:04:58 AM »
Some asset updates. I actually have all of the sprites but one done now. This doesn't illustrate all of their movements or even the real final product in some cases, but I didn't have the patience to make this completely up to date. XD




« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 01:20:46 AM by Merlandese »

Raxus

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 01:06:38 AM »
I love the style, man. <3

Merlandese

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 04:49:33 PM »
Thank ye, kind sir.

Just released the pre-order of the album today.

Ferd and I have been working on it together. Hopefully you all enjoy it. :)



Merlandese

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 07:29:25 PM »
Also, here's a nice new screenshot:


Raxus

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2013, 10:30:46 PM »
Beautiful. Freaking cool.

Merlandese

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2013, 12:08:14 PM »
Thanks guys. :)

Mm, yeah, they are sharper. The characters are drawn with regular 1x1 pixels, but all of the background objects are strictly 2x2 pixels, making them thicker in every respect. The cafe picture here sort of makes it pop out more, but I'm comfortable with how it looks in the end. Having the different pixel sizes puts on emphasis on the characters as opposed to the background objects--so they stand out rather than blend in. It also lets me make the people look far more detailed, and really this game isn't about the areas so much as the people you have to encounter within the areas.

Hopefully it all works out in motion. :)


EDIT: Updated the first thread a bit, hopefully to make it sound more attractive.



Solving a puzzle (top left), recharging energy by playing video games (top right),
socializing in a crowd (bottom left), and navigating a romantic encounter (bottom right).
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 01:54:33 PM by Merlandese »

Raxus

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2013, 01:11:48 AM »


Needwant.

Merlandese

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2013, 01:49:14 PM »
Here's a needless progress thing. It's basically the stages of production I went through for the majority of the game's settings and interface.

The picture on the bottom right is how it looks now.


Raxus

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2013, 03:19:31 PM »
I think you may have spelled compromised wrong. Looks really really nice. No criticism yet!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 03:22:09 PM by Raxus »

Merlandese

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2013, 12:05:42 AM »
I think you may have spelled compromised wrong. Looks really really nice. No criticism yet!

I did. Great catch!

Let it never be said I don't appreciate testers--for this very reason! XD

Merlandese

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Re: Social Caterpillar (No Demo Yet)
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2013, 10:18:28 PM »
A Personal Adventure by Merlandese