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      Game Culture — pixel art game

      Get ready to peek-a-boo this upcoming game, Bug-a-boo Pocket!

      Get ready to peek-a-boo this upcoming game, Bug-a-boo Pocket!

      Now, now, who doesn't love bugs? We at Mega Cat Studios adore and preserve the life of bugs as much as we can! And this upcoming pixel featured game we have for you will definitely make you love bugs more! 

      We had the fly-some moment to interview the team behind Bugaboo PocketA story-driven virtual pet game starring bugs from land, air and sea! Tuck your bug in at night and greet them in the morning with realtime gameplay. Spoil them with minigames, food and furniture. Discover how even the smallest action impacts your pet!

      Get ready to flap your small wings as we discover the story on how this game is made! 

      How was this game born?

      We started making Animal Crossing scenes during the pandemic so we could go on virtual dates. After that, we started brainstorming our own game ideas. A digital pet game about bugs had a message we believed in (bugs are good!) and also was something we could realistically finish.

      What was development like?

      Since we are also life partners, we talk about the game on and off throughout the day. We have a whiteboard in our office where we sketch out ideas. Every aspect of the game’s production is a collaborative effort.

      We spent a lot of time figuring out which bugs we wanted to include in our games, and some were excluded simply because they were far too spindly for the pixel art style I was shooting for. Our native resolution is fairly low so we needed to choose bugs which could be clearly read. 

      What did you learn about yourself through this game?

      We both come from technical backgrounds but we’ve never created a game on our own. Over time, we’re slowly gaining confidence in our game design abilities in addition to honing our technical skills.

      I’ve always pushed for highly polished art at every point of production because I feel it keeps us motivated. That said, it’s a huge time sink and I’ll likely go about things differently next time around.

      What makes this game special?

      There aren’t many games that show bugs in a positive light (which is changing thankfully)! We showcase real world bugs that normally would not be protagonists and when you play the game you actually learn about their life cycles, habitats and food sources.

      We have also challenged ourselves to go above and beyond what a classic digital pet game offers. Our game has a storyline, objectives, death mechanics and so much more!

       

      What games influenced this one the most?

      Since we’ve been together, we’ve introduced each other to so many games we normally wouldn’t have tried on our own. I have a vast knowledge of retro games, and Sarah plays a lot of modern indie titles. Both have greatly influenced us.

      Bugaboo Pocket is inspired by digital pet games like Tamagotchi and Neko Atsume. Our minigames are inspired by classic twitchy arcade games. We’re hoping to appeal to both types of fans with our game.

       

      Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

      We’re always doing low-level research by observing the bugs around us, going to natural history museums and watching documentaries. We even went to Japantown in San Francisco and bought an insect guide book filled with beautiful photography to use as reference. One night, we walked along the beach to watch active sand fleas. I was able to get some pretty amazing footage, but paid the price after receiving some pretty wicked bites. Worth it.

       

      Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

      Oh, absolutely! I’m incredibly biased here given that I spent a great deal of my childhood in arcades, but I do feel like those twitchy games of yore helped develop my cat-like reflexes. 

       

      What's your favorite memory as a gamer?

      I mentioned it briefly before, but a more recent memory I have is of Sarah and I going on virtual dates early into the pandemic. At the time, it was really our only option. We had just met and desperately wanted to go, well, anywhere. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I created a huge park for us to explore together and even built a seaside Taco Bell. (Nothing screams romance like Taco Bell.)

      I also have a much older memory from childhood which I still remember vividly to this day. One Christmas Eve, my father called me downstairs to see “a special on TV about the Sega Genesis”. I ran downstairs and watched as footage of Sonic the Hedgehog played. I started to grow suspicious as the footage began to loop. Sure enough, it was just the in-game demo. Needless to say, that was the year I received my first 16-bit system.  

      Who will enjoy this game the most?

      Digital pet fans and bug lovers will really enjoy playing this game. Our game also has a gay storyline so hopefully queer players will enjoy Bugaboo Pocket too.

       

      Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?

      You should play this game if you want to experience a fresh take on the digital pet genre and/or if you’ve always dreamed of having a pet bug. You’ll see beautifully animated bugs, some of which have never been depicted in pixel art before.

      How do you want this game to be remembered?

      We’re hoping that this game might help some people get over their fear of bugs or at least have a newfound appreciation for them. We also want bug lovers to feel validated with a game that’s made with them in mind.

      What's next?

      We’re working on a public Steam demo! Out later this year.

      Anything else you'd like to add?

      Love bugs, don’t be afraid! They are your friends.

      Check the announcement trailer here:

      Follow Bugaboo Pocket on their Website, Twitter and Tiktok to get the latest updates from them and Wishlist the game on Steam!

      Come out, come out wherever you are! - SCHiM

      Come out, come out wherever you are! - SCHiM

      Livingin the shadows is quite a sad and hard task, but Ewoud, the Producer and Game Developer, of SCHiM, made us see how easy and fun it looks!

      The player plays as a SCHiM, the soul and spirit of an object, thing, or living thing. Everything in the world has one. A SCHiM should NEVER be separated from their thing! This does happen to the SCHiM the player will play in this game. This SCHiM who is attached to a human being is separated from him early on in the game and you as the player will have to get back to him before it's too late! 

      Come out of the shadows quickly because here's how our interview with them went!

      How was this game born?

      The game was started out as a project for my college exam for my Game Development course. I was able to collaborate with my previous intern company, Extra Nice, after a lot of social media and press attention, we decided to make SCHiM a full fledged game.

      What was development like?

      During the development of SCHiM, I was able to get a real grip of what (indie) game development actually looks like, compared to my time back at school. I found out that it takes a lot more planning and a lot of concepting, testing and reiterating. Things that I wouldn't have gotten a lot of experience in otherwise.

      What did you learn about yourself through this game?

      Through the development of SCHiM I learned what kind of games I want to make and how I go about working on my own. The development of the game started during the pandemic so I had to adapt to working at home and staying productive.

      What makes this game special?

      I think what makes SCHiM special, is that it is a universally relatable concept. Almost everybody remembers jumping on the cracks in the pavement or the lines at a crossing, or in this case the shadows.

       

      How does sound play a role in the game?

      We are glad to work with a company called Moonsailor, who is producing the audio and music for the game. The audio in the game helps with the world building of the game, but we are careful to also implement visual cues, to better aid those with trouble hearing.

      What games influenced this one the most?

      A game that I took inspiration from in the beginning was Splatoon, even today we get many people referencing that same inspiration when they see the game in action.

      Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

      The biggest moments during development have been the reactions to the game online. The game has gone viral a few times, and the reactions from players were a big inspiration to keep going, and seeing that our hard work is being seen.

      Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

      Games are still a relatively new medium, I think it really is up to the developer to have the creative freedom to create their game the way they want to make. Of course there are basic mechanics and interactions that have matured along with generations of games (e.g. pressing a button to jump, using a joystick to move, etc). These mechanics are easy to implement and are usually expected in any modern game, but if your game works (better) without, let's say a jump button, then I don't see why that has to be preserved.

      What's your favorite memory as a gamer?

      My favorite memories are from my early days playing Minecraft with my friends, and making playable minigame creations in the singleplayer mode. I think this is where I was able to have an early creative output as a kid.

      Who will enjoy this game the most?

      Ideally I think everyone should be able to enjoy SCHiM, I think the people who will enjoy it the most are the platformer and the exploration players.

      Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?

      You should play this game to know how it feels to live in the shadows!

      How do you want this game to be remembered?

      If this game would be remembered in any meaningful way, even to a few, then I consider it a job well done. A childhood favorite, an inspiration for one's own project, or just a good time, that would be fantastic.

      What's next?

      For me, I'll probably work on new game prototypes while doing a simpler job in the game industry for a little while.

      Anything else you'd like to add?

      Wishlist SCHiM! :D

      Check out SCHiM trailer here:

       

      Follow Ewoud on Twitter, Instagram, YoutubeDiscord, Tiktok to get the latest updates from them!

      The Apocalypse is coming. Run.

      The Apocalypse is coming. Run.

      Have you ever had dreams about the apocalypse or maybe fighting off zombies? We did, and Mega Cat Studios had the awesome chance to interview the Producer from Coldwild Games, Vladimir Slavabout the development of their up-and-coming turn-based zombie RPG, Stories from the Outbreak. Get your guard up and prepare your weapons as we get to know their story on making this game.

      How was this game born?

      We want to make fun games that try to tell a story or provide a specific experience. The main idea is to combine and reflect on the fragmentation of society through gameplay mechanics and the fates of different people.

      What was development like?

      The project was overambitious at first, but we toned it down and focused on a few systems that we wanted to perfect. The map became smaller, but much more intense in terms of events. The Combat was the primary focus for multiple months of development.

       

      What did you learn about yourself through this game?

      That longer projects are still tough to complete but are doable. We’ve learned that we can rely on one another and solve things together, through ups and downs.

       

      What makes this game special?

      Eastern/northern-European setting. There are not many games that take place in Latvia, showing a pretty unique fusion between different cultures.

       

      How does sound play a role in the game?

      We’ve tried to create an apocalyptic atmosphere with a soundtrack made by Roman Lamcev: he actually built some of the instruments that he used to record it, to give the soundtrack a “makeshift” vibe, as if it was made with instruments built after the apocalypse.

       

      What games influenced this one the most?

      Octopath Traveller, Darkest Dungeon, Slay the Spire, Faster than Light

       

      Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

      When I had to describe a conversation system between characters to the team, I took a chat log and split it algorithmically: * person 1 does something -> * person 2 reacts -> * person 1 gives a reply. Based on this, we’ve built an in-game conversation engine.

       

      Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

      I think every mechanic should serve a purpose and answer the question “what am I trying to achieve.” If an older game mechanics achieve something best – there is no need to discard it only because of its age.

       

      What's your favorite memory as a gamer?

      Playing Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and appreciating every part of it.

       

      Who will enjoy this game the most?

      People who like JRPGs and games with roguelike mechanics; people who like apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic games.

       

      Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?

      Zombies, stories, amazing turn-based combat.

       

      How do you want this game to be remembered?

      I want the final version of the game (post-early access) to be not only great gameplay-wise but also a storytelling tool that shows the fates of different people and how they deal with hardships and go through the apocalypse together, as different as they might be.

       

      What's next?

      Early access release, then a marathon towards the full one. More characters, more items, more stories to tell.

       

      Anything else you'd like to add?

      Thank you for your questions and good luck with your own games!

       

      Check out the game on Steam

      Check out Stories from the Outbreak trailer here:

       

      Follow Coldwild Games on TwitterFacebook, and Youtube to get the latest updates from them!

      Get ready to rumble! Big Boy Boxing is punching through your way!

      Get ready to rumble! Big Boy Boxing is punching through your way!

      *Ding ding ding! Think slapstick, pixel art, and boxing rolled into one. This is how our showcased game for this month is seen. Mega Cat Studios had a chance to interview one of the founders of Soupmasters, Martin Calander, about their upcoming slapstick boxing game, Big Boy Boxing! Ready for the punch? Here’s how it went! 

       

      How was this game born?

      The game was born after we created many funny characters with personalities during school time. And we needed a game to showcase them, first, we tried to make traditional smash bro like fighting game, but that didn't work out. After a while, we decided to try making a punch-out-esque game with our characters, and it evolved from there.

       

      What was development like?

      We are still in the development phase, but it's been souper fun!

       

      What did you learn about yourself through this game?

      I've learned that things take double the time I think they will when developing a game!

       

      What makes this game special?

      The characters, the slapstick humour, and the fast-paced boss-rush gameplay!

      How does sound play a role in the game?

      In gameplay, sounds are used as "tells" for the bosses' attacks. And the voice acting gives the characters another level of personality and relatability.

       

      What games influenced this one the most?

      Punch-Out!! for the Wii, Cuphead by Studio MDHR, and Undertale by Toby Fox.

       

      Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

      One really fun thing I've worked on is new approaches and ways of animating Pixel-Art, which hasn't really been developed since 3D in games was introduced.

       

      Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

      Yes, definitely worth preserving.

       

      What's your favorite memory as a gamer?

      My time creating plugins and mods for Minecraft.

       

      Who will enjoy this game the most?

      Lovers of 2D Animations or pixel art will surely enjoy this game.

      Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?

      You won't find another retro pixel art game with this level of animation and over-the-top characters. 

       

      How do you want this game to be remembered?

      I want the players to remember the characters in the game, and the journey those characters have been through! 

      (Here are some of the characters that will appear in the game!)

      RyanPsychoFreezy Star    Hank

      What’s next?

      We are working on getting this game ready for testers!

       

      Anything else you’d like to add?

      Be sure to wishlist Big Boy Boxing on steam! It's the easiest and best way to support us for now!

       

      Check out Big Boy Boxing trailer:

       

      Follow Soupmasters on TwitterInstagramDiscord, and Youtube to get the latest updates from them!