The Many Ways To Skin Name A Cat

Development Blog Post – 16 August, 2020

As a general design and state-of-the-game update, let's dive into things that are on my mind.



Early Backer Rewards: Kitten & Guard Naming Plans


Thank you to everyone who's pre-ordered the game on itch.io thus far.

Pre-orders, and the demo, are still available on Tallowmere 2's itch.io page.

Reward plans:

  • Name a Kitten (via the 😻Feline Faithful backer tier and higher):
    • I'm leaning towards named kittens being part of a multi-run collectathon, with an achievement for finding them all.
    • Depending on how many kittens will be named, might let backers choose style and customisation options to let each kitten look different.
    • May also let backers choose a minor attribute / modifier for their kitten too, but not 100% sure yet (eg, would this be a permanent modifier, or something persistent but choosable per-run?)
  • Name a Guard (via the 🔑Quadruple Conundrums backer tier and higher):
    • Unlike the kittens, there will not be as many custom guards needing names, and guards can also have their sentences be fleshed out by their backers.
    • Special room types (or at least special areas within certain rooms) are planned, so I am leaning towards having guard NPCs be tied to assisting with overseeing said special areas.
    • As such, may be able to offer different clothing types and creature types for guards depending on the theme of each special area or room, to really make the guards feel special and purposeful.

These ideas aren't 100% concrete yet (still have other things to code first!) but I hope this gives more insight into what I'm planning.

Closer to the initial early access release, I will solidify and confirm what to expect, and also announce a cut-off date for when the rewards will be closed, so things can be locked in.

If you have any suggestions, ideas, or questions, please contact me.



Coding

Bugs and design considerations. There are a few. I'm still working through the list. It also takes time to compile and test, so ~monthly rollouts of patch fixes seems to be my flow of late. Latest patch (0.1.6) was also focusing on online co-op bugs, which isn't accessible in the demo, but needed to be fixed nonetheless.

I've automated my build flow to dance between server-compiling and client-compiling reasonably quickly. Most server/client testing happens on a single computer, but for live testing, the upload and deployment process is also fairly streamlined. Also test on my Windows laptop, Linux PC tower, and MacBook from time to time, and on my Android phone and iOS devices here and there too.

It takes time to test, but such is life in the world of game development.



Covid

New Zealand managed to keep the virus at bay for about 3 months. I enjoyed being able to leave the house a bit (I often take my laptop and code at local libraries, donut shops, and other fast-food outlets; gives me a good break from being stuck in my house 24/7 – and is a lot more cost-effective than leasing an office).

But, the virus has come back to New Zealand's public, so I am back to being at home again for the coming weeks. It doesn't really matter where I code, but "working from home" really can make one go stir-crazy to some degree. Last time lockdown happened here, I would even sit in my car in my garage, just to be "alone" and get some peace and quiet from my family and other household members. It's been a challenging year so far.



Psoriatic Arthritis

As some of you may be aware from previous posts scattered around, I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease a couple years ago called psoriatic arthritis. It completely threw a wrench into my life, especially with trying to develop Tallowmere 2 in a timely manner. The fatigue and brain fog that my immune system would make me succumb to, is, or was, horrible. Pain is one thing, but not being able to think or function properly is something else entirely.

Finally though, after two specialist doctors, a few MRI scans, and three different medicines... we seem to have found a medicine that my liver accepts happily enough, and seems to have greatly reduced my inflammation.

I can think again. It's amazing.

I can sleep and actually feel refreshed. I'm not needing two or three naps every day; sometimes just one, but often none at all. I can exercise again without ridiculous over-exertion exhaustion from a mere 15 minutes of exercise. I'm able to go 30-40 minutes again like I used to. And when I do need a nap, I can just sleep for an hour and wake up and have energy, rather than knowing it's going to take me 3-4 hours for my brain to actually "wake up", which at that point it's basically time to go back to sleep for another nap, or retire for a night's sleep.

It's a ridiculous disease. The things your own immune system can do to you when it mistakes your own body and healthy tissue as enemy intruders...

But luckily, have found a medicine that is helping. Things are a lot better. It's good for my quality of life, and being able to work on coding these dungeons again!



Road to v0.2.0

I am anticipating v0.2.0 to be the "early access" release. There are some number-related stats I would like to overhaul slightly (at the moment, stats on shields feel a bit lacklustre, and gold is a bit too plentiful for long runs), and more curses need to be added.

But as the bugs are being resolved, and online co-op testing is a lot more stable than before, things are nearing enough stability to be ready for the masses.

Probably leaning more towards Q4 2020 than Q3 2020 at this stage, but things are looking good.


Thanks for your continued support.

– Chris


 
Tallowmere 2
© Chris McFarland 2020

Tallowmere 2

  • Roguelike platformer
  • Work-in-progress
  • Steam & Mobile ETA: Q3/Q4 2020

Platforms – Play the demo

News – August 2020

Development

Game Info

Socialise