“Oh! I can’t watch this!” she said as she curled up in her chair covering her eyes.
“No! No, it’s fine! I got this, I just have to figure out how I want to jump.” I said, concentrating.
I have to admit, it’s always nice to see a member of a development team reacting to someone playing their current project. I’m so used to feeling that sense of worry or watching it cross Brad’s face that I don’t even think about other developers/artists going through it.
I was at the local game dev meet up, where a few people (including Brad) had brought their games for people to try out. I actually hadn’t planned on trying anything out but had been handed the controller by someone who was finished playing. You don’t exactly want to say “no thanks” when someone who made the game is nearby, but being one of the few females in the group it was bit nerve wracking. I also have this anxiety when it comes to people watching me play games. It’s that inner feeling of your gaming skills being judged. I have no idea if it’s because I’m a girl or what but its there.
I was attempting to figure out how to maneuver through bouncy mushrooms to drop down to the next part of the level and the difficulty I was having was causing some “distress” to Megan, the artist who was showing the game off. When I say distress, I mean the distress you feel when you see someone SO close to getting somewhere that you have become personally invested in their success. I did eventually make it through the mushroom maze, thankfully.
“So what is the purpose of the cats?” a voice asked behind me.
I whipped around.
“What’s the purpose of the cats?! Why would you need a purpose to have a HERD OF CATS FOLLOWING YOU?!” I said in a rather incredulous manner. I was determined to get through this demo.
The Legend of Excalipurr is a retro style platformer with the novel idea of recruiting cats with extraordinary capabilities that you implement to destroy enemies. You’re kind of like the Professor X of a cat sanctuary. I only got three cats in the demo, one of which gave me the ability to boost and the other two served as a bow and arrow and a sword. Megan told me that the cats are actually based off of cats that the development team knows, which was even more interesting to me. “The fat, gray one (sword) is based off of my cat.” she said matter of factly, a fact I enjoyed because who doesn’t enjoy hearing about someone’s fat, gray cat? That just led to discussion about the bitter, gray cat that resides in my house. Also the loud orange and white one, and the jungle beast of a black and white cat.
I will be 100% honest, I am eager to see how this game turns out. I had a twinge of sadness when I heard that their kickstarter had failed because THE INTERNET LOVES CATS WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING THIS DREAM?! Who doesn’t want to be the cult leader of cat superheroes? I like the design and I did really enjoy the gameplay. Also, despite the fact I’m married to platformer lover Brad Borne, I’m not huge into platformers. My niche is more RPGs. I enjoy a good storyline and dialogue (which is why I usually elbow my way into FPA), but I really enjoyed playing this game. I would LOVE to sit and play it with my kids watching and I know they’d enjoy playing it because, um, again, herd of cats. I only got three abilities which just makes me even more curious about how the gameplay progresses as you accumulate more cats. Also, I died laughing when I got to the demo boss. I’m not spoiling it. Go play the demo on Steam. If you don’t get the reference you are banished from Bornegames until you figure it out. Not really, but I’ll say that because the reference is that awesome. I’m also making a massive assumption that its the same demo boss, or even that you get to a boss in the Steam demo. You should go play it anyway.
I mean, it is pretty rare that I play a demo and decide to buy a game. Especially a platformer. Usually I play a small slice and I’m satisfied. That’s mostly because storylines are what drive me to finish a game. Sort of like reading a good book. You just have to finish it. This game I want to purchase. The gameplay seems solid, the idea is phenomenal, and the character design doesn’t make me want to throw my controller at the screen. There are times Brad has played demos and I’ve just mocked character design. Maybe that makes me a horrible person or maybe its just ironic seeing as Brad’s main character is a stick figure in orange pants. Maybe it’s both. I’ll own that though.
As long as I get my own herd of cats.