The Making of Chickens ‘n Kittens, Part 4

This is Part 4 in the Making Of Chickens n Kittens series. Part 3 is here.

Now that the island is floating in the sky, how do the kittens even get to the island? Well, the most obvious answer is they parachute in.

Screenshot of spider monster kittens parachuting down to the island

See the peppermint near the top of the screen? That is actually a parachute. There is a kitten hanging below it. There is another kitten just entering the scene on the upper right. Okay, obviously those aren’t kittens. Those are placeholder spiders we used while working on the skeletal animation.

See the rainbow colored contraption at the top of the screen? That is the catapult. It was eventually removed from the game, but the idea was the player could grab a kitten, load it into the catapult, and launch it into the blue. You could aim the catapult using a spyglass that even had a slick refraction effect. The catapult was eventually removed because it didn’t really add anything to the game. Why should the player spend all the time and effort required to catch a kitten, carry the kitten over to the catapult, load the catapult, and fire? It was easier just to throw a grenade.

One last major change from Part 3 is that the entire game has been ported from C++ and OpenGL to C# and XNA. That gave us the ability to run the game on the Xbox 360, which seemed like a great idea.

The Making of Chickens ‘n Kittens, Part 3

This is Part 3 in the Making Of Chickens n Kittens series. Part 2 is here.

The water is a waste of time. For one thing, it uses way too many hardware resources and creates a few gameplay problems. Can the player swim? Can the player drown? Is the player blocked from going too far into the water by some invisible barrier? And the biggest question of all- can chickens and kittens drown?

One rule from the very beginning that has never changed is that the kittens never suffer. They may explode into a spectacular shower of blood and gibs, but they don’t suffer. So the water has to go.

A screenshot of Chickens n Kittens

Now the island is floating in the sky, and a fence prevents the player or chickens or kittens from leaving. The chickens and kittens and player all have new art (the white thing in the middle is the player. He was missing his textures when this screenshot was taken). And look at the new mini-map in the top-left corner of the screen.

When the island was in the middle of the ocean the plan was that kittens would swim or arrive by boat somehow to the island. But now that it’s a floating island with a fence, how should the kittens arrive to the island in the first place?

The Making of Chickens ‘n Kittens, Part 2

This is Part 2 in the Making Of Chickens n Kittens series. Part 1 is here.

Click the image below to see a gameplay video from a very early version of CnK. This is a good example of what the original concept of the game was going to be. (Note: there is no audio)

The player controls the little guy on the center of the screen, and he throws grenades. The white and red things are very early versions of the chickens. There are no kittens yet. The action still happens on an island in the middle of the ocean. Doesn’t that water look nice? Too bad nothing else does…

Chickens ‘n Kittens

We’ve been hard at work on CnK. And to prove it the next several posts are going to go back and explore the long, winding road that brought us here.

First there was just an idea. The idea was that the game would take place on an island in the middle of an empty ocean. The game would be top-down third-person perspective. You would control the player and throw grenades at the kittens without blowing up your chickens.

Screenshot of empty island

The above image is the very first screenshot of what became Chickens n Kittens. In those days the code was C++ and OpenGL.

Same island but prettier

After more work the graphics began to improve. Now the island has a little more defined shape, the water fades into the foggy distance and has a bit of transparency.

Even prettier version of the island

After even more work the transparency of the water is based on how deep it is, so the island fades into the water a little more realistically. It looks okay, but all this fussing around with the water is taking way too long…