Long Overdue Update

My life lately …

Sorry I haven’t updated in a long time. Honestly, so much has happened that I’m not sure where to begin anymore. Long story short, I’m still working hard on Catadel.

I’ve gotten some (rightfully asked) questions about how to make Catadel stand out more in terms of gameplay and content. It’s lead to some design changes and vision changes, which means new things to prototype and try out. It also meant I had to write a lot more design docs and presentations than ever — and I’m already not a great writer. Basically, the team is going to focus more on the cats and giving them more individual qualities (like mood and traits). We’re hoping the new focus on the cat citizens will make the game stand out more from existing games in this genre.

Character mood will get a redesign and new gameplay

Prototyping and trying out the new gameplay means having to get a handle on all the tech debt that had accumulated. Ex: Some data should have been ScriptableObjects instead of MonoBehaviours, etc. Among the biggest pieces of tech debt was needing to upgrade to unity 2019, which meant handling the great prefab migration, which meant fixing up the way all GameObjects are initialized. Not to mention having to merge my changes to unity’s NavMesh Components with the new update components for 2019.

And then I got sick last Monday (like 2 weeks ago) and it still hasn’t fully gone away yet. It’s been one of those rides … so please bear with me.

I learned bear with me isn’t bear related. I wish it was. Photo by David Silverman

Update 0.6.r35 – Cows

Hi everyone!

It’s been awhile since the last post — the team’s been hard at work, but on a lot of planning and logistical things. I can’t talk about it in detail just yet, but know that we are working hard to secure a future for Catadel!

In the meantime, there’s been a small update to the demo of the game.

There’s also a requirement to type something into the bug summary text box. I’ve gotten some empty bug reports before and it can be very confusing to figure out what the bug is when there’s only a screenshot.

New: Shepherd Specialization

When your farmer reaches level 2, you’ll be able to choose between the Shepherd and Cook specializations.

The Shepherd specialization gives your farmer the ability to put down a Stables. You can then select the stables to buy Cows. Each Stable building can hold up to 3 animals. The animals all have a food trough from which they eat and a hay pile for sleeping. The farmer will need to refill the food trough with food when it’s empty.

Cows will produce milk on a fixed time (currently it’s 24 hours). Animals will display a thought bubble over their heads when are ready to be milked.

This cow is ready to be milked.

A farmer can then milk the cow to get a bucket of Milk, which can then be consumed as food.

Farmers can then milk the cow
And get a bucket of milk

There will be more farm animals available in the Closed Alpha (once we start rolling that out).

New bug reporter features

This update makes some changes to the bug reporter (Unity made some changes on their end, so I had to update). As a bonus, there is now have a “attach save file” check box so you can automatically attach your save files to the game. This will attach the save from WHEN YOU LAST SAVED. So if you want to send us a save of your game right now, you’ll have to manually save first. Hopefully this isn’t too confusing (if it is, I can change it).

New bug reporter

Other Minor changes

  • Fixed errors showing up when removing a building while cats are using furniture in the building
  • Updated profession hat colors — we’re in the process of updating the icons to correspond with these new colors

Preview: Farmer Livestock

Hi everyone,

It feels nice to get back to working on game features. Last week, I was so busy with GDC that I didn’t have time to do an update.

Here’s a preview of the livestock farmers can raise if they take the Shepherd talent. There’s a new Stables building!

The stables!

You can click on the stables and buy cows (and other animals in the future).

Run, cow! Run!
Eat, cow! Eat!

I’m working on deciding where to host the Closed Alpha and also setting up a Discord. Hopefully the discord will make it easier to communicate feedback with me and also force me to be more responsive. (I read everyone’s feedback and consider them, I promise!)

Catadel Reveal Trailer

This week, we made a trailer for Catadel!

We’re trying to build a community for the game, and getting people to know about it is the first step.

Please help us by sharing the trailer your friends and social media!

We’ll get back to implementing new features and Closed Alpha goodness next week! Thank you for your patience!

Update 0.6.r25 is out

Hi everyone,

A new update is out for Catadel’s Demo. That’s right, the current Catadel game on itch.io has officially become the demo version!

New Ranger and Architect hats!

Changes

  • New Hats have been added for the Architect, Ranger, and their apprentices
  • There’s now text telling you your computer’s “Recommended” graphics setting in the options menu
  • Roads now intersect when you cross them. T shaped intersections not yet implemented
  • Talents are now only applied if you click the accept button

There will be a few more art assets and bug fixes made to the Demo, but no more major updates.

Bad Optics will now start developing the full version of Catadel — there are many more features and levels we want to add! Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter if you want to participate in our Closed Alpha.

Why Go into Closed Alpha?

There are so many things I want to talk about on this subject, but since I’ve tried and failed to write down my thoughts over the last 2 weeks, I have resigned to the fact that I am a poor writer. I am exploring other forms of communication (such as doing a video instead). Please bare with me as I figure out the best way to communicate going forward.

Road Tool Improvements

Roads Now Intersect!

Hi everyone,

This week we worked on improving the road tool. Roads will now have an intersection visual when they cross.

Squires now have custom helmets

We also created custom helmets for squires.

These new features, along with some bug fixes, will be released in a patch either this weekend or early next week.

Update v0.6.r21!

Hi everyone, I have some news:

Soon, Catadel will enter into a Closed Alpha stage.

More details will be released in the coming week about what this will entail. In the meantime, you can also sign up for the newsletter. if you want to hear from us as soon as possible.

Now the fun stuff — Catadel was just updated to version 0.6.r21! 

Here’s what’s new:

Helmets!

Profession Level Up Talents

The Knight and the Farmer now have talents that you can choose when they reach level 2. The plan is to add talents to all the other professions as well. Perhaps a talent option every couple of levels so you can feel like each character is customized.

As an example of what talents can do, the Knight’s Shield Focus talent will equip all their apprentices with shields and also increase the knight’s own armor.

Meanwhile, the Sword Focus talent will equip all the apprentices with two handed swords (2 handed attack animations not yet implemented. Also the sword models are temporary and a little large.) and grant the Knight 2 strength.

For the Farmer, the talents available at level 2 give them new abilities. 

You can choose to specialize as a Brewer or a Cook. The Brewer will get access to the Tavern (so not all Farmers have the Tavern anymore)

And the Tavern now provides 3 sleeping spaces. Actual brewing crops and making drinks not yet implemented (will be in a future update sometime in the next couple of weeks).

Meanwhile, the Cook gets access to 3 new abilities: The Wheat Farm, the Flour Mill, and the Outdoor Kitchen.

You can grow wheat again! If you have wheat in your town inventory and you build a Flour Mill, it will convert the wheat into flour (Effects and models for the gears grinding the wheat are not yet implemented, so the flour just appears on the flour of the flour mill periodically). The Storage Chest makes a comeback! You get one on the lower floor of the Mill and it will act like a Storage Location (but indoors!).

If you have flour in your town inventory, you can use the farmer to bake the flour into bread at the Outdoor Kitchen. You get 2 bread per bag of flour.

Yay bread! The Outdoor Kitchen also has some seating — the plan is to have cats be able to sit down and eat in a later update.

Other New Features/Changes:

  • Previous save games are compatible with the new update so you’ll be able to load up old saves. Your old taverns will not have the correct number of beds, unfortunately 
  • You can now restart a level. You will lose your characters’ gained experience and new characters you met in that level. When loading up an old save, since this data didn’t exist yet, the restart of the old save will allow you to keep whatever characters you had in that level at the first load (think of it as a bonus?)
  • You will now get daily provisions from the Catadel when playing on the first level. The kingdom heard your feedback and has decided to provide more help to your settlement. (Level 2 and 3 may see some periodic provisions from the Catadel as well, but at a lower cadence). Also, in old saves, the provisions on level 1 will arrive at weird times. It’s supposed to arrive at 8AM if you have a new save.
  • You now only need to have 7 population in Level 1 to complete the level

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed a bunch of error pop ups about routing
  • Pathing during combat should now look a little bit better (less running past each other and clipping into enemies)
  • Fixed (theoretically) level 1 being in a weird state when returning to main menu and then starting a new game

Known Issues:

  • People can get stuck in weird pathing issues still where they walk constantly into a corner or don’t know how to walk around each other. Unity’s default Navigation system has a few quirks that I need to poke their engineers about. I’d rather not switch to a different navigation package, so hopefully there’s a good solution to it. 

Questions? Feedback? Please let us know in the comments below or the forums! Thank you for playing!

Preview: Flour Mill and Outdoor Kitchen

Preview of new farmer buildings

Here’s a preview of what we’ve been working on this week. Also in the pipeline:

  • Restarting a level — You’ll now be able to choose to restart a level if things aren’t going your way. This should alleviate the need to always be saving
  • Fixes for weird level loading issues when returning to main menu and loading a save
  • More interesting level up decisions (more to show next week)

Catadel Hotfixes: v 0.5.r19

New stairs tool: Click to place stairs where the ground glows purple.

Fixes this update:

  • Stairs Tool remake — You now can only place stairs in designated areas that are highlighted in purple when you click the stairs tool. Mouse over the highlighted areas and the stairs will automatically rotate to a valid orientation.
  • Combat music will no longer stack/play multiple instances
  • Cats will now be teleported out if a building blueprint is placed on top of them.
  • Leandra has a new face and coat texture
New Leandra!

Thank you to everyone that has provided feedback! (You can either post on the itch.io forums or via the in game suggestion tool.)

New Year, New Website!

Welcome to the new website home of Catadel!

First, an introduction. Hi! My name is Yang. Until now, if you’ve interacted with Bad Optics in any way, you’ve been talking to me.

In 2017, after years of working professionally in the games industry, I decided to take the plunge and create my own game as an independent developer. I wanted to make a game that combined my specialty in making simulation games with my love of games like Age of Empires.

Of course, there’re lots of other games that inspired Catadel to become its current form today. But that’s a story for another time.

Catadel has changed a lot since it was first published to Itch.io in April of 2018. The game’s come so far since then. Check out these screenshot comparisons:

Screenshot of the first build published on itch.io

Did you know? Catadel first published without sound effects. My friend, Jamie, created the first cat models (Thank you!) and all the other assets were bought from the Unity asset store.

Late July was when the UI got a make over

Catadel got an actual UI skin in late July. Then, in August 2018, 3D artists Mindy and David joined the team part time. They started creating new cat and tree models for the game. We’re slowly replacing the placeholder art assets with an art vision of our own.

The game today. New cat models, new tree models, and so much more

What new changes will 2019 bring? We’re so excited to find out! And we hope you’ll decide to come along for the journey!