The Witching Meow-er is a game created by Team Cat, which consists of English major student Harrison Lavin and Computer Science major student Luke Berry (both at Northeastern), who has taken some electives on music. The team decided to work mainly with GameMaker because Harrison was already familiar with this program. He creates the levels with this program and some of the interactions, while Luke is working on the scripts that they will import into GameMaker. Luke also works on some of the art work and probably will do the music, but as he said “that won’t be until later, when we know what sounds we want.”
They decided on their title early on and the concept too. It is a side-scrolling 2D adventure, where you play a witch’s cat familiar. The witch has been kidnapped and it is up to the cat (that is you, the player) to save her. Because you are a cat, you have of course nine lives to make this happen.
However, their concept changed on Saturday. At first, the idea was that the witch’s cat had “shifting personal gravity” as Harrison explained. This means you as a player were in control of how gravity would impact you. Because this seemed too difficult to implement, in their next iteration the cat should now automatically clunk onto any objects it touches. Another change is that the cat does not hunt down someone. Now the cat has to steal keys instead by defeating three wardens in order to find the witch. But defeating these wardens, which the two considered “boss fights,” was still something they were not so sure about whether they would be able to make it. The wardens are evil robots.
Something else the team is still unsure about is the relationship between their game and the theme. Throughout the levels the cat would need to fight all kinds of enemies and the cat can kill these by shooting heartbeats. They plan on chopping up the heartbeat .wav file that was distributed to all jammers and implement this in their game. But why heartbeats kill the enemies, that’s still a small glitch they have to think about. “It is magic,” Harrison added, “and you play a cat that has magic skills.” Another way of how the cat can kill the enemies is by dropping chandeliers on enemies.
See here the final presentation of their game:
To play the game go to the game’s global game jam site here.
- Harrison Lavin
- Studies: English major at Northeastern
- GGJ Role: Level design and programming
- Luke Berry
- Studies: Computer Science at Northeastern University
- GGJ Role: Programming, Art and Music
Interviewed and written by Casper Harteveld.