Inspiration

I got a Cardboard late last year and really enjoyed playing around with it. I was thinking about the limitations of Cardboard and what types of games you could make in it.

The primary limitations are:

Very few input options. Performance is a top priority, which means graphical fidelity is capped. Experiences should be short. Only a few minutes at most.

With these limitations in mind, the idea of Pokemon Snap seemed like a great fit. First, an on rails experience lets the player experience a larger area. And you only need camera movement and one button to play. Exactly what you have on Cardboard!

I decided upon the idea for cats in an alley because it fulfills the other two requirements.

We keep rather low poly counts, because we only have buildings, cats, and a little bit of other scenery to worry about. The size of the space is also limited, which let's us further limit what's on screen at any given time.

Since an alley is small, the experience can easily last a couple minutes while still feeling complete.

What's missing?

A few main things didn't make it into this build, just due to real life getting in the way of development. .

Animations for the cats are a big one. Right now the world feels very static. They're still cute, but it would be way better if they were doing lots of random stuff, as your pictures could be quite different each time.

Cat variety is also missing. I wanted to make a few variations on the cat model, in addition to many textures for the cats.

I also wanted special events that could occur randomly. For instance, a cat fight, cats meowing at each other from the fences, a cat party, etc. These would give a lot of replay value.

Microphone input. Since Cardboard only has one button, I wanted to add special events that would trigger on microphone input. For instance, a cat could be in a trash can. The player yells at the cat and he jumps out of the trash can and runs off.

Scoring system. Right now you can take pictures of the cats, but, since they're static, I didn't see any point in spending time on a scoring system, when I could improve the scene itself. Once animations and random events are added, then a scoring system makes much more sense.

HATS! The only thing cuter than cats, are cats in little hats.

I had modeled a number of hats, but accidentally overwrote the file, (whoops!) so hats are another thing I would like to add. It really amps up the cuteness and incentive to play again.

Will development continue?

Yes, but not in the immediate future.

I just got my first Vive a few weeks ago and would like to start developing for that, which means no time for Snap a Cat :(

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Updates

posted an update

Phew. Had a lot of trouble getting some of this to work on mobile.

Turns out I had to do everything myself on this, too.

I spent the majority of my time modeling, and doing a poor job of learning to animate in Blender. :)

The game itself turned out very simple, just due to lack of time. I'm still pretty happy with it.

Note that the picture viewer is a little bugged at the moment. The pictures will overlap, but you can still tap on them to make them larger and share them.

Let me know what you think! I'll continue working on this, even though this is now over.

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posted an update

Lack of updates is mainly from me learning 3d modeling :)

I'm back to coding now, and am currently struggling to find a good way to take screenshots of a Cardboard game.

Since I'm using Unity I should be able to have a separate camera render to a texture, then save that texture to a png.

I've got the rendering to a texture part working, but not having luck saving it to a png without having the camera active. Which, of course, is no good for a cardboard game :)

That's the biggest technical hurdle I currently anticipate. The rest of the project is going to be adding content and working out a scoring system.

I must admit, I'm also a little worried about adding animations to the cats.

I'll probably procrastinate animating by modeling many hats for the cats. ^_^

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