WE DID IT!! WE GOT CAT PRESIDENT OUT THE DOOR BEFORE THE ACTUAL ELECTION IS OVER!!!!!!
You can buy it now for $8.99 on Steam. Frickin’ STEAM!! That’s like, where real people release their computer games!
For anyone who missed my post from this spring, Cat President: A More Purrfect Union is the visual novel that Michael Gray and I have been working on since last fall. You can see the actual Twitter exchange where we came up with the concept here. (Sadly, we never used the “one of the debates is entirely in emoji” idea.) The game is equal parts political parody and uncomfortable dating sim, and with 350 pages of text and around 6-8 hours of gameplay, it’s by far the biggest game we’ve ever released.
Feedback has been surprisingly kind so far—surprising only because it’s a rather unusual game, and when you post a rather unusual game on Steam, it usually gets dumped on by people saying it’s “trash” or “ruining Steam” or “not actually a game.” It helps too that I’ve officially been through the wringer on Steam Greenlight; if you can make it out of Steam Greenlight with your self-esteem intact, criticism of your games will never, ever bother you again. It’s like immersion therapy for people telling you you’re worthless.
A few of my favorite coverages of the game:
- A series of Cat President ASMR videos.
- A Twitch stream (later posted as a YouTube Let’s Play) that has nearly 70,000 views—many many many MANY times over the number of people who actually bought the game.
- An article from Destructoid where it seems Cat President is the worst thing that’s ever happened to this person in his entire life. (Can’t win them all!!)
- This detailed review from Geeky Sweetie where we managed to scrape a 5/5 “Sweetie” rating.
But that’s enough about purrlitics for now! Here’s some of the other stuff I’ve been working on:
- The Beard in the Mirror. I’ve been talking about it here for years. Lizo, my wife and co-developer, has been talking about it online for over a decade. It’s finished. We finished it. The code’s complete; the art’s complete. EVERYTHING IS COMPLETE! I just have to, like, make a trailer, and clear a week in my schedule to publish it. I can’t believe we’re finally here. When Lizo first started working on this game, we weren’t even dating yet.
- If you haven’t heard the news on Twitter, Life in the Dorms is finally coming to the PC! Courtesy of my former colleague over at GameCola, Jeddy, who’s handling the port, redoing all the game’s controls so they’ll work with a keyboard and mouse. This, like Mirror, has been a long time coming; Life in the Dorms was my first foray into game development. We released it four years ago tomorrow on Xbox Live Indie Games, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t even exist anymore. To this day it’s still the only full-length game I’ve written/designed myself; Cat President was written by Michael, Mirror was co-written by Lizo, and Awkward Steve is like a half-hour long. It’s been a while, but Dorms is still a huge deal for me, and I’m super-excited—not to mention grateful—that it’s finally coming out on a platform where people can actually play it.
- Speaking of Awkward Steve! I’ve also written the script and filmed all the footage for the second (and possibly final?) Awkward Steve game, which I’m tentatively calling DON’T TURN YOUR BACK ON THE OCEAN. This was all done when we still lived in California; we moved cross-country (again) to New York over the summer. Now that we’re settled in I’m excited to dive back into the footage, and also terrified that everything will be in the wrong perspective, or it’ll all be blurry and unusable or something, and I won’t be able to do anything about it because the house I filmed it in is 3,000 miles away. (Not to mention my hair’s a lot shorter now.)
- Francy Two continues to chug along! It was actually chugging along quite nicely, until the one-two punch of Cat President and Mirror wrapping up at exactly the same time and demanding all my attention. IIRC, when I left off I was editing the game’s voice-acting, which, it turns out, I love doing. I talked a long time ago about how satisfying it is to see your game come to life when you add in music and sound effects; here, it’s like I’m seeing the characters come to life.
- And finally, CONTRACT WORK. Lots and lots of contract work! Sometimes I go entire seasons without picking up any contracts, and sometimes LITERALLY ALL THE CONTRACTS COME AT ONCE! Lately, I’ve been testing gamebooks like Saga of the North Wind and Sorcery (is) for Dummies for Choice of Games, and proofreading Shadow Tactics for Daedalic. …Actually, I need to stop this post now so I can get back to that. Later!!