​Mid-mortem "Combo Critters"

We're now working on Combo Critters - definitely our most challenging project until now. Early December, one of our team members came up with the following prototype:

It's about making right combinations to get new creatures and surviving waves of enemies. We had a lot of fun playing this prototype, especially the part about combining monsters, so we decided to make it a full project after the release of Sky Chasers. 

Unfortunately, during development we noticed that people were not enjoying the first versions of Combo Critters as much as we hoped for. Looking backwards we believe we made the following mistakes:

Version 1: too unpredictable

We started with a grid screen where you were able to combine monsters. 

 
 

Once ready, it's time to go to battle:

Why did this version not work:

  • The grid screen led to confusion among players and observers. Observers thought this was a match-3 or puzzle game. Players didn't know why they needed to combine, when to stop combining, and what they were preparing for. 
  • On the battlefield players were tapping on the monsters expecting something to happen. 
  • Both grid screen and battle screen feel unpredictable and too passive.  

Version 2: too much grid

To solve above problems and get more live action into the game we integrated both battlefield and the grid in one screen:

 
 

There's a timer which gives you a new egg. Tapping the egg hatches you a new monster. After combining monsters, you need to tap to hatch faster. We also added bases as a goal to defend and defeat. 

Why did this version not work:

  • Players were too focused on the grid screen and don't see what's happening on the battlefield (admitting we humans can't do two things at a time). 
  • There's a limited amount of time to combine monsters since enemies are moving towards your base - combining should be fun instead of stressful. 
  • Initially we wanted to create a game where exploring, combining and collecting needed to be a central part of the game loop. 

version 2.5 even more grid

As a last trial we added an automatic coin system, expecting it to be more fun. We've seen this system before in games like Battle Cats and Metal Slug Defense:

 
 

Do you see it didn't solve the initial problem of being too focused on the grid screen? The grid screen seems even more hectic than before. 

At that time we were 6 weeks in development and made the tough decision to start completely over. This time we needed to concentrate on exploring, combining and collecting of the monsters. 

version 3 - currently in progress

Having the RPG genre in the back of our mind, we figured exploration obviously happens in 'mode7':

In progress: still needs to be integrated 

In progress: still needs to be integrated 

Explore planets and once you discover monsters, it's time to attack & collect:

 
 

Upgrade your collected monsters by combining them (currently in a separate screen): 

 
 

We play tested this version during #GDC16 and noticed that people are liking this version a lot. Finally, we're heading into the right direction! 

 
 

If you want to beta test Combo Critters, please join here: http://goo.gl/forms/uiLD6Mr1cc

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated: @luckykatstudios

Thanks! 

Best, Herdjie 

Nom Cat v2.0 is out!

Hello Lucky Kat fans! We worked hard on it, but it's finally here: Nom Cat v2.0! We did some tweaks, added a ton of new cats and loads of new features. Here's a list of the biggest changes:

 
Old titlescreen...

Old titlescreen...

New titlescreen!

New titlescreen!

 

The first thing you'll notice in Nom Cat is the title screen. We removed the first cat selection screen, so you're able to jump right into the action by pressing the play button. There's 2 new buttons in the titlescreen that do some cool things:

Turbo!!

The left button is the button for a new game mode: Turbo! Click it and you'll see the word TURBO appear. This game mode is for the Nom Cat experts! Are you ready for even faster fish and bombs?! Here's a tip: get good at this game mode, because there's some really awesome stuff you can unlock by getting a high score!

New Backgrounds

Yup, there's 5 beautiful new backgrounds to choose from! You can get into the background selection through the button on the right. You can unlock all of these with goldfish except for the space background. This one you have to get with a high score in Turbo mode. Trust us, it's really worth it!

Multiple Cats

Finally! You can select 2 different cats to play with. It's very easy: pick the one you want on the left and then pick the one you want on the right. You can also use the random button to let the game choose cats.

Note: since you can pick 2 cats now, we split up Venus/Roo and Oskar/Klaus. If you purchased these cats before, the seperate cats are unlocked automatically!

Other additions and tweaks

A couple more things you should know about:

  • We balanced out the gold fish
  • Nom Slots won't appear automatically anymore, you can select the Nom Slots minigame during the score screen
  • The Lucky Kat intro is skippable now by tapping
  • Share screenshots more easily! When you share your score, a screenshot is added to your message. And, a new cat might appear if you share... (note: this feature will follow on Android soon!)
  • The late Colonel Meow is in Nom Cat. He was an extraordinary cat with an amazing fur, check him out on Facebook!
  • A cat from Slamdovia enters the ring: Wrassling Cat!

Phew, that's quite some features, huh?
But that's not all folks. One more thing...

Play Grumpy Cat®, Nyan Cat® and Keyboard Cat®!

That's right, internet's most famous cats have joined Nom Cat! And best of all: they're unlockable with gold fish! This is the first time in history that these three cats appear in a single game! You'll definitely want to unlock these them. Funny things will happen when you play as these cats ;)

What are you waiting for? Download the update!

iOS: http://apple.co/1FA8fcf

Android: goo.gl/CEkqbs

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1KSIxPW

Nom Cat

Hello everyone! Nom Cat came out last week and what a wild ride the release week it has been! I've been meaning to write a blog post about Nom Cat earlier, but we've just been too busy working on the game.

 
 

If you didn't notice already, Nom Cat was featured on the App Store front page! Tons of people loved the game and we have an average of 4.7/5 stars with over 5000 ratings and reviews! Thanks for your support!

Development of Nom Cat

Nom Cat started off as one of those games where we thought to ourselves: let's make a simple and fun game in just 2 weeks! Of course that wasn't true in the end. We added a lot of things and even coped with delays!

 
Earliest Nom Cat prototype

Earliest Nom Cat prototype

First background

First background

 

In the beginning, Nom Cat was a just sketchy cat that eats fish and dodges bombs. We quickly started fleshing out the game, we added a background and gold fish that could be used as currency to unlock new cats.

But Nom Cat couldn't stay as sketchy as it was. We experimented with a few designs and we ended up with a grumpy looking cat, which we thought was the funniest and most iconic. We then started adding tons of new unlockable characters based on Nom Cat!

Early Nom Cat designs

Early Nom Cat designs

The rules of the game quickly changed too. We added 2 cats in the game which made catching fish and dodging bombs incredibly frantic. You were allowed to miss a few fish in the beginning. We removed this rule later, because we felt the game should have a more "Flappy Bird-like" experience. Make one mistake and you're out! The thrill of catching every fish was much bigger without a life line!

Famous Cats

Many people are asking us: can you add Grumpy Cat? Or Lil Bub? Pusheen? We'd love to add all the famous cats from the internet, but of course this isn't just a matter of simply adding them to our game. All these cats have owners and we need to ask their permission! We are really happy we were able to get so many famous cats in. If you want to support these cats, purchase them for only a dollar! A part will also go to charity!

So. Many. Cats.

So. Many. Cats.

What's next?

More famous cats will be coming to Nom Cat. Want to know which one? You'll have to wait a little longer before we announce them ;)

We're working hard on the next update for Nom Cat. I hope you're excited as we are. There's tons of new cats and improvements. See you next time!

 
 

Meet the team

Hello everyone! Here at Lucky Kat Studios, we're working hard on our games. We're still editing Nom Cat here and there and we've started working a new game! We'll have plenty to show about this in the upcoming weeks. First, let's do a long overdue introduction of the Lucky Kat team!

 

HERNAN - FOUNDER & GAME DEVELOPER

Growing up with NES and SNES games, Hernan has a passion for retro styled games and visuals. Apart from programming the games, he also does pixel art and animation! Check out the Momodora series for example, or our Mario-inspired Super Bunny World.

HERDJIE - CO-FOUNDER

Herdjie runs the business side of Lucky Kat Studios. He is also the founder of 8tea5, the best bubble tea franchise in the Netherlands and Belgium. If you ever decide to visit The Hague, go check out the 8tea5 store!

portrait-jasper-large.png

JASPER - PIXEL ARTIST

Jasper is the young, talented pixel artist in our team. His current ambition is defeating everyone at ping pong at the office. Before Lucky Kat Studios, Jasper worked on a really cool game called Penarium. Go check it out!

AND... LI DONG - MARKETING (ASIA)

The newest addition to the team is Li Dong. She will focus on marketing in Asian countries! Whenever she's not busy on Weibo or working on her thesis, she takes care of her chickens and her cat.