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TOPIC | Welcome New Players!

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The Not-Village



May 8, 2022 20:25:45
cats doing little jobs
Hello there and welcome to all 919 (!!!!??) new users who have joined us over the weekend. There are so very many of you and I'm looking forward to seeing all of you interacting with the site and bouncing around with all of your cats!

For those who weren't able to get in in time, do not fear, I'd ideally like to open the site up again in in-game Summer, so late June/early July.

I've put together this intro thread as a quick introduction to the site with just a bit of information about the immediate development plan. A full dev roadmap is available in the dev corner.

As always, please do feel free to stop by and ask any questions you might have in the Q&A Forum!

Read more about this update
-- Last edited on May 11, 2022 12:03:16
Cat's End Artist/Developer
Hope all of you are enjoying your cat time!
shorthair black st solidwhiteness: 0neutral eyesObsidian SmokeaaaaaaaaaaWhite Wildflower CrownBlue Wildflower Necklacerainbow moustache


The Not-Village



May 8, 2022 20:26:31
I thought it might be helpful to give a little bit of direction to the site, because it's still in early beta and so much information is scattered across a variety of update posts and threads. I'm also going to give a little update on where I'm at with Adventuring in this thread!

About the Developer

First of all, I am pretty much a one-squid team (and work full time outside of this)! I started this project in September 2019 after years of devising overly-elaborate forum games and collectable programs on Flight Rising. My shift to learning to code and building a pet site was mainly because my ideas for what I wanted to run as far as events and programs go outgrew what someone could do on a forum with a team of volunteers. (I am of course, eternally thankful to those volunteers for getting me as far as I have.)

The Alpha phase (with just 10 playtesters) started in late December of 2020 and we just moved into Beta this February!

As far as other important information goes... I've got one kitty of my own. Her name is Pilot, and she is the best kitty. Here she is:
dilute calico cat curled up in orb shape

The other admin account you might see around on occasion is my somewhat reclusive editor and wrangler of mods/helpers, @Naja. He's been super helpful and you might be seeing more of him in the future when the site starts to get a little bigger.

Development Priorities

The following is quoted from my Beta announcement post. I'm including this information because I think it'll help you to get a better idea of my vision for the game and the direction I'm headed in. These are the things that lie at the heart of what I'd like to see in Cat's End.

Developer Priorities
Low Time Commitment: I want the game to be manageable to play for someone who is busy working full-time, attending school, and so on. The game will probably not have features that require people to come back throughout the day all day long. I have this problem with pet sites a lot, where sometimes it feels like my job interferes with my ability to play and keep up with everyone else, so I want it to be something fairly lowkey and casual!

This game is 100% friendly to people who only stop by a few days a week, or briefly in the morning or evening. You can drop it and pick it up a couple months later, and it will be like nothing changed.

Lore Focus and User Driven: I am very largely focused on lore. There's a story in this site that will develop over the course of fun group plot events that everyone can participate in. The various adventuring locations will also have a bit of a running theme/story to them.

I would love for the userbase to feel involved in steering that lore too! You'll likely see numerous official polls along the lines of what region we should explore next, or how we should respond to situations. I'm thinking like... the biggest tabletop rpg ever.

This is going to shine a lot more after beta, because at that point I'll have the infrastructure built to do all the things I want to do with it. But know that this isn't the backburner 'it would be nice' type of thing, it's core to my goal for building the game.

Keyboard Navigation: The site can be completely navigated via keyboard controls only. I've got wrist problems that limit my use of a mouse, so I often need to use key controls to navigate the site. It's hard for me to even test and implement things like drag-and-drop, so if you're wondering why things sometimes are done in sort of bizarre ways, it's sometimes because of this (and sometimes being self-taught).

I care about accessibility a lot, and while I know that sometimes people have different needs that conflict with each other, please feel like you can come suggest something that would make your life easier! I am very likely to prioritize addressing these kinds of issues.

What does it mean to be in Beta?

hi For those who are wondering: There will not be any kind of reset, so your cats will stay!

Essentially, this means I'm still actively in development. Think of it as an equivalent to Early Access on Steam. There are a few core features that I'm still working on implementing, and it's great to have a group of users around to test things out and experience the site as this happens.

Infrastructure is fairly weak - you will probably spot some lag around midnight with so many of you around (I did not anticipate nearly this many)! This usually settles down within the hour, so if you notice the server getting a little fussy, it shouldn't be too long before it quiets down again.

Here's what happened last night for reference (load time in seconds):
graph of pageload time spike at midnight

The Primary core features still in development are Adventuring, Seasonal Festivals, Usermade/Custom Content, and a Premium Currency (because the server costs aren't cheap).

Adventuring is the biggest of these, since this is the "active" gameplay feature that will quicken the pace of the game. Right now, all the activities on site are once a day and done. Adventuring will be something you can do at your leisure. If you're left hungry for more after doing your dailies each day, know that that is normal, and it will improve some with Adventuring.

The good news is that Adventuring is well on the way, so it's something you can look forward to dropping this (irl) Summer. I don't currently have a more precise ETA for the feature.
-- Last edited on May 11, 2022 12:03:52
Cat's End Artist/Developer
Hope all of you are enjoying your cat time!
shorthair black st solidwhiteness: 0neutral eyesObsidian SmokeaaaaaaaaaaWhite Wildflower CrownBlue Wildflower Necklacerainbow moustache


The Not-Village



May 8, 2022 20:26:46
So tell me more about Adventuring?

Adventuring is the system where your cats are given classes, skills, and abilities and sent out on little adventures that are modeled after a simplified D&D and other tabletop games.

I have now implemented 7 classes, 60 abilities (4 starter and 56 unlockables), and 21 unique skills! So there's huge potential for a variety of strategies.

With Adventuring, you'll send your cats out to a location and steadily work your way deeper inside it. Each location has 4 unique zones/phases that each get progressively harder, so you might need to level up in the earlier zones a few times before you are able to make your way to the end. At the end of each location, there will be a one-time boss battle with special unlocks and events! (You'll get new scenes, expand your catpacity, and more).

Within those zones, there will be two types of encounters: Skill Challenges and Battles.

Skill Challenges are text-based and will feel very similar to the Daily Scenarios, but instead of cats interacting with each other, they'll be navigating a mini-cyoa that can be passed or failed.

For example, your cats will be faced with a cliff and must all either jump or climb it, or you find a locked safe and you have to pick which cat will attempt to get into it, and then whether they'll pick the lock or force it open with a crowbar.

Every zone of a location has 10 unique skill challenges that can occur.

Battles take place on a small top-down map with its own set of obstacles (trees, water, cliffs, etc.) and work very similarly to d&d. Your cats and the monsters will move and then use one of their abilities (could be a melee or ranged attack, first aid to heal, or any number of special abilities.) When you defeat the monsters, you'll get loot, a small chance of taking the monster home as decor, and delicious experience.

There are 5 unique monsters in each zone, and each monster comes in three recolors (common, uncommon, and rare).

Here are some screenshots that I've shared with friends that can give you a little sneak peek. The UI may change quite a bit between now and when you see it. My focus right now is making it work. I'll worry about making it pretty later on.

cat token on a topdown map escaping the page
cat token on a topdown map escaping the page
Pictured above: Pilot escapes the board and begins to run for the hills.
Context: From this weekend's work on pathfinding, movement, and line of sight (which are now successfully completed).

little leaf crab monsters surrounded by exclamation point speech bubbles
Pictured above: Leaf crab rave
Context: A (failed) experiment with exclamation points (since removed) in the battle intro sequence.

some rolled dice and random nonsense letters
Pictured above: Ominous nonsense and some rolled dice
Context: Back when I first started working on skill challenges, the bit that types text when you roll dice was a little.. quirky to say the least. This is, of course, fixed. However... it was extremely funny to watch it type in nonsense out of nowhere.

Currently, adventuring development is as follows:

Code/Infrastructure Work
Backend database infrastructure: 100% complete
Classes, abilities, leveling: 100% complete
Zone progression, snack breaks, scripted/plot encounters: 100% complete
Battle encounters: 40% complete
- - - - Movement, pathfinding, line of sight: 100% complete
- - - - Abilities and using items: 20% complete
- - - - Monster AI: 0% complete
- - - - Loot/rewards: 0% complete
Boss battles and location unlocks: 0% complete

Creative Work for the First Location
Scene backgrounds: 75% complete
Top-down maps: 100% complete
Monsters: 100% complete
Materials, collectables, and trinkets: 95% complete
Unique apparel and decor: 0% complete
Writing: 25% complete

It's still too far off for me to have a precise ETA, but it's definitely significantly on its way and nyooming along quickly.



That's all for today! My current workflow is still along the following lines -

Weekdays after work, when I have energy for it: Art/Writing, content updates as a treat
Weekends: Adventuring coding
-- Last edited on May 11, 2022 12:04:49
Cat's End Artist/Developer
Hope all of you are enjoying your cat time!
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Noodle Bowl



May 8, 2022 20:33:50
You know, like, nya.
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May 8, 2022 20:35:07
Welcome everyone!! There's so many of you now stare I'm sure you'll all fall in love with this absolutely charming game just like I have!! hug

I've said it before and I'll say it again, congratulations on the successful opening, Winter! sparkleparty
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user rank 7

May 8, 2022 20:37:14
cheer hi new players!!! You Are All So Many

very excited for adventuring rally
-- Last edited on May 8, 2022 20:37:48
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forum helper

May 8, 2022 20:39:13
Watching the userbase grow over this weekend has been so fun! Welcome to all of the new users! sparkleparty
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user rank 6

May 8, 2022 20:40:16
glitter thank you for creating not-cat land, its a nice place you've got here glitter
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Wayfarer Grove


user rank 6

May 8, 2022 20:47:48
Thank you for the warm welcome!!
I've only just discovered this game and I'm already so excited for its growth, especially around adventuring!
[ not-cat time -1 ]
flower2 pings & messages welcome! flower1
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user rank 6

May 8, 2022 20:52:25
So happy to finally join, especially since I've been stalking this site for a month now.
i'm trying my best
thank you for your patience
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