Cats out of the bag! The Meow Wars Open Beta is now available. If you would like to help test Meow Wars and get an early sneak peek, go choose your mobile platform at beta.meowwars.com!
After Stop Santa, it’s been busy here at Taco Truck Games headquarters getting the beta ready and eventually the launching of Meow Wars. Between revamping the entire UI, adding multiplayer, finalizing sound fx and music, Meow Wars is finally starting to look and feel like a pretty cool game.
Additional Meow Wars Contributors
I’d like to announce that Alex Schearer of Spotted Zebra has joined to help finish the last remaining push. He’s been playing with all our cats and has even made them fight over the internet! It’s been a real meow fest getting all these final features out to you all.
Pretty soon, you’ll also be pleased to hear that Elise Kates audio production is bringing her awesome sound design skills to finally add some much needed cat sounds into the game. We’re very excited for you to hear all the cat reactions we’ve meowed up for you.
Multiplayer Mini Map
Having to design a multiplayer options screen meant that I had to design some kind of avatar and stage select. For the avatar portion, it was relatively simple to bring in the full spine animated avatars, and they turned out great.
For the mini map, this required additional work. I wanted to include the awesome mini-map used in Story Mode, so broke it up into the different stages and created little islands.
This allowed each section to be animated individually and also add a mask to add a shine over the selected region. Check it out when you try out the beta.
UI Updates & Tooltips
Another big update was the revamp of the UI. After finally deciding and landing on a look, it was time to put together all the various UIs that go into making a game. Here is a sample of a few of the new UI:
One of the common things I saw player do during play tests was tap on everything on the screen to see what it did. I learned it was a way for players to explore what was possible in the game. This is when I decided a tool tip would be a good idea. The tool tip gives you information about different parts of the screen and cards. So for all those that don’t real the dialogue, or skip the tutorial, you’ll still have some help along the way as you play.
Go Get The Beta
In addition to the updates above, lots of work has gone into getting the beta out. Now that it’s out, we’re working hard here at Taco Truck Games to bring you the next beta update, with more meows and less bugs. Sign up for the beta right meow! => beta.meowwars.com
Has it been 2 months already? So many updates to Meow Wars, but first, in June, Taco Truck Games’ twitter account reached 1k followers! Thanks to all the followers.
Since showing bug fixes and mobile performance improvement isn’t as fun, this update will be heavy on the art, animation and design.
Spine Animation & Rigging
I’ve been doing a lot of coding and game design, but when I’m not doing that, I spend time cutting up the images sent to me by Ugly Ink, doing my best to draw the missing pieces and prepping them for animation in Spine. It’s really interesting to see all the different parts involved in rigging a Spine character. I present to you, 4 cast members that were prepped for rigging:
And here is the resulting idle animation, after rigging, animating and exporting these to After Effects:
After receiving a lot of feedback from play testers and fellow game devs, I spent some time redesigning the cards. My amazing artist Ugly Ink did some really cool art to match the ability cards.
And here is the final result of the card redesign with the new art:
That’s all the fun stuff I have to show this update. Stay tuned for more updates, and follow Taco Truck Games on social media for weekly updates.
It’s that time again for another Meow Wars update. First, thanks to everyone who provided feedback over social media on the new logo!
After receiving most of the art from @ugly_ink, it was clear that the early art I had put together needed to evolve. I feel the direction of the game is now more 80’s Saturday morning cartoon. Here are some of the other logos that were up for consideration:
This also meant an update to the game board itself. I want to make it more interactive when you encounter each character. Eventually, I’ll have each character animated with reactions and speaking as they taunt you during play.
Along with the new logo, I started to put together an updated UI.
As usual, here are the newest character portraits released since the last blog post.
All Character art by the amazingly talented Sam Moore of @ugly_ink.
Don’t be tricked by Captain Cuddles! He comes from the 🌴 tropical region of Claw Mountain. Be careful with your cards ♣️ as he’s very fond of hoarding them in his backpack. He’s also the biggest copycat out there, don’t let him take pictures with his secret spy camera 📸.
When he’s not busy “chattering” at the birds, Special Ops Oscar is always ready for battle. First he will distract you with his laser pointer, then get you with his water gun.
Out in the Cat-scades, Sergeant Snowball roams the snow. Always sharpening his nails on his scratching posts, he hisses at approaching enemy cats.
Lieutenant Luna heads the Feline Ultra Rescue Rangers (FURR) team. She helps guide you through your missions and identifies the dangerous cats you will encounter.
Thanks for checking out what I’ve been working on. I’m excited to show more of the Spine animations I’ve been working on, but I’ll have to leave that for another update!