The Cat in the Background
December 16, 2013 at 11:45 am #4989
Hi MouseCraf Team,
after having played some levels of MouseCraft I’d like to already give you some feedback.
(I am working as an animatior, thus I might care a bit more for characters than other people might do. So, please evaluate my comments in this way. Probably my view is slightly exaggerated.)
First, I like the look of the cat (but I don’t know the “evil cat” that user SharpLight mentioned). I think that it is a great idea to have a moving cat in the background than just some boring still life picture of a lab.
But while I like that the cat moves, I think that the cat doesn’t know what it is doing. Does it want the mice to succeed (most likely) or not? If a mouse gets crushed by dropping a block on its head, the cat is neither really happy nor sad. It reacts indifferently. What are the “action instructions” to the cat?
Even if you don’t want to reveal to the players why the cat is doing these experiments the cat should know it. (Or the person who animates the cat.) Will the cat cheer when a mouse is killed or crestfallen?
Also, at the end when all mice made it to the cheese, the cat’s reaction is, well, very “tame”. There is no frenetic applaus, just a small raising of the hands – and that happens even with some delay. I just looks as if the cat did a bit too much Prozac…
But maybe the cat is too old to act so agile – but this doesn’t show in the other movements of the cat.
I know, it works. The animation is fine and probably no one will care, because most people will exclusivley watch the mice, anyway. But I feel that you miss a great opportunity to add some more life and subtle detail to your game. For example, I really like the crunching sound when your company logo appears at the start of the game. So, I assume that you do care for such detail.
And, at the end of the game I really would love to see why the experiments were done. (Maybe it IS revealed, I didn’t play that far, yet.) Maybe the cat created a machine to transform itself into a mouse? I don’t know, but I think this (or anything else) would be a nice thing. As a kind of reward for those who managed to “beat” all puzzles.
Second, is a technical issue: To my eyes the animation looks to smooth. It appears as all animation curves have an ease in and ease out. There is no abrupt halt to an animation. Also, there are no exaggerated movements. I mean, the cat looks cartoonish, but doesn’t move one. You could be more “courageous” with the animation, a sprinkle of Tex Avery style would be great.
Currently the cat moves like it is a puppet/marionette. All strings are hanging loose and after the puppet gets pushed the limbs are swining like a pendulum. I’d like to see some harsh movement, some defined key frame poses that are held for some seconds.
It is not much work, but I believe that it could greatly add to your game.
But I can understand if this is not your top priority. Still, it is just “the cat in the background”. Nevertheless, if I am nagging about such a minor detail, the rest of the game must be pretty appealing
Okay, I have to go and play the next levels to return with some more feedback.
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