Gaming in 2015, it can be argued (and I will do), is as much about community as it is about games. Why else would a game store client like Steam have a friends list, after all? And this isn’t just about multiplayer, but of sharing experiences. This is as true for shared screenshots on Steam’s activity feed as it is social media banter as it is watching somebody rage through the game on YouTube that you just failed to nail. Community is good, and bringing people together over a shared passion is what makes that community.
You can imagine then, how a broke-as-hell game creator like myself was utterly stoked that a small community of friends and well-wishers banded together to help me acquire the personal license of Construct 2 so that I may create the games I want without limits.
But I promised them, and myself, some day I’d give something back. I’m a stone’s throw from my very first gift to the community that has helped me to do what I do.
Sophie Can Haz Milk has ‘Internet‘ written all over it. In essence, this game is my getting used to some platform game fundamentals with something minimalistic and uncluttered. The game is about jumping, collecting coins, finding milk bottles. All pretty standard-fare, but that’s okay. Not every game has to be a world-changing endeavour, and so this one isn’t.
Part way through this little experiment, I brought to mind those YouTube gamers and how a favourite of theirs seems to be the kind of game that evokes creative compound-swearing and tortured-scream facecam images destined for thumbnail (ab)use. And so, four stages in and this kitty has fangs. And those razor-sharp feline claws. And probably a chainsaw or something for the remainder of the game’s nine levels.
And for a learning-the-ropes exercise in this genre, those nine levels seem pretty apt. Rounds off an average to-completion game time to something between 20 minutes and a half hour (great for those YouTube videos), whilst not overstaying its simplistic double-jumping welcome. All of which rounded off in a neatly-nostalgic package with remappable keyboard controls and a fake TV effect (that can be turned off, many players will be glad to know).
And it’s a gift. I’m giving it away for free. Sure, I’d like to make a great many monies with my game creation, but it’s nice to give something back until I’m successful enough to really pay it all forward. From me, to you guys. A small present to say ‘thanks’.
Sophie Can Haz Milk will be finished, and available for free download from itch.io, soon.