Demo now available!
The demo for The Rabbit and the Owl is now available here, for Windows and Mac. This is still from a mid-development stage, so everything is still subject to changes and improvements.
It consists of twelve levels, which include tutorial levels and a few handpicked levels to showcase some cool puzzle combinations and mechanics. In addition, there are ten story snippets (not finalized, there’s definitely room for improvement) which will hopefully give a taste of the game's narrative.
Check out the second trailer for The Rabbit and the Owl, which showcases a few new things that weren't present in the announcement trailer:
Also here’s some introductory gameplay with commentary from Justin and me:
We've got some big news: we will be showcasing The Rabbit and the Owl in the Indie Prize area at Casual Connect in San Francisco from July 18-20! This is great because this will be the first time we exhibit the game at an event that curates its games. We recently found out that part of the grand prize at the Sacramento Indie Arcade was to be "nominated" for Indie Prize. Casual Connect and Indie Prize looks amazing, and we can't wait to see how people will react to the game!
iFEST and Power of Play quick post-mortem
We were recently in Seattle last month showcasing at two events, iFEST and Power of Play.
At iFEST, it was actually held in the middle of a food court at the Seattle Center Armory. We fortunately had a booth facing inwards at a pretty prime location, so we were busy throughout the day. There was a ton of foot traffic. Many people who checked out all of the games didn’t even know about the event beforehand. Because of this, there were actually a lot of families who came in and tried the game. This was our first time testing local co-op with two controllers, and I think it went very well - the reception was very positive.
One memorable moment was a father and his young son (maybe 6 years old) playing the game. In the game, most of the time the two characters have to constantly help each other to get to where they want to go. The father, trying to rush ahead and leaving his son behind said, “I’m trying to get myself up here!” The mother, watching from behind, scolded him and said, “What are you doing? You have to wait!” while she playfully hit him on the arm. It was a sweet interaction that reflected the dynamics of the game onto the players, and made me feel really happy to see the game providing a fun moment like that.
Power of Play was a bit more of a professional setting, being held in a convention hall called the Meydenbauer Center. The first day was mostly seminars which were very useful. The second day was just showcasing all day, and we received a lot of valuable feedback from there as well. Many people looking to get into business with game developers were also there, so the event was a nice mix of exhibiting and networking.
While there, we were also able to show the game to representatives from both ID@Xbox and Nintendo, who all said The Rabbit and the Owl was definitely in a good spot to apply to get onto Xbox Live Arcade and Nintendo eShop. I did plan to want to release the game on consoles, so I will be applying to those soon when I’m ready! It’s very exciting knowing that the game is far enough along to be considered on consoles.
Update on game features
Based on extensive playtesting and feedback from iFEST and Power of Play, We’ve decided to cut yellow blocks from the game (being able to attach blocks to boundary edges). You might’ve seen those in the original announcement trailer. They were at the root of causing a lot of tedium in certain parts of some levels, and wasn’t used enough throughout the other levels to justify keeping in. Overall, we’ve found a lot of little things that were causing unnecessary, annoying movements in the game. I’m happy to say the game feels a lot smoother after about 15 hours of playtesting at those Seattle events.
We’ve also added a few environmental effects to the game: rain, snow, wind, leaves, and birds. They look pretty awesome (check out Trailer 2 above to see the effects in action)!
Finally, we’ve started to add some contextual UI to remind players how to do certain actions, like pulling blocks for example:
Fingers crossed for getting into IndieCade, PAX 10, Indie Megabooth, and/or the Seattle Indies Expo! Still waiting on results for those events. We unfortunately did not make it into the Media Indie Exchange @ E3, but there’s always next time!