Deep Plaid One guy trying to make some interesting decisions

New Game: “Schrodinger’s Kittens”

Posted on August 27, 2012

Over the weekend I made a little experimental game about quantum mechanics. This was a good way of taking a break from my "real" projects and recharging my batteries, creatively.

A game about quantum mechanics, plurality of worlds, and kitten genocide. With apologies to Canabalt.

Play the game here.

Here's the Ludum Dare page for the game.

So. I kinda made this game on accident...

I've always wanted to participate in Ludum Dare and make a game entirely on my own in a weekend (if only to prove that I can do so, since I've never done a project completely solo). But, when LD #48 rolled around last Friday, I had decided that I didn't have time to participate in this one…

But I had an idea I was obsessed with: a game mechanic about seeing other versions of yourself in other quantum universes. I'd been thinking about this idea for a while and had thought of a minimalist expression of it which would be perfect for a game-jam project. My thinking was that it would involve Schrodinger's Cat as the main character... and I knew that there would be many "copies" of this cat created in the game...

Two of the possible themes for this LD were "1000 Kittens" and "Evolution". At one point I thought the former had won (due to Wikipedia vandalism), and I instantly knew that I had to make this game no matter what. I was soon disappointed to find that that "Evolution" had actually won (inexplicable, I know)… but, I knew this idea was relevant to that concept too, and I was too excited not to at least take a stab at it.

So basically I left a sleeping Laura in bed at 11pm on Friday night and started playing around with this idea, planning to just spend a couple of hours with it. Let's just say that making games, under the right circumstances, can be as addictive as playing them. I ended up returning to bed around 6am, with the game pretty much completed as you see now.

Later in the weekend, while at the dog park, I worked on it for about an hour more: I made a change to the core mechanic - inspired by thoughts from my friend Will Swannack - and added a "scores" screen which I still feel is superfluous but which everyone seemed to want.

(So, appropriately, I spent the weekend simultaneously in two states: not having time to make an LD game, and making an LD game anyway.)

I wouldn't call this a "real" LD effort since it's just ~8 hours of work. But making it and watching it come together under my hands was incredibly rewarding, and a lot of ideas that are interesting/important (at least to me) can be found in it. I'd absolutely encourage approaching this as an "expression of ideas through game mechanics" game, like Braid or Passage. I feel this is a very "me" game with a lot of my own psychology reflected in it, sometimes even in ways that I understand. I'd love to hear peoples' interpretations of what the game "means"; I have several of my own.

But if you just enjoy it as a weird/hilarious game where you get to cause the deaths of hordes of kittens, that's cool too, and you'll be in good company.

Please free to use the comments section of this post to post interpretations, feedback, and high scores. (I'm not inclined to hook up a proper Leaderboards list for various reasons… though if enough people asked, I'd probably do it.)

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  1. A rediculously activtive game. Make it a mobile app. People will buy that.

  2. Addictive, even

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