Testimonials

Company reviews

“Besides being an amazing developer of virtual reality games, our very good friends at Catapult Games have a big heart too!  As a provider of supports and services to individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, Schenectady ARC was searching for an innovative way to encourage exercise and cognitive development in a fun and technologically cutting-edge way.  With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the NYS Department of Health, Dane and Chris at Catapult Games enthusiastically adapted “Don’t Look Down” to better accommodate individuals in our day habilitation programs as a vehicle for exercise and relaxation as well as cognitive skill development including decision-making and concentration.  They even provided us with a customized instruction manual to safely guide our staff and individuals.  Thank you Dane and Chris!!!” 

-Mark Sheehan, Director of New Initiatives, Schenectady ARC, Schenectady, New York

“The team at Catapult Games has an impressive virtual reality concept and the skill set to bring this exciting game to market. I believe it’s critically important to support these rising stars because their success provides opportunities to others who are interested in both entrepreneurial and employment opportunities here in the Capital Region.”

-Brian Corrigan, Studio Director, PubG Madglory

Press

Articles

“Local Game Developer Launches New Virtual Reality Video Game”. Times Union. https://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Local-game-developer-to-launch-new-virtual-13775544.php

“Don’t Look Down is like The Climb But With More Lava”. Upload VR.
https://uploadvr.com/dont-look-down/?fbclid=IwAR1BhLFpB_oItFGSmeeCBZ4mfX1zTGS78Dm0DxUDL2Uo-uLKcoyYPuGR4jg

“Game Developer Moves Downtown, Plans Product Launch Party”. The Daily Gazette.
https://dailygazette.com/article/2019/04/05/game-developer-moves-downtown-plans-product-launch-party

“Recent College Grads Launch Virtual Reality Game and Development Studio”. Spectrum News
https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/capital-region/business-beat/2018/03/29/recent-college-grads-launch-virtual-reality-game-and-development-studio

“Connecting Young Entrepreneurs with Top-Level CEOs” Albany Business Review. https://phillipslytle.com/news-events/in-the-news/phillips-lytle-hosts-albany-business-review-publishers-dinner/

“Catapult Games Focuses On Therapeutic VR Gaming”. TrendHunter.
https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/catapult-games

“Gaming Company Newest Member at Urban Co-Works”. Schenectady Metroplex. http://www.schenectadymetroplex.com/news/gaming-company-newest-member-at-urban-co-works/

Video Reviews

“There’s a mind-boggling amount of obstacle course content in here. For all the possible gameplay in here, it’s a real hidden gem.”
Ben Plays VR

“The difficulty levels are well adjusted and can satisfy every challenge level you’d like. The climbing levels themselves are designed quite well to make the game feel like a classic platformer. Recommended as a fun game for all ages!”
Reload

“Don’t Look Down was a joy to play. The difficulty curve is well thought out.
The robots really set this game apart as they really add a level of strategy and skill mid climb”
Cruzer Bass
“This challenging, indie climber is hilarious fun. Don’t miss it!”
Zimtok5

“A competent VR climbing game with plenty of challenge and content.”
Paradise Decay
“Imagine if a climbing game took elements from classic platforming games – that’s Don’t Look Down! … I found myself cruising around, grabbing enemies and smashing them as I’m jumping to my next grab point, and overcoming a nice little difficulty curve as you progress through a LOT of different stages and worlds.”
Alex VR
“A different kind of climbing game. I am positively surprised by this title.”
Deutsche VR Gamer
“I am immensely enjoying this game”
Kirky Plays

Affordable Shadows

Early on in development we established that, due to performance constraints, we couldn’t use dynamic shadows. At the the time, this meant there was no way that we’d be able to have the player’s hands cast shadows. This was a shame given that most people subconsciously use these shadow cues in the real world to help tell how close they are to touching something. Recently, I decided to take the challenge upon myself to figure out a way to get something in the game that approximated the effect without the need for dynamic shadows.

I began by researching shadowing approximation techniques online, specifically those geared toward mobile and VR development as they tend to be performance focused. I arrived at the general idea that implementing some kind of circular darkening affect on the material-side would be a good workaround. Utilizing a built-in material editor function that was made to approximate sphere-based ambient occlusion, I was able to get a desirable faux hand shadow effect on any material I desire.

Currently only in use on holds and enemy grab handles, the circular hand shadow effect complements the intuitive climbing controls to give the player that much more information while they’re maneuvering. I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out overall, it’s not as realistic as dynamic shadows, but I think it’s a really useful performant alternative. Though the entire impetus was to round out the climbing-on-holds experience, I’m also considering adding the effect to other things within the game in the future.

-Kolel, Art Director

Design Challenge

Snowball Scramble has been my favorite design challenge yet. Normally I work with progressive difficulty on early levels using a familiar toolset. But on this I got to play with a new asset, the snowball, and design the hardest level we have so far. The change of pace had me nothing short of enthusiastic.

My first decision was to cut the filler but have more gauntlets than the average level. I wanted to weave simple puzzles together with skillful play to create a series of experiences that rewarded a smart player as much as an agile one. Because the velocity and interval of the snowballs created windows of only a few seconds to move, breadcrumb paths basically made themselves. I then took those bread crumbs and added bees. When in doubt, always add bees.

Overall, it’s the level I’m most proud of at this point. I’m sure that I’ll change my mind two weeks from now once my honeymoon period is over, but I stand by its design and what I’ve learned from it. In particular, I fell in love with seeing how far I can push making puzzles akin to stealth games while maintaining the speed rush of traditional platformers.

 

-Jake, Level Designer