Hola Reddit! I'm Megan Fox. No, the other one. I'm the Founder / Programmer / Designer at Glass Bottom Games, and I'm currently working on Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora. You might know me as @glassbottommeg.

The game is kind of Metroid meets Zelda meets Ultima, in a tasty noir shell. If you took LA Noire, mixed it with Metroid, and gave the heroine an Inspector Gadget gun - you'd be getting pretty close to what we're doing.

The game is here, on Kickstarter, and it JUST funded! (WOO!): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/meganfox/hot-tin-roof-the-cat-that-wore-a-fedora

Other team members may chime in too, depending on topic, so if you've got specific questions for the voice actress (Emma Messenger), the sound guys (Nathan and Michael), the concept artist (Folmer), the 3D artists (Ellory and Will) or the animator (Blake), ask away! I will prod them into making a reddit account, if they don't already have one.

Anyways, yeah. Ask us anything!

For proof: http://www.reddit.com/user/shalinor/ - I've posted about our previous games, I'm in the KS video itself wearing the silly hat, some of you might have even seen me at PAX (also wearing the silly hat), etc.

(also, we just linked to the IAmA in the latest update - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/meganfox/hot-tin-roof-the-cat-that-wore-a-fedora/posts/609731)

Comments: 82 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

diadem14 karma

Saw your posts on something awful. Hope you do well.

shalinor3 karma

Thanks! Still got a few days left on the Kickstarter... should be interesting to see.

Vinkelslip2 karma

bet you hate your name now

shalinor2 karma

Nope, not really ;)

playvue8 karma

Can you talk about how your team came together? Were you all at LEGO Universe together? Was Jones on Fire your team's first game w a cohesive whole group?

Digging "chip noire jazz," btw. Can't wait to hear more.

shalinor7 karma

A bunch of us worked together on LEGO Universe, but not all of us. Everyone but Michael and Folmer was on the LU team, though we were all on different sub-teams / didn't necessarily work directly together.

Jones On Fire was just me, Folmer, Nathan and Michael. I did all the art and such in-game, Folmer did the 2D promo stuff, Nathan and Michael did music/sound.

For Hot Tin Roof, we added Ellory and Will for 3D art and Blake for animation. Those were things I did myself on Jones, but my skills were insufficient to do it, well, better - we needed better art this time, something more stylistic, not just programmer art faking stylistic.

... as for how I met the other two - Michael's someone who I'd crossed paths with multiple times pre-Jones On Fire, just as part of the local dev community. I kept wanting to find some excuse to work with him, and Jones On Fire provided it.

Folmer... I honestly have no memory of how we met. We just both realized our style as a good fit for the other's, and suddenly he was doing the promo/splash/etc art for Jones On Fire.

CDR_Reff7 karma

what did you love in la noire

shalinor10 karma

The conversation system, and the branching it had in it.

... but what I didn't like was most of the rest of it. The driving was cool but didn't mesh with the rest of the game, and the shooting was about the same. If they could have somehow made it end-to-end conversations without that being dull, I'd have dug it WAY more.

(also, it bugged me how sometimes you'd pick a sane sounding option, and then your dude would dive down the lady's throat. It was like "wow, wow! I just... wanted to know where she was last night, don't go yelling at her man!")

aerynea6 karma

Dear Megan and HTR crew,

If you need a qualified QA tester to donate some hours, who would you call? (the correct answer is me)

Love, Annette

shalinor3 karma

Heh, hi Annette! ;)

CelestialDawn4 karma

How do you feel sharing the name with the famous actress?

What games did you grow up? Favorite?

What inspires you working on Hot Tin Roof?

shalinor6 karma

First, the name thing. Eh, it's good and bad. Sometimes annoying, but it appears to make me memorable too. So I try and view it from the positive side. (because the whole "wait, are you-" "no, I'm me, but I'm cool!" "OH! ok" exchange sticks in people's minds better than "name")

Growing up, I played a lot of RPGs. Ultima 7 sticks out as my topmost favorite. Richard Garriot is, seriously, the kind of person I wanted to be when I grew up. He was a huge part of why I wanted to get into making games, and was my hero. He still kind of is, in terms of being an eccentric millionaire, heh.

Played a ton of Shareware, though... stuff like Commander Keen, Jill Of The Jungle, Halloween Harry, Duke Nukem 2D, etc all have pleasant places in my memories. Never even mind all the kick ass NES games (Ducktales, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, MegaMan 1-3, Mario 1-3, Zelda 1-2, etc). Then came the era of the FPS, starting with Doom, then Duke 3D, then Quake, which is around where I got seriously into modding.

Mostly, I'm inspired by making the kind of games I don't see anyone else really making. I really love side-scrollers, and I really love solid platformers, and I really love RPGs / living worlds / dialog / that whole thing... and I don't see many people mixing all of that. So, here I am!

(also, I'm heading to bed right after answering this - I'll be back tomorrow morning, keep asking, I'll keep answering then!)

Sumborone3 karma

How did you start doing what you are doing? What motivates you? I always wanted to make games but I lack the knowledge and will.

And if you would go back when you were just a kid, how would you react and what would you say to yourself?

shalinor8 karma

I got started in games by just, well, making games. I learned C when I was 11 from this old, terrible book ("C For Rookies"), and somewhere after that, I started playing with modding Doom, then Duke 3D, then finally Quake. Eventually, around age 14, I started making actual games in C/C++, and then it took off from there.

I can't remember what triggered me getting the book. I know I't told my parents that I wanted to make games when I grew up - I knew that's what I wanted to do back when I was 6, I bet my grandpa and everything (and I WON that bet! :D) - so I'm guessing one of them explained that programming is how you make games, pointed me at the book, etc.

As for how to get started making games today, seriously, DOWNLOAD UNITY 3D. I'm using it from the angle of an advanced developer, just like I did GameBryo back on LEGO Universe, but what makes it such a good tool is that anyone, regardless of skill level, can sit down and start to figure it out.

So go grab it, and play with it, and see what happens! The best way to learn to make games is just to try to make games.

... as for what my kid self would say, heh, I think they'd be too shy. I used to be a real shut-in nerdy kind of person for a variety of reasons, abuse and so on. These days, I project myself a lot more, and would probably intimidate young me ;) (I'm still a huge geek, mind, I'm just a bit less shy about it)

chazzeromus3 karma

Ah same, I got a C++ book when I was in middle school and I read the fuck out of that thing. I made a wish to myself that I wanted to master C++, now my top projects are an OS I made from scratch and a C++-like language compiler. I really wish I can still get into games, now I'm stuck in web development as a job :(

shalinor3 karma

You always can ;) Just start making games. Seriously, that's all it takes. Show up at an interview with a strong enough portfolio of games you've made, hey, you're in!

Your web development background would be a plus, so long as you also proved you could make solid games with C/C++.

Sumborone2 karma

Thank you for answering, i hope you were betting for something more than just a bar of chocolate :D And of course congrats on everything you achieved so far, and gl & hf.

And one more thing what do you think about valve, portal, half life, and the latest one dota 2.

shalinor3 karma

Valve's cool, and they do really cool stuff. Portal and Half-life, I love.

DOTA 2 (and that genre period), though, I'm waaaay too intimidated by to play. I generally don't play online VS games, because I hate being locked into 20 minute play sessions where I can't pause or answer the phone or do anything. DOTA 2 is that, times a billion, since every second you're not engaged with your team is a second they're losing, AND it's super easy to screw over your team as a novice, and just, ugh. Not my kinda game.

CDR_Reff3 karma

saints row iv or gta v ? sci-fi or reality ?

shalinor5 karma

Saints Row 4. It took me about 5 hours to finally get into GTA V and accept that no, I couldn't kick a dude so hard that he flew 100 feet into the air anymore.

(I'm enjoying GTA V now, don't get me wrong, but... there was a definite adjustment period. And I'm looking forward to SR4 DLC)

ynp73 karma

Can you hold the gun sideways like a proper ironic gangster?

shalinor7 karma

Alas, no. But you can't actually hold the guns at all - they magically float by your character, because Boxians don't have hands - so it works out in the end.

PCoene3 karma

Can you magically float the gun sideways like a proper ironic (invisibly-limbed) gangster?

shalinor2 karma

Probably not ;)

I'd add it as a joke feature, but rotating the gun along its barrel would result in the gun suddenly sticking into the player's side. There's not a ton of space there. Still, I might try it, for giggles.

I guess I could add it as an option in the options menu. Maybe as a cheat. Hmmm.

Dagg443 karma

I've been tweeting you a bunch recently and I'm glad I can ask you some questions without the character limit of twitter!

  1. How long will hot tin roof take to complete?( I mean playtime)

2.Are the missions gonna be replayable?

3.Are there gonna be sidequests?

4.Is there going to be an option to change the gender of your character or customize it? Maybe weapon customization?

shalinor3 karma

1.) Expect the game to be about as long as Guacamelee - whose length varies depending on who you ask. I think 6-8 hours is usually what folks agree on. It'd be a bit longer including stretch goal content, obviously.

2.) The missions are like what you'd find in a Metroid zone. Here's the goal point, now get there with a mixture of the abilities you've got. That part would be speedrunnable, so yes, there's some replay in how you tackle the challenges. The dialog itself that'll be peppered throughout those is also replayable in the sense that there's a lot of dialog paths that aren't strictly necessary to beating the game, but interesting to explore anyways. Ditto for side quests that you may miss the first time.

So... not as replayable as Minecraft, more replayable than Call of Duty's single-player?

3.) Yes. See #2.

4.) Nope. Emma's a female. We're toying with a guy mode, but it... won't exactly be what you're thinking of, it's more of another layer of humor we're thinking of writing in, bit of a statement, etc.

There are other pistols to find, but it's less customization, and more "this gun is better for threatening, whereas this gun has a bazillion chambers, whereas this gun makes me fly back super far when I shoot it."

There are also different fedoras to find, many of them with completely pointless but entertaining side effects when worn.

Dagg442 karma

Can I also just pick a mission I've beaten and play it again? Do you get missions from the policeman at that one room or do you find them walking around the hotel/town/city/map or pick them from a menu or is it a linear mission-to-mission/level-to-level like, for example, the first mario bros game?

shalinor5 karma

Nope. A mission, once beaten, is finished. This isn't like "pull up the mission screen, pick a mission" - you explore the world, and you talk to people. Some people ask you to do stuff or solve problems, you solve it, they're happy, and then when you talk to them from then on, they're just going to be happy, going on with their lives. (or maybe they'll have another new problem for you to deal with, etc)

Think RPG-style world exploration, not arcade-style levels.

ruobrah3 karma

I've been studying Games Design in college for 3 years and me and a friend are currently planning on making a small indie game as a side project outside of lectures and hopefully produce a full game. What advice could you give us in terms of advertising it? Have you only really used the likes of Kickstarter to gain the attention?

shalinor5 karma

Basically, you just need to talk about it, to everyone. Email press when you do something cool, show youtube videos around of it doing something cool, offer cool demos (that don't require lengthy install processes), just - TALK about it.

It's almost never too early to talk about your game. That's where it all starts. It just takes time, from there. The more you talk about your games, the bigger your following gets, the easier it is to get people to care about what you're doing.

Twitter's a big nexus for indies and the games industry in general right now, so get on there if you aren't already (I'm @glassbottommeg by the way). Follow a few of us, pay attention to who we retweet, follow them, and so on. Network your way in.

BananaMeGustaII3 karma

Your game looks freaking awesome! I'd donate some money if I wasn't completely broke!

shalinor3 karma

s'okay dude! Just helping us get the word out is in and of itself hugely appreciated.

skyscraperswede3 karma

First question- is there some adventure game in particular you take inspiration from when you designed this game, some kind of gold standard that you aim to either reach or surpass? For some reason I'm thinking of Sam and Max: Freelance Police when I see Jones, except Jones may not be quite as strange in the head as Sam.

Second question- will there ever be more but longing glances between Suze and Jones, or should I steel my heart for another "start of a beautiful friendship"?

shalinor3 karma

Heh. No, this is not a friendship. Suzy and Emma are a thing before the game even starts. Emma's just terrible at actually talking to Suzy about it, leaving their relationship in limbo until she grows a figurative pair, Suzy breaks it off or makes a move, something. It's a sort of awkward stalemate.

As for specific inspiration from adventure games, it's a mixture of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango. Loom is one example bouncing around in my head, too, for how adventure games can be done without it being wall-to-wall pixel hunting - it made an impression, when I was a kid.

Sam and Max I enjoyed, but never engaged with the same as those games. I didn't play it until was I much older, which is probably part of why.


Hello Megan, I have a quick question on your article about Entity-Component systems.

Specifically about message handling, because I'm getting to the point in my game/engine where I'll need to have Entities sending physics impulses and other messages to other Entities.

How does the message queue work in relation to the normal iteration over entities? I mean my physics component is looping over every entity, checking their collisions and then if I'm correct they should send messages to the Entities they collided with? Do you have any interrupt system enabled that will handle the message before processing the rest of the entities?

Sorry if my questions seem stupid, I know the article was more geared towards game developers with a classic class hierarchy and not complete noobs like me. Thanks!

shalinor4 karma

The message handling happens in a separate pass. Basically, you handle the messages before running the frame's "Update" cycle. Any messages sent during the Update pass aren't handled until the next message handling pass, they just sit there in the queue.

You sometimes end up with two classes of message - messages handled before update VS after update - because some need to take effect in that frame, for rendering reasons, as opposed to waiting to be handled next frame.

Heyeahyeahyeah3 karma

What's Shia la Buff like in real life?

shalinor11 karma

Exactly as boring as he is in film, I suppose.

Heyeahyeahyeah3 karma

Haha. You're a good sport. About Hot Tin Roof, will it have a detective aspect to it akin to LA Noire? Or will the mystery unravel as the story progresses unimpeded by player input. Also, will our hero be sporting a neckbeard?

shalinor6 karma

It has a detective aspect to it. If you poke around for LP's (like Northernlion's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMpP0IGuNg8) you can see some of it. Though that's really, really early stuff, super unpolished. Way too dialog heavy.

The final game will have a lot of that style of detectiving, but instead of constant dialog trees you can get lost in, there will be a lot more "pull out magnifying glass, point it at something, investigate, 'use' a thing with the thing you're pointing at"-style interaction.

Think metroid scanning visor-style world interaction.

custardy2 karma

What is it like trying to fund something through kickstarter?

What other kickstarter projects have you backed or are especially looking forward to?

shalinor3 karma

It's hard. Really hard. I began prepping this Kickstarter a full month before it went live - planning and filming the people parts of the video, cutting the trailer, making initial media contacts to try and make sure our launch day was strong, etc. Tons and tons of work. And the work doesn't really end until the Kickstarter does, so abandon any hope of actually working on the game until the Kickstarter is over with.

Anywho, in terms of Kickstarters I've got my eye on...

One is Neverending Nightmares: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/infinitap/neverending-nightmares - even though I don't personally want to play it. Way too scary. But I really like Matt, the guy behind it, and really want to see it succeed.

Another is Hyper Light Drifter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1661802484/hyper-light-drifter - which I DO want to play, desperately. Looks fantastic.

Then there's Death Road To Canada: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1297103658/death-road-to-canada-permadeath-road-trip-simulato - also by a friend, but this one I really, really want to play. I will teach a dog to drive the car, make an all-dog party, and we will be victorious.

... and finally, Shantae: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1236620800/shantae-half-genie-hero - because I'm a sucker for Metroidvanias, and it looks awesome.

In terms of old Kickstarters I backed that I seriously, really wish were out already: Shovel Knight, Dreamfall Chapters, and Spate.

NeedMoreLoot2 karma

Congrats to everyone working on HTRTCTWAF. I'm curious what made you go for $10, and feel guilty for considering the lowest tier myself.

I love the papercraft and nearly built one to let the cat attack, who came up with that lovely idea? kudos to whoever did.

Also will you possibly be writing up your experiences of KS / indie'ing on gamasutra or something similar? I'd be interested to read your experience.

Lastly are you going to be selling the posters (or a variant) and or fedora's later down the line?

Thanks Megan for replying on twitter and sorry if i ask silly questions about sales, I'm a code god, but sales dweeb!

shalinor3 karma

It'll be $15 at release, and $10 is kind of the standard "hey you guys believed in us enough to back this, so you get a discount off release price!" tier for that price game. I don't believe in asking someone to pay full price for a game that doesn't even exist yet - seems weird.

Yep, I'll be doing some articles. Thinking about putting one up about Jones On Fire tomorrow, actually, since I'm long overdue for doing up a numbers post / post-mortem on it.

Posters, yes. Buttons, yes. Fedoras, probably not. I don't even know where one buys fedoras in bulk, and I'm pretty sure any of the middlemen I could find for merch fulfillment would look at me funny if I asked for that.

and no worries dude! I'm happy to talk shop, whether that be design, code, sales, whatever. Indies kind of have to do everything.

ynp72 karma

How good is The Real Texas?

shalinor3 karma

Extremely good. It has a ton of rough parts to it, but it's the most Ultima 7'y game I've played in years... and it's also the only game that I know of that lets you go reverse commando. (ie. you can put your underpants on overtop your pants)

If you don't play through the entire game reverse-commando, than you didn't REALLY play The Real Texas. Though going naked except for a cowboy hat, etc, are also reasonable choices.

chocoacorn2 karma

Wow! You learned C when you were 11? That's amazing! I just finished learning C++ last year. I'm really interested in game development myself and I was wondering how you thought up this fun adorable idea? And second any tips in starting a game? I've been looking at unity but it's rather intimidating hahaha.

shalinor2 karma

shrug the idea just formed, like they all do. In this case, I started by making the revolver, because it seemed like a neat thing to try. Got that working, then it became clear it was a noir detective game. Got a bit further, decided it could relate back to the Emma Jones series, added a cat detective partner, put a hat on her, boom, Hot Tin Roof.

thedjotaku2 karma

1) How many times a day does someone reference the Megan Fox thing?

2) What got you interested in programming?

3) We hear a lot about the mistreatment of women programmers. Have you been on the receiving end? If so, how'd you deal with it?

shalinor4 karma

1.) Almost every time I give someone my credit card. So any time I buy something, etc.

2.) I was a gamer when I was an itty bitty kid. My mom has this picture of super young me playing Conan on this old Apple IIe that she still loves dearly. (Conan was awesome, btw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GTkRXKPXq4 - I know it doesn't look it now, but 6 year old me LOVED that game... that, played a ton of classic adventure games, etc)

3.) In person / at studios, I've gotten some weird brush-offs, but I usually integrate fine with male programmers. It's part of why I don't wear makeup, I aim for being that woman that's just "one of the guys."

I've had my share of internet trolls, I suppose, but you just learn to deal with it.

roflplatypus1 karma

hope this isn't too late, but i saw this game on steam and gave it a vote on greenlight. do you think you could release a demo? i like the concept and want to know what i would be supporting if i did fund it.

shalinor1 karma

Probably not. We have is a prototype, but it's way too rough to release to the wide internet. We may release something closer to release, but for now, look at the LP's to get an idea of what the game is.

(Northernlion's is excellent, and is also linked on the GL page - it's the next video over from the trailer)

CDR_Reff1 karma

what's your favorite game this year 2013 ?

shalinor3 karma

Right this second, it's Saints Row 4, but it's also one of the ones in recent memory. Hmmm. The Tomb Raider remake is definitely up there. Part of the problem is I don't play a ton of AAA games right at release (not enough money and time), so for instance, I STILL haven't played Last Of Us or Bioshock Infinite.

Favorite 2013 indie game would probably be Rogue Legacy still. Though I feel like Gone Home is going to be a BIG favorite of mine... once I finally find the time to play it :(

the_s_d2 karma

Play it. It won't take long, and it's worth it.

shalinor2 karma

It's tops on my list now. Didn't realize it supported gamepad (it does!), which means I can couch game it, excellent.

Figuring I'll play it once the Kickstarter is over, and I need to veg for a while and recover.

Renegade_Meister1 karma

Are there one or more particular pictures or videos of cats with fedoras that serve as daily inspiration to you while working on this game?

shalinor2 karma

Cats in fedoras are a surprisingly rare phenomena, probably owing to the tragic lack of cat-sized fedoras.

This is, of course, why I created the papercraft contest, with papercraft fedoras that are cat-sized. It's one leg of my A Fedora On Every Cat platform: http://imgur.com/a/bGZhf#10

trousercat1 karma

Will there be different types of trousers you can put on

shalinor5 karma

Boxians don't wear trousers. The poor things barely have legs.

Also, cats don't wear trousers. I mean fedoras, sure, but trousers? Clearly a clothing item too far.

Pigeons wouldn't know what to do with trousers, and rats would probably just eat them.

BlackBritishJew0 karma

Mrs Fox it is a honor, I loved you in the movie Star Trek into Darkness

You were fantastic

shalinor6 karma

Oh, you were in the theater when I was watching it too? Man, we should have hung out!

... though the first movie was better, overall. Sherlock as a villain was pretty alright, but ultimately, I'd rather have more Sherlock.

BBiko0 karma

Why aren't you in Transformers 3?

shalinor5 karma

Because Transformers 1 and 2 sucked, and even if I was an effects engineer, I really wouldn't want to be involved with Transformers 3.

I did actually consider going the FX Engineer route, though. SIGGRAPH back in 2011 was freaking awesome. I'd never realized that there was a class of graphics programmer for making actual simulations of, say, the nets they throw on the bird in "Up", because physically modelling those interactions is way easier than keyframing them manually.

ny2la0 karma


shalinor3 karma

Dunno man. What's the deal with lampshades?

Andrehicks-1 karma

There is no other Megan Fox.

shalinor2 karma

I agree. I don't like her movies either :(

Johnnyiso-3 karma

Are u also hot?

shalinor2 karma

Well, I'm in the video, you tell me ;) Though given that I don't wear makeup, "hot" really isn't the description I'd usually go for. I just try to be real.

JayPizzl3-3 karma


shalinor10 karma