In certain ways, Cat Quest is a conventional role-playing sport: The protagonist has to rescue the world by beating the evil guy and his horde of creatures. Typically, that would not be a selling point. However, when you determine the hero is a cute cat, which he resides in a universe filled with additional bipedal cats and creatures, you understand that it is a completely different sort of sport.
Cat Quest, from Singapore-based programmer The Gentlebros, is a magical sendup of fantasy RPGs. Within this world, cats will be the dominant species. That means you are going to find lots of cat-related puns and jokes — just like the way you conserve your progress by taking a fast catnap — on your quest to rescue your sister out of a wicked sorcerer. Cat Quest’s unique demonstration is only one reason why it won two awards from this year’s Intel Level Up Developer competition: Best Adventure/Role-Playing Game and Best Art Design.
Based on game programmer and Gentlebros CEO Desmond Wong, the choice to produce a game based about cats was a simple one: people can not get enough of these, particularly in animated form. However, the game’s origin story is a little more odd than that. Initially, the three-person studio needed to create Copycat, a dance game where gamers would need to mimic the motions of another participant by means of a kitty avatar.
While the thought sounded interesting on paper, the model proved differently.
“[The dance game] did not work out since we immediately realized that not one of us have audio trends or audio backgrounds,” explained Wong. “So it was very difficult to design the match. We kept iterating about the notion, kept altering it. But we actually liked the cat personalities that we made. Gradually, the idea began getting more RPG elements until it turned into the full-fledged RPG which you see now.”
Cat Quest is likewise an open-world sport, which means that you may learn more about the property of Felingard without a lot of limitations (just look out for the deadly ninja cats that will kill you in 1 hit). Open-world games have become hugely popular on PC and consoles thanks to names such as Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3. However, that success has not been duplicated on mobile devices however.
“So we thought we can fill this gap with Cat Quest because people love cats. Folks adore open-world RPGs. It is similar to the in thing at this time,” Wong explained.
Wong and his two cofounders — developer Leon Ho Jian Yang, and artist and writer Nursyazana binte Zainal — first met while working together in Koei Tecmo, a Japanese writer known for its famous Dead or Alive and Dynasty Warriors franchises. They left their first match, the 2D dungeon crawler Slashy Hero, in their spare time. That finally resulted in a publishing agreement with GameStop’s Kongregate branch, and at the point, the three friends decided to depart Koei Tecmo and produce their own firm.
They wanted to set up a distinctive art design for their own studio, starting with the Halloween-themed Slashy Hero.
“Generally, we desired a design that might be always good, polished looking, and simple enough to get a three-man team to get right,” said Wong, who is also one of those artists. “We did not wish to do something which has been too realistic or too complex for us to perform. … It’s difficult to explain since a part of it stems in my personality as an artist too.”
Whenever Wong designs something, he would like to be certain that it may appeal to as broad an audience as you can. The end result is a deceptively straightforward demonstration that would not look strange on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network. And like a number of these animated TV shows, The Gentlebros utilize a hybrid style that borrows from the Eastern and Western cultures.
“We really tried to do so with Cat Quest. We brought in a few impacts from both of these civilizations to design our personalities so that they are not too anime-looking or too similar to Saturday morning cartoons,” Wong explained. “It’s something in between. That is sort of the design philosophy which we’d.”
The mixing of East and West also applies to Cat Quest’s mechanical inspirations. The map, for example, is an homage to the elderly Final Fantasy RPGs from Japanese developer Square Enix, and the mining and battle is reminiscent of Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series. Nevertheless, the open-ended nature of the pursuit system, in addition to the sprawling open-world, came from Bethesda’s Skyrim, that will be among the most common Western RPGs ever produced.
“We all grew up playing Zelda. All of us grew up playing Final Fantasy. We had been really affected by games from both the East and West,” explained Wong. “So they affect the matches we create too since we genuinely like components from all these matches and … we just thought it would be good to unite this stuff and place it to our own game.”
Among the advantages of being a little studio is that the staff can easily pivot to another person in case a job (such as Copycat) is not exercising. And if they do settle in a notion, it does not take long for them to finish it. All told, it just took The Gentlebros a bit over a year to make and launch Cat Quest for both PC, iOS, and Android. However, the programmers are not completed with their feline warrior only yet.
Along with creating PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch variations of Cat Quest (both arriving after this season), they are preparing a free upgrade for the game that will incorporate new challenges through the usage of penalizing modifiers. This is just another throwback to the heyday of Japanese RPGs, in which hardcore gamers could occasionally create their very own unique rules (like attempting to conquer Final Fantasy 7 to the bottom personality level potential) for subsequent playthroughs.
In case Cat Quest is powerful — Wong said it is selling “pretty decently” so much — we may see more games which happen in its brightly coloured world. The group can also be open to experimentation with different types of art fashions, based on the kind of match they wind up making.
But at exactly the exact same time, they do not wish to stray too much from what they do best.
“We certainly need to abide by an identity … as many people who perform Slashy Hero and watch Cat Quest — they could see the similarity,” Wong explained. “Like, ‘Oh this sort of resembles the match which has been created by the men who did Slashy Hero.’ We certainly need to keep that element of it in future endeavors. .”