A few days ago we were writing about the killer-shooter Cat Drive, in which cats from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Territorial Defense, and Cyberpolice shoot hordes of Russians orcs and neutralize their war bosses. You can get acquainted with the game at the link, we decided to talk to the people who implemented this project.
The marketing manager of the studio Dreamate Maksym Tiseyko answers the questions of the Mezha, it is supplemented by members of the team who worked on the Cat Drive. Dreamate studio has been working on its own ambitious CRPG for the second year New Arc Line in the setting of a fantasy steampunk, which is somewhat reminiscent of the legendary atmosphere of Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. So Cat Drive is an additional project of the studio. But let’s move on to the questions.
Good day. Cat Drive is a joint project of indie developers and Cyberpolice. Who came to whom, you to the Cyberpolice, or vice versa? And in general, what is the share of the police in the game? What are they responsible for, what are you responsible for?
It didn’t happen when someone came to someone, but by some miracle, like many other cool volunteer initiatives of these last months. Inside many of us, there was a rage that demanded a constructive way out. I wanted to do everything possible to help our country. So, as game developers, we decided to do what we do best and created a game.
Cat Drive is not even a project of only Dreamate. Yes, the studio staff worked on it, but we all did it on a volunteer basis and in our free time. Our goal was to help fellow citizens throw off steam by shooting “orcs” at least on the screen of a mobile phone, as well as to raise funds for charity.
We had contacts of people from the Cyberpolice, who really liked this idea. We are very grateful to them for their support because thanks to them many more people learned about the game. Also, the Cyberpolice already had experience working with other developers and selling charitable NFT, so they helped with the collection of the cryptocurrency. All collected cryptocurrency will be used to support the National Police, the National Guard, the State Border Guard Service, and the State Emergency Service, purchase medicines, provide medical assistance to victims of hostilities and purchase other basic necessities.
When you started this development, how much time did it take and how many people were involved in the project?
We started discussing various ideas about two months after the start of the full-scale invasion. First, mechanics were tested, and a prototype was created and improved, which took a little over a month. Then it took the same amount to catch bugs and refine the game.
We had to spend a lot of time publishing in stores. We are still waiting for approval from Apple to get into the App Store. In general, it took about a month. At the same time, we all worked on the main project of the studio.
Initially, an initiative group of about 10 people worked on the Cat Drive, then the same amount offered some help. Everyone added something of their own and in general it was quite fun for everyone to work on this project, even on weekends.
If I understand correctly, most of the objects in the game are not standard assets, but custom models?
The models were partly created by a team and partly taken from the assets to speed up the process. Our artists created orcs and all the bosses of criminals – Lavrukha (Lavrov), Batska (Lukashenko), Don-Don (Kadyrov), and others. They can be purchased at NFT charity sale. Sounds and music were also created on their own, but free-access assets were used for the environment.
Are you going to update the game monthly? How long and what’s the point, because such games live, I think, only a few weeks? Am I wrong?
We are planning at least one more update because there is still no main criminal in the game – Putler, who got stuck in his bunker. But this is not an obstacle for our brave cats, because evil must be punished. An iOS release is also planned.
Whether there will be further updates depends on how popular the game will be. You are right that such games live for a limited time, but we hope that during this time it will fulfill its purpose and help our common struggle. Or at least cheer up Ukrainians a little.
How are you holding up? How did you meet the beginning of the hot phase of the war? Did anyone from the team evacuate to the West and abroad?
On the first day, we organized an evacuation to Khmelnytskyi for employees and their families. That’s where most of us stayed for a few months. Several wives and children moved abroad.
After recovering from the first shock, we began to look for something to help. Part of the team actively volunteered, looking for medicine and necessary things to the front according to current lists. The girls made camouflage nets. The guys organized a remote coordination logistics point, which was engaged in the transportation of aid in Kyiv and between cities.
All this time we lived as a group in small apartments, even with pets, which no one left. However, there we became much closer because people who had previously communicated through remote work had to live together. We visited each other, talked and supported, and often played board games. Such an extreme team building.
Now, most of the team has returned to Kyiv.
New Arc Line development is on pause now, do you manage to work on your own game despite the circumstances?
Of course, the war significantly affected the development of the game. You can’t work properly when rockets fly overhead. However, after the first terrible month of the war, we almost completely resumed work on the New Arc Line, because it is the game of our dreams.
Creative work on what we love has helped many of us to panic, to shift our focus from flipping through the news feed to something more rational and useful. And voluntary work in his spare time on the Cat Drive has even become a kind of therapy.
When to wait for news on New Arc Line? The official announcement, demo, Steam page?
We are not yet ready to set clear deadlines for the official announcement. However, we have already started a community in Discord, where we share development news, and later we will recruit players for the playtest.
That’s good, sign us up then! Thank you for your answers and we wish you success in working on both the addition to the Cat Drive and the New Arc Line. And, of course, we are waiting for news about the New Arc Line!