You may already be aware that the Blade Kitten universe existed long before the game’s development team came together. In fact, the game’s creator and director Steve Stamatiadis (aka “Space Captain” Steve) started the Blade Kitten comics in 2001. It was the job of Steve and the team to elaborate on what existed in the comics, using them as a blueprint of sorts, and to translate them into environments that looked visually spectacular and made clever use of the movement system while supporting the storyline.
Blade Kitten is not only our first side-scrolling game, it’s also our first title intended specifically for download. One of the hurdles we had to overcome, due in part to the need to adapt to a new level-building pipeline, was that our levels kept getting built larger than we originally scoped.
The levels in Blade Kitten range from claustrophobic sewer-like tunnels, to brightly-lit grassy plains that extend far off into the distance. There’s an urban marketplace filled with fruit stalls and shopping civilians, and a temple inhabited by a mysterious cloaked sect. It was easy for the team to get caught up in creating more areas for the player to explore. We had to keep reminding ourselves that this is a downloadable game and that we shouldn’t get too carried away as though we’re making a full-sized (and full priced!) product.
Still, I think you’ll be surprised at just how large and detailed the levels in Blade Kitten ended up being. In fact, one level was so large that we eventually made the decision to split it in half — and both levels are still pretty big!
Of course, a variety of level environments would be pointless without weird and wonderful selection of enemies to populate them. We have our version of more traditional armored soldiers and giant mechs, though my favorites are the odd-looking alien creatures that are unrelenting in their attempts to bite, pummel, slice, and spit poisonous goop on the player.
Our goal was always to have a simplified combat system in line with traditional side-scroller titles like the Capcom classic Strider, but with the added bonus of having a fluid range of movement that enables the player to traverse the environment in new ways. One of the ways Blade Kitten differs from most other side-scrollers is that the player can engage in combat whilst climbing on walls and hanging from ceilings.
The player can also purchase a variety of blades (yes, floating blades) with different attributes to help tackle particularly nasty enemies. Not only does Kit use the blades for classic hack-and-slash combat, but she has special perch attacks (accompanied by a brazen taunt, of course) that enable her to throw enemies, plus numerous moves that are easy to execute and visually cool.
And the end result? One BIG downloadable game, chock full of pick-up-and-play arcade-style action set within a sprawling, vibrant world. Our goal has always been to give you a game where mastering the controls comes fairly easy, because we want you to spend hours exploring every nook and cranny in search of hidden areas and special collectables. The team has worked hard to add that little bit of extra spice to your gaming experience, for those “completists” who want the added satisfaction of having knocked off all the bad guys!
The official announcement of Blade Kitten’s PlayStation Store release date is coming up very soon, so keep a look out. In the meantime… happy gaming!