BlueTwelve Studio shares insights on bringing a city - and a cat - to life.
Hello everyone! Finally! After so many years of hard work, we have our release date: Stray will be publicly available on July 19, 2022! And as you may have seen during today’s State of Play, we’re excited to confirm Stray will also be available to PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium members* at that time.
This really means everything to our small but oh-so-dedicated team, and we can’t wait to see people explore this world that we put so much heart and passion into making.
The vision for this game – initially named “HK Project” – started seven years ago by Koola and Viv, the co-founders of BlueTwelve Studio. It really is amazing to see that it is now an actual full-fledged game and will be experienced and hopefully enjoyed by so many players all across the world very soon. We have developed and learned so much along the way. Of all the unexpected challenges and discoveries we found, creating an interactive cat was definitely the most tricky one!
Trying to control a cat – whether it’s in real life or when making a video game – is definitely not a walk in the park! From the very beginning, we knew that the controls and animations of our star character needed to be absolutely spot-on in order to properly convey this exhilarating feeling of skills and movement. So Miko, our cat animator, took the challenge to heart and spent considerable time looking for images and video references. The good and somewhat surprising thing we found is this: It really seems that the whole internet was basically invented for the sole purpose of hosting loads of cute cat pictures and videos! So we ended up having a lot of very good material to work with for references.
Also about 80% of the people from the team are cat owners (or are being owned by a cat depending on how you look at it) and we even have two cats in the studio working with us almost everyday! They are called Oscar and Jun and – even if they are not the most productive employees to be honest – they definitely add a lot of cheerful liveliness to the studio.
Seeing them interact with objects around the office (even sometimes shutting down our computers at the worst possible moment!) gave us quite a lot of inspiration for the various cat interactions that are possible throughout the game. And of course they all have been reviewed and approved by Jun and Oscar themselves!
But all of those efforts bringing the cat to life were made so that people can properly enjoy exploring as a cat in the game. We are so excited to finally be able to show a glimpse of some new environments like “Antvillage” in our release trailer which is this village built around a huge reservoir. It’s a good example of how the cat’s exceptional abilities allow us to have more freedom in our level design, especially vertically to explore highs and lows in the world.
When we decided to add the backpack and the small drone called B-12 that follows the cat everywhere, it opened up a new layer of ways to interact and learn about the environment for us. Especially the ability to talk with the characters of the world was really important to convey some fundamental points about the environment or learn a bit more backstory from several of its inhabitants.
Our journey as a small team crafting our very first game is finally reaching its end goal, and we all can’t wait to find out how players will react to exploring this unique world and engaging with its colorful inhabitants on July 19. So on behalf of the whole team including Jun and Oscar: Have fun everyone!
*Availability of Classics, Game Trials and Game Catalog varies over time and plan. See https://www.playstation.com/Plus for details and updates on PS Plus offerings. PlayStation Plus is an ongoing subscription subject to a recurring subscription fee taken automatically (at the then-current PS Store price) at the frequency you choose at purchase until cancellation. Terms apply: play.st/psplus-usageterms