Hey folks, I’m Steve Stamatiadis the creator and guy to blame for Blade Kitten, a fantastic new side-scrolling action game for the PS3. No, seriously, it IS awesome. I know because it’s a story I’ve wanted to tell in game form for a great many years. So come with me and I’ll give you a little behind the scenes insight as to where this game comes from.
First up, Blade Kitten is the adventures of bounty hunter Kit Ballard, a pink haired catgirl (or Felion as they’re known in the universe). She travels around with her sidekick, Skiffy a feisty alien critter that is her companion and protector, and also her floating A.I. sword known as the Darque Blade. Her current bounty leads her to a synthetic planetoid on the outskirts of civilized space. There she’s ambushed by a rival and thus begin Kit’s adventures in the game.
Blade Kitten was born out of the need to bring together years of unused and unfinished ideas into a cool, fun universe that I could channel my creative energy into. These ideas feature all the geeky cool stuff that I loved like anime visuals, giant robots, big swords, aliens, cool fun science fiction and a serving of fun. This happened around 2001 while I was working on the first TY the Tasmanian Tiger game creating that universe. I had a lot of fun doing that but really wanted more sci-fi (though actually I ended up creeping a lot more Blade Kittenish robots into the TY universe).
You would have thought all of these different ideas wouldn’t have worked together but in fact they ended up fitting together like a big jigsaw puzzle. I guess all those projects were really just parts of the whole and maybe that’s why I could never work them out on their own. It was an exciting time realizing that it all fit together so nicely that I could proceed to the next stage, the protagonist.
So before Blade Kitten formed the previous two projects I was thinking about were at opposite ends of the spectrum – one was a too serious and the other was to silly but I really liked elements of both (they also had female leads) so I found the halfway point and that had pretty much the right amount of serious and playfulness. In the early days it was named “Kit-10” because Kit had 10 robot gimmicks. That was a pretty dumb name but one of her robots Blade stuck around and became the Darque Blade. The idea of the robots became part of Kit’s personality; her “hobby” is mech spotting which comes in handy when you may need to fight them.
The ideas that led up to Blade Kitten. From the left Princess Pop Idol, Gun Gladiator, Kat Burglar, First Blade Kitten, Final Blade Kitten
Kit herself visually was a mix of different elements from the previous designs both of which were just plain old human girls. I wanted my heroine to scream Sci Fi from the get-go so I figured she needed to have something obviously alien about her. I decided on a catgirl because it was so ubiquitous in anime and it said “I’m not a normal human”. I’m not a catgirl fanatic but I like that it made her different from the typical macho bald space marines that were and still are so prevalent in games.
Some of the many variations of Kit’s designs from over the years
The last piece of the puzzle was the title – I went with Blade Kitten because I loved the juxtaposition of the two words. One hard and dangerous, the other soft and cute. It was almost “Blade Kitty” for a whole 24 hours. To me it has the simple straight forward charm of stuff I grew up with like Star Wars, Batman and Spider-Man… well you get it.
So I over the years I worked on the project in my spare time while working on the TY the Tasmanian Tiger series. I developed it as a comic so that I could show publishers how cool it was going to be. That was made available on the web and in print. I tried a few times to get it off the ground as a game but other work kept popping up. You can’t turn down a chance to do a big Star Wars game. It was after finishing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed that I realized it was time to bring Blade Kitten to life. So I pulled together a small team and we started work on the game proper and now nearly two years later it’s almost ready for you to try out and play on the PlayStation Network.
Update: check the official Blade Kitten site for more info.