The eighth generation of gaming had seen a further influx of independently developed video game titles garnish mainstream success, with gamers being hungry for not AAA big-budget blockbuster games, but also titles that hearken back to the simpler times of the older generations before it; working for the plethora of gamers either wanting that sense of nostalgia from a 16-BIT rendered title like Blasphemous, or gamers wanting to try out new ideas perpetuated by indie developers, such as Scott Cawthon with the Five Nights at Freddy’s series. One such game studio that garnished the same level of success over the last four years is The Gentlebros.
Based in Singapore, The Gentlebros have since established Cat Quest; a series of open-world adventure RPGs set in a world governed by both cat and dogs, from the cat-ruled realm of Felingard to the dog-governed Lupus Empire. Both Cat Quest and Cat Quest II had been met with both commercial and critical acclaim from both gamers and reviewers alike and have since established themselves as one of the more successful indie development studios in recent years along with the likes of The Game Kitchen, Cellar Door Games, and Housemarque. wanting to know more about The Gentlebros, and what the future holds for the company, I got in touch with the studio’s CEO Desmond Wong to ask a few questions about what the developer’s prior experiences with games were and what they plan to do going into the ninth generation of gaming. Here’s what Desmond Wong had to say about The Gentlebros and the Cat Quest series:
Where did the idea to make a series about cats and dogs originate from?
It actually started as a dancing game! Full story here:
What was the most exciting aspect of developing the Cat Quest series?
I think the most exciting thing from a writing perspective was how we could cat-ify all our favorite RPG tropes and just have a lot of fun with it! Making Cat Quest has also enabled us to ‘fix’ a lot of the issues we had with open-world RPGs in recent years and give players a more streamlined and accessible experience.
What was the most challenging aspect of developing the Cat Quest series?
I think the toughest part in both games has always been how to create a robust adventure with the limited resources we have. We’re just a three-man team, and making an RPG that lasts many hours with so many mini-stories and challenges, is a huge undertaking. It’s really easy to fall into the trap of reusing level layouts and quest designs, and I think we did a slightly better job of this in Cat Quest 2(than CQ1), but it still took a lot of creative use of existing mechanics and assets to create something new each time.
Has the idea been contemplated of making a Cat Quest III?
Absolutely. Although we can’t go into details, we did end CQ2 with a tease for CQ3. We know where the story will go, and can’t wait to eventually get to it.
How rewarding has it been seeing Cat Quest garnish as much critical acclaim and popularity as it has over the years?
It truly has been a humbling experience and we never thought our game about cats would be played by so many people.
What were the team’s prior developmental experiences before The Gentlebros was formed, If any?
All three founders worked in Koei Tecmo, where we worked on games like Dynasty Warriors, Dead or Alive, and Fatal Frame.
What other types of games would the development team like to create in the future?
Personally, I would really like to design a game about traveling. I went on a road trip in Iceland a few years back, and the whole experience of just pushing onward, seeing new sights, finding places to sleep for the night, was just immensely fun. I would love to make an open-world game that focused less on completing side quests and just focused on traveling instead.
Had there been ideas scrapped from the Cat Quest series that you guys would’ve liked to have seen kept in?
Yes, we had so many ideas for weapons, enemy types, and abilities, but I think the one thing we would have liked to have kept into CQ2 was a relationship system where you could build friendships with certain NPCs in the game. It would have added so much to the theme of Unity for CQ2, and perhaps in the future, we could do something similar in another game.
What was the most important principle that was kept in mind by the studio as a collective whilst developing Cat Quest?
Accessibility, for sure. Our core design principle has always been how we can simplify and condense any mechanics to its essentials. Addition by subtraction is our mantra, and although some have found our games lacking depth because of this, seeing Cat Quest being enjoyed by kids, and even being able to bring non-gamers into the world of gaming, makes us believe our decision was worth it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring developers that may be reading this?
Never give up.
Do you have anything else to add?
Do follow us on our Facebook page and Twitter, or join our Discord if you want to chat with us!
I’d like to take the opp-purr-tunity to thank meow, Desmond Wong for agreeing to do our Q&A and wish you and the rest of The Gentlebros the best of luck with the third Cat Quest game, as well as any new titles you decide to work on in the future. If you guys want to learn even more about The Gentlebros, check out their social meow-dia via the links above, or check out their main website here:
In the meantime, I hope you guys enjoyed learning about this paw-some and promising new development studio as much as I did. The Cat Quest series is a very promising new saga in gaming and I’m so much looking forward to what the third game has to offer.
Scouse Gamer 88