Cat Warfare's History - 10/17/2023
Est' Read Time: 7 minutes, 38 seconds.
The history of Cat Warfare is quite an interesting one. Cat Warfare started development back on October 17th, 2015 by a single developer named Danyon Huntington. Danyon had the idea of making a game that involves cats as he had worked on a small multiplayer game with Michael Brooke, The game was called Space-Cats, dated July 7th, 2015.
Space-Cats was quite a simple game. It had basic multiplayer elements like; joining, leaving, chatting, and flying around. The game was quickly dropped as it was just a learning experience for both Danyon and Michael.
2015 October 17th, Danyon created a Unity3D project called CatGame, using the networking system Unity Photon Networking (PUN). The project had no clear direction. Some ideas were floating around in Danyon's head, but he ultimately settled on creating a hide-and-seek game with cats. Danyon decided not to use the Space-Cat idea, as it would have been too similar to Michael's game. Returning to the hide-and-seek concept, it was meant to be a simple one: host a game, invite people to join, and have a random player be 'it' to tag others when found. This task wasn't easy, given that Danyon had only been working with Unity3D for about four years and had never undertaken such a project on his own. Adara also provided support from time to time for the game. She play-tested CatGame a lot and contributed her own ideas. Adara even helped create some early concept art and then was officially added to the team in 2019. When Danyon was in the middle of developing the project, he encountered an issue: 'How to sync a timer over the network.' This issue had never been a problem for Space-Cats, as it was so simple that such a feature wasn't necessary. Danyon had to put the project on hold for a couple of days due to high school. When he returned, he decided to turn the game into a first-person shooter (FPS). Little did he know what he just got him self into.
2016, CatGame was evolving, and at this point in its development, it had been officially renamed to be 'Cat Warfare'. It had two levels: Crossroads and Vertigo. It was also uploaded to the indie game platform known as Game Jolt. People didn't find the game enjoyable because it lacked a timer, scoreboard, and a proper gameplay loop. At this point, Cat Warfare was still a basic first-person shooter (FPS) with only two weapon slots available to the player, lacking the elements of an Arena-Shooter. People had created YouTube videos about the game, with some even expressing enjoyment, even if it may have been in a sarcastic or humorous manner. Jordan A.K.A Pikakid98 helped Danyon with ideas and videos for the game.
2017, Cat Warfare had gained a small player base and the creation of an official Discord server. Later in the year, Cat Warfare embraced a more distinct Arena-Shooter style, featuring six weapons, along with ammo, health, and armor pickups. The game would eventually offer a total of six levels. At this stage, Cat Warfare seemed to be in a promising position, with players continuously engaging with the game and frequent updates every two weeks. It appeared that Cat Warfare was well on its way to becoming a memorable game. Danyon had plans to release the game on the Steam storefront. However, this task was not an easy one, as Steam was undergoing significant changes in how they handled indie games on their platform. It wasn't until 2018 that things got sorted out. Development continued, but some issues arose because the inventory system and core gameplay were poorly programmed due to Danyon's limited knowledge of working in C#. To solve this, Danyon's father volunteered to assist and spent a week rewriting the code. Once the code was rewritten, the game played a lot smoother and allowed for better weapon swapping. Adara also had the idea of adding a story to the game, something that would immerse players in the fictional world of Cat Warfare. The story covered key aspects such as the origin of the cats, the reason behind their war, and even explained how they could hold weapons to the side of their bodies with the armor they wore.
2018, Danyon graduated from high school in June, and on July 24th, Not-So Classic Games was founded. Then, on September 8th, Cat Warfare made its public announcement on Steam for everyone to enjoy. However, a small problem emerged: Cat Warfare didn't gain the same level of attention it had on Game Jolt. In fact, it had a disappointing start, peaking at just four (4) players upon launch and not receiving much playtime from the gaming community. At this point, it appeared that Cat Warfare had struggled to find its place in the gaming scene. Cat Warfare continued to be a work in progress, leaving Danyon disappointed with the state of the game. Marketing was out of the question, and the hopes of gaining recognition for the game seemed increasingly impossible. Danyon temporarily stepped away from the game, hoping to find his motivation. It wasn't until November 2nd that he announced something amazing: a 'Mega Update' that promised to enhance the game a lot.
2019, Danyon was hard at work on the proclaimed 'Mega Update' but he soon realized that this task wouldn't be easy to complete on his own. He reached out to his closest friends and family who had the skills to assist him on this project. This project would become known to most as 'Project Catnip.' Project Catnip marked a transformation of Cat Warfare, with a completely new Unity project, new code, and an entirely new approach. The game was reimagined from the ground up, incorporating new ideas and skills. While Danyon remained the sole programmer for this project, the concept art and game's designs were handled by the newly formed team. With Arena-Shooters in mind, the game adopted a gameplay style similar to Unreal Tournament 2004. This time, Cat Warfare featured seven weapons, including Danyon's addition of a shotgun, introducing a new playstyle for close-quarter combat. It also included new cat models, weapon and ammo pickups, jump-pads, and even bunny hopping. On November 16th, Cat Warfare's 'Mega Update' was released on Steam. A few players took notice, as did the official Discord server. Reviews were quite positive, and people appeared to enjoy the game's new look and feel. Things were looking promising for the game. But development stopped until 2020 January 7th.
2020, Covid-19 struck the United States and everyone was to stay inside, Not-So Classic Games released a significant update on January 7th, which added and fixed many elements. However, that update marked the last one until September 1st, eight months later when the silence was finally broken by another major update. This update introduced a new map called 'Outcast,' new movement code, and various other improvements. At this point, it seemed as if the game was slowing down, with fewer updates and fewer players engaging with the game. It was going to be another slow year for Cat Warfare. Cat Warfare sat dead in the water, nothing is going on with it until October 4th, Not-So Classic Games announced that the game would become free-to-play, with the addition of DLC that would unlock most of the game's content, providing a similar experience to those who had paid for it initially. All previous owners who had purchased the game received the DLC for free, essentially losing nothing as the cost of the DLC matched the price of the game prior to its transition to free-to-play. Players started to appear out of nowhere as a result of this change; going free-to-play had certainly proven to be the right choice. However, it didn't significantly increase the player base, as the game remained relatively unknown to many.
2021, Cat Warfare's worst year. The game not only experienced a period of decline but also saw development come to a halt due to other projects that Not-So Classic Games was working on. Nothing more was done to the game until 2022.
2022, On December 18th, Cat Warfare was played by Ricky Berwick and Sushimewew during a livestream on YouTube, ultimately this caused Cat Warfare to peak at 20 players according to SteamDB. This event kickstarted Cat Warfare's development cycle. With newfound energy and drive, Cat Warfare had a complete remake from the ground up, under the new code name 'Project-Felines.' Although code names are typically not meant to be public, they do add a cool element to the project. Cat Warfare would be better than ever, utilizing a new networking system called Fish-Net. It had the capability to handle 128-Tick rate servers and sync networked objects far more effectively than Photon did.
2023, Cat Warfare has been on Steam for five years, and the new remake is now ready for release to the public on Cat Warfare's 5th year. Cat Warfare has come a long way and remains the best passion project we have worked on.
Thank you all for playing Cat Warfare and for supporting us.