Cat’s Out Of The Bag: Mew-Genics

By Adam Smith on February 25th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Bits and pieces of genetically modified cats have been spilling out of Team Meat’s web-gullet for a few months now but the most recent hairball of information catapulted onto the blog contains the clearest description of the game to date. It’s a “Cat Lady Sim”, with a cut-away of a house crawling with felines, each of which has a unique appearance, set of stats and personality. I’d imagine quite a few of them have catastrophic diseases of one sort or another as well.

I think most would describe Mew-Genics as a cross between The Sims and Pokemon with a sprinkling of Animal Crossing and a dash of Tamagotchi , but at its core the game really isn’t like anything we’ve seen before.

The retelling of a session with the game explains more.

McMillen reckons Mew-Genics is the most complex game he has ever worked on and the scenario described in the blog certainly intrigues. Here’s an excerpt:

Sadly Champ wasn’t up to snuff and Puddle made this obvious by repeatedly kicking him in the face, I separated them quickly by putting champ in the attic but when I tried to feed him.. something odd happened. See, Champ was a dullard and when Puddle kicked him he just happened to also be eating and now associated the trauma with food instead of Puddle herself, he was scared of all food.. and sadly died in the attic shortly after.

It’s Little Computer Cats, with the expected McMillen dark side. Oh, and don’t worry about running out of critters – the catalogue of cats in the game currently stands at 25418658283290000000000000.

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66 Comments »

  1. godofdefeat says:

    Ok, this the first time i actually saw a cat with horns.

    D´aaawwwwwwwwww, they are so cute.

    • LintMan says:

      Viking cats!

    • Llewyn says:

      All cats have horns. They just happen to be invisible on most of them. As are their little wings and the barbed point on their tails (no, their tails).

      • JFS says:

        You do know your biology, don’t you?

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          Cats have the same eyes as snakes. And Sauron

          Evil. Case closed.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            But who’s a cute widdle bundle of terror? Who’s a little snuggums with the baleful evil glare?

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Both cats and snakes hiss. God I just realised that. I bet if you genetically sequence a cat you get 99.5% snake DNA. Cats are just non-venomous pythons in fluffy jumpers. With legs. And ears. And mammalian glands and things.

            But still.
            99.5. Best guess.

          • Geen says:

            As usual, Custard wins the comment of the day.

          • F3ck says:

            When a cat hisses and its ears go back it’s trying to look like a snake…true story.

          • Gap Gen says:

            The side-bar ad displaying for me at the moment is of a cute cat (it’s an advert for pet supplies) but it has the most malevolent glare ever.

            Also this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MEA7yF2jxE

    • cptgone says:

      they look like piglets to me. viking piglets.

  2. FuzzyPuffin says:

    I think I like cats too much to enjoy playing this game.

  3. Ostymandias says:

    Sim Pavlov 2013? Where do I preorder

  4. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    I’m convinced cats are going to take a major downturn in coming years, they’ve had it easy for far too long. Prepare for the backlash.

    • jonfitt says:

      After 4000 years of rule you think Internet boredom will have any effect?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cats_in_ancient_Egypt

    • Bhazor says:

      Don’t say that! I’ve sunk all my capital into 30 second videos of cats.

    • Lemming says:

      Hopefully. They are mass killers of garden wildlife. People should be keeping them indoors. They live longer that way, anyway.

    • Kollega says:

      I’ll have you informed that ten years of Internet adoration aren’t “far too long” compared to the Middle Ages, when cats were considered to be tied to witches and killed accordingly. So no, i hope that the Internet’s affection for cats only grows stronger.

      • mutopia says:

        And the Catholic Church’s systemic eradication of cats and dogs is now suspected to be the cause of the outbreaks and rapid spread of Black Death diseases in medieval Europe. With cats and dogs very suddenly all but wiped out, the fleas (on rodents) carrying the Yersinia Pestis bacillum had free reign across much of Europe, killing around half the population.

        http://habee.hubpages.com/hub/Cats-and-the-Black-Plague

        Interestingly it’s the one cautionary tale from the middle ages we’ve all seem to have forgotten, and more worryingly, the Catholic Church (and other cults) are STILL doling out “medical advice” on the subject of diseases, causing millions of deaths every year (from all manner of diseases, not just HIV, TBC, cholera etc. and that’s because medicine and magical thinking *really* don’t go well together).

        But hey, they’re still getting away with all that monstrous criminal stupidity because someone once decided it would be a good idea that religion should be above the law. Actually no they didn’t, but that’s still how many modern legal scholars mistakenly interpret the separation of church and state. Which in fact exists to protect people from religions, to protect religions from each other, and to protect the state from religions. Not the other way around.

        • Gap Gen says:

          The Catholic Church is doing a woeful job at presenting itself as a moral authority in an age of secularism, what with its approach to the HIV crisis that you mention, the widespread sex abuse, the outgoing pope insulting various other religions seemingly by accident, its refusal to break with the bigotry of the past (re: equality for women, homosexuality, etc). I think the cultural rift between liberal society and organised religion can only deepen, unless churches liberalise and risk the break with their conservative members that this entails. What happens to the Anglican Church in that regard will be interesting to watch.

  5. TsunamiWombat says:

    But can I make my dead cats into meat pies, Les Miseranimals Style?

  6. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I guess you could say this game is hard to… categorise.

    • Phenomen says:

      thats a catastrophe

      • JFS says:

        I cat believe what you’re doing here!

        • StranaMente says:

          You all better stop right meow.

          • DonJefe says:

            This pun thread is very close to purr-fection.

          • Lanfranc says:

            Why stop when it felis so right?

          • Jediben says:

            I’ve got a bad feline about this… all these cat puns have given me paws for thought. I expect a mod to appear and whiskers away for breaking the ‘extreme punnage’ claws in the T&Cs. I was going to nip to the shops in the mean time but it’s a bit moggy out.

          • Flavors says:

            this thread is pawful

    • bladedsmoke says:

      looks like this game is an exercise in… MEW genics

      • Ostymandias says:

        that’s the joke

      • Torn says:

        You do realise the title is a fairly obvious play on eugenics (i.e. trying to ‘improve’ the genetic make-up of a population over generations) with cats?

        If you get the title, then saying it again as if it were a new joke is pretty redundant…

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          They are also making one where you try to create a master race of dwarves.

          it’s going to be called “Elfnic Cleansing”

    • Bhazor says:

      I would come up with a pun but I’m just not feline it.

  7. Gap Gen says:

    To avoid starving your cats like in that quote, I recommend distracting them with string, because with strings you can attempt a “con cat in ate-shun”.

  8. Skeletor68 says:

    I’m feline sick with all these puns. RPS needs a pun limit claws.

  9. Dimonte says:

    [N]ow associated the trauma with food

    Well, that part reminds me very much of Black & White. And we all know how it turned out in the end.

    Anyway, it might be cool, but I really want to know who is doing the programming for this game. The guy who did code for Isaac was a pretty bad programmer and if he has something to do with writing this apparently much more complex game, well, I won’t expect much.

    • Tukuturi says:

      This is a Team Meat game. Team Meat is Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes. You can learn more at their website, which is linked in the article.

    • solidsquid says:

      Really? Have you seen any of the code they wrote for it? If you just mean because of performance issues, that’s more likely to be because it was built with Flash. Super Meat Boy was the same guys did this, and that was pretty good performance-wise

      • basilisk says:

        The problem isn’t just in using Flash, but also an outdated and poorly chosen version of ActionScript. The programmer’s skill may have played a part, but after the game grew past a certain size, it was probably no longer salvageable even by the best coding wizardry available.

        Anyway, I’m pretty sure McMillen is not going to repeat that mistake again.

        • Mctittles says:

          I don’t understand the size problem they were having. Did they have code that was 300MB in size because you can load the images/sound from separate files at runtime.

          Either way I suppose not really a motivated programmer :). Making the change from AS2 to 3 is pretty easy. Bitmapdata.lock() is probably the best thing for performance on that (or was that introduced in AS2? I forget :) )

      • jrodman says:

        I think it’s pretty fair to call a programmer at least limited if they only have experience in ActionScript 2.

      • MondSemmel says:

        Well, again, the programmer for Binding of Isaac wasn’t the same one of Super Meat Boy. Edmund developed both games, but the programmers were different (essentially due to schedule conflicts).
        So BoI wasn’t a Team Meat game while Super Meat Boy and this new game were Team Meat games.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Reminds me of Creatures, actually, with its Norns.

      Only less ambitious and sophisticated.

      …perhaps Petz (Dogz/Catz).

      • noodlecake says:

        I dunno. I don’t think creatures was especially well executed at all.

    • noodlecake says:

      Yes. It ended up being really fucking interesting! I loved Black and White. I’m surprised nobody else has really gone down that avenue since. It was really fun to experiment with, apart from the annoying tutorial at the beginning. We need more highly experimental sandbox game things!

  10. poguemahone87 says:

    I want to buy this now. Team Meat please take my money!

  11. Koozer says:

    …Could they make one without cats?

  12. Harlander says:

    but at its core the game really isn’t like anything we’ve seen before.

    I dunno, I’ve seen Creatures….

    • Minsc_N_Boo says:

      I remember getting very excited about the game Creatures! It was a great concept, and quite impressive for the time it was released. (1997 ish?)

      I really like the look of Mew-Genics :-)

  13. SuperNashwanPower says:

    There is only one reason a cat smiles

    It has just figured out how to tie piano wire across the top step of the staircase

  14. Zorn says:

    Could it be, that I spotted a ‘Little Computer People’ reference?
    I think I hear the spirit of my old C-64 calling.

  15. The Random One says:

    This game sounds horrible. I can hardly wait for it.

  16. zain3000 says:

    See, Champ was a dullard and when Puddle kicked him he just happened to also be eating and now associated the trauma with food instead of Puddle herself, he was scared of all food.. and sadly died in the attic shortly after.

    Sold.