Trick And Treat: Catlateral Damage’s Halloween Update

I was just writing about a game where you clean up mess, and now this one is about making mess. Truly, video games now cover the full spectrum of modern life. Catlateral Damage [official site] is a crowdfunded goofy physics ’em up about mischevious cats trashing rooms, batting objects and knocking them off shelves because… what, you wanted it on the shelf? Oh, I’d surely have let it alone if I’d known.

This spooky week, a new update has added a spooky basement laboratory level so you can discover how a cat responds to Halloween – demanding treats and tricking you anyway, the same as every other day.

Version 1.0.4 has brought the spooky new level, The Furightful Lab, which cats can enter by finding a jack-o’-lantern in a regular level or simply by launching it in Litterbox mode. It’s got skellingtons, death lasers, syringes, sparking machine, lab glassware – all the good spooky stuff.

Perhaps more importantly, though, v1.0.4 sees Catlateral Damage jump to version 5 of the Unity engine. Creator Chris Chung explains:

“This upgrade includes an improved physics engine, so performance should be a bit better when there are lots of objects on the floor (like during extended periods of supermarket destruction). There are also some lighting differences and other changes, but these should be less noticeable.”

Though, physics engines bringing games to their knees are surely one of the spoOokiest things of all.

8 Comments

  1. haldolium says:

    A damn shame they didn’t follow through with the theme and actually created a fun game. The physics are horrible, floating awfulness from the early days of physic engines and the movement is just bad and feels nothing like a cat (or anything with a body mass actually)

    Feels and looks like a mod for some 3D FPS released 15 years ago. It lacks the humor and fun of over-the-top-ridiculous games like Goat Simulator or both Bossa Studio games.

    For something thats supposed to capture cats and their destructive behaviour, it is very bad. Especially for that price.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Agree with that. Wouldn’t it be great to have a HD cat simulator in ego perspective where you could climb stuff and talk to cat NPCs and destructable environment instead of AC iteration XXVI.
      Also physics.

    • Chris Chung says:

      Hey, developer here! I’m sorry you feel that way. I agree that some players may feel like the game isn’t on par with Goat Simulator or I Am Bread. To put it in perspective, those games were created by studios of several people with previously shipped titles, whereas Catlateral Damage was the first shipped title of one primary developer (me!) with very limited resources.

      Fun and price points are also subjective; there are plenty of people who really enjoy the game and feel that the price is justified. I believe this game offers a silly, unique playground with enough content to keep players entertained for as long as they want to play wrapped in a furry cat theme.

      As for the physics, they are intentionally unrealistic to fit with the playful theme of the game and to differentiate a cat’s movement from that of humans in typical FPS games. It should be noted that I frequently consulted with my feline advisors on all aspects of the project and they never said anything negative.

      • SingularityParadigm says:

        What an adorable polydactyl! :3

      • haldolium says:

        Hey Chris,

        Fair enough, but I still don’t think this is all it could be. Cats evolved to be THE internet meme and Catlatteral sadly didn’t capture much from that, or even a lot of memorable… things… that cats I knew did. You missed out on a great opportunity. Maybe that is what you wanted, but I still find it wasted potential.

        It also didn’t capture much else from a cats live. I see that your consultants didn’t oppose… but I am not quite sure that their opinion matters that much ;)

        Regarding the physics: as I wrote, they’re not “unrealistic” (hell, most physics are in real time environments since you just have to set limits with todays tech, there is no power for 1000 sub-frame self-collision steps or extreme vertex count) they’re *bad* Kicking over stuff or destruction doesn’t feel like it. It feels like a cheap approximation. There is a difference between deliberatly screw with physics as in the examples I brought up, and just failing to give stuff the proper physical attributions. You’re not even alone there, many teams of “AAA” productions failed the same way and still do.

        Don’t take it personally, I wouldn’t write this if I wouldn’t respect game development or having the hope that you may learn from your first experience in creating and releasing a game. I am just very open. I know the craft, I know the critique. But Catlatteral really didn’t brought anything fresh to the table.

        • Chris Chung says:

          You’re right, there could have been so much more done with the game. I still feel like the core concept has a lot of potential! The two biggest shortcomings of the game’s development were inadequate design work at the beginning and a lack of polish at the end. I chose to focus on actually getting the game shipped given the limits on time and money, rather than go broke with an unfinished product. Now that the game’s out and doing okay though, I’m definitely looking into what things make sense to improve and add on.

          I really appreciate your honest and open feedback, so thanks for that! Everything I’ve learned from this game, plus all the feedback from the community, will help make my next project better. :)

  2. Shazbut says:

    Will someone confirm that the header image doesn’t contain a cat so I can safely stop looking for one?