With the success of Cat Quest, The Gentlebros are now at work at their next instalment of Cat Quest, aptly named Cat Quest II: The Lupus Empire.
While the team is hard at work, Desmond, from the Gentlebros has kindly taken some time to indulge us with what we can expect from Cat Quest II. So we just had to ask a few questions:
NintendoSoup: How has Cat Quest been and what are the lessons learnt?
Desmond: I think one of the biggest comments was that the game was a bit repetitive so that is something we are working on with the sequel. So we’re adding lot more different kind of gameplay variant, different weapon types, puzzles and dungeons, even traps and obstacles. So it’s really going to spice up gameplay.
We learnt that people really like puns, so that is something we’re going to do more. We’re going to introduce dogs in Cat Quest II, so the opens a new world of puns.
NintendoSoup: In the first Cat Quest game, what’s the deal with Queens Resort?
Desmond: <Laughs> so okay, Queens Resort is supposed to be like the Golden Saucer from Final Fantasy IV. We kind of actually want to do that with the Queens Resort, so when you enter, you would have many mini-games to play and stuff like that.
Obviously, we ran out of time for the original launch. We wanted to put it in as a DLC later on, but again we did not have enough time. We did still use the Queen’s Resort as one of the side quest landmarks. So that’s what we did with it.
NintendoSoup: So will we see it again in Cat Quest II?
Desmond: <launghs> I don’t want to promise anything too early because there are actually other cool stuff we want to do with Cat Quest II, and if we get that done it will actually be cooler than mini-games.
NintendoSoup: Is Cat Quest II a direct sequel to Cat Quest?
Desmond: It’s a direct sequel in the sense that it takes place after the first. There will be a whole new story, with all new characters. There will be some characters returning but the main cast is all new.
NintendoSoup: So it is a new cat?
Desmond: It is a different Cat. So we’re doing something like the Legend of Zelda like every game has a Link but its a different Link although they have the same iconic look. So we’re doing the same thing, there is always going to be this yellow cat, it may not always necessarily be the same cat. But it’s the same world. The same world but in a different time period
NintendoSoup: With the new game is it alright for new fans to just jump in?
Desmond: Yea definitely because it have a totally different story, totally different characters, it will be totally fine to just jump into the second one without playing the first one. However, if you have played the first game, there will be certain things you recognise. Characters that make a return will make you go “Ah I remember him”. For example, the governor’s descendent makes an appearance in Cat Quest II.
NintendoSoup: As for players who have played the first game, will they instantly be familiar with the new environment?
Desmond: Familiar yet feel different. Felingard, the Cat Kingdom, will still be there. You will recognise the general layout of the land, the landmarks are still where they are, but certain places are not there anymore, and certain places have moved. Even whole parts of the continent may be gone, separated from the mainland. It takes place in a completely different time period, so a lot of things have changed. You’ll be walking around feeling like you recognise the place, but things have changed. It will feel fresh but kind of familiar.
On top of that, we’re adding the Dog Kingdom, the Lupus Empire. It is a whole new continent that is separate from Felingard, which is you can actually travel to seamlessly. It is only separated by a body of water.
NintendoSoup: This is the first time we get to see the dogs, is there anything that you might want to share about the Lupus Empire? How is it different from Felingard?
Desmond: The Lupus empire is a desert empire. It runs on a military system where almost everyone is a soldier. They are also technologically more advanced than the cats. While the cats are a more magically inclined, the dogs are more technologically inclined.
We’ve got this whole political system such that the collars the dog wear designate the family which the dogs belong to, like a caste system. The wealthier families will wear one kind of collar, while at the same time, there are dogs that may not even wear collars, so they may not even belong to any family.
NintendoSoup: So things are a lot larger in Cat Quest II?
Desmond: Way bigger, at least 2 times bigger.
NintendoSoup: So new features wise, you have new weapons?
Desmond: Yes, so a new weapon type that we have just finished implementing is the projectile weapon. So it is basically like wizard staffs where you can shoot projectiles from it. You can have one character with a close range melee weapon while your friend can be behind shooting fireballs.
NintendoSoup: Previously we have been fighting mobs in the overworld but now in the back drop of this conflict between the Cats and the Dogs, will we be forced to fight either of them?
Desmond: Yes, so you will be fighting both dogs and cats, on top of the mobs. Basically, not to give away too much, the Cat and the Dogs have been at war for a long time. So due to certain events, a kind of standstill have been reached between the two kingdoms, but both kingdom know that anything can happen and it can break out into full blown conflict again. It Is during this period of relative standstill and obviously there will be certain events in the story that lead up to the final confrontation and all out war between the two continents. That is kind of where the game starts, in that very fragile period.
I mean it sounds totally grim but don’t worry it is still going to be totally funny and light hearted.
NintendoSoup: Previously with the dungeons, you can choose to do them, or skip them. It is up to you, is it going to continue to be the same?
Desmond: We are definitely keeping the sense of freedom. If you don’t want to do this particular dungeon at this point of time, you can avoid it. Of course, there are certain parts of the main quest that will require players to complete certain dungeons. But, as a low level player if you want to tackle a higher level dungeon, we’re totally cool with that.
One thing we’re adding that is pretty cool is that certain dungeons are now linked. So you can find your way from one dungeon to another dungeon from within, and you can actually come out of the dungeon to a different part of the world map. I think speed runners will have a field day, you can use certain dungeons to cut through a pretty big stretch.
NintendoSoup: It is the first time Cat Quest is getting multiplayer, and it is coming to all of the consoles, be it the Switch, the PS4…
Desmond: Yes, all of the consoles. Obviously, the Switch version will probably be the most natively “Multiplayer” because it comes with two controllers already. So right out of the box, you can play it with split joy cons. Or you can also play it with 2 Joy-cons or 2 pro controllers.
NintendoSoup: What about the smartphone version, how are you going to support the multiplayer? How is it going to work?
Desmond: So with the mobile version you are going to need two game pads to actually play on it. So it is still going to be local. Because there is actually a couple of mechanics in the game that work better if you are playing locally with a friend, where communication is key.
NintendoSoup: So does that mean that there is no online play for the game?
Desmond: No, we’re going to slowly work our way to that stage.
NintendoSoup: But still, you can play the game alone?
Desmond: Yes, in fact, we designed the game to be single-player first, all the mechanics, all the system is catered for a great single player experience. It is just that if you have a friend, it will be a bonus. Because one thing we heard from our fans for the first game is that many of them wanted to play it with their loved ones, their kids; we just wanted to have the option there.
If you decide to play it by yourself, it will be just as fun as Cat Quest 1, if you have a friend and if it is something that you prefer, then that is an option as well. The Co-op we are doing is completely seamless, so if you are not playing with your friend, you companion will be AI controlled.
NintendoSoup: So there will be 2 characters at any given point of time?
Desmond: There will always be 2 characters at any point of time. A cat and a dog. It is kinda like a buddy cop adventure. This two characters don’t like each other to begin with but due to circumstances they are forced to work together and along the story, along the way, they’ll start to be friendlier, almost like brothers.
NintendoSoup: So can you switch between Cat and Dog during the game?
Desmond: Yes, you can at anytime. That actually plays into our combo system as well. It is interesting because every spell, every armour, and every weapon, there is only one of it. So if you equip that armour on one of the characters, you can’t equip it on the other. For example, if you give the cat the flamepur spell, the dog can’t equip the flamepur spell. So that way you make them unique in the sense.
NintendoSoup: Are there any exclusive equipments to the Cat or the Dog?
Desmond: Yes there are exclusive armour that only either the cat or the dog can wear, but most of them will be sharable.
NintendoSoup: So you’re aiming for a 2019 release
Desmond: Yea, we’re aiming to launch around Q2 or Q3 2019. We’re hoping to finish the game by early 2019 but after that, there is still a lot to be done. There’s localisation, QA and log checks, and stuff like that.
We want to try to do a simultaneous release for all consoles and PC. We’re not too sure about mobile yet, if we can do a simultaneous release, we want to space out our battles a bit more.
We thank Desmond, and The Gentlebros team for taking time out for the interview with us.