Introducing the Game: AI Vendetta

Interview by Ninichi | Contact | Follow

There are so many excellent indie games and indie game developers around that I believe they all deserve to be seen and appreciated! So, this week, let's take a look at a game called AI Vendetta, created by CatByte Games...

Who are you and what is your game about?

'We are a small team of three friends and game developers from the Netherlands. Together we are CatByte Games. We have a deep passion for games and game development. We all studied Games/Software development and went into the industry at different levels. during the day we are all employed in the (applied-) games industry & in our spare time we chase after our dream: to become an independent games developer. Together we occasionally partake in small game projects, but this time we decided to develop one of our long time project ideas for a commercial market: AI Vendetta.'

Let's meet the team!...

  • Davey: Game & Level Designer. Community manager, streamer. Designs the fine details that make AI Vendetta work the way it does.
  • Rens: Programmer & Composer. Specializes in AI Programming. Designs, plays and composes all music and sound effects for the game.
  • Thom: Team-Lead, Programmer, Jack-of-all-trades. Game and Tools programmer, tries to keep development on schedule and does social media management and visual art on occasion.

So, what is AI Vendetta?

'AI Vendetta is top-down puzzle platformer in which the player plays as Proto, a robot with the ability to transform into different modes. Each mode has its own unique playing style and abilities allowing for the player to play the game their own way. Completing the game requires the player to explore and try out the abilities of each mode in order to solve all the puzzles.'

Where did the idea come from?

'The core idea and design for AI Vendetta has actually been written a long while ago (way back in 2010), but we decided to wait until a time when we could develop it to its full potential. In 2010 we created a prototype of the game as a school project. We really liked the project and in October 2014 we decided to give it a reboot. Since then the game has been fully re-created and matured a lot in many ways. Soon we hope to share this experience with the whole world!'

How long have you been working on it?

'We have been working on AI Vendetta for almost 2 years now! In that time we managed to make the game feature complete and create all the levels that we want. We also perform regular internal quality assurance and sometimes feel the need to change some of the behaviour in the game. Game development is an iterative process of course.

At this point we can say that we have almost reached what we in the industry call a beta product; the game is feature complete but still requires touching up, fine tuning and bug fixing. What we are lacking at this moment is the graphical representation of the game. Besides not having a dedicated visual artist, we felt that working with placeholder art would allow us to focus on what is really important: making the game fun and making it work well. In that sense we are really quality focused.'

What has the process been like?

'Game development is always a fun and interesting process, you really never stop learning. This has been the case with AI Vendetta and I’m really proud of my team for all their hard work and passion throughout this entire project. The key thing about development is iteration:- this means being able to create a dynamic and flexible project that allows for change and iteration. I think that up until now, we’ve managed pretty well on that aspect. However, what we really would love is more external feedback to drive change and improvement in this project. Because at the end of the day, we are not just creating a project for ourselves, we are creating an experience that we want to share with the world! Therefore it also has to be tailored to what other people like.'

Did you work with a composer and would you recommend doing so for any game?

'Yes, we are lucky that Rens is not only a great programmer, but he has a passion for music as well. he has spent years learning to play the piano and making use of audio/music creation and composing software. Now he is putting all that experience into creating a unique audio scape that is completely tailored to the experience we want players to have when they play AI Vendetta. We would really recommend to others to invest into music and also in sound effects, as this really adds onto the immersion and experience players take away from your project!'

What do you think makes your game fun and different? 

' what we think that makes the game stand-out is that it enables players to choose their own playing style. the game also invites players to explore and try out the different abilities that each mode that the playable character, Proto, offers. While creating the game we ensured that all of the modes are unique in their own way, each one offering their own abilities and usefulness in the game. We hope that the drive to explore and adventure is that which opens up the player’s hearts to our game!'

When are you releasing it and how do we get it?

'We do not have a solid deadline yet, but we hope to complete the game in about half a year. We will enrol in Steam Greenlight and perhaps through other online stores. The game is designed for PC but will feature full controller support.'

In the mean time you can play a browser based demo of the game here. You can also find out more about the game on the CatByte Games Website or follow them @CatByteGames

Please note: this demo will require you to install the Unity Web Player plugin and is exclusively playable using one of the following browsers: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera.

About the author: Ninichi is a composer for games, film and media. If you have a game or project in need of some music, contact me to discuss how we might work together.

To hear some examples of my music check out my game music, royalty free music or film music. Learn more about me (Ninichi) and follow me @ninichimusic