On Twitter, the Cats Watching Stray account stray), which lists the most zany reactions of cats observing the adventures of the mustachioed hero, already has more than 37,000 subscribers.
In the skin of a cat
In stray, a furry quadruped roams an underground city populated by humanoids and strange creatures. Using a drone, the tomcat must solve a series of puzzles to get back to the surface.
We made this game with a real passion for our companionsexplains to Agence France-Presse (AFP) Swann Martin-Raget, producer of BlueTwelve, the French studio behind this production.
Much of the team owns a cat, and Swann Martin-Raget himself shares his home with two furry housemates, Tao and Litchi.
Leading the best releases of the year, according to a ranking of the Steam platform, and having an average of 83/100 on the review site Metacritic, stray is available for PlayStation and PC.
If critics regret a simplistic adventure, most praise its graphic qualities, its dreamlike atmosphere and above all the satisfaction and the feeling of freedom that it gives to embody a cat.
From the dog of Dog’s Life to the wild wolf ofOkami passing by the goat Goat Simulator, the games proposing to direct an animal are legion. However, until strayfeline references were rare.
Get inspired by real felines
One of the major development challenges, according to Swann Martin-Raget, was creating a realistic animal.
For the visual aspect, BlueTwelve was inspired by Murtaugh, a stray cat adopted by the people who co-founded the studio. And Oscar, the sphinx of one of the team members, served as a model for the animations.
The felid of stray purrs, curls up for a nap and takes malicious pleasure in damaging the furniture. A button even makes it meow.
” You couldn’t play a game with a cat without a couch to scratch on. »
Realism that makes cats react
On social networks, photos and videos of cats intrigued or hypnotized by the mustachioed hero on the screen are numerous.
Every time I play, the silhouette of his two ears blocks the bottom of the screensays Curtis Amrein about Bebe, his short-haired companion.
Hobbes, 8 years old, stray meows and I change the camera angle to zoom in on his face”,”text”:”is particularly curious when Stray’s cat meows and I change the camera angle to zoom in plan on his face”}}”>is particularly curious when the cat of stray meows and I change the angle of the camera to zoom in on his facedescribes its owner, Enzo Yaksic.
These reactions can be explained by the realism of the hero, according to animal behaviorist JoAnna Puzzo, from the British shelter Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in an interview for the specialized American site Gamespot.
The creative heads of the game
captured many of the cat’s natural social behaviors, such as grooming or group rubbingobserves the expert.
They also added subtle details, like his pupils that dilate when he’s alert, his ears that fold back, and his defensive posture.
The phenomenon delights developers, who claim not to have anticipated such enthusiasm.
” When the studio cats started reacting to what was happening on our screens, we thought we were headed in the right direction. »
But we never imagined that so many cats would try to jump into the TVadds the producer of BlueTwelve.
Another sign of enthusiasm for stray : fans of the game have created modsthese computer modules which allow in particular to change the appearance of the main character.
Garfield or Marie (the kitten of Aristocats) are among the options. It is also possible to transform the hero into an adorable puppy.