By Tanya Silverman
Screenshots of Catlateral Damage. Courtesy of Chris Chung.
Dash, crouch, pounce, land, whack, drop, thud. Meow.
If you’re a cat-owning human, the aforementioned sequence might sound like the annoying reality of when your furry friend jumps on furniture and knocks over household belongings. As irritating as cleaning up afterwards can be, perhaps you feel envious of how much fun the finicky feline has at your expense.
Finally, there’s a way to simulate the naughty experience: Catlateral Damage. It’s a first-person game in which users play from a cat’s perspective and embark on a rampage of jumping on household surfaces and wreaking havoc.
Chris Chung created Catlateral Damage as a way to realize one of his dreams, which was, of course, experiencing the typical day of a cat. He is an owner of two and while he spent time studying his relatives’ cats for influence, the main inspiration, Chung says, is from Nippy, his childhood pet who had a habit of knocking unattended food onto the ground.
“To me, he was the epitome of what a cat should be: disobedient, condescending, demanding, clever, playful, friendly, and cuddly,” Chung describes Nippy. “He was definitely the alpha-kitty in the house and always got what he wanted.”
The demo is available right now, in which you can run around a bedroom, jump on beds, shelves, and counters to knock over books, toy robots, or lamps.
The Catlateral Damage Kickstarter campaign just concluded. With the funds raised, Chung plans to develop a full game compatible with several types of platforms and operating systems. The completed version will feature other rooms in the house for cats to damage.
“Kitchens will have countertops, cabinets, appliances, food, dishes, and cutlery. I envision cats pawing open cabinet doors and throwing all the plates, cups, and glassware out onto the floor,” Chung says. “I’m not sure how accurate it may be, but prying open the refrigerator and demolishing all the food inside might be amazing.”
Ultimately, he hopes that Catlateral Damage can undo the common human practice of projecting our own mannerisms onto felines, and rather, help us better comprehend the idea of a day through our cats’ “minds and paws.”