Platformers are a pretty common genre, a type that has had major successes like Mario and Sonic. It can be tough to find an idea that’s fairly unique in the genre, although when I tried out Super Phantom Cat, I found a game whose art and sound was strangely unique and enticing. The premise of the game consists of you, a cat, who is trying to become a Super Phantom Cat, a cat that possesses magical powers.
A full review will be coming later, although I was able to ask a few questions to the game studio Veewo Games. I learned more about how they developed the game and decided to recently add support for Android TV.
On the Game’s Origins
What was the original idea behind Super Phantom Cat?
We did the research about platform games, although a lot of sophisticated games are developed, the operating difficulty, levels design, or game background of the main platformers tend to be for hard-core players, which makes once the most popular mobile game category went to the niche market. We hope the casual players could also enjoy the classical game play, that’s why we design Super Phantom Cat for mobile devices.
The art is a mix of modern and retro. How did you come up with this visual style?
We have been pursuing unique artistic style in our works; this is one of our advantages. The key point of our unique style is not only the differentiation, but also re-expression of the habitual cognition and focus on the core game experience.
For such a classic game, we want to present the game with a modern way but retain the old experience to make it a perfect hybrid of new and old.
We are inspired by the minimalist art and try to apply the fantastic design concept into the game, so we started thinking about how to use simple geometry to show the pixel style to make the game refinement but coarse. Fortunately, our efforts are paid; our creative designers finally work out the satisfied game pictures.
How long did it take to make the original game? What kinds of roadblocks did you hit?
The project started from April 2015. The initial version was completed in December 2015, and since then, we have spent several months on the game
optimization and on-line preparation. Several issues were occurred during the development, the game play difficulty level is too high to suit the casual players, and the performance not up to our expectation. Therefore, we did a lot of optimization to improve the demo.
On Developing for Android TV
Why did you decide to support Android TV?
We focus a lot on the mobile game design and optimization, Super Phantom Cat pays homage to classical platform games like Super Mario Bros and Sonic which are most popular in Video Game time. Considering that, we design the Super Phantom Cat TV version to help old players relive the fun game play in childhood.
How long did it take to add TV support?
It should be divided into two parts. Firstly, we added controller support that is involved with many content, so we spent 1 month on reconstructing the entire UI interaction logic. After that, the support for android TV was added, the auto-adaptive screen size we designed suits well on the Android TV. We spent two weeks on the TV remote control support.
How does the gameplay experience differ from a phone compared to a TV?
Basically, they are still the same game. The most different part of game experience is related to controller. The TV remote controller is not a good choice for Super Phantom Cat on TV. Users can get the best gaming experience only if play with the game controller.
On the Android TV Platform
What is your favorite part of Android TV?
I think the most attractive part is that the Android TV is able to run a large number of Android apps, which allow people to watch the channels more freely.
In the next update to Android TV, what is one feature you want to see added?
I think Super Phantom Cat performs well so far, we do hope to keep the system smooth in the next update.
What advice do you have for other developers who are on the fence about supporting Android TV?
The remote controller should be taken into consideration during the development; otherwise a lot of time would be wasted.
What’s next for Veewo Games? Are you planning on a new game?
We are planning to produce new and funnier Super Phantom Cat and considering launching our game on PC platforms.
The app is free to download on Google Play with in-app purchases. As I stated earlier, this game is strangely enticing. My full thoughts will be written in a review posted later.