Hi all! Finally! After so many years of hard work, we have a release date: To roam will be in the public domain on July 19, 2022! And as you may have noticed during today’s State of Play, we’re excited to announce that Stray will also be available to PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium* subscribers at this time.
It truly means everything to our small but dedicated team, and we can’t wait to see people explore this world we’ve put so much heart and passion into creating.
The idea for this game – originally called the “HK Project” – was born seven years ago by Kula and Viv, co-founders of BlueTwelve Studio. It’s really amazing to see that this is now a real full game that will be tested very soon and hopefully enjoyed by so many players around the world. We have evolved and learned a lot along the way. Of all the unexpected challenges and discoveries we found, creating an interactive cat was definitely the hardest!
Trying to control a cat – whether in real life or when making a video game – is definitely not a walk in the park! From the very beginning, we knew that the controls and animations of our stellar character had to be absolutely precise in order to properly convey this exhilarating sense of skill and movement. So, Miko, our cat animator, took the challenge to heart and spent a lot of time looking for images and video references. The good and somewhat surprising thing we found is this: it really does seem like the entire internet was basically invented for the sole purpose of posting lots of cute cat pictures and videos! So we ended up with a lot of very good reference material.
Also about 80% of the people on the team are cat owners (or cat owned, depending on how you look at it) and we even have two cats in the studio working with us almost every day! Their names are Oscar and June, and while they’re not the most productive people to be honest, they definitely add a lot of fun to the studio.
Watching them interact with objects in the office (sometimes even shutting down our computers at the most inopportune moments!) has inspired us to explore the various interactions with cats that are possible throughout the game. And, of course, they were all reviewed and approved by Jun and Oscar themselves!
But all of this effort to bring the cat to life has been put in place so that people can truly enjoy exploring as a cat in the game. We’re so excited to finally be able to show off some new environments like Ant Village in our release trailer which features this village built around a huge body of water. This is a good example of how the cat’s exceptional abilities allow us to have more freedom in level design, especially vertically, to explore the ups and downs of the world.
When we decided to add a backpack and a small drone called the B-12 that follows the cat around, it opened up a whole new level of ways for us to interact and explore the environment. In particular, being able to talk to the characters in the world was very important to convey some fundamental points about the environment or learn a little more backstory from a few of its inhabitants.
Our journey as a small team building our very first game is finally reaching its end goal, and we’re all excited to hear how players will react to exploring this unique world and interacting with its colorful inhabitants on July 19th. So, on behalf of the entire team, including Jun and Oscar: Have fun everyone!
*Availability of classic games, game trials, and game catalog may vary by time and plan. Visit https://www.playstation.com/Plus for details and updates on PS Plus deals. PlayStation Plus is an active subscription that automatically charges recurring subscription fees (at the current PS Store price) at the frequency you choose at time of purchase until cancelled. Conditions apply: play.st/psplus -use terms