Our senior editor here at Caspule Computers Travis Bruno, recently sat down with Steve Stamatiadis, Creative Director and creator of Blade Kitten over at Krome Studios and asked him some fantastic questions about the soon to be released BLADE KITTEN on XBLA, PS3 PSN, and PC due out in September (Yes anytime now). Hope you all enjoy the inteview as much as I did.
1. What inspired you to begin writing about Kit Ballard and her adventures throughout the galaxy?
I thought it was time to sit down and put all of the half used, cool ideas I’ve come up with over the years and use them for niceness instead of evil. Oddly enough I found that a lot of the ideas dovetailed together to form this amazing universe that just clicked. This was around the time I was working on first TY the Tasmanian Tiger game. I was having a ball designing all the characters and world and decided to also put that energy towards my sci-fi magnum opus which quickly became Blade Kitten.
2. Was it difficult to convey your ideas for the prequel of the Blade Kitten comic into a video game format?
Not as much as I thought it was going to be. The series was always set up to work with the idea of using the universe for games, so that was easy enough. Making sure the storyline fit into the chronology, didn’t spoil the comic story and was still unique and entertaining was much harder. I’ve got this rough plan in my mind of what happens to Kit from start to finish – very rough, mostly key points and details with plenty of breathing room to add more.
3. As a reader of your comic series, do you have any hint as to when the comic storyline will continue from where it left off on chapter 14?
Yes I’m actually working away on it again right now. I’m trying to build up a bit of a run before we start running it again. Expect to see some of the characters from the game finally make an appearance in the comic.
4. For those who are not readers, could you explain a bit about who Kit is and what they should be expecting from her. Would gamers be able to enjoy the game if they have yet to read the comic from which it is based?
Kit is a Breaker, a kind of space bounty hunter. She’s also a Felion which is a fancy name for a cat girl. Together with her cute little sidekick Skiffy and a floating AI sword known as the Darque Blade she makes a living tracking down and bringing criminals back to justice. For the game she heads to a synthetic planetoid known as Hollow Wish but she runs into a rival who’s also after the same bounty so that’s where the fun starts.
The game has been set up as its own entity so you don’t need to have any knowledge of the comics to enjoy the story. If you have read any of the comics you’ll enjoy some of the setup for the later story and see some of the key early moments of Kit’s life. Best of all it doesn’t spoil the comics either and expands on some of the elements that have been hinted at previously and play a bigger role in future episodes. I’m pretty pleased I managed to do that – it wasn’t easy and it made my brain hurt a lot.
5. How much developmental leverage did you have as the game was being created? Were you able to have final say on every change that they made?
To be honest I was pretty much all powerful on this project since I was also the director on it. If it changed it was because I felt it needed to happen to make the game better. That said, the team were always great in pointing out things in the comic that I’d missed and they worked really hard to capture the feel of the comic. You couldn’t ask to work with a better team. They made my scribbles into an awesome game.
6. As this is a side scrolling platformer, do you think this genre will best capture and portray the world of Blade Kitten the best?
Originally the game also featured a variety of elements include 3D platforming and a vehicle section and some other elements but we decided to just focus on the 2D platforming because we felt it was just a stronger idea on its own and we wanted to make it play great.
A lot of the world really comes out in the story as told by the cinematics and the rest is detail in the backgrounds. But there’s a lot in there, more than you’ll see from most other platformers.
7. I know it may be a bit early to think of this, however if the game were to sell well would you be interested in making a sequel to Blade Kitten. If you happened to make a sequel, would you try to incorporate the comic’s storyline into the game itself, or leave it as a separate entity?
I’ve thought that I’d like to get to the comic story and then retell what’s there in a game and finish the story off in game form. That, or make it a TV series. No…a game is more fun to make.
8. Are there any interesting tid bits that were added in for fans of the comic to catch that others may not have as a reward for being a faithful follower?
There’s a few mentions here and there but I think the ones comic fans will love are some of the unlockable skins featuring characters from the comic.
9. Why did you design Kit Ballard to be part cat girl and part human, or should I say a Felion? Are cat girls an interest of yours, or is there another reason?
I actually have very little interest in catgirls as some sort of genre. I wanted to have a character that was an interesting alien but was still mostly human. So I went with a catgirl. It just game me the right kind of vivacious spirit I wanted the stories to project.
10. Finally how does it feel to finally be able to bring your creation into the main stream gaming world? Is the jump from a comic book to a video game a hard one for you? Or something you had been considering upon its creation?
It’s an awesome feeling to see it all in game, even after spending two years slogging away at it. The jump has been easy because the game is what Blade Kitten was always meant for. I think players will appreciate a game with a good story and a world that exists outside of the levels especially for a platformer. Everyone will get a chance when it comes out later this month.
Capsule Computers would like to thank Steve Stamatiadis and his dedicated team over at KROME STUDIOS all the best of luck for Blade Kitten and we look forward to sharing our review of the game once its out. For now check out the Epic Story line trailer 🙂