Introduction to Ganbatte

Introduction to Ganbatte

Ganbatte Koy Space Promo Platforms

Hello and welcome to the Ganbatte development blog!

At the start of this summer, we started working on a new project which we, until recently, internally called “sushi cats”. The game was born out the idea of making a VR game that combines some of our most favorite things: cats, sushi and space!

Furthermore, we wanted the game to be easy to pick up and play – and be accessible to a broad audience: something you could easily introduce your friends and family to, and they would be able to just jump in, and play.

There was another requirement we defined: seated play. Let’s face it: when it comes to gaming and using the PC, we’re lazy cats. We like to make ourselves comfortable (hence our “no shoes -> slippers only” office policy)! Don’t get me wrong, we love the immersion amplifier of using your entire body in VR! However, we believe this strong sense of immersion can also be achieved while being seated. And because it’s less tiring, for longer periods of time. What matters to us, is that the world makes sense, responds in a plausible way and that there’s hand-presence. That’s why we decided to make our game a seated experience.

Ganbatte main game concept sketches

We’re a small studio, and this will be our first Steam release, so we needed to pick our battles wisely. Instead of thinking “first (steam) game: MMO!” we’re doing pretty much the opposite, we’re focusing our energy on one core game mechanic, making sure it plays and feels absolutely right. We wanted to keep our scope small, and our quality and polish very high. That small scope has one exception though: multiplayer. We believe that the best VR experiences are shared, and thus we set-out to make a social VR game, that’s playable across multiple hardware platforms. In terms of visual polish: we think that our talented team + a unique stylised art-style will get us there. Gameplay polish is a different topic, and we know that the best multiplayer games are meticulously balanced. Being an unknown, young and small indie team, we also realized we couldn’t get the volume of user data by means closed alpha or beta testing. This is why we decided to release the game as an Early Access title first, and use the feedback and data that the community provides to guide us towards full release.

Ganbatte spaceship restaurant concept sketches

In terms of gameplay, we are most inspired by the Nintendo 64 party game Pokémon Stadium (1998), which featured the brilliant (and highly addictive) mini-game Sushi-go-round. We asked ourselves, could this work in VR, with cats, in space? After many design sessions, weeks of prototyping, testing (and starting over) we believe that we’ve nailed the core mechanic. This made us feel confident to move forward, and work on world building, extending the core concept, adding depth, replayability and a name: Ganbatte was born!

In Ganbatte, you are a space-faring cat, and you compete against others, trying to eat as much valuable sushi as you can, to reach the highest score. You can customize your cat and you are able to earn and unlock different accessories.

Ganbatte interior view concept sketches

What followed is a process that we’re now in, up to our ears: we’re working on additional game mechanics, art style, music, sound, different game modes, character design, cat customization, the social and communication aspect, Twitch integration (?), level design and a whole lot more. We have a clear roadmap and we’ll use this dev blog to share our progress with you, our community. We hope you enjoy it.

– Thomas Papa, Mimicry

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