Sometimes you just want insane action, ridiculous explosions, and…cats. Knowing this eternal truth, Chunkybox Games has created Wildcat Gun Machine, the purest articulation of violence and felines we’ve seen this side of the Thundercats.
To better understand this gore festival, we got in touch with the mysterious ‘Dave’, the one-man-band behind Wildcat Pistol, and asked him a few questions. If you like the idea of attaching yourself to a mech and wasting a level, then read on…
Could you please introduce yourself and your role on Wildcat Gun Machine?
My name is Dave and apart from the music which was composed by the amazing GODONTGO, I developed Wildcat Gun Machine as a one person team.
Could you give us a brief overview of Wildcat Gun Machine?
Wildcat Gun Machine is a hellish shooter with a huge arsenal of weapons, epic boss fights and a challenging level of difficulty. You can also pet the cats.
Going on to the over-the-top (and cat-filled) trailers, Wildcat Gun Machine seems to want to be fun without the frills. Is it right?
That’s right. I like to call the game an “explosion roller coaster”. There’s no story in the game, it’s just about the action and making sure the moment-to-moment gameplay is as polished as possible.
How does a player progress?
The game has a linear campaign so players navigate through vast, maze-like dungeons filled with challenging enemy encounters. There are weapon perks and upgrades that the player can use to upgrade and become an unstoppable force of destruction.
You struggled to point out that Wildcat Gun Machine is handcrafted. Are these constructed levels rather than something procedurally generated?
That’s right. The levels are not procedurally generated and there is no rogue-like element to the game, it’s more of a classic arcade shooter. By removing the randomness from gameplay, you can craft very specific challenges and really mess with the player during enemy encounters. It also means that the gameplay can be designed around the types of weapons that I know the player will have access to.
What can you tell us about the forty types of firearms? Will they feel very different from each other?
The variety of guns is there to keep the game fresh. The player should discover new weapons quite frequently and if a certain weapon does not suit his style of play, he will find another very soon. There are classics like the shotgun and flamethrower, plus other weapons like a pistol that fills the screen with shards of ice. The BFG also makes an appearance.
The highlight of the trailer for us (apart from the chat) is the ridiculously OTT robot you can get attached to. What’s the story behind it? Do we have occasion to use it frequently?
There are a few giant mechs in the game. After every major boss fight, the player is rewarded with one of these mechs and a screen full of enemies to take down. It is to make the player feel super powerful for a while and break through the tough gameplay.
What was the inspiration behind the haters? Above all, they make us uncomfortable.
Enemy designs are intentionally crude to make it more satisfying to watch them explode into piles of guts. It’s like popping pimples.
In some ways, Wildcat Gun Machine feels like Returnal remade as an isometric shooter. Maybe with a stain of Enter the dungeon and underworld. Are any of these comparisons relevant?
The instant gameplay draws a lot of inspiration from games like Enter the Gungeon (minus the rogue-like element) as well as high-intensity shooters like Loss.
You have created a Discord community. How much did that factor into the finished product?
Discord, as well as the Steam Forums have been a great way to reach out to the community. There were a few demo events online where I was able to get player feedback, which was invaluable as it grew through Covid and the lack of trade shows to get feedback.
How does it feel to launch a first game? And a multiplatform in addition?
A bit nerve-wracking but extremely exciting to finally have the game out there.
What’s the secret to an awesome boss battle?
I feel like bosses that require the player to learn their attack patterns and find attacking opportunities are the most rewarding. A heart-pounding music track is also important.
The Steam page says there are “monster battle puzzles”. What’s a monster closet when it’s at home?
I’m not sure, but I’m sure it doesn’t smell good.
And finally… are we going to get our ass back?
For sure. But that’s okay, the Wildcats have 9 lives.
And finally, finally… whose cat is in the trailer?
I wish I could say we hired a professional stuntman, but it was someone’s cat from the marketing agency who edited the trailer.
Hope you enjoyed it, because Wildcat Gun Machine is not far away. It’s due out on Xbox, PC, Switch, and Playstation on May 4, which will be here in no time. You can be sure we’ll give it the traditional TheXboxHub news and review when it arrives.