Nyan Cat Fever: Exclusive interview with 21st Street Games

Cats are an integral part of our shared internet heritage. One developer here in New York City has been doing their darndest to make some of the craziest cat related games that you can imagine. 21st Street Games’ first foray into felines was Techno Kitten Adventure. Like Robot Unicorn Attack there are addictive techno songs that make you giggle as much as tap your foot. It’s single touch and relies more on navigating through a maze of stars, hearts, submarines and just about anything else you can imagine. Oh and also the screen will pulse, flash, flip, reverse and occasionally shoot a rainbow or two just to mess with you. Nyan Cat Adventure which is coming to iOS today after being a bestseller on Xbox Live Indie Games is a deeper side scrolling platformer. It does however share the simular trapping of Techno Kitten being deceptively simple and then finding a way to grief you. From there Nyan  I got to sit down and touch with Creative Director Brian Ferrara and the Head of Marketing Melissa Fassetta. That got to give me the inside scoop on what it was like making a game for one internet’s favorite cats. I also get a very special exclusive that some other internet cat is going to having a game from them very soon. Hmmm now who could that be? Enjoy the interview and be sure to check on Nyan Cat Adventure on iOS the lite is free the whole game only sets you back .99 cents. Techno Kitten also has a new expansion that for iOS users is .99 cents (feat. pop artist Ron English). I

The transcript and entire audio version can also be found down below after the jump.

Alex Koveos: You guys have an exciting new game coming out tomorrow Nyan Cat Adventure

Brian Ferrara: I’ll let Melissa give the …(pitch for it)

Melissa Fassetta: We do. Nyan Cat Adventure has been out for Xbox Live Indie Game since December its been top selling everyday since release and we are finally bringing it to iOS. Its going to be universal on ipod, ipad and iphone there a lite version and the full version and you get the full version for .99 cents which has new Nyans(exclusive to the iOS version) from the creator of Nyan Cat Chris Torres the PR Guitar Man.

BF: there will be more exclusive Nyans Its like tied in being a non bootleg Nyan App we get the actual creator of Nyan Cat and get access to new Nyans

AK: That’s great and you guys have had an interesting history with the creator of the Nyan Cat.

MF: Our first game under 21st St Techno Kitten Adventure launched in June 2011 and we released an update with a popular internet meme that we were unaware had any issues or any copyrights on

BF: It was totally fan requested we put out the game and everybody was like “put in Nyan Cat, put in Nyan Cat”

AK: While you did have to change that one you guys must have hit it off in some way

BF: The whole thing was we didn’t do anything on purpose just naively being “here more cats.” This one shoots rainbows out of it’s butt that’s great
and we flipped it around into a relationship where it was like well we like this stuff and fans want more of this stuff so why we make a new game with it.

MF: At the time there were a bunch of bootleg Nyan apps there were other people who were actually trying to steal it from Chris legally and copyright it under their own thing. So at first when we had this thing his manager contacted us and was like take it out or whatever the business thing was. When we got to talking and complied obviously we respect artists, we’re all artists.

BF: But there didn’t come at us in a negative way its all I understand their point of view they’re protecting their trademark and they have to do that and we respect that so it was just like “Sorry, our bad” lets figure this out and turn it into. What did I say at the (New York Gamer’s) Meetup I said turn oranges into orange drunk what I meant was lemons into lemonade  so that was this

MF: Totally since then we’ve been working with Chris and his manager who’ve helped build and we have a social media with our parent company so me and Chris have been doing stuff with that. It’s been really awesome. There is another Nyan cat game that’s licensed but we were the only one on Xbox live indie games and this launch on iOS is going to be pretty awesome.

BF: I’m hoping it draws new people to Techno Kitten also. We put a little floating Techno Kitten head in the corner. I’m hoping Nyan fans that aren’t informed

AK: I bet you’re definitely going to see a good bump because because Techno Kitten much like Nyan is insane and crazy stuff is happening at all times

B: Yeah that’s pretty much overwhelming the player, it’s audio, it’s visual stimulation overload in that game and break conventions. It doesn’t matter if you die just look at trippy visuals, get in the zone, have fun.

AK: Is there a point where you guys have to say “this thing is too crazy to put in there?”

MF: Yes once before when the meat pack I remember play testing it and it was – the board flips horizontally and it used to do it every two beats this is too much

BF: It just was too fast Nick the programmer he originally created Techno Kitten he is on the most extreme end of screwing with the player and we’re all for it but sometimes what he can play is not playable to the average user. I can make through crazy sections on the Meat world it’s completely doable once you get the  rhythm. I’m pretty good at it but I should be.

AK: SO going into Nyan Cat what kind of things did you want to change from Techno Kitten?

BF: Well we wanted to going to Techno Kitten to Nyan we wanted to keep the accessibility to the fact that we are on a touch screen and the tactile inputs there a reason those are just one button touch anywhere. You can can both games one handed.

AK: I play it on the subway

BF: You can play it just holding it with your thumb. We were trying to make something that worked really well. Anyone can pick up and play it. Even though it is can kind of challenging you can pick it up its intuitive for a lot of people just hold down the button and fly the cat straight over and over and are like “what am I doing?” or just let go of it completely and thats funny too.

AK: With Nyan cat from playing on the Xbox it seems like there is a few different platformers together in there

BF: That was when we were designing we were like “what can we do with one button?” What gameplay? Jump, Fly

AK: Toasters

BF: Yeah that was influenced by Donkey Kong Country with the barrels and like some games you know just got stuff right sometimes there is just a fun element like the gravity changing its obviously been done it’s just fun jamming them all together and all of the powerups, slowdowns it just makes it easier it just makes it like you can just sit back and if you die it doesn’t matter just keep going. It’s at the core of a lot of our games, you die you just keep going. It won’t ruin your day.

AK :I think Nyan for instance there is that good 30 seconds when you don’t know what’s going on and you start laughing and you just have to go with it after that.

MF: We were at Comic Con in San Diego last year and I was working the Techno Kitten Booth and I watched about hundreds of different people pick up techno kitten. and I’ve seen four year olds come up and get it right away and grown people get so frustrated that they walk away.

BF: It makes perfect sense if you think about it. I think the four year old is already in tune so many firends with babies I know their parents just give them the iPad and one of my friends his kid has been playing techno kitten since it was months old and she would mash her hands on and she started being more aware of what was actually going on. Yeah we’re trying to say we make educational games for infants. The infant minded.

AK: Any other memes that you think are deserving of games?

BF: Maybe we’ll give back the exclusive but there’s definitely another meme based theme coming from us. It is cat centric and it’s musical.

AK: I have no idea what it could possibly be.

BF: Nobody can figure it’s the other internet cat you could possibly think of.

AK: Chocolate rain is what you’re trying to say.

BF: Yeah it’s the chocolate rain game.

AK: I’ll be honest that would be pretty cool.

BF: We could end up there.

MF: Chocolate Rain guy hit us up. 21ststreetgames.com just provide some proof of identity.

AK: Well the game is coming out it looks great is there anything  else you guys want to say?

BF: I just want to have whoever is listening know just keep up to date with us if you like what we are doing because we are gearing up right now. We’re chugging away on some games and we definitely have new stuff coming out. New games, game on platforms, established stuff we’re releasing. It’s not as if we just have these two cat internet meme.

AK: You guys are more than a studio who does cats

BF: Well we’ll see. We make cat stuff in addition to other things people haven’t really seen yet. But that is what’s coming next. Non cat games that are also good.

AK: Great that’s really exciting thank you guys so much for talking to me.

 

Buy Nyan Cat Adventure  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nyan-cat-adventure/id494022987?ls=1&mt=8

On the web www.NyanCatAdventure.com

Techno Kitten Adventure also has a new .99 cent update pack featuring pop artist Ron English.  The pack is a $0.99 in-app purchase on iOS. Xbox Indies users will get the update for free if they’ve already bought the game.

2 thoughts on “Nyan Cat Fever: Exclusive interview with 21st Street Games

  1. Thanks for taking the time out to speak with us and inviting us to the studios! Hopefully we can do it again real soon!

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