CAT Interstellar is a short story-driven science fiction game about humanity's attempt to terraform Mars. Pilot a DOG V4 unit on an alien world and uncover the past of a seemingly barren planet.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (292 reviews) - 69% of the 292 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 11, 2017

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Warning: This is a short story with ~15 minutes of gameplay in its current state.

While CAT Interstellar is a story driven game at heart we want to avoid the whole "Walking Simulator" by adding intuitive player controls as well as a fully dynamic and interactive environment. We chose to release the game to early access so that we could develop openly with the community and get unbiased feedback. We've reached a point were we are confident the game will be stable and fun to play.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Currently we are planning to have the game completed by August 11, 2017.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The main additions to the game will be the amount of polish to the environments as well as the amount of story content and map sizes. We are aiming for a gameplay time of an hour.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The games current state includes the first 5 environments (~20 minutes of gameplay). The main goal of this release to get feed back on the player controls and game mechanics.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We plan to raise the price at release to $4.99 USD.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We want to be as open and honest with the community throughout development to get unbiased feedback. We plan on using the Steam Community hub as our main hub for communication and hope to be able to translate that into updates every month.”
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Recent updates View all (24)

April 26

Optimizations



This update deals exclusively with optimizations to the game. The three principal areas of optimization are draw calls, Texture memory, and dynamic lighting improvements.

The benchmark goal I have kept with this game is a minimum of 30fps at 1080p on a gtx 750. With this latest patch I’ve been getting 60fps for most of the game.

CPU Optimizations:
One of the CPU bottlenecks I found was the number of draw calls for static meshes and their materials. To address this I “merged” certain mesh groups together. In the image I've combined 6 static meshes into 1 (the yellow circles are the bounds of the object):



  • This will also help with artifacts caused by turning corners quickly.

Memory
I down-sampled a lot of textures from 4k to 2k. I did this individually for each texture to make sure there weren’t any noticeable changes to the environments. Here’s an example:


  • If you can’t tell a difference between the 2K textures and the 4k textures it means I did it right. It’s also important to note that, unlike purges in the past that cleaned up unused textures and models, this was specifically targeted towards textures used in-game. Because of this, I’ve shaved off ~1.3 Gigs to the game size and cut load times by ~50% on the benchmarking system.

https://youtu.be/QEzhxP-pdos


GPU Optimizations:
This is a lot less amazing and mainly concerns adjusting the configuration files inside Unreal Engine 4 to match the environments of CAT Interstellar. For instance, I placed every light in this game and I know for a fact that there are only five instances where more than three dynamic lights overlap. All of those instances are because of a light in an adjacent room that is blocked anyway. There is no situation where 4 dynamic lights need/should be rendered so I’ve removed the option. Similarly, I made adjusts with Particles Effects, Screen Space Reflections, Anti-Aliasing, etc...

The Cost of Progress
I hate to call this a downside but I’m not sure how you all are going to take this:
  • The graphic menu has been simplified to 3 categories with 2 options each: “Fast” or “Detail”.


Being a lifelong PC gamer/modder I completely understand why removing options from the player is generally frowned on but I feel like this one is at least partially justified. I’m honestly curious what you think though.

P.s.
These adjustments can all be changed in the console and I’ll never take that away from you.

TL;DR
  • Faster load times
  • Higher frames per second
  • Less menu options

5 comments Read more

April 8

Update 2.1.1 (Signals)



The main purpose of this build is to get feedback on the new cat mechanics. I’ve purposefully left out the fate of DOG and Android 42 as well as the ending of Signals because I need to keep some suspense for the final release.

Update/Fixes
  • The Signals level has been significantly expanded. There’s some story centric pieces missing (Like dialog) but the general layout is in place.
  • The controls for the cat character have been completely rebuilt from scratch. They aren’t perfect but they’re ready for testing.
  • Community voice acting added for Androids 520, 220, 32, 34, 128, and 481
  • Camera sway on the main-main level is fixed. The menu is now a lot easier to interact with.
  • Audio adjustment throughout the whole game.
  • Added location and altitude to chapter overlay to help with the story.
Development
The game is getting very close to completion and I wanted to give you an idea of what work remains to be done (excluding bugs and adjustments to the cat mechanics):
  • The fate of DOG and Android 42
  • Menu Redesign
  • Detail meshes added to Signals
  • Dialog added to Signals
  • Ending of Signals
  • Optimizations (always)
  • I should also have some VR footage very soon but I’ll post that in the VR thread when it is ready.
Community
The Community Screenshot challenge winner is Monterico Gaming TV with this gem:

I’ve added an achievement and viewing platform to this location. The achievement can be unlocked by starting all the generators and then going to the viewing platform. All other participants will receive a free key so look for a friend invite!!!

Support

At this point there are two main things you can do to help and support the game:

  • 1. Record a play-through
You don’t have to do some crazy editing or have a 1000 followers for me to watch it. I scourer YouTube ~once a week to watch play-throughs and they are probably the most helpful form of feedback besides the occasional 2-page forum post. It truly does help to watch players navigate the game. I can adjust the map layouts if I notice people getting confused in a particular spot or add additional direction indicators. If you’re new to this community I promise you, I read and watch every video, forum post, review and I genuinely try to respond.

  • 2. Review the game
This does NOT mean a positive review. Just to give you an idea of the dynamics, a negative review that is helpful can prevent more negative reviews by giving people something to agree with instead of forcing them to write their own negative review (The opposite is true as well). The enemy here is reviews that simply say "mah, good" or "meh, bad". Don’t worry about doing any “damage” to the score. We’re in a weird place at a 68% (mixed). It would take dozens of positive reviews to bring us up to 70% (Mostly positive) and over a hundred to drag us down into the 40% (bad) territory. I only mention this because I don’t want to try to sway your opinion either way. My main goal here is to dilute Unhelpful reviews, both positive and negative. Waiting until the actual release is also a good reason to hold off for now... you might not like how it ends.

It’s totally cool either way, I’m already really proud that the game has gotten this far.


As always thank you for the support and please enjoy Universe, one of the best science fiction stories ever written.

11 comments Read more
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About This Game

Warning: This is a short story meant to be played in a single sitting.

Play as a DOG V4 drone, a newly activated maintenance bot who is assisting in the terraforming effort on Mars. After a predictable yet unfortunate accident DOG finds himself uncovering the past of a seemingly barren planet.

Gameplay

The games current state includes the first environment (~15 minutes of gameplay) and an introduction to the second environment. The main goal of this release to get feed back on the player controls and game mechanics.

Story

We're trying to bring the "science" back to science fiction. We also wanted to explore a scenario humanity might really encounter on the first planet we aggressively try to terraform.

https://ionizedgames.com/

Visit the webpage

Https://www.facebook.com/ionizedgames

Check Out Our Facebook Page

Contact@ionizedgames.com

Or Contact Us Here

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)
    • Processor: 2 GHz Quad-Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 750
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)
    • Processor: 2 GHz Quad-Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nividia GTX 970
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Recommended for 60 FPS
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 16.10
    • Processor: 2 GHz Quad-Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 750
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 16.10
    • Processor: 2 GHz Quad-Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 970
    • Storage: 7 GB available space
Customer reviews Learn More
Overall:
Mixed (292 reviews)
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