After following along for four months of weekly teasers, the first thing I did this morning was check in with the long-awaited Mew-Genics reveal. Meet Team Meat's newest game, which is all my dreams come true.
"I think most would describe Mew-Genics as a cross between The Sims and Pokémon with a sprinkling of Animal Crossing and a dash of Tamagotchi," Edmund McMillen wrote on the Team Meat blog.
"But at its core the game really isn't like anything we've seen before."
McMillen said Team Meat has been teasing the game almost as long as it's been working on it - 17 weeks - so has until now itself been kind of blurry on the details, but is finally ready to talk.
"Mew-Genics revolves around Cats, obviously. We knew tending to these cats in a simulated 'cat lady' environment would be the foundation of our design, but the core of what we are trying to do is make a game that feels alive, a game that creates stories as you play where consequences actually mean something," he said.
"I could write a book on the design of Mew-Genics, it's by far the most complex game I've ever worked on and it's definitely pushing us both on many levels."
In order to explain what the game actually is, McMillen described a play session. He has bred a cat which has scored well at a pageant and wanted to breed from her, so placed her in a house with a new companion. The female didn't like the male and attacked it, so McMillen separated them. Unfortunately the male associated the attack with the food he'd been given at the time and starved to death thanks to his new found phobia of eating.
McMillen found a replacement male in the street but it turned out to be a narcoleptic, so his champion cat's kittens were constantly falling asleep, ruining their chances at prizes. The male infected McMillen's champion with a disease before running away, and as he couldn't afford treatments he had to put her back in stasis until later in the game.
However, shortly thereafter McMillen's character was arrested by animal control, and is uncertain if the authorities were unhappy about the runaway male, disease, or dead male. You're probably making little noises of delight right now if you have any interest in systemic and emergent gameplay.
"There are so many elements to Mew-Genics that I really don't feel like this post does it justice and honestly I'm not even sure how the hell we are going to come up with a short eloquent way of selling this game in a description, but I think the gameplay story above sums up what our goal is," McMillen added.
"We want to create a living world where cats act like cats and the player as well as the cat's actions actually matter."
A few weeks back Team Meat said the finished game would feature over 12,207,031,250,000,000,000,000 possible cats, but now believes that number is closer to 25,418,658,283,290,000,000,000,000 and growing, even ignoring variations like kitten states.
Mew-Genics is headed to Android, iOS and Steam, with possible other platforms to come. No release date has been set but Team Meat wants to stop teasing and get back to serious work. Check out some assets and very early in-progress alpha screens below.