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Interview – Tariq Mukhttar (@as3adya)

Interview – Tariq Mukhttar (@as3adya)

Two years back, at GCON 2015, we had a corner of the con space dedicated to indie developers interested in showcasing their latest work. It was there that I had the opportunity to try out a fascinating-looking little game called A Cat’s Manor, which had me hooked the minute I sat down and picked up the controls. Everything from the artwork, to the music, to the atmospheric writing, had me absolutely mesmerized, and I left the game thinking that I couldn’t wait to see what would become of this delightfully intriguing little project.

Fast forward to the present day. To my sincere delight and utter joy, not only did I get a chance to see a revamped version of A Cat’s Manor at Gamers’ Day, but I also had the opportunity to interview the creator himself. I sat down with Tariq Mukhttar, otherwise known as “As3ad Youm Aswad”, to talk about the game.

GCON: So, Tariq, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the game’s origin? How did the idea for A Cat’s Manor come to you?

Tariq: It’s quite simple, actually. When you start learning how to develop and program, the easiest source of inspiration is whatever surrounds you. So basically, you can either make a Flappy Bird clone, or a platformer Mario clone. So I started with a platformer clone. Secondly, I used to live in a house with twenty-four cats, so it was pretty obvious to me in that case who my protagonist was going to be. A cat!

GCON: Tell us a little bit more about the setting of the game; the Manor itself.

Tariq: In a platformer game, you start off in a simple home base or HQ, which in my case was a family setting. My initial idea was that you would later gain access to other locations such as the backyard, a nearby alleyway, a warehouse for acquiring items, and later go back to the house. But me, being me, I decided to populate the house with some “psycho” characters, and found myself ignoring the planned outside locations and focusing entirely on the house and its inhabitants. the more I worked on developing the characters inside the house, the more I fell in love with them, and soon enough, I found them taking on a life of their own entirely.

GCON: Let’s talk about your influences. Are there any other artists who inspired you that you’d like to mention?

Tariq: Studio Laika’s Coraline, the works of Tim Burton, Beetlejuice, and definitely Limbo, which I had just finished playing before I started development. And of course, my cats!

GCON: This Gamers’ Day, Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios for Sony Interactive Entertainment, visited with the indie game developers, and he mentioned your game specifically as one that stood out to him on Twitter. He also made several mentions of your game during his closed-session meet-up with the indie game developers.

Tariq: Yes, and I’m very honored by that.

GCON: So when can we expect a playable version of the game? One available to the general public.

Tariq: Well, since Yoshida-sensei’s special shout-out, and his mention of the game during the meet-up, I’ve felt a certain pressure to really hurry up with the development. As such, I hope to have it completed by the end of this year. I’ll try, anyway!

A Cat’s Manor contains a masterful blend of suspense, mystique, and bone-chilling horror; a perfect atmosphere for those looking for a disturbing thrill. Are you brave enough to enter the manor and uncover the horrific secrets within? Gather up your strength; you’ll need it to make it through to the end.

Interview edited for conciseness and clarity. Follow Tariq at happiestdarkcorner.com or on Twitter at @as3adya for updates on the status of the game.

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