Nintendo Signs Eugene Indie Game

A game starring a cat in a robot suit will be released on Nintendo Switch.

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Comic by Emmett Crass, inspired by characters in Doinksoft's "Gato Roboto."
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On Aug. 31 at the PAX West gaming convention in Seattle, Doinksoft, a Eugene-based startup, announced that it will release a game called Gato Roboto in 2019 for Nintendo Switch and PC platforms.

The action-adventure game revolves around a cat in a robotic suit sliding and leaping across platforms while firing at enemies with blasters. The 11-minute demonstration of Gato Roboto at the convention reveals the game’s minimalistic black-and-white color scheme.

Doinksoft, less than half a year old, is a three-person team comprised of Cullen Dwyer, Joseph Bourgeois and Britt Brady. Dwyer and Brady, who have a long history of making games together, co-founded the company when they were seeking a new flow of income and decided to take on a hobby project that Brady and Bourgeois had been working on.

“We are all equal partners and have at times multiple or crisscrossing roles.” 

– Britt Brady, Co-founder of Doinksoft

“The three of us decided to go full-force on the cat-in-a-mech-suit game that had garnered some interest on Twitter,” Dwyer said. “Soon enough, we were teamed up with Devolver Digital, making this thing into a full-on game.”

Because of the Eugene game company’s small staff, each member takes on a variety of responsibilities, Dywer said. Although Dwyer’s and Bourgeois’s skills lie mainly in programming while Brady’s focus is on arts and sounds, each member often finds himself contributing beyond his main areas of expertise.

“We are all equal partners and have at times multiple or crisscrossing roles,” Brady said.

The concept behind Gato Roboto was influenced by games both Dwyer and Brady had enjoyed playing. Exploration games like Metroid and Blaster Master, the latter of which gives the player’s character the ability to exit their in-game vehicle, inspired the Gato Roboto creators. Unlike the character in Blaster Master, however, the cat in the Doinksoft game can be played in or out of its robot suit.

Gato Roboto’s appearance on Switch next year will be a success for the indie game and a milestone for Doinksoft. Dwyer said that having the game on Nintendo Switch was a goal from the beginning.

“The entire game we’ve made, we’ve made ensuring that it would play well on the Switch. The color scheme, the size of the art on-screen, the theme of the game. I’m very excited for this.”

Although the Doinksoft team sees a bright future for Gato Roboto, the game is still in its early stages of development. The trio is slightly on edge to meet its self-imposed deadlines, Dwyer said. He added that the “cute and bite-sized” appearance of the game can be deceptive of the amount of work required to design, plan and create the game.

“The entire game we’ve made, we’ve made ensuring that it would play well on the Switch. The color scheme, the size of the art on-screen, the theme of the game. I’m very excited for this.”

– cullen Dwyer, Co-founder of Doinksoft

Brady and Dwyer took on the task of Gato Roboto when they were living off of their savings and were unsure if this game would be successful. However, after teaming up with Devolver Digital and presenting Gato Roboto at the PAX West convention, Dwyer feels confident in this project “as a livelihood as well as a game that people will enjoy.”

Although he is hoping to take a break after the game is released on Switch in 2019, Dwyer said, he believes that he will probably soon start tinkering with new game prototypes again. Doinksoft is currently working on a mobile game that will soon be released, but the company’s current focus remains on Gato Roboto.