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All of your feline fantasies come true in 'Catlateral Damage'

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Life would be so much easier as a cat. Few humans recognize the potential for feline bliss better than Chris Chung, the creator of Catlateral Damage, a first-person cat simulator. As a kitty locked up in a house full of annoying human things, your goal is to knock down as many objects as possible, including books, lamps, groceries, toys and plants. After exploding in popularity in early 2014 and raising $62,000 on Kickstarter, Catlateral Damage is out today on Steam for a launch price of $9.

"I'm extremely surprised by the positive reception it's been getting, especially considering that this is my first game and that it's kind of a weird concept," Chung says. "The biggest surprise might have been our Kickstarter and how many people wanted to put their cat in the game. We had to increase the number of tiers due to high demand, which was awesome."

Gallery: Catlateral Damage | 7 Photos

Chung created Catlateral Damage in August 2013 during the 7DFPS game jam, a weeklong program designed to reinvigorate the first-person shooter genre. Chung wasn't about to make a military-style shooter -- he wanted to play with perspective in his entry, and he found inspiration in his childhood cat, Nippy. Plus, he says, "I had a suspicion that the internet might love cats as much as I do."

By July 2014, Chung had raised $20,000 more than he'd asked for on Kickstarter and Catlateral Damage was approved on Steam Greenlight. He was also the first developer to join a new "indie incubator" program run by Slam Bolt Scrappers studio Fire Hose Games. In the indie accelerator system, Chung received marketing, development, and financial support from Fire Hose -- he was able to leave his job in QA and focus on Catlateral development full-time. Chung says that working with Fire Hose has been "amazing."

"I really don't think this game would have been successful without the support I've received from Fire Hose," he says in an email. "They did a tremendous job helping with the Kickstarter, and when it came to development and marketing I know that they really multiplied my efforts. Of course we've had disagreements from time to time but I always had final say, so it was never a big deal. Plus, we play a lot of Smash Bros. at the office, which is purrfect for me."

Chung's success story reads like the checklists of many indie developers today: a game jam, Kickstarter, Steam Greenlight (or Early Access) and plenty of help from the community. And, of course, cats.

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