Konrad the Kitten – a virtual but real cat
Only playable with an HTC VIVE Virtual Reality headset!
You like cats and kittens? This is your chance to have a virtual one which feels real.
If you don’t like cats that much, maybe you’re, maybe Konrad can be the chance to make your beloved one to love your super-expensive Virtual Reality Headset.
Konrad the Kitten is a small Virtual Reality game designed for the HTC Vive, with a hybrid virtual/real kitten you need to care for. By fixing an HTC Vive Controller on one of your plush toys, you bring this toy into virtual reality. The HTC Vive tracks your plush toy and replaces it with a cute kitten in the virtual world. This enables -for the first time- to not only see a virtual pet but also physically touch, lift, cuddle and play with it.
Every day when you look after Konrad, he has 12 wishes. These can be sleeping in a box, drinking from a water bowl, playing with a ball, catching mice and more. Some of them are passive (like having him sleep) and some of them require you to actively play with Konrad (like hunting mice). By fulfilling these wishes Konrad get’s happy and new objects, minigames and areas are unlocked. The whole game is controlled by lifting and moving the virtual cat. There is no need to push buttons of a controller. This enables an unbelievable immersion into the virtual world.
How it works and how to play
To play it, you need an HTC Vive and (for best experience) a plush toy with at least 12 inch (30 cm) size. The plush toy doesn’t need to be a cat, it can be anything matching. You can also play the game without a plush toy but then a lot of the immersion is lost.
Preparing the game
- Fix one of the HTC Vive Controllers upside-down on the back of the plush toy (for example with rubber bands or scrunchies). Assure that it’s fixed proper, so the controller can’t slip off the cat while playing. Also care about the lanyard of the controller. It should be fixed with the rubber band as well, so it cannot get stuck with something.
- Place the plush toy (with the controller on its back) on the ground in the middle of your play area.
- Turn off the second (other) Vive Controller (by holding its steam button 15 seconds).
- Start the game.
Playing the game
- Once the game has launched, you’ll see Konrad sitting in the middle of the play area.
- Carefully (!) lift the kitten and place it on the “calibrate” marker to calibrate the ground. The marker will turn green after calibration.
- Then place the kitten on the Warp Zone marker to go to the area selection.
- For the first play, only one area (the house) is available. So place the cat on this area marker to go inside the house. Other areas will be unlocked when fulfilling the cat’s needs.
- Place the cat on the ground at one of the objects. The cat will interact with the object. While interacting, you’ll see the progression bar inside the wish-icon changing. After Konrad is done, the wish-icon disappears.
- After a need is fulfilled, small hearts will appear. Catch them by moving Konrad towards them. Each heart will increase Konrad’s affinity towards you.
- Some wishes will trigger minigames. When playing a minigame (like the mouse-hunting), hold Konrad in both hands so he looks away from you. Move him around so he can catch the targets. He will automatically grab after the target, as soon as he is near one.
- Fulfill Konrad’s needs to unlock other objects, minigames and areas.
- Konrad has 12 needs every day. Be sure to look after him the next day again!
Why fixing a plush toy on a controller just for playing a game?
The combination of a plush toy representing the virtual cat in the real world gives a unique experience. You (or your girlfriend 😉 ) can really touch the cat, it’s fluffy, you can lift it, move it around. That is unlike all experiences where you just have the controllers in your hand and press buttons.
Who created Konrad?
The first version of the game is created by me as a single person. With an HTC Vive and a passion for making video games, I decided to do something special for my girlfriend for our anniversary. Because of her love for cats and an idea of tracking a real plush toy in a virtual environment, the idea of creating a virtual cat was born. Programmed in the evenings while she was sleeping, just in time for our anniversary, “Konrad” was ready to play with. Her excitement of really touching this cute kitten brought us to the opinion, that other girlfriends of other men on this planet should have this as well.
After great feedback during Steam Greenlight, I got the chance from FusionPlay to bring Konrad really to live and move the project from my spare time into a real job.
Status of the game
The game is in early access but already fully playable.
The current game contains
- 3 areas to visit (house, forest, beach)
- 12 objects to play with (unlocked step by step)
- 3 Minigames
- Warp Zone Area
- Settings area (including short introduction and calibration)
Early access planned progression
Early access status is planned for 4 to 6 months. During that time, the focus of the development is:
- Tuning the experience to be a perfect seamless blend of reality and virtuality
- Adding new objects and areas (currently planned at least 5 areas with 20 objects and 5 minigames in total)
- Adding the option to have multiple cats with different personalities.
- Stabilizing & Bugfixing
- An HTC Vive
- At least 1.5 meters x 2.0 meters room space
- Also it is strongly suggested to have a plush toy with a length of 12 inch (30 cm) or larger.
Pc requirements are
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or newer
- Intel i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 or better
- 8 GB or more RAM
- Nvidia Geforce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290 or better