1 Guy, 2 Weeks, 1 Game: Cat5

A multiplayer top-down team-based tactical action game for Windows, Linux & (hopefully) MacOS X. Think Hotline Miami meets Frozen Synapse meets ROTC: Ethernet.
Michael Goldener
1 Team Member

Development version gameplay footage (Feb. 27)

So I asked one of my favorite YouTube Let’s Players (and fellow game developer) JimPlaysGames to help me test the development version of the game. He was kind enough to help me out and also recorded the session. He experienced some weird stutters that I can’t quite explain. Nevertheless, you can watch the entire gaming session (6 players, 45min) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2TUioMZfL0.

About me

Hi, my name is Michael Goldener (though I tend to go with the name Fritz) and I like to use computers to create things. One of my longest running projects is a unique free, experimental FPS game called "Revenge Of The Cats: Ethernet" (http://www.desura.com/games/revenge-of-the-cats-ethernet).

I was born in 1985 and despite having acquired a lot of computer-related skills since then, I've never been able to use them to make money*. But who cares? - I do this because it's interesting, fun and inherently rewarding. If I need money, there are always "real" Jobs I can do on the side. At least that's what I used to think. But the last few years have proven that (1) I'm terrible at getting "real" jobs and that (2) working a "real" job leaves me with no energy to work on the things I actually care about.

* One exception: Someone once donated 10$ to ROTC: Ethernet. I used the money to buy Hotline Miami :-)

Crowdfunding: The solution?

Could crowdfunding be a way for me to work on projects I care about while also getting some money to pay the bills?

That's what I'm trying to figure out here. And with this being my first attempt at crowdfunding, I'm starting with an inexpensive and short (but also very intense) project: Creating a small but fun PC game in just two weeks. 

I'll need to raise 700 bucks to cover the cost of the project, which is essentially just my living expenses for the two weeks I'm currently dedicating to nothing else than working on the game.

Why you might help

  • Maybe you want your own, visually unique etherform in the game (see "Unique Etherform" perk).
  • Maybe you think the game will be fun and would like a chance to influence its development (see "Tester" perk).
  • Maybe you'd like to have your name, your website or your company prominently displayed in the main menu (see "Sponsor" perk).
  • Maybe you have a short message that you'd like to see in the game (see "Supporter With A Message" perk).
  • Maybe you want to help me out because you like ROTC: Ethernet.
  • Or maybe you think like me and believe that projects like this somehow deserve support on principle ;-)

How similar is Cat5 to ROTC: Ethernet?

Technically, Cat5 is a fork of ROTC: Ethernet. But the only thing thing the finished version of Cat5 will share with ROTC is code and the basic idea of the "Ethernet" game mode. Cat5's gameplay is very different from ROTC's.

About the game

Cat5 is a multiplayer top-down team-based tactical action game for Windows, Linux and (hopefully) MacOS X. 

Think ROTC: Ethernet meets Frozen Synapse meets Hotline Miami!

The "Ethernet" game type (à la ROTC: Ethernet)

Maps are divided into zones and two teams fight over control of these zones. Players control flying, indestructible "etherforms" that can manifest into physical form within a zone controlled by their team. These physical forms can then capture additional zones by being inside them while no physical enemy  is also present. The zone then turns the team's color. If physical forms of both teams are present, the zone remains white. The game is won if the opposing team has lost all their zones and has no more physical forms on the map that could possibly claim them back. 

Physical forms can voluntarily switch back into etherform at any time. If they are destroyed, their player is simply forced back into etherform.

Tight role-based teamplay (à la Frozen Synapse)

Players will have to work tightly together in order to capture zones. Going in alone will only get you killed.

The following classes are currently planned:

  • Shotgunner: The primary assault class, shotgunners move fast and can destroy physical forms with one hit at close range. Their main weakness is their low rate of fire.
  • Minigunner: Minigunners can provide supressing fire allowing teammates to move to new positions.
  • Specialist: Their bouncing projectiles can be used to attack enemies behind cover.

Unforgiving fast-paced high-precision combat (à la Hotline Miami)

The combination of precise mouse/keyboard controls and the top-down viewpoint allows for intense combat, where the smallest mistake can lead to a quick death. Though saying "death" is misleading, as players can't really die. Destroying a player's physical form only forces him back into etherform, enabling him to manifest somewhere else soon after.

3D demo playback

Players can record demos of their matches. When playing them back, the camera can move around freely.

In-game map editor

Being based on the ROTC: Ethernet engine (which in turn is based on the Torque Game Engine), Cat5 already has a functional in-game map editor.

What happens if funding succeeds?

If funding succeeds, I'll release the game (client & server) as freeware to the public through http://cat5.wasted.ch no later than the first of march 2013.

What happens if funding fails?

If funding fails, I'll still release the game (client & server) as freeware to the public through http://cat5.wasted.ch no later than the first of march 2013. I won't remove custom etherforms from the game once they're in, but if funding fails the released version will naturally not contain any sponsorship credits/messages (see perks).

Feedback needed!

This being my first attempt at a crowdfunding campaign, I could really use some feedback on the campaign itself.

Did you consider backing the project but then decided against it? - Please let me know why.

Do you have suggestions how to improve this page? - Please tell me.

Is something unclear? - Don't be afraid to ask questions.

How to get in touch with me?

You can contact me via e-mail at mg@wasted.ch or find me in the #cat5 channel on the FreeNode IRC network under the username "fr1tz".

Or if you're into that kind of thing, you can also find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/m.goldener.

Features (Guaranteed)

If funding succeeds, this is a list of features the release on the first of march is guaranteed to contain.

Additional features will be added during the course of this campaign. Once a feature appears on this list, I guarantee it won't be removed again.

  • Client & Server for MS Windows and Linux
  • Online & LAN play
  • Playable forms with original visuals and sound effects:
    • Etherform
    • Shotgunner
    • Minigunner
    • Specialist
  • Maps
    • Simple fairly linear map
  • Functional graphical user interface
  • Working in-game map editor
  • 3D demo playback

Features (Optional)

I have lots of ideas for the game, but because the idea of the project is to create a complete game completely by myself in an insanely short amount of time, I can't guarantee that they will all be realized.

Features on this list might be moved to the guaranteed features list above during the course of this campaign.

  • Client & Server for Mac OS X (I can't guarantee a Mac OS X version because I have to borrow a Mac from somewhere every time I want to build the Mac OS X version.)
  • Playable forms with original visuals and sound effects:
    • Grenadier
  • Maps
    • A map with an interesting zone layout  
  • Stylish graphical user interface with original visuals and sound effects

Information for supporters

This section is only relevant for people who have claimed one of the following perks:

  • Tester
  • Unique Etherform (includes "Tester")
  • Supporter With A Message (includes "Tester")


Contact me and tell me your desired player name + password.

Unique Etherform

For now I only need a 64x64 pixel avatar icon. PNG format would be best. You can send me a link to the picture or send it as an e-mail attachment.

Supporter With A Message

Let me know if you've decided on a message or want to change your current one. For now I'm going with a maximum message length of 140 characters, though that might increase once I get to work on the GUI.

raised in 17 days
44% funded
No time left
$700 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign did not meet its $700USD funding goal by the deadline.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on February 28, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Big Heart, Small Wallet

    Your name will appear in the credits and in the main menu's credits-ticker.

    0 claimed
  • $5USD

    You will be able to play the game and provide feedback while it's still being developed. This perk also includes everything from the "Big Heart, Small Wallet" perk.

    1 claimed
  • $10USD
    Unique Etherform

    You'll get your own visually unique etherform. This perk also includes everything from the "Tester" perk.

    6 out of 100 claimed
  • $50USD
    Supporter With A Message

    You'll be able to choose a short message that will be displayed next to your name on the credits screen and on the main menu's credits-ticker. This perk also includes everything from the "Tester" perk.

    3 out of 10 claimed
  • $1,000USD

    The main menu will prominently display "Sponsored by" followed by your name, your website or the name of your company.

    0 out of 1 claimed
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