What did you use to make this game?
I coded it using C ++ language with Allegro graphics and sound libraries.
Does it work on Linux or Mac?
It's only compiled to work on Windows, but it seems to work good enough on those platforms through the Wine emulator.
Will you release it for a console like Switch?
No. I don't have the rights nor the tools to do so.
Will you put it on Steam? I like to have all my games arranged there.
No. Steam is quite strict with the rights issue and also makes you pay if you want to use their platform, so as this game is free...
I don't feel it will happen.
Will you make a boxed edition?
I would love to!
Start with 9 lives
Though cats are known to have 7 lives, the original game has the possibility to start with 9 instead of the classic 3 in most games, so you can do it here too. To do this, you must type "BILLWILLIAMS" with your keyboard anywhere in the main menu. If it works, you'll see that the number of lives changed on the fence.
Play with Felicia
If instead of trying to get to Felicia with Freddy you want to do the opposite, type "FELICIA" anywhere in the main menu and you'll see Felicia replaces Freddy on the fence.
Crazy CPU Level
Besides the four difficulty levels that you can select for the cats controlled by the machine, if you type "CRAZY" on top of the level selection of one of them it will play as if a real cat put its paws on the keyboard.
See the hiscore replay
If you have achieved a first hicore, you can see a replay of it by typing "HISCORE" in the title or main menu screen. If it works, that replay will start. If you play in the arcade cabinet mode (without keyboard, it is understood), to see that replay you must hold Up and Action button of the first player controller without having inserted any credit until the demo appears, which will be the hiscore replay.
First of all, I want to thank the people who have contributed to make this remake possible. Especially to Mar for the encouragement and constant support to finish this project (and the drawing that I used as cover and "box-art" for it), and Alex for doing a really intensive beta-testing making the game have the minimum number of bugs possible given the unprofessional nature of the remake. His interest and support have been indispensable in the final stage of development.
And having said that, I will use this section to explain some things about this project that most people will not be interested in, but who knows: maybe someone does.
I started this project long time ago, in the late 90's, along with many other things that I tried to program with a compiler called DJGPP under MS-DOS. The Allegro libraries meant a step forward to everything that I programmed, allowing the easy use of what we called back then True Color (more than 256 colors) and digital sound.
The idea was initially to recreate as close as possible the original game, allowing me to learn along the way and serve me as a base project to develop future original games. Years passed and the project was stopped on countless occasions. In 2014 (yes, more than 14 years later) I took it back, migrating to Windows taking advantage of the fact that Allegro libraries were ported to this platform, with the intention of making a remake now with high resolution graphics. But even though I spoke with several artists, none of them ended joining the project, so I decided to simply recreate the original by adding VGA colors to the PC version to make it look better.
Every time I showed the project to someone, he suggested things to me: How about a multiplayer mode? How about making new graphics even if they are in low resolution? What if? How? Why?
And as they were really interesting, that amount of new ideas ended being a real pain in the ass as they only extended the project and turn it into something far from beeing finished and from my amateur programmer skills, without any graphic artists or collaborators neither too much time to devote to it.
So suming up: I finally redid most of the graphics with my - not so good - pixel art skills and "inspiring" myself with random art from internet. I also did the multiplayer mode, which leads me then to have to program the artificial intelligence of the cats. That was also a real hell, but very rewarding when I finally got my little kittens clever enough to play the whole game.
The gameplay is a mixture of the PC and Atari versions. Although I had only played the first one in my childhood, through testing with emulators I tried to make a midpoint between both of them, taking the best (or what I liked the most) from each one. So, even if you select one graphic mode or another, the gameplay will be always the same: that variation halfway between the original games.
At one point I also thought about the possibility of adding two more versions: PC-88 (a japanese computer that also had a port) and Spectrum, because a couple of years ago a version for that 8 bit computer was in progress by a russian programmer (well, I think he is russian). But finally the latter was not completed and the japanese port was so bad and unknown that I thought it was not worth it.
The game was almost ready in 2017 but I had to make many final touches to correct problems and bugs, so finally I could not finish and publish it until 2018. Yes, this remake has had a development of more than 18 years... although with years stops in the way because of multiple reasons. It has not been the result of any programming marathon contest that some good programmers do sometimes, not at all. If I had to count the amount of hours I have devoted to this... I am even afraid to think about it. A nightmare.
The truth is despite all that "suffering", it has been a great satisfaction to be able to complete for once a project that, clearly, was far away from my reach and that's why it has taken me so long. But at the same time I think it has become, given the lack of decent or finished remakes that existed of this game, a good tribute to the original Alley Cat and its author, Bill Williams - may he rest in peace -
Since at the and because of many circumstances I did not finish earning my living with something related to game programming (as I would have wanted when I was little), I like to think that this will have been, in short, my little contribution to the retro videogame scene :)