About this project
Hustle Cat is the story of Avery Grey, a high school grad who has no idea how to grow up, or why you have to, even. But Avery’s tired of messing up Aunt Wendy’s apartment with old pizza boxes and laziness (and their chubby cat, Mochi). It’s time to find a job! And just a ten minute walk away, there’s a strange little cafe called A Cat’s Paw that’s looking for someone special.
$27,500: Samm Neiland will add an additional vocal track to the Hustle Cat OST!
$30,000: Everyone who backs at $60 and up will receive a print of Avery and Mochi by the amazing Yuko Ota of Johnny Wander (see update #7 for more details!)
$35,000: After our February launch, we'll release a whole new storyline: HANDSOME PRINCE MOCHI (see update #8 for the Secret History of Mochi!!)
... where you get interviewed by the mysterious cafe proprietor, Graves. Or...
... meet Avery's cute coworkers, with an in-depth intro to Finley, the social media manager of A Cat's Paw!
Explore the world of Hustle Cat from the eyes of Avery: the decisions you make for them affect the rest of the game! Not only that, but you can pick their look, and their pronoun: she, he, or they.
For the past few years, mysterious boss Graves has been collecting lost souls affected by an evil spell that’s been turning them into cats. Once they step outside of the cat cafe, they can’t change back into humans… but the answers might lie within a fascinating book in the cafe’s basement, and in you!
As Avery, you’ll help each of the Cat’s Paw employees through their curse. Some, like charismatic Finley and her internet-famous alter ego, don’t see a problem with their cat forms. Others are slowly losing their human connections to the outside world, and need Avery’s help. And if Graves isn’t some sinister vampire guy, then what’s his deal?
Will you solve the mystery of the little downtown cat cafe? Or will you help out one of your new, cute coworkers at A Cat’s Paw? With six romantic options and a special, secret storyline, you will be able to play Hustle Cat right in your browser: on your phone, on a tablet, or a computer! (But it won't be voice acted, like our lovely video.)
You'll be able to play the game on DateNighto.com, but we'll also be launching a Steam: Greenlight campaign: each copy of Hustle Cat will come with a free Steam key once we're Greenlit, so you don't have to pick a format.
Avery will form friendships (and maybe, a deeper relationship) with six cute coworkers, each with a story to tell. Who’s your cat cafe crush?
Landry, your friendly co-waiter and the de-facto cafe carpenter, is great with his hands. His smile brightens everyone's day, but is he using it to hide something?
Finley, the joyful social media intern, has a lot of energy to share with everyone. Can you keep up with her and her love of Internet cats?
Nervous barista Hayes feels more comfortable around coffee and cats than he does around people, but can you reach his heart and help him blossom?
Taciturn chef Mason is full of contradictions- she seems like she could take you in a fight, but also like she’d spoil you with pastries. Can you become sweethearts with this sweets maker?
The bossy Assistant Manager, Reese, always has something to prove. Can you break through to his gentle side and help him achieve something that’s always been out of his grasp?
Your odd-eyed boss Graves seems like he’d be more suited to running a vampire RPG than a cat cafe. He’s got a strange tendency to quote Edgar Allen Poe, a dark past, and a mysterious motivation to protect A Cat’s Paw, and you.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a magical mystery if the kitties didn’t have a couple secrets too. As Avery, you’ll get to know these buddies, and unlock the secrets of Hustle Cat.
Date Nighto is a little game company in Brooklyn, NY, and our goal is to bring cuteness and life to creative stories. We specialize in visual novels, you know, the games from Japan where you click to read dialog, but we really wanted to make our own: romance stories with a focus on accessibility, LGBTQ-friendliness, great storytelling and beautiful art.
In 2015, under the creative direction of HamletMachine herself, we released the successfully-funded Starfighter: Eclipse, which Kotaku.com described as “... Mass Effect, but way gayer.” We also worked with Aevee Bee of Zeal fame to create We Know the Devil, a short horror game about devil-fighting teens at summer camp.
Kasey Van Hise is the lead writer of Hustle Cat. She’s the creator of the webcomic Winters in Lavelle, and worked closely with Date Nighto during the creation of Starfighter: Eclipse. We are not 100% sure if she is a cat or not but she works hard and you don’t need thumbs to type.
Lindsay Woods is the art and creative director of Hustle Cat, and the ultimate despair. Everything you see--art, backgrounds, literally everything--is evidence of her lengthy professional experience as an illustrator and anime-boy enthusiast.
Conrad Kreyling is our fearless leader, lead developer, and the ultimate hope. You may have seen his previous work on Guns of Icarus or Bush’s Bean Dash for Bush’s Beans, but his proudest moment was that time he made a calculator for Persona 4 Golden fusions.
Jo Fu is the lead producer for Date Nighto games, which means she keeps everyone on schedule, watches the budget, and puts food in front of people when they forget to eat.
Of course, in addition to your help, we needed assistance from a few of our good friends:
Jenn Doyle (Knights Errant) is a webcomics all-star, and they’ll be helping us with event CGs and coloring!
Audra Furuichi (nemu*nemu) is behind the cat designs! Of course, A Cat’s Paw is home to a bunch of adorable cats, and we needed a professional cutie illustrator to draw ‘em.
Samm Neiland (http://sammneiland.com/) composed and performed for the Starfighter: Eclipse soundtrack, is a beautiful human, and makes beautiful music! You can hear his first track for our game in the playable Hustle Cat demo.
Risks and challenges
If you’ve made it this far, you probably know the drill for video games on Kickstarter: a committed audience gets really excited, then years later receives a game they didn’t expect, or no game at all. This won’t be Date Nighto. Hustle Cat is a very personal project for all of us, which means it’s less risky for you.
Our main challenge is making the art and story as wonderful as you’ve come to expect from a Date Nighto game. With your help, we’re going to make our deadlines.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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