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Have you ever wanted to know what it feels like to fish as a cat? Well now's your chance.

Set to launch in September 2016, an open-world game where you play as a cat and sail the seas with the goal of catching every fish you can, aptly titled CatFish, is being designed by a handful of UCF students.

But the fish you reel in aren't normal fish.

They're fish the team has created to make the game unique, specifically created by Jarrett Rhodes, a sophomore game design major who serves as the concept artist and texture designer for CatFish.

"I have a lot of fish references so I'll look at those," Rhodes said. "If I want something scary, I'll look at deep sea fish, just for a general, basic outline, but then I'll build off that."

But among the whimsy and leisure of fishing, there is an overarching plot to the game.

The premise of the game is that your in-game parents, the greatest fishermen of their time, were vanquished by a legendary fish.

Now, as the ocean has encroached on the land, it is your duty to defeat the legendary fish to honor your parents.

"You're not just a scared cat. You're a courageous cat," said Christopher Ross, a computer science master's student who serves as the programmer and project manager for the game.

But while the game has a specific premise, players are allowed to progress or play how they personally see fit. As Ross described it, it's similar to Pokémon. There's a plot and there are steps to completing the plot, but there is also opportunity to do as you please.

Not only that, but players can customize their boat and even the fur on their cat to match their preferences, said Stanley Kuschick, a junior advertising-public relations major who serves as the community manager and handles public relations for CatFish.

"We want players to have a lot of freedom in how they play and what they look like, things like that," he said.

Along their journey, players will not be able to interact with other players in the game, but they will have the opportunity to interact with and affect the environment in which they play.

"You can actually drive fish extinct, but that's a more dramatic consequence," Ross said. "More subtly, let's say you're driving a scary ship and there's a school of fish coming. The scary ship will actually make the school of fish change direction, and then you leave and come back and those fish are still moving in that direction because you affected the direction they're moving."

One thing players will not be able to do, however, is fish off islands encountered on their journey, but that may change if certain stretch goals are met.

The game is currently being funded through social media, specifically Kickstarter, and there are 12 days left to fund the $6,000 project.

You can donate to the kickstarter by going to:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/hamhockgames/catfish

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Adam Rhodes is the Entertainment Editor at the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @byadamrhodes or email him at AdamR@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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