New Max Fleischer 1930s style game coming to XboxOne and Steam for Microsoft Windows called “Cuphead”. This game definitely looks amazing, the characters and animation are all done traditionally. I am personally looking forward to playing this game, it is a good thing I own an XboxOne. You can’t get a better mixture than this.
CupHead is a run and gun indie game by two Canadian brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer at Studio MDHR. The player fights a series of Enemies to repay a debt to the devil himself. Cuphead is expected to be released later this year. Studio MDHR have not set an official release date yet, but said it will be released for sure in 2016.
“We promise it will be worth the wait.” – Studio MDHR
I contacted Chad Moldenhauer at StudioMDHR and asked a few questions, interview below:
Is all the animation done with paper and pencil?
Chad: Yes, everything is created on paper. First in pencil, and then it’s inked on a separate sheet.
The only modern technique we use is digital coloring. We did some in-game testing with digital vs. hand painted cels, and there was no difference to us (especially since we have a bunch of post-processing). Additionally, the backgrounds are created on paper with watercolor – we LOVE traditional media.
How did the production of this game start?
Chad: It boiled down to this: my brother and I wanted to make a console style game and we knew it wasn’t going to be a small feat. So we spent a lot of time in pre-production to come up with a style that we LOVE.
What do you guys think of the huge response so far for Cuphead?
Chad: The response has been incredible. It leaves us speechless for the most part and we don’t really know how to describe it. It may be that it doesn’t feel real to us because we are still working on the game…it’s hard to say. But we love our fans and feedback, it gives us extra fuel and ambition to make Cuphead as perfect as it can be.
Are any of you classically trained traditional animators?
Chad: When we started, I was handling all of the art and animation. I had no animation experience and just jumped in. I was (and still am) SUPER slow, but I have a pretty good grasp on what looks “right” from studying endless hours of cartoons from the era. I’ve been drawing my whole life, and have a special love for figure and gesture drawing – and that knowledge is a must for animation.
My role has morphed into art direction, but I will still animate some F/X, blink cycles or other miscellaneous things when I can. The rest of the animators that have joined the team are all classically trained and are the reason the animation in Cuphead looks as good as it does. We cannot give enough praise to the art team, they are making history and don’t even know it!
Do you plan on releasing any beta’s of the game on Xbox Live?
Chad: We have no current plans for a beta.
I know you guys don’t want to make any false promises, but do you think the release will be late 2016?
Chad: We have never promised a concrete date because we want as much time as possible to finish and polish Cuphead. There would be nothing worse than releasing a game that isn’t at least a 9/10 in our minds. So, all we can give you is a vague corporate answer: The plan is to release Cuphead in 2016!
Studio MDHR’s Description of Cuphead
Cuphead is a classic run and gun that centers around 1-on-1 fights (2-on-1 in two player mode). With Cuphead, we aim to evolve the genre by adding new features such as: super arts, infinite lives, a playable world map and hidden secrets. In addition to that, we will have refined controls, new game+ mode and balanced weapons to equip (that you don’t lose!). We’d love to defeat the current “Guinness World Record for Most Boss Battles in a Run and Gun Game – 25 total”.
When developing Cuphead we started with the basics – who knows this better than Shigeru Miyamoto. He set the standard for all 2D and 3D platformers and they are still a great formula for gameplay perfection. Knowing this, we’ve spent a lot of time fine tuning small details like hitboxes, screen movement, player control, weapon balancing, and a ton of small details that may go unnoticed by some.
When we were designing Cuphead, we wanted the game to be more reaction-based than just straight memorization. Great games like Contra III/Hard Corps mainly used repeating patterns that appeared in the same order every time – we feel this pattern formula tends to have less surprise on subsequent replays. On the other end of the spectrum, a game like Mega Man has a lot of proximity based patterns to mix things up – but this can let you take advantage of the boss by forcing the AI into the same series of attacks.
Watch the Trailer!
An interview with TIME Magazine on “Cuphead”