Even in their inauspicious mobile-focused beginnings, it was clear from the start that Toronto indie Cabybara Games had a keen eye for pushing the visual boundaries on whatever platform they were given. The pixels of the handset and later iPhone version of their original debut puzzler Critter Crunch popped aggressively with a pastel palette against its warmer autumnal backgrounds, an art direction that helped earn the game its fair share of mobile awards.
More recently given the chance to bring that sensibility to the PlayStation 3, though, the team took the risk of not simply cheaply upscaling their vision to the wide-screen, but to give the game a top to toe graphic overhaul and create a full HD-res 2D animated game.
The results -- put plainly -- are basically staggering, with the soft and surreal wonder of Studio Ghibli-esque backdrops underscoring the hectic hand-animated critter-bursts on top, and are even more impressive when you learn that they're not the work of (as you might assume) a field of tirelessly slaving outsourced animators. In fact, nearly all of what you see in the game is largely the output of just two compatriots (or -- as Capy co-founder and president Nathan Vella terms them -- '2 radical dudes'): Nick "Qiqo" Stephan and Sylvain "Sylve" Coutouly, respectively responsible for character animation and background/world map art.
Documenting just what heights a tiny team can reach with vision and proper passion, then, posted here is a rare look into the conception and evolution of the world of Krunchatoa and its creatures within (and a special bonus look at main character Biggs invading other Sony/PlayStation classics), alongside the theatrical-quality animation produced by Capy to surround the launch of the game, available now on the PlayStation Network (with the launch of its free demo version due tomorrow, Oct. 22nd).
Before the art, though, Capy's awesomely cinematic launch trailer shows just what you can expect from the finished product: a single or multiplayer evolution on Data East's cult classic puzzler Magical Drop with, appropriate to its name and gluttonous lead, a food-chain chain-system where each critter can only be fed to another progressively larger.
Original Biggs concepts by Capy artist Tri Vuong, prior to Sony's greenlight
Nick "Qiqo" Stephan takes over Biggs' design, and brings him into the world of other Sony (and fellow indie) games -- can you name them all?
More prospective consumable creatures from Krunchatoa's world, and a scattered few from its backgrounds
Roughing out Sylvain "Sylve" Coutouly's scenery with production notes, and an early overview of Krunchatoa
Scenes from the finished game: single-player, cutscenes, and versus multi-
Finally, the trailer that capitalized on the rainbow-barfing craze
To those unfamiliar with The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, it suffices to say that it’s the blandest and goofiest of a game series otherwise famed for overcoming the creative limitations of its whitebread genre fantasy setting. So to those unfamiliar with Oblivion, these startlingly accurate parodies of its AI behavior may be bafflingly dorky and […]
If you often find yourself far away from AC power, or just want to guarantee that you’ll have GPS access on your next camping trip, the SolarJuice External Solar Battery is an excellent companion for outdoor adventures. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store for $59.99.The SolarJuice has a 26,800 mAh battery capable of […]
Between election hacks, ransomware, and Devil’s Ivy, the cybersecurity space is booming as malware and hackers become more sophisticated. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in ethical hacking, or just want to secure your own devices, The Super-Sized Ethical Hacking Bundle is a great resource.In this bundle, you’ll learn the fundamental skills of ethical hacking, prepare […]
The TREBLAB X11 Earphones are versatile, offer great sound, and are currently $32.99 in the Boing Boing Store.These Bluetooth earbuds are a great workout companion. They’re totally sweat proof and their ear-fins keep them snugly in place during high activity — something that Apple’s AirPods can only do if you were blessed with precisely the […]