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
When a prick on Twitter attacked Gamergate arch-nemesis Brianna Wu’s game dev credentials, sneering that her latest game looked “like something that would’ve been shitcanned on the ps1,” Wu proceeded to shred the fool with a masterclass in the technical capabilities of the PS1 and their relationship to Revolution 60, Wu’s new game. Female Video […]
Fabulous Beasts is a new game from indie studio Sensible Object, which combines stacking/balancing (think Jenga) with smart, sensor-enabled blocks that talk to your mobile device as you play the game, creating fun and complex challenges.
Last year’s AI Video Competition featured Mario Lives! An Adaptive Learning AI Approach for Generating a Living and Conversing Mario Agent, in which researchers from Germany’s University of Tübingen explained how they’d modified Super Marion Brothers to turn the characters into adaptive, machine-learning chatterbots that discovered how to play the game together.
Projects will always need management. And now with the tech gold rush it feels like there are more projects than ever with fewer managers than there’s demand for. But it takes too much time and money to go back to school full time so luckily the Project Management Professional certification training course is now 96% […]
If you’ve been blessed enough to avoid them yourself, you’ve definitely heard the horror stories. Late night, crushing out a ton of work, writing, coding, anything, then boom – your computer crashes. The battery blows, you spill water or coffee all over the place, or it just shuts down with no explanation, and you’re screwed. […]
You travel around a lot. It might be that jet set life from New York to LA to London to Tokyo, or it might be back and forth from the coffee shop to the office, or from the kitchen to the couch. Any which way, you’re mobile and that’s the way to live. When you […]