Hello, how are you doing!
At Galahad Studio we believe that design is found in virtually every aspect of our lives, because design is not about the physical object, whether it's a poster, an animation or the packaging of a product. The design is really what lies between the message and the final viewer, it is the whole process of development until obtaining a materialization of an idea. As designer Robin Mathew said, "Design is where science and art are balanced."
However, this is a very romantic vision of what Design ends up being, because for many companies and brands it is only a visual "aggregate" for their products. A decoration. Therefore, this time we want to talk about a unique and incredible production, because it perfectly mixes the axes of the conceptual, the functional and the aesthetic and yet, it saw the light to be neither more nor less, than an entertainment product. Today we want to talk about Cuphead, a video game launched in September of last year (2017) and that has given a lot to talk about.
In an industry where video games impact us, either for its argument, others for its gameplay or its graphics, Cuphead turns out to be love at first sight, since it combines all these aspects in a solid product, where its visual section has amazed more than one, since it was announced at the Microsoft conference of E3 2014.
Developed by StudioMDHR, Cuphead turned out to be a risky proposition for all members of the studio, because the video game industry has been dominated by big brands and producers, so independent developers have always had trouble financing their projects. In addition, multiple delays in its release negatively affected players' perception of the game (at some point, it was expected to be definitively canceled). However, in June 2017, its final release date for autumn of the same year was announced. Today we can say that the wait and all the sacrifices of the study were worth the wait.
The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources…
This was definitely not the idea that StudioMDHR had when developing its video game, because the most impressive feature of it, was the decision to produce Cuphead by handdrawing all the assets, characters, backgrounds and animations of the game, following a style identical to that of the drawings of the 1930s.
The influences of the great geniuses and pioneers of cartoons such as Max Fleischer, creatorof Betty Boop and Koko the clown and producer of the Popeye series are notable; Tex Avery, creator of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Droopy, Wolf McLobor, among others; or Walt Disney himself.It is to recognize, in this sense, the capacity of its creators and their excellent work to imitate a style of almost a century ago, because Cuphead, easily transports us to that time with its innumerable winks and design of characters and scenarios. Nostalgia is breathed in every moment of the game.
The world fits in a song…
Now, there can be no complete product, if your vision is focused on a single aspect. Although the visual aspect of Cuphead takes the palms, it would be nothing without the incredible care that its developers have put into their music. Produced by Kristofer Maddigan who has belonged to numerous opera and ballet ensembles as well as symphonies in Canada and numerous Jazz quartets in the city. He also scored the installation Nuit Blanche in the city of Toronto. He has been a guest musician for artists such as Petula Clark, The Drifters, Ian Finkle and Andy Bell's solo project of Erasure.
The Cuphead soundtrack consists of three continuous hours of music, ranging from Jazz, early Big Bands and Ragtime. The music was recorded by a Big Band of 13 people, 10 from the ragtime ensemble, a solo pianist, a vocalist and a tap dancer. All an incredible effort that manages to transport the images on the screen to those 30's in which they are inspired. It is worth stopping for a moment to appreciate it.
With so many video games being released annually, it's hard to develop something unique or previously unseen. However, StudioMDHR managed to succeed in choosing a visual style as attractive as it is nostalgic, managing to create visually, something totally different from what we are used to seeing.It is worthy of applauding StudioMDHR's risky proposal to bet so high to fulfill its dream, but at Galahad Studio we believe that is the only reason why it is worth trying every day.
What do you think?, Have you had a chance to play it?