Meet the brothers, Moldenhauer. They quit their jobs in the marketing and construction industries, remortgaged their homes in 2015, and threw everything into developing their first video game. Ever since, StudioMDHR (Studio Moldenhauer) and their premier game, Cuphead, has been getting a lot of buzz.
After being showcased at Microsoft’s E3 2015, the scope and ambition for Cuphead grew, and the brothers expanded their team to 17 strong. And now several years later, the brothers confirm getting Cuphead out the door took a lot of blood, sweat and passion. Luckily they were pushing the game into the hands of eagerly awaiting players on Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam.
Cuphead combines two of the Moldenhauer brothers’ life-long passions. It’s a marriage of classic run-and-gun games, like Contra, Metal Slug, and Gunstar Heroes, and the weird, subversive, and iconic art-look of 1930s animations like the Fleischer Studios’ Betty Boop and other cartoons.
Players step into the oversized shoes of Cuphead or Mugman (in single player or local co-op) as they battle across strange worlds to pay off a debt after having made the unfortunate mistake of betting against the devil. The result, according to Mashable, is “a stunningly gorgeous video game that also happens to be lots of fun.”
Cuphead is one of the most visually striking games ever made with Unity. All of the game’s animated artwork has been drawn, penciled and inked on paper, and then colored in Photoshop.
“By using the same animating tools and techniques that they did in the 1930s – hand-drawing and inking each frame, animating on the ones, and creating hand-painted watercolor backgrounds – we believe we can closely replicate the 1930s style better than using modern and digital means to create the art,” says Chad Moldenhauer.
StudioMDHR then sets the animation at 24 frames-per-second – just as it was in the 1930s – while the game runs at a sparkling 60 frames-per-second to ensure truly responsive gameplay.
As well as helping StudioMDHR process the massive amount of their exquisite art, Unity’s out-of-the-box features such as the Sprite Renderer, Sprite Packer, 2D Physics, and particle effects ensured that Cuphead’s stunning results were a sure bet.
StudioMDHR tapped Unity’s powerful tools for 2D games to make Cuphead.