Cuphead amassed popularity quickly upon release, with its delightful 1930s cartoon style and unforgiving gameplay, selling over one million copies in just a week’s time. Did You Know Gaming, a Youtube channel that focuses on video game trivia, takes a deep dive into the world of Cuphead and its creation process.
Creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer always wanted to make their own game, but lacked the resources to do it. When they saw the indie boom that began around 2010, with success stories like Super Meat Boy, they found renewed confidence that they too could create an indie darling.
The game’s two protagonists weren’t always envisioned as beings with cups as heads. Originally, Studio MDHR explored several ideas, but knew that they wanted to stay away from animals since most platformers have them as characters. As they explored different designs that featured inanimate objects as characters’ heads, they finally settled on Cuphead and Mughead.
Every facet of Cuphead’s design was meticulously created, including its sound design and music. Each musical piece has several layers to its beat, and each time you replay a boss battle, you may notice small variations to the score. This is because soloists re-recorded over finished music with improvised segments and different instruments.
Cuphead takes inspiration not just from 1930s cartoons, but also from several games. Outside of the obvious run ‘n gun inspirations, there are nods to Super Mario World, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, and more. Find out more by watching the video below.
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For more on Cuphead, read our review here.