Ahead of its release on the 19th, the developers of Stray have revealed some of the real life cats who influenced the game during its development.
While the release date of Stray only a few days away, the developers reveal the three real cats that inspired the main character. Stray is a third-person adventure where the player assumes the role of an unnamed stray cat. The cat must navigate a vibrant yet seedy and decaying city to escape it.
Animators have studied real-life animals to capture realistic-feeling movements and behaviors for ages. For example, Disney animators observed real lions as they were creating The Lion King. The same can also be said for observing people, as even cartoonists often learn by drawing what they see in real life. Knowing the basics then allows artists to stylize as they like, while still having reality to ground them. This often results in characters that act and feel more “real,” even if it’s a cartoon or a video game set in a futuristic sci-fi world. The world of Stray serves as a prime example.
The developer of Stray, BlueTwelve Studio, has revealed the real-life cats responsible for making their feline main character so life-like. First is Murtaugh, an orange tabby who was once a stray himself until he was adopted by BlueTwelve Studio’s cofounders Viv and Koola. Murtaugh’s story and appearance were a huge influence on the design of the main character, another orange tabby. Another influence was Oscar the Sphynx cat. Oscar was invaluable to the main animator of the cat character, Miko. Oscar would roam, jump, and climb around the office providing Miko with all the inspiration and reference needed to accurately animate all the subtleties of a cat’s movement, which have been faithfully recreated in Stray‘s gameplay. Finally, there’s Jun the black cat. As quoted in the Playstation Blog post, Jun was given the prestigious title of “executive chief general president commander director officer” of the studio. He was dutifully in the office every day alongside all the developers and animators.
Having real-life cats as inspiration and reference was no doubt beneficial in bringing the main character to life, and will add to the player’s experience of playing as a cat in Stray. Cats and other quadrupedal animals have completely different movements and behaviors that humans don’t always pick up on, and this goes much further than simply walking on all fours. The benefits of having Murtaugh and Oscar to study and observe to capture the playful and sneaky mannerisms of cats can already be seen in the released clips and trailers for Stray. The main character’s appearance and movements are remarkably lifelike, from walking, jumping, and stopping to clean their face. Meanwhile, Jun no doubt provided much-needed motivation and moral support, as a good executive chief general president commander director officer should.
The contributions of these fine felines surely won’t go unnoticed upon the game’s release. Players can look forward to a true cat-like experience as they play, and they’ll have real life cats to thank for the animation present in the game. Stray will be released on July 19 2022 for the Playstation 4, Playstation 5, and Windows.
Next: Swann Martin-Raget Interview: Stray
Source: Playstation Blog
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