Interview with Blair Ceradsky: Artist for Mooka The Caveman

Mooka The Caveman

Did you know that the Tyrannous Rex’s closest living relative is the chicken? No joke! You know what also isn’t a joke, the debate on how the dinosaurs went extinct. Paleontologists get really heated over this topic; some back the theory of asteroids, while others back the theories of flash floods and volcanic eruptions. I would just like to announce that I actually know what killed off the dinosaurs. It was Mooka…Mooka The Caveman that is.

Okay, maybe Mooka didn’t kill off the dinosaurs but he will definitely be doing some damage in the 2D Platformer Mooka The Caveman. While the game is still deep in development the Mooka Twitter page is fully of “fancy pantsy” gifs that show off Mooka’s attacks and abilities. Mooka has some interesting abilities by the way such as throwing meat, which is conveniently stored in his hair, and the use of facial expressions that allow him to interact with his environment.

Blair Ceradsky the artist and designer for Mooka The Caveman answered some of the questions I had about the game.

Where did you get the inspiration for Mooka and what kind of vibe do you hope your game will have?

Well we’ve been influenced by a number of games and sources; namely Kirby and our future weapons system is very similar to copy-abilities. There is also a bit of Banjo-Kazooie and Maple Story influence in the mechanics.

Aesthetically speaking, it’s definitely been inspired by the art of Akira Toriyama and Paul Robertson. As for vibe, I actually started designing this game with a feeling in mind before I decided upon mechanics. I really just wanted it to feel like a fun place to unwind, this is where the non-linear and kinesthetic-centric mechanics came in. We’re aiming for a sense of excitement, wonder, freedom and mostly just plain fun!

The environments seem to be very lively, is that something you plan to incorporate throughout the game?

Yes!

We’re trying to make the game feel very dense and alive! We needed to be more original than just smacking googly eyes onto everything! That’s [liveliness of game] one of the things that I loved so much about the Banjo-Kazooie games.

Mooka The Caveman

How will players use Mooka’s facial interactions during the gameplay?

Mooka will use them in conjunction with his other interactions, such as throw meat and touch/pick-up. The facial interactions will interact with both the minor environment life, and other parts if the game like helping to solve important quests to get some big rewards. Similar to how you use your attack to solve quests and get “jiggies” in Banjo-Kazooie Did I mention Banjo-Kazooie yet!?.

Are all of the dinos you have created in the game based on real dinosaurs?

Yes! Aside from a few exceptions like man-eating plants, we’re trying to base everything on real animals and keep them at-least relatively scientific.

Mooka The Caveman

What platforms do you plan on making Mooka The Caveman available on? Also do you have a projected release date in mind?

We chose the Unity engine specifically to help us put Mooka on all major platforms! We’re not officially promising anything but most likely Win/Mac/Linux. Unity makes the porting process very, VERY easy so expect to see it on pretty much everything. Including a certain unreleased Nintendo hybrid console!

As for a release date, you’ll have to give us at-least another year, possibly two!

Aw man I’m ready to fight some man-eating plants -E

I see the Mooka Twitter page has been sent quite a bit of fan art, how has the reaction to your development been so far?

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

Seriously, its an awesome experience to receive fan-art!! It gets us pumped for the project and helps us feel like we’re on the right track!

Mooka The Caveman

What is something unique that Mooka the Caveman brings to 2D Platformer games?

Well our combat is very driven by angles. Mooka’s weapons will give him a huge attack arsenal inspired heavily by Kirby Superstar. But I feel like Kirby games never really get particularly challenging or make full use of their complex abilities

Not that they NEED to. Beating the tar out of weaklings can be fun and there’s plenty of that in Mooka!

But one difference is that our enemies are designed to cover many different angles and complement each other’s blind spots. It gets challenging when you get a lot of them on-screen at once. Battle segments quickly become “delicate bullet-hell dances” of offensive and defensive player positioning.

Between the two of you who do you think would make the better caveman?

Me! [Blair] I’m kind of a slob, I don’t always think before I say things; and I REALLY love to eat meat!

 

So maybe you have an affinity for caveman or maybe you just like the idea of storing meat in your hair. Either way it will be awhile before anyone actually gets their hands on Mooka The Caveman. In the meantime we can all just follow the development process of Mooka and his prehistoric adventure at the team’s Twitter page.

According to my license I’m an adult… I think that means I can perform a citizen’s arrest now. When I’m not protecting civilians I enjoy indulging in sci-fi or martial art movies. I play videogames when I can’t fall asleep, and if that doesn't work I fistfight the ghosts in my basement. Nice to meet you.

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