E3 2015: Cuphead creators discuss blending 1930s animation with 1980s run-and-gun shooting

Cuphead was one of the most interesting games on the E3 2015 show floor. To learn more about this unique blend of 1930s cartoon shorts and old-school run-and-gun shooting, Andrew caught up with the game's creators.


Of the many games that graced the E3 2015 show floor, Cuphead proved to be one of the event's most pleasant surprises. With massive boss characters and an unforgettable art style, Studio MDHR is looking to bring some new twists to the classic old-school run-and-gun style of games.

To learn more about the game, Shacknews Showcase's Andrew Zucosky caught up with Cuphead creators Chad & Jared Moldenhauer. They discuss the game's ongoing development, its unique cartoon animation, and the game's music.

Check out the full interview below. For more, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews on YouTube.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
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      July 1, 2015 3:17 PM

      That looks hilarious awesome! I'll be keeping an eye out for this one when it's completed.

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      July 1, 2015 3:38 PM

      Wow, that's gorgeous looking.

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      July 1, 2015 4:01 PM

      It's also hard as nails.

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      July 1, 2015 4:12 PM

      Man, that's a must buy for me. I don't even care if it plays well. It's just so damn awesome to look at.

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      July 1, 2015 4:18 PM

      Awesome art and animation, but I do have a question for Andrew.

      So I was mega looking forward to this game since I love the art and love Contra and Gunstar Heroes(and other side scrolling shooters).

      But... so here is the question and concern, I heard and my friend said that the game is simply only about difficult Boss Fights and is like the old Mega Man: The Power Battle game except some of the boss fights have scrolling levels, or larger areas(a few screens) but you still only fight a Boss. Basically he was disappointed for he thought it was like Contra. Is this true?

      So lay it on me Andrew what is the deal is it just Boss fights? Or are they just showing boss fights and there is a actual a normal scrolling level that leads to a boss fight? If it is only boss fights how many are there?

      Thanks man, rad interview you are really getting good at them look like a seasoned journalist(well I did them), good job and thanks for doing them.

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        July 1, 2015 4:22 PM

        I heard that too, don't know if that's just because they only had bosses in the demos or what.

        Even if it was just boss fights, it could still be really cool, it will just be harder to nail the pacing. Everybody needs a lull in the action to catch their breath.

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          July 1, 2015 4:29 PM

          It'll require a lot of pattern memorization and a lot of skill.

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        July 1, 2015 4:24 PM

        Oh, I can totally answer that. From what I saw, it is only boss fights with the exception of a vertical scrolling level that I played. All of it is accessed by an overworld map. I don't know if that's how the whole game will be, but that's what I saw at E3.

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          July 1, 2015 4:28 PM

          Cool thanks Ozzie, appreciate it.

          So yeah it looks like it is really only boss fights, still the art alone is worth getting it for though.

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          July 1, 2015 4:29 PM

          Ok, from the sound of that, it could be more like Contra or Gunstar Heroes, since they may have chosen to focus on bosses for the demo. Maybe it was a better way to show off the animation.

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            July 1, 2015 4:34 PM

            Nah man its Boss fights only(from this info and what they guys say and others), even say so on wikipedia

            "As Cuphead, the player fights a series of bosses to repay a debt to the devil."


            I wouldn't get your hopes up.

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              July 1, 2015 5:03 PM

              Ok, so I guess the vertical scrolling level Ozzie mentioned is part of a boss fight or something. Still totally excited, most shmups I play feel like a never-ending boss battle.

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                July 1, 2015 5:32 PM

                Yes. The level starts off with a giant Queen Bee showing up, but she flies all the way to the top of the stage. You have to survive waves of constable bees and worker bees as you jump to the top.

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        July 1, 2015 4:38 PM

        Basically exactly what Ozzie said. It is all about the boss fights. Though there are some platformy parts to the fights, especially with the dragon boss where you are hopping from cloud to cloud. But it seems like this is mainly going to be about boss fights. I would have liked to see more of their world in sprawling levels, but it still doesn't diminish the fact that this game is mother fucking gosh darn fun.

        And hard too. They let Joe and I play the game right before we interviewed them and I died in like...20 seconds.

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          July 1, 2015 4:41 PM

          That's...about how long I lasted.

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          July 1, 2015 4:50 PM

          Cool, great info, thanks man.

          Damn 20 sec, that sounds brutal :)

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      July 1, 2015 4:19 PM

      My list of most anticipated games:

      1. Mirror's Edge Catalyst
      2. Cuphead
      3. Don't Care

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        July 1, 2015 4:28 PM


        (and I am oddly curious about Battleborn)

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