BEHIND THE SCENES
That’s art, folks!
See how Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem was brought from sketch to screen.
Looney Tunes™ World of Mayhem
RPG with Bugs Bunny & Friends
Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem, a turn-based brawler mixed with a town-building game, has you recruit classic Warner Bros. characters to battle by your side. From Bugs Bunny to Daffy Duck to the varmint-hatin’ Yosemite Sam, the stars of World of Mayhem seem like they just sprang out of an old-school Saturday morning cartoon.
That’s exactly what lead designer Evan Losi was going for. “We want to make you feel like you’re watching an episode you’ve never seen before,” he says.
For inspiration – and, you know, research – Losi and his team at California development studio Scopely watched hundreds of animated shorts, TV episodes and movies featuring the Looney Tunes gang. The 80 characters they included at launch began as basic conceptual sketches and ultimately evolved into slick 3D models with over-the-top attacks – falling anvils, ACME-brand dynamite, you name it.
Here’s a look at how the team brought Looney Tunes’ wacky world to iPhone and iPad.
To ensure authenticity, the animators at Warner Bros. who bring the current crop of Looney Tunes episodes to life weighed in during each step of the game’s design process.
Their constructive feedback may have doomed Earth. When Losi showed a scene featuring feisty villain Marvin the Martian to the animators, there were furrowed brows.
“We had initially animated Marvin as too manic,” says Losi. “Warner Bros. pointed out that a lot of Marvin’s humour comes from how calm and flat he is, even when he’s angry.”
Marvin’s walk also had too many frames of animation, Losi learned. “They sent over a reference clip and gave us the proper four-frame cycle,” says Losi. “One leg forward, blur of legs together, opposite leg forward, blur of legs together, repeat.”
Many of the combatants in World of Mayhem have variants inspired by popular Looney Tunes episodes. Daffy Duck’s abundant alter egos include the swashbuckling Scarlet Pumpernickel and the spacefaring hero Duck Dodgers from the 24½th Century, for example.
“We’re bringing back a lot of the classics,” says Losi. His personal favourites: Elmer Fudd as Siegfried and Bugs Bunny as Brünnhilde from 1957’s What’s Opera, Doc?
And more characters are on the way. “We have a ton of creative freedom,” says Losi, who has essentially been handed the keys to a vast vault of iconic cartoon characters.
Losi still has plenty of Looney Tunes personalities he hopes to bring to the game – including missing mainstays and some folks who, like World of Mayhem’s Sam Sheepdog and Witch Hazel, appeared in just a handful of classic episodes.
“We live for that moment of nostalgia and recollection,” Losi says. “That’s where so much of the joy can be found.”