Meet the real-life cats that inspired the game’s pawed protagonist.
Almost there! The release of Stray is so incredibly close and we cannot wait to see people play and hopefully enjoy what we have been working on for so long. And we thought now is a great opportunity to tell you all a bit more about how the main protagonist of the game came to life.
Being an actual stray, meaning a cat without an owner, the main protagonist of Stray does not have a name or at least not one that can be told with human language. But that said, the real-life main inspiration behind the creation of this lovely video game character has one. Everyone, I am thrilled to introduce the legend itself: Murtaugh!
Murtaugh is one of the cofounders’ (Viv and Koola) two cats and was an actual stray who was found in the streets near the city of Montpellier, France under a car. But don’t worry, he is in a much better place now. He is also called “The Boss” and even though the character in the game is not a direct reproduction of Murtaugh, he was definitely a huge inspiration for its appearance and was a great support during the whole development.
Even though we knew that we weren’t aiming for a 100% precise representation, having a character that feels really believable especially for cat owners who are so used to seeing their companion everyday required a lot of work. Viv and Koola did a lot of very subtle iterations on the appearance of the game’s cat to really try and capture the cuteness but also the liveliness and playfulness of a cat.
But once you have a good visual for your character, then you need to animate it perfectly to truly give it life. Miko is our main cat animator, and he really did an incredible job thanks to his amazing talent and countless hours searching for references. But not all the references he used came from the internet. Everyone, I am thrilled again to introduce the now famous movie actor, Oscar!
Oscar is a Sphynx who comes to work with us at the studio almost everyday and was super helpful when Miko needed to have actual video reference of some jumps and runs. Animating a quadruped is already quite challenging but the subtleties of a cat’s movements are incredibly precise and hard to convey properly.
Miko and Rémi, our cat programmer, worked countless hours together just on the basic movements of the main character, iterating and fine tweaking every little jump and transition to find that perfect sweet spot between great looking animations and fun and responsive gameplay. Having real cats under our noses during the whole development was of course extremely helpful in many ways.
But I cannot leave you all without introducing another very important member of the team who comes to work in the studio with us every day. Being the executive chief general president commander director officer at the studio, he was in charge of monitoring the team’s efforts everyday and making sure everyone was working on the right topic. Here is the way-too-joyful-for-his-own-good: Jun!
Murtaugh, Oscar, Jun and the entire team at BlueTwelve Studio are truly happy to finally share what we have been working on with so much passion and dedication. Please enjoy our first game everyone and have fun.
Stray will be available starting July 19 with PlayStation Extra and Premium membership plans at no additional cost. Learn more in this PlayStation Blog article.