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DPS Character Design

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Double Pug Switch launches on October 22! In this post I’ll be exploring the character creation and some background design processes.

When creating Double Pug Switch, we really wanted to tickle nostalgia senses while showcasing our studio’s belief in equality. We are big fans of 90s cartoons and cult classic films.

Double Pug Switch’s story opens with a professor’s mischievous cat, Whiskers knocking the Professor’s latest experiment onto the floor. An inter-dimensional portal opens to alternate realities of prehistoric dinosaur dogs and mechanical pugs.

When creating the Professor, we took influence from inspirational members of the scientific community and fictional characters in cartoons. We tried several different looks, eventually settling on a simple tied-up hairstyle.

Now let us look a look at Otis, Double Pug Switch’s protagonist, a Pug with inter-dimensional-switching powers! We wanted Otis to look like a cuddly, friendly, and somewhat humorous dog. Identifying the correct look for Otis was a challenge of balancing simplistic form with readability on the screen. As Double Pug Switch is a precision-platformer, it is important for the player to instantly recognise Otis in relation to his environment.

The final challenge with Otis was finding a way to make him look good in both dimensions, we found the having too many details made it much more difficult to transition him from one dimension to the other while keeping his handsome looks. Eventually, we settled on this design:

And finally, our main antagonist – Lord Sker, formerly Whiskers. After Whiskers smashed the Professor’s experiment, opening a portal to alternate realities Whiskers was changed through the many worlds he traversed. The result was a cybernetically enhanced cat with a vast intelligence driven by a desire to remove the Universe of dogs. When it came to Sker we wanted to portray him as futuristic, sinister, and smart.

Battles with Sker involve running and dodging an array of different weapons and projectiles. Sker fires these from a small flying ship called a Meowship. We wanted to ensure players could see the weapons that could be fired, and that his ship fit in with our simplistic, humorous style. Some of our earlier designs looked just a little too sinister.

Eventually, we settled on this design:

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