Puma: The Cat Who Entered Racing!
Published 4 years ago
From High Concept to Animal Stardom
So . . . who's Puma and what's her story?
Being surrounded by humans is something most little lions are accustomed to on a daily basis, however, ending up as The Karters’ most beloved character is a feat accomplished only by her.
Her grace, determination and proud nature didn’t go unnoticed in our office, and we thought we could make her immortal by incorporating her into our game.
Every art team has to start at the very beginning: visual references. We had the luxury of simply observing our little companion stroll amidst our desks, seeking attention with her big brown eyes. The very first challenge was to portray her unique features, whilst trying to maintain the style similar to that of Crash Team Racing. Puma had to be confident, proud and determined to win on the race track and we were confident we can achieve just that.
Primarily, we had the intention of setting the entire game in a snowy winter with cute drivers racing for the finish line; tracks filled with ice, mountains covered in snow, avalanches etc. Instead, with a huge brainstorm in the studio we had decided to venture forth into the Sci-Fi theme, thus changes had to be made to our cat protagonist and to our cast of playable characters.
Puma had to ditch the winter outfit and put on a red, tight racing uniform. With each passing day, she started to look like she rightfully belonged in The Karters universe. The most important element when creating a character is to make sure he/she fits the prearranged game world. Known by every artist in the world, we believe we’ve found the ideal solution by the famous trail-and-error method (some still love the old tail).
After the 2D process was done, it was high time to put the confident racer into 3D. Our little furry friend established herself as a very good “model”. The only problem we encountered was making sure the anatomy and proportions fit our expectations, making the character and the size of the kart believable in the game world. Making sure the model fits the world appears to be easy at first, but it is definitely not a walk in the park. Take a look at our 2 work in progress models (winter, sci-fi):
The transition from adorable cuteness to a more Sci-Fi themed version was smooth and relatively painless. At Cmoar Studio we have tons of ideas and we always welcome change with open arms. To cut a long story short, a quick shift of perspectives and notions turned out to be the direction we want The Karters to take.
Our both artists (Mateusz Kopacz and Miłosz Gierczak) said it had been a pleasure to create a character that clearly resembles Puma in all her radiant glory and that the entire artistic adventure was sheer pleasure from the very high concept. A tip to young, aspiring 2D/3D artists: practice, practice, practice and when you think you are close to your goal you just have to - keep practicing! 
The Karters will enter Early Access late September and it is there that you can race for glory as Puma - our beloved studio cat. If you are still hesitating whether she is enjoying the ride, here is our
Twitter ,
Steam Page
and our announcement video:
Cmoar Studio