Derek the dog running animation.
The final ‘in game’ animation of a hungry Derek the dog, painted in photoshop, frame-by-frame.
There were various ChowHound influences that I thought of when designing the game’s ‘look and feel’. Elements of old Warner Bros. cartoons, the ‘Merry Melodies’ and Tom & Jerry toons were a starting point.
Eyvind Earle was a big influence when it came to the background design. His undulating landscapes often filled with mists, shadows and stylised canopies.
Grant Wood was another influence on the look of the trees and shrubbery. A ‘cartoonesque’ parody of plants.
I’ll upload some screenshots as the game progresses…
This was an early line test animation of Derek the hungry dog, drawn in Photoshop.
The character design of Derek started life as a short fellow. I hadn’t seen many game characters created with a fairly loose pastel style. Everyone seems very smooth these days. So I took a Photoshop brush, modified it slightly, and went to work. Here’s a young del boy.
Influences, influences. “It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.” I think Jean luc-godard said that. Not sure. Anyway it was mostly subconscious doodling that created Derek, but somewhere at the back of my brain Groucho Marx maybe became confused with a carrot, a missing member of the cast of Sesame Street plus a Dachshund.
…add a pinch of The Muppets…
…a healthy carrot…
…a meaty Dachshund…
…and if you stir it all together, you should end up with Derek. Handsome fellow. Could do with feeding though.
The character design of Derek was just one of many ‘odd dogs’ I sketched, not sure why, just followed my pencil as a I drew over 100 of them. As you can see they came in all shapes and sizes.
I think it became an exercise in pushing shapes in slightly recognisable ways, looking for unique ‘characters’.
And one of these characters happened to be Derek. He’s at the bottom right of the sketches below. Big nose, ‘tin tin’ hairline, floppy ears.
He eventually morphed into a more ‘adult’ dog character. More of a ‘runner’ type dog. But still with a large appetite, and belly to match.
Here’s our hero. As you can see he’s quite orange. Maybe too many carrots?