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 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.
Making Marvin 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 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 humor 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.”
Dethpicable disguises 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 24 1/2th Century, for example. “We’re bringing back a lot of the classics,” says Losi. His personal favorites: Elmer Fudd as Siegfried and Bugs Bunny as Brunnhilde from 1957’s What’s Opera, Doc?
Toon Town 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. There are at least 100 more animated screwballs he’s hoping to bring to the game, including mainstays they missed the first time around, like the Tasmanian Devil. But he’s also excited to add more Looney Tunes personalities along the lines of World of Mayhem’s Sam Sheepdog and Witch Hazel—fan favorites who only appeared in 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.”