When work first started on Cuphead, a new game that marries side-scrolling gameplay with 1930s-style American animation, Maja Moldenhauer went ahead and ordered a whole bunch of animation paper. Since the game was to be completely hand-drawn, in an attempt to emulate the process from the time, the paper was an integral tool. Moldenhauer, who served as an artist and producer on the game, thought that her initial paper order would be big enough to get the team through the development of Cuphead, and then get started on whatever the studio’s follow-up project ended up being. That didn’t happen. Instead, that huge stack of paper only lasted about a third of the way through Cuphead’s creation. One of the reasons was the game’s scope, which dramatically expanded midway through development, resulting in multiple delays and a lot more animation. But it’s also because of the fact that the team at Studio MDHR is full of perfectionists, who would toss out designs for characters and levels many times, until they landed on exactly what they wanted. That meant a lot of wasted paper. “We’ve been fine-tuning things that probably the majority of the general public won’t even notice,” says Moldenhauer. “But we’ve just been really picky.” Cuphead launches this Friday on both Xbox One and PC, and it’s a game that combines two particularly old-school inspirations. On one hand, it’s a run-and-gun action game, one that attempts to emulate the hard-as-nails nature of genre icons like Mega Man and Gunstar Heroes. There are giant bosses that require pattern memorization and quick reflexes to defeat, and you’ll come across waves of enemies that include everything from fireflies to angry flowers. But the most striking thing about the game is how it looks. It’s a game that tries to capture the surreality inherent in cartoons from the ‘30s, like Betty Boop or Steamboat Willie. Enemies in the game include a towering cigar with a sinister grin, and a giant carrot with psychic powers. There are also plenty of sight gags, like a fish going fishing, or a coin who doesn’t trust banks. And, of course, the main character in Cuphead is, well, a guy a with a cup for a head. Capturing that style — and