Monochrome RPG follows the story of Otto, a rabbit-like creature with dreams of becoming a comedian. The artistic style of Monochrome RPG  is based on popular 1920s “rubber  hose” animation. The animation style is shown through the utilization of simple, black and white characters with limbs that would stretch and bend excessively. As art assets are created, references from the 1920s and even modern-day creations are used to set a baseline for the style.

Steamboat Willie

Steamboat WIllie was a pioneering animation from Walt Disney. Using slapstick humor and synchronized sound, it became increasingly popular. The style of animation was a blueprint for following “rubber hose” animations, using simple, round characters with bending limbs to tell the story.

Watch the full version of Steamboat Willie here!

Cuphead

Cuphead is a “run and shoot” game with a modern take on “rubber hose” animation. Its art style is heavily influenced by the classic Disney and Fleischer animation of the 1920s. With fantastical environments and expressive animations. Cuphead uses the basic principles of 1920s animations, adding a contemporary twist to create a modern and interactable piece of art.

Watch the Cuphead Launch Trailer here!

Epic Mickey

Epic Mickey is a Disney game that references the origins of the animation studio through a world of “retired” animation characters. Many of the levels and characters are re-imagined for the game, but retain the historic style of the original animations. 

Watch the Epic Mickey Trailer here!

Swords of Ditto

The Swords of Ditto is a modern RPG where players control a generated character to fight enemies. The game uses a unique top-down perspective, where certain elements are shown from a 3/4ths view. This type of gameplay perspective is similarly used in Monochrome RPG. Assets in The Swords of Ditto are split between two different perspectives, allowing elements to be portrayed as 3D in a 2D space. 

The Swords of Ditto Gameplay Trailer can be found here!

Paper Mario

In Paper Mario, characters are all 2D, and some environment assets are in 3D, blending the two perspectives together. In addition to this, Mario can battle enemies on a stage with turn-based attacks. The combination of combined perspectives and a stage-based battle system are both referenced in Monochrome RPG. During battles, Otto and his foe’s are transported to a stage, where they can either fight or practice jokes. The use of a stage plays on the idea of Otto being an entertainer, and Paper Mario’s use of a stage is a good point of reference.

A Paper Mario battle scene can be watched here!