With a new Cavemania update in the works that features the lovable baby Mammoth Toots as part of the story, this Throwback Thursday, we take a look back at how the art team came up with his look…

Originally posted September 3rd, 2014

 

Or how we ended up with a farting elephant in Cavemania

By Shell Meggersee-Briggs

Ah, loveable Toots, the baby Mammoth! So cute, so cuddly. So smelly. But, he wasn’t always that way…

Cavemania is a game about Dinos and other angry prehistoric creatures trying to attack, eat, and otherwise bother your fun-loving tribe of cave folk. Here’s an early concept shot of those bad guys.

Figure 1: Early on, I found out that real gamers call these things “Mobs”

The two on the right are full of teeth and such, they’re obviously up to no good. But, we had a problem with the Mammoth. He was just too cute. When we showed the game to folks, they actually got upset that we were killing the Mammoth. We tried making him more angry.

Figure 2: Angry Mammoths A-Plenty

That worked for sure. But, then we realized that we liked the cute guy. So, we tried an even cuter, cuddlier version – employing the time-honored “babies are always cute” trick. Bigger eyes really helped make for a cuter Mammoth – we found the big googly version of the eyes to be particularly heartwarming.

Figure 3: The cutest baby Mammoth ever!

Figure 3: The cutest baby Mammoth ever!

Somewhere along the way, we decided that it would be fun if this Mammoth actually changed the game board as he walked around. What better way to do that than to leave smelly fart gas everywhere? Thus, Toots was born and players could use his “ability” to block enemy Dinos and to help Toots survive.

Figure 4a & 4b: From concept to 3d model
From conceptTo 3D model

In many ways, once Toots became a thing, the little guy kinda took over. He propelled his way into some of the marketing pieces that were created for the game. It’s hard to imagine that he actually started out life in Cavemania as a bad guy.

Figure 5: It's unclear how Toots is going to help here...

Figure 5: It’s unclear how Toots is going to help here…

Figure 6: Toots even got primo placement in the splash screen

Figure 6: Toots even got primo placement in the splash screen