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Stray's Pawed Protagonist – The Real-Life Cat Murtaugh

Stray's developer BlueTwelve Studio detailed a profile in a blog post on the real-life inspiration behind the game's feline protagonist, Murtaugh.
Stray's Pawed Protagonist – The Real-Life Cat Murtaugh

BlueTwelve Studio’s upcoming cat adventure game, Stray, has been capturing the attention of cat owners and players globally mainly due to the game’s adorable feline lead. As we near the game’s official release, the developer provided more details about the development process for the debut game.

Studio producer Swann Martin-Raget recently detailed real-world influences for their cat adventure game, which includes the game’s leading protagonist. The studio introduced its main cat actor, Murtaugh, who provided the studio with real-life captures.

Stray dev introduces real-life gaming inspiration, Murtaugh

The psychedelic world of Stray is littered with bright neon lights, dangerous and friendly droids, and scenic cityscapes, all seen through the eyes of the game’s protagonist, a stray cat. While the cat may not have a name yet, many have wondered who the adorable real-life inspiration behind the feline lead was.

Detailed in a developer blog for PlayStation, Stray’s game developer BlueTwelve Studio introduces the world to Murtaugh, the game’s main inspiration.

According to the developer, this adorable feline is one of two cats owned by the studio’s co-founders, who was previously a stray before being found beneath a car in the streets of Montpellier, France.

“He is also called “The Boss,” and even though the character in the game is not a direct reproduction of Murtaugh, he was definitely a huge inspiration for its appearance and was a great support during the whole development.”

stray game gameplay development real-life inspiration murtaugh
Murtaugh, the real-life inspiration for Stray, was previously a stray cat found by the studio's co-founders. (Picture: Twitter / PlayStation)

Speaking on the development process, the studio stated that having the protagonist be as believable as possible was their main priority despite not wanting to go “for a 100% precise representation”. They were subtle references to Murtaugh in Stray, such as his appearance, charming demeanor, and “liveliness and playfulness.”

While Murtaugh may have been the real-life inspiration for the game’s protagonist, animating his movements was done by another talented cat, Oscar. This feline companion was the reference point for the studio, who captured all of the movements, including jumps and runs, when the studio couldn’t rely on internet sources.

stray game gameplay development real-life capture animations movements
Most of the in-game movements were referenced from a real-life cat the developer worked with. (Picture: BlueTwelve Studio)

“Animating a quadruped is already quite challenging, but the subtleties of a cat’s movements are incredibly precise and hard to convey properly.”

Together with the studio’s leading programmers, they captured the stray cat’s performances and fine-tuned every detail, from the scratching to the jumps and rubbing.

Having a great meeting point between “great-looking animations” and “responsive gameplay” was achieved by having real-world cats as reference points for the studio.

In celebration of Stray's release, check out our video below featuring our favorite feline friends in video games!

Stray is currently available for pre-purchase via Steam and can be added to your Wishlist for PlayStation and Steam for PC. The game will release worldwide on 19th July 2022.

For all the feline content, check out our section dedicated to the latest Stray news, updates, guides, features, and more.


Featured image courtesy of BlueTwelve Studio.