Hector Rodriguez Aguilar

Game Designer & Illustrator
Hector Rodriguez Aguilar is a multidisciplinary designer with expertise in game design. He is also an accomplished comic artist and journalist. His work uniquely blends the 1930s cartoon art style with art deco elements, showcasing his diverse creative abilities.
Thesis Faculty
Ayodamola Tanimowo OkunseindeGloria DuanErnesto KlarSamuel LeighMelanie Crean

Paws Time Chase

Paws Time Chase

2D Platformer Game: Paws is late for work. Can he get there on time?

Is Time your friend?

Embark on Paws Time Chase, a captivating 2D platformer where the player guides the endearing anthropomorphic character Paws through a whimsical 1930s art Deco cartoon-inspired world. In this game, your enemy is Time, aka Mr.Time.

Intertwining Existentialism and Paws.

In my game, I explore existential themes, questioning the meaning and purpose of work for those who lack passion in their careers. The story centers around Paws, an anthropomorphic cat caught in a personal crisis. His friend Scratchy accidentally takes his briefcase, putting Paws in jeopardy of losing his job if he can’t arrive on time. At this pivotal moment, Mr. Time, a mysterious figure who controls the passage of time, steps in. He offers Paws a unique deal: if Paws can gather clocks for him, Mr. Time will manipulate time to ensure Paws is never late.

Game Play

I drew inspiration from the gameplay and aesthetic coherence of “Cuphead” for my game, particularly how the character designs harmonize with the enemies and environments. My research into Art Deco significantly influenced the game’s setting, allowing me to craft backgrounds that transported players to the 1930s. The first level presents Paws’s apartment building in a gloomy light, depicted in a stark black-and-white palette to mirror his joyless work routine. However, from the day Paws makes a deal with Mr. Time, the color scheme gradually shifts to warmer tones, symbolizing Paws’s changing perception and growing appreciation of his surroundings.

Character Design

I delved into how to implement the rubber hose animation style effectively in my game. The initial sketches were crucial for determining the right body proportions and identifying traits that make the character unmistakably a cat. Each design iteration built on the previous, refining the characteristic rubber hose aesthetic of 1930s animation. I chose a warm color palette for the character’s face to reflect his vibrant personality, while his clothes feature a cooler palette to add depth to his portrayal.

Animation Design

For my character’s movement, I aim to immerse players in the feel of a cartoon show. I started by crafting the idle animation to show the character smiling, which infuses him with an energetic personality. Beyond that, I developed animations for running, jumping, and wall sliding. Adding a dash animation seemed essential to convey Paws’s urgency to reach his job on time. Throughout this creative process, my initial focus was on perfecting the animations’ look before moving on to color the final sprites.

Thesis Show Setup

This game is designed to play with an Xbox Controller, allowing players to navigate through the levels seamlessly. They can engage with the story through sections presented in an experimental comic format, adding a unique narrative layer. The game features a variety of settings, ranging from Paws’s apartment to his office, each designed to expand the game world. Additionally, I aimed to create a sense of urgency in the gameplay by including speed run levels complete with scoreboards. These scoreboards track the highest number of clocks collected and the fastest times achieved, pushing players to optimize their performance and strategy.