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See How Unity Helped to Bring Cookie Cutter's Unique Hand-Drawn World to Life

Learn how switching to Unity 2022 LTS and having the opportunity to work with Unity's 2D lighting system helped to build such an immersive world. 

Image credit: Subcult Joint, Cookie Cutter

Cookie Cutter is a techno-pop-punk 2D hand-drawn Metroidvania set in a dystopian world by a talented indie studio, Subcult Joint. This title inspired by Japanese manga and Quentin Tarantino films has crashed into people's minds right after we first heard of the game.

Its distinctive style and unique hand-drawn world gained a lot of attention ahead of its official release on December 15, 2025. So, let's dive into the game and see how Unity helped this punk-rock passion project come to life and deliver its immersive world.

Did you know that Subcult Joint's small team, which consists of only 15 developers, faced a last-minute setback while working on their six-year project? The team encountered compatibility issues while porting platform plug-ins and decided to upgrade to Unity 2022 LTS.

This upgrade allowed the developers to use Unity's 2D lighting system and enhance the hand-drawn world of Cookie Cutter, which made the world of the game so unique.

Image credit: Subcult Joint, Cookie Cutter

In a recent interview with Unity, Stefano Guglielmana, Subcult Joint's Founder, Artist, and Unity Learn Educator talked about their game Cookie Cutter and how the latest upgrade to Unity helped to build it the way we have it now.

Image credit: Subcult Joint, Cookie Cutter

The most crucial point in the development process was the focus on hand-drawn visuals, and when it came to asset creation, the team dedicated hours to creating 20-40 animations per character using traditional techniques in Adobe Photoshop.

As Guglielmana shared with Unity, during the development process, the team optimized 8K textures in Unity, adhering to the power of 2 rule, and organized over 2,000 sprite sheets into sprite atlases for smooth performance and faster loading times.

"Sprite Atlases made it super easy to export the game to the different target consoles while maintaining a solid frame rate. We're pretty much focused on smashing 60 FPS to keep the gameplay and overall performance smooth as butter," shared Guglielmana. "This really optimized memory use in an amazing way and made loading times even faster."

Speaking of creating crisp gameplay, the development team came to the Unity Asset Store solution called ActionGraph to add gameplay logic to each frame, allowing real-time adjustments to settings like colliders and damage numbers.

Along the way, Guglielmana paid special attention to the fact that Unity's Light's 2D helped the team make all the areas of the game's large map look distinctive and have a "unique personality."

"Every light in the game illuminates our Sprites in real-time, creating a feeling of density and cohesion between characters, animations, and the environments," says Guglielmana in the interview. "In dark places, characters are shaded and bathed in light when they're exposed to the saturated, contaminated skylights in exterior areas. I love this so much!"

Image credit: Subcult Joint, Cookie Cutter

"Unity's 2D Lights do incredible work giving life to your game, and you can achieve impressive results just by playing around with them," Guglielmana says. "They're so good that in some instances they look like new-gen Volumetric Lights, but in 2D."

With the help of Unity, the team behind Cookie Cutter managed to achieve pretty remarkable results, such as selling over 60 thousand copies and generating over $1,200,000 within a month of launch.

During the game development, Subcult Joint easily managed over 2,000+ Sprite sheets and XX Sprite Atlases and could upgrade to Unity 2022 LTS mid-project without having any problems.

If you want to learn more about Cookie Cutter's development, check out this in-depth livestream they did with Unity, read this Case Study, and visit Unity's URP page for additional details.

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Comments 1

  • Zancocchio Anthony

    why is anyone using Unity at all?


    Zancocchio Anthony

    ·2 months ago·

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