Bloodstained/Castlevania Dev Koji Igarashi Talks About His New Game, Konami, From Software and More
BloodStained: Ritual of the Night Director and former Castlevania Producer Koji Igarashi held an AMA on Reddit, and he talked about quite a few interesting aspects of his new game and more.
First of all, we get some information on Bloodstained‘s length and size:
“Previously we used to shoot for a bare minimum of 10 hours. We just passed a stretch goal guaranteeing a 25% bigger game so it will be at least 12.5 hours. Again, that’s for someone who is really, really good and doesn’t include the extra modes that clearing stretch goals have provided.”
“Our initial 500,000 goal was going to be a much more compact version due to budgetary limitations but thanks to the additional backer support, I’m finally able to make something bigger than even SOTN. And there will be lots of new modes. I’m really interested to see how far the campaign goes because that could unlock some other really cool ideas. Of course it’s always a balance.”
He also mentioned that he was surprised by the success of the Kickstarter campaign:
“I was expecting 800K at the absolute most… I was wrong (laughs). Yeah, we prepared for something much smaller initially and really had to shift gears to provide better content and more goals attached to the stretch goals.”
Igarashi-san explained that one of the things he’s most looking forward to is working with Inti Crates:
“It’s not really a feature per say but one of the things I am looking forward to most is working with Inti. They are great a creating really challenging boss battles with a nice risk/reward approach. I think having them on board will make some of the boss battles very challenging. The current monster designs are based around the 72 lessor demons in Solomon’s tome. But I love classic movie monsters as well so they will probably show up in the game too.”
He also clarified that the Bloodstained IP definitely belongs to him, despite the recent trademark filing by Koch Media:
“Bloodstained is MY IP. Anyone can trademark anything. IP ownership is a different thing altogether.”
He then promised that we’ll hear more about a possible physical option for Wii U after the related stretch goal will be cleared (which means soon, since we’re less than $40,000 away).
“This will be mentioned after we clear the Wii U stretch goal (smiles deviously).”
Interestingly, we got a through overview on the funding situation:
“I think it’s a matter of perception. But we have always tried to be up front about the game. We mention that we had background funding in the announcement video which is the most commonly viewed piece of the kickstarter campaign. I can say this though, the only way to do this game was though kickstarter. I personally spent 6 months out of work trying to find funding for the game and didn’t find it. Finally an investor said they would cover most of the budget if we proved there were sufficient market needs. This was the only opportunity on the table for me so it was either do Kickstarter and be successful to make Bloodstained or I would not be able to make another console Igavania game. Kickstarter helps all kinds of indies. We do call outs in our campaign as well. I don’t think it’s either/or.”
We also learn about plans possibility on the multiplayer and online co-op front:
“I’m constantly looking at the backer comments on the Bloodstained page. The more sort of requests we get for multiplayer, the more we want to prioritize it. That being said, online is a very expensive undertaking so we’d have to find a good balance.”
“Online co-op for multiple platforms is one of the most expensive things to develop. That means we have to be very careful about how we plan it and where it would fit in the budget. That being said, if the campaign continues to go well, there will be a lot of new opportunities for us on the development side of things. Maybe even online co-op.”
Speaking about multiplayer, Igarashi-san explained the philosophy behind Johannes’ design:
“You want to make sure there is a difference in visual style and roles of your main characters. Johannes is meant to be a support character for Miriam. If he becomes a cool Indy Jones type character you end up with two leads and they have a tough time playing off of each other. That being said, he may look bookwormish as you said, but HE HAS A WHIP. So there’s that.
Igarashi-san also responded to questions about the current controversial situation of Konami:
“Konami is a business so they are just following the market. It makes me sad but a business is going to business…”
“Actually, I’m in contact with a lot of ex-Konami people. Konami is a company and probably has some kind of strategy but since I’ve been out of the loop for a year I really can’t say.”
That said, he was asked whether he’d be willing to work with Konami again for a new Castlevania, and the answer was definitely positive:
“Of course! I love my new baby “Bloodstained”, but Castlevania is also a great IP I would never turn my back on…”
Interestingly, he also mentioned that he would love a collaboration with from Software:
“I love From’s games. A collaboration would be great and honestly, I get that question a lot, but I think the visual style is a bit different. I’m more classic Gothic where they are more based in Cthulu.”
What are the games’ Igarashi-san is most proud of? The first part of the answer is obvious, but the second might surprise you:
“There are two for me. Obviously SOTN is one. It helped forge more career and allows me to have all these great fans. The other one is Tokimeki Memorial – A dating simulation game. It actually caused a minor social “revolution” and change in thinking in the Japanese society when it was released. It was very popular.”
Finally, Igarashi-san revealed a few details about a multiplayer Castlevania game set in 1999, which unfortunately never saw the light.
“There are lots of different development styles but the way we develop a game is by first thinking about the core system and then filling in the story afterwards. There were plans for a game set in 1999 but we could find a system that fit that story. Btw, that game was supposed to be multiplayer.”
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is currently sitting on a remarkable $2,963,473 on Kickstarter, with thirteen days to go. If you still want to contribute to Igarashi-san’s return, you have plenty of time.