Inti Creates Interview – CEO Takuya Aizu Talks 2D Platformers, Blaster Master Zero, and Gal*Gun
DualShockers sits down with Japanese developer Inti Creates to discuss their plans for 2017 including Blaster Master Zero, Gal*Gun, and new tech.
Inti Creates has been developing some of the best 2D action platformers ever created including Mega Man Zero, Azure Striker Gunvolt, and most recently Blaster Master Zero on the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS. With such a large catalog of games, it’s no wonder they receive so much respect from the gaming community.
DualShockers had the opportunity to sit down with Inti Creates’ President & CEO Takuya Aizu and Associate Producer and International Affairs Coordinator Matt Papa to discuss what the company has planned for 2017.
Azario Lopez: With Blaster Master Zero now available on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS, what’s next from Inti Creates?
Takuya Aizu: We have two big projects coming up: the first we’re aiming to announce early Summer – the second will be closer to the end of the year.
AL: Recently, Inti Creates revealed Gal*Gun VR: can you give us any updates on the development status?
TA: As of right now, the prototype is finished which is something we’ve been able to show to the publisher. So, now that the prototype is out of the way, we are able to go full steam ahead with the development stage.
AL: Will the game be a brand new story or will it just be Gal*Gun Double Peace in VR?
TA: Obviously the game will retain that Gal*Gun feeling, but of course there will be new things for the player to experience. What exactly those are, we cannot say at this time, but to answer your question it will not be the exact same as Double Peace.
AL: Gal*Gun Double Peace seems to have a strong player backing since the game’s release: was this surprising in any way?
TA: We were EXTREMELY surprised! We could have never have asked for as good as a reception as we got. The game has currently sold 4 times as much as we had originally projected. However, when you’re getting information from a publisher, it’s not immediately up-to-date: instead, you get the numbers from the previous quarter, so once we have the most recent numbers, we’ll share that with the community.
AL: Being one of the first developers to release a game on Nintendo Switch, how was it working on the new hardware?
TA: When we started to develop Blaster Master, we were using our own in-house engine because we originally planned to release the game on Nintendo 3DS. Once we decided that we were going to do a Nintendo Switch version, getting the stuff from the in house engine over to Switch only took a few months. In terms of just a general feeling, the Switch is very easy to work with and developer-friendly from our experience. Then you have the ability to use the Switch functionality for your game, such as the Joy-Cons or the multiplayer feature we added to the Switch version of Master Blaster.
AL: Inti Creates seems to have a knack for building upon their current line-up of games, but also to create new IPs. Is that something that the company will continue to do in the future?
TA: When it comes to our own IPs, we make them because we love them and we want to keep working on them. However, we also have people working at Inti Creates who want to make new characters and world. There’s a very nice balance of that between the two in our office. So you can make no mistake that we’ll continue to work on the IPs that we’ve created so far and also work on creating new IPs as well.
We’re really hoping that there’s something we can show you this year, but we’ll see. The one I’m teasing is this new IP that we’re working on that we think when people see it they’ll think, “Oh yea, THAT’S an Inti Creates game.”
AL: So what would you say is an “Inti Creates” game, perhaps for someone who hasn’t played your past titles?
TA: The first thing that comes to mind is side-scrolling action games. I think that goes without saying that that’s who we are. The other thing is our character design: we want younger audiences to see these characters and think, “Man, that is really cool!” Such as when you relate to characters in anime and attempt to be like the character.
One other thing is how we write our stories; we don’t tend to stick to “basic” or “plain” stories, we really like those deep expanded storylines and I think we might have a thing for bitter endings.
AL: Does Inti Creates plan to support the more powerful hardware found in PlayStation 4 Pro and the upcoming Xbox Scorpio?
TA: What we’d like to do is to make games for PS4 or Xbox One that will maybe run better on the newer hardware.
AL: Is that something you try to do as developers because it seems that every time a new piece of hardware is announced, your team wants to create something for it?
TA: I think it’s just more of a coincidence. For example: when Oculus Rift first came out, we thought it was a pretty cool piece of hardware. Since then, we took the proper amount of time to learn and study about VR, so that if the time came, we’d know how to develop a game properly. In the case for Gal*Gun VR, we haven’t announced what it’ll release on, but learning how to do VR correctly is something that we are putting time and effort into.
AL: When it comes to Blaster Master Zero, is there anything you wanted to stand out about the title?
TA: For players of the original game, there will be a lot of fan service. However, there are plenty of people now-a-days who have no idea what the series is. So when we went about creating Blaster Master Zero, we wanted to be able to make it so people who have never played a Blaster Master game to be able to experience the beginning of the series: essentially, starting over from zero.
AL: Can Inti Creates fans expect cameos from your other titles in Blaster Master Zero?
TA: We showed in the trailer that Gunvolt will be featured in the game. The Director for Blaster Master Zero Satoru Nishizawa, was actually one of the planners for Mega Man 9 and he really loves side-scrolling action games. When we were thinking about cameos that we could include, he had some pretty great ideas and perhaps you’ll get to see those later down the line.