For the past three decades, Shantae series maker WayForward has made a name for itself by creating retro-tasting gems that combine the best of modern games with the feel of old-fashioned aesthetics and the feel of the game. One of the many great licensed property projects for developers / publishers (DuckTales Remastered, Contra 4, Batman: The Brave and the Bold), even when incorporated into their own projects (such as the Mighty series and the Shantae games mentioned above). , The Mummy Demastered), River City Girls, to name just a handful of highlights), the studio is constantly looking to the glorious past of the game as it progresses towards 40 years.
For the latest project, Spidersaurs, WayForward looks not only at the giants of the run-and-gun genre, but also at the energy and aesthetics of the 90’s Saturday morning cartoons for inspiration. Previously dedicated to Apple Arcade, the game will be available on Switch and other consoles on July 14th.
I recently emailed director Tomm Hulett (formerly Konami and Atlus) to play the design inspiration behind this run’n’gunner, what changed in the next console release, he recently played. We talked about what we were doing …
Nintendo Life: What inspired you to start your first idea for Spidersaurs?
Tom Hulett: Matt Bozon, WayForward’s creative director, wanted to create a new IP that combines the feel of retro arcade action with the feel of a toy tie-in cartoon. He and I definitely share encyclopedic knowledge about them. Our knowledge base overlaps with the era of comics in the 80’s, but he’s a little older so he’s in the late 70’s and my experience reaches the mid 90’s. We agreed that the target of Spider Saurus is “the type of theme song in which a deep-voiced narrator explains the story.”
The atmosphere of the 90’s Saturday Morning Cartoons is off the charts and gives the game great energy. What specific shows did you look for to get inspiration when developing your game?
Some of Matt’s favorites Jace and a warrior with wheels When OrbotI like the memories mask, PolicemanAnd of course Inhumanoid..Our shared touchstone is Bionic Six, A show that only Matt and I remember. But it was real. They were a family.
When writing the story of the game, I probably channeled millions of different cartoons from where I knew.I remember seeing it Dungeons & Dragons When Donkey KongWhen were you there Alvin and the Chipmunks Defeat the Berlin Wall, Saturday morning Believers until the time frame is ruined Gargoyle (You need to draw a line somewhere). Did you give it enough names? Tick! Sky Commander!
The Victoria and Adrian designs are impressive and I especially enjoy how Victoria uses the guitar as a weapon. Can you tell us a bit about how those designs have evolved and if there are other ideas or characters left on the floor of the cutting room?
One of Spidersaurs’ goals was to be a game that people of my age could play with their kids. Character design is a good blend of modern characters and the origins of the 80’s. Matt explained that he wanted to be our hero and passed on the duty of art to our secret weapon, Sean Healy, to nurture them.
Victoria started with longer hair punk rockers before we added more hearts Gem energy. Adrian was originally a little more serious action man, but in the end it became a very toy-like sports gun. Imagine how many Adrians you would buy if you could! Soccer Rocket Adrian, Cricket Hero Adrian, Karate Chop Action Jai Alai Adrian …
Our heroic combat intern gains a special ability that feels more like Capcom than you’ll find in Contra Canon, but you can’t hide Run and Gun RNA in our veins.
How long did development take from the initial concept to the finished Apple Arcade product?
We usually don’t publish exact development times, but I’ve devoted at least a year of my life to these crazy Saurus.
Do you think Spider Saurus belongs to the “spiritual successor” bracket as the team works on Contra 4?
I think it’s a fair evaluation. Our heroic combat intern gains a special ability that feels more like Capcom than you’ll find in Contracanon, but you can’t hide Run and Gun RNA in our veins.
But it’s still mostly core gameplay. Our stage and boss designs aren’t trying to emulate alien invasion, so there are lots of unique ideas and some concepts inspired by other games in this genre.
Could you elaborate a bit on the additions and tweaks made to the console version of the game?
When you’re busy completing a game for submission and release, of course, there are just a few tweaks to come up with additional ideas or improve the areas you’ll notice after hundreds or hundreds of playthroughs. .. So when I headed to the console port, I found a wishlist that wasn’t possible at first. There are many small things just to improve the gameplay experience.
The stage 1 boss actually moved closer to the endgame for a reason (he’s shy), and the update brings him home for a more dramatic stage 1 climax. We’ve added Easy and Hard modes to rebalance all three difficulties a bit. The biggest change is the epilogue stage, which has its own true final boss. After the story is over, if you want to master each level, we’ve added arcade mode and speedrun mode.
Speaking of Saturday Morning Cartoons, how do you enjoy this old-fashioned TMNT love these days as a former Konami employee and experienced turtles game developer? Did you enjoy taking tribute games at Shredders Revenge?
I’m having fun! There is a big corner of my heart dedicated to TMNT. Shredder’s Revenge does a very good job of making gameplay accessible, but avoids the relatively shallow ones inherent in older Quarterman char arcade games. They have achieved the high goal of creating a game that feels the way you remember. Older games, on the other hand, can disappoint you when you try to relive your childhood. I’m looking forward to the next Kawabunga collection — I’m finally going to try Radical Rescue!
I have great memories of the trauma center game you worked on. After 12 years, it feels like the perfect time for Derek Styles to come back. Do you have strong memories of working on those games?
I miss the trauma center! I was one of the champions when the DS wasn’t yet understood before there was evidence that everyone would love lawyers and puppy games. I could also fly to Japan to discuss the Wii control of the second opinion.
But the most important question is what reference name the new character will get in the sequel. Sadly, the series skipped generations, so I couldn’t meet Derek Stiles III, but could there be a mysterious doctor with new arcane powers? She was rumored to be whispered in the halls of all medical centers in the country … a mysterious surgeon witch? S. Abbreviation for witch? (Unfortunately, a copy of the Trauma Team is still factory-sealed, so I’m willing to accept a re-release of eShop! Come to Atlus, port required, statistics!) [I concur – Ed.]
Alongside other achievements, WayForward has, over the years, actually opened up a niche to provide a quality neo-retro experience that leverages nostalgia for old-fashioned practices.Do you and your team have a series or genre? I have not Did you work with what you want to work on in the future?
He has also been working on Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, especially stretch goals and DLC content, for the past few years. This includes Classic Mode and Classic Mode 2, which has just been announced. That’s why my team has been on a Konami-inspired truck for some time. This is obviously very comfortable, but I don’t care about Rockman. If anyone is asking, you know. Are you interested in restarting a super gritty ice climber? Or maybe it fits another Rocket Knight because I’m here. Publisher, call me! You have my number
Finally, what games are you enjoying recently on Switch and elsewhere?
After a four-month quest to conquer Elden Ring, And quickly immerse yourself in the Stanley Parable and TMNT … I don’t know what to play next. Maybe I can finally complete Deltarune? Have the people in this Holonite game ever been talking?
Thanks to Tom for talking to us. You can follow him on Twitter @Hypnocrite.. Spidersaurs will be available on Switch on July 14th.