Interview with Eduardo Fornieles, director of "Narita Boy" game.
How long are you working on Narita Boy? I mean, when the first idea came to you about this game?
The idea came up in April 2016. Since I had that idea I kept working on the concept, stories, and some characters designs alone. I moved from Tokyo to Spain in November 2016 for creating a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.
In last few years there were some failures of games that were crowdfunded. Have you had doubts if your project will get at least the minimum needed amount?
Until we reached our funding goal, I could imagine many bad scenarios as well. It was a quite stressful moment in the campaign time.
Were you surprised when you saw at the end that you gathered over 160,000 EUR on your project?
What we got is really minimal budget to create the game. I spend that money to pay salary to others but not myself. I believe Narita Boy is succeeded and finally, it pays me. Two big reasons to move back to Spain. 1. Living Tokyo is expensive. I live in my parent's holiday house to save the rent. 2. Working with the team closely in same time zone.
What was your inspiration when you started your work on Narita Boy?
My childhood, the nostalgia of what I liked and what I would like to play right now. I wanted to bring back the memories of my childhood, this warmy music, this retro images, those strytelling, those adventures...And wrapped with a renew, trendy and more detailed pixel art.
What was your favourite genres and games from your childhood that you spend most of the time?
My favourite games of the childhood I love some arcade games I use to play in the Frankfurt restaurant near my house. The ones I love the must be golden axe, double dragon and ghost and goblins. Later my parents bought me the Nintendo NES and I loved Mario bros and Contra.
I keep my N.E.S at my parent´s house and time to time I play Megaman 2 and Power blade. It´s not only about playing is about connecting with the experience of those times and that makes me very very nostalgic.
And which modern games do you play now?
Now I love to play indie games the most. I have enjoyed a lot of titles like Hotline Miami I & II, Limbo, super meat boy, I am a hero, Fez..buf! uncountables!
Why you decided to create game in retro style?
Because I like it a lot. Getting old and missing beautiful childhood more. If we make a second game, it gonna smell retro aswell...I feel it.
In the newest trailer we see many references to popculture from the '80s. Is there going to be more such easter eggs hidden in the game?
Hehehe... that is secret. But I would like to put many homages into the culture of the 80s.
Are you planning to release demo version (or something similiar) just before or after the final release of the game for the people which aren't sure if your game is worth to buy?
We don't know yet.
Well, I know that maybe it's a little to early to ask for it, but do you have the final date when Narita Boy will be published? Do you want to sell it by yourself thru your website or are you going to use such platforms as Steam or GOG?
We tried our best to publish on time, which is December 2018. But the quality is our priority than date. We promised to release on Steam. So Steam is for sure.
We are geeks than salesmen. We haven't thought much about how to sell it. We just want to create the awesome game. How to make Narita Boy beautiful and fun. That is our concern and it occupied my head.
I'm happy to hear that you want to make Narit Boy perfect. I've got last question - on Kickstarter site we can read that you were working for two Japanese game developers. Is there a different approach in developing games in Japan than in Europe?
Both of them are the international company. One is French and the other is Sweedish. Their office cultures are not Japanese at all. So I can't answer this question.
Different from your question, but I can say I am much much much happier and motivated to work on my own project. Pressure is huge. I work much much longer. But super happy.
I think that's the most important thing in game development. Thank you for your time and I wish you and the whole team good luck!
Geekretro.pl is a Polish blog where you can find reviews of indie games for Nintendo Switch, interviews with game developers and curiosities from Japanese popculture. Section "geekretro.pl in English" has selection of best articles (mainly interviews) that is available in English.