BitSummit 2018 - Iga (Koji Igarashi) Interview (Transcript) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, May 25, 2018

BitSummit 2018 - Iga (Koji Igarashi) Interview (Transcript)

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Iga, aka Koji Igarashi, was kind enough to join us for an interview during our time in Kyoto for BitSummit. We chat about Bloodstained (both the prequel and main title), GBA backlighting and much more. Read on (or check out the video below) to see what Iga had to say!
James: Hi. We are now joined by Mr. Koji Igarashi. Nice to meet you. Thank you for joining us.
Iga: Nice to meet you, too.
James: Thank you. So, obviously, you are famous for the Castlevania series. Also recently the exciting Kickstarter project for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Now, we also have the retro prequel, Bloodstained: The Curse of the Moon. That looks very exciting. Do you have any involvement with Curse of the Moon?
Iga: In regard to Curse of the Moon, I’m supervising the look of the game world and the environment. Also, I’m in charge of the game scenario. So I’m taking care of those areas of the game. For the gameplay, the guys at Into Creates are handling all of that.
James: That was a Kickstarter bonus, wasn’t it?
Iga: Right.
James: So, Ritual of the Night is completely finished?
Iga: No, we’re not quite finished yet. (laughs)
James: (laughs) If you could give it a percentage?
Iga: As for percentage. Let’s see here. How far are we? I think we’re around 70-80 percent of the way there. We still have some work to do until we finish it up.
James: You’re creating for a lot of game systems at the same time (for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night), including Nintendo Switch which is what we are excited to play. Are all version progressing at the same time? Or is one version ahead of the other?
Iga: In regard to the progress on different platforms it’s not all the same. First, we’re working on the PC version and from there we work on porting to other platforms. We’ve had some difficulty porting the game to the Switch. Progressively speaking, the Switch version is a little behind the other platforms. (laughs)
James: (laughs)
Iga: Thats where we’re at.
James: In terms of content, characters and everything else, are all version identical?
Iga: Yes, of course. The content is the same on all platforms.
James: Assuming you’ve played the Switch version, how does it feel compared to the other versions? For example portably? Is it exciting to play your game portably on such a nice screen?
Iga: First we’re working to tightly port the game to all platforms. Even while playing it portably, the feeling of the buttons varies for controllers across platforms, so we’re thinking about the gameplay. We want every version to feel the same. Irrespective of Switch, we want all the versions to offer the same experience and we’re working very hard to achieve that goal.
James: Compared to the Game Boy Advance Castlevania games, we don’t have the problem of the dark screen anymore, right? Those days are now long gone.
Iga: Yeah, that’s right.
James: (laughs)
Iga: It was really rough to have a screen that was that dark! (laughs)
James: (laughs) We don’t have to install an extra light onto the Switch, right?
Iga: (laughs) It’s got a backlight so there’s no problem now.
James: Have you had a chance to use some of the Switch’s unique features? For example, the motion or the HD Rumble?
Iga: First of all as I just said a little while ago, the experience has to be the same across all platforms. That’s one of our main priorities. Naturally, the Switch has a lot of different features and we’d like to add them to the game if we could. However, this could lead to people saying things like, “Why is the Switch version different from the other versions of the game?!” We wanted to avoid that.
James: Looking at the face value of Bloodstained, it does look very similar to a Castlevania game. People might not actually know that it’s not a Castlevania game on the face value. Is it intentional to make it very very similar to Castlevania or is it a tradition that you personally want to continue with your own company?
Iga: Simply put, I have no intention to make a ripoff or anything like that. With this game the method of expression is different. There are a lot more different elements in this new title than with the Castlevania games that I worked on until now. They really aren’t quite the same. There’s a gothic motif that we’re using here. With this style, if you compare Bloodstained and Castlevania, they do end up looking very similar visually. My intention is to make something different but with the motif influencing the art style, they do end up looking similar.
James: I have no problems with it looking like Castlevania. I’m very happy that it does. Konami is probably not going to make anymore Castlevania games anyway. It’s probably a good thing that you are continuing the tradition.
Iga: A new Castlevania game was just announced, though, right?
James: Oh, the mobile version.
Iga: Yeah, yeah.
James: I mean, a real game. (laughs)
Iga: (laughs) Yeah, you’re probably right about that. (laughs)
James: (laughs) Anyway, thank you for that and thank you for joining us, Mr. Igarashi. It was an awesome interview. Thank you so much.
Iga: Thank you.

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