Talking Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night with Koji Igarashi
A while back, we had a chance to speak with Koji Igarashi, producer of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and ex-Castlevania developer, asking about the challenges faced during development. The game has been in development for quite some time, the team running into some obstacles along the way. In the process, Wii U, Vita, Mac and Linux versions were cancelled, but on the bright side, a Switch version was announced. It’s been four years, but the end is now in sight for this “Igavania” title. Here are just a few questions we managed to ask Igarashi about the game based on a brief demo we had, as provided by an interpreter.
David Poole (DP): So I had a lot of fun playing the game, it really feels good to play. What would you say—what are you most proud of with Bloodstained?
Koji Igarashi (IGA): So, I guess I have two favorites. One is the graphics, because everyday, working on development, I see the improvement on the graphics end of it, and it makes me really happy seeing that improvement, so the graphic element is one of my favorites. Another one is the playability, you know, everyday, we’re improving the response, the control, and that’s my favorite part of it as well.
DP: Definitely felt really responsive, so yeah, I can tell. With this game being crowdfunded, what would you say would be the biggest challenge?
IGA: You know, Bloodstained being a Kickstarter project, everything is pretty much challenging. I think one of the most challenging parts about it is using the engine, which is the Unreal Engine 4 that we’re using, and there’s so many things that we can do with the engine, and it’s really hard to choose and pick what we’re able to do, and it’s just really hard to utilize the engine, because there’s just so many things we can do with it, and that’s why we have to sort of decide on what to do, how we’re gonna use it, and I think that was the most challenging part doing this project.
DP: Definitely! So you recently worked with Inticreates and released Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. Is it better to play that game before Ritual of the Night or is it kind of standalone?
IGA: That’s a difficult question, I mean, Curse of the Moon is already released before the main game, so I think it’ll be difficult to say “wait until the main game is released”, so yea, we’d like them to play it when it’s released, and it’s already launched as we hope for them to play the game, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. Whichever you decide.
DP: Okay, so tell me a little bit about Miriam’s design. What inspired her appearance?
IGA: So, usually I leave it up to the character designer with Miriam’s appearance, and I guess the character designer’s hobby or what he personally likes is sort of mixed in with the Gothic horror theme that we wanted, and he really liked having a twist on the Gothic Lolita style plus this Gothic design in general, so I guess he added that element into the design for Miriam.
DP: Nice! I noticed you can also change her appearance a little bit throughout the game with certain equipment and different costumes and hats it seems.
So with Curse of the Moon already released, getting back to that, do we expect Bloodstained to become a franchise?
IGA: So whenever we make a game, we never want to end the game just on its own. We always want to make sure there’s some kind of continuation or a possibility of a sort of game that branches off from the main game. Although we want to focus on the main game first and make sure that it’s successful as an IP, and yea, we’re really interested in making it as a franchise if it’s a possibility.
DP: Alright, and then getting to the last question, obviously we don’t have a firm release date, but do we have an estimation on when (Bloodstained) might be releasing?
IGA: So, we can’t really say it right now. It’s going to be announced in the next couple of months, and it’s something we’re going to be announcing very soon.
DP: Alright, and that would be it, thank you very much!
Thankfully, we now have a timeframe of when to expect Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. The game is slated to release sometime this Summer for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC. We’ll hopefully have more information on the title as it gets closer to release.