Koji Igarashi Discusses Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Why They Chose A Female Lead, And More

By Casey . August 22, 2017 . 8:30am


Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is set to release in March next year, and Gamasutra recently sat down with Igarashi to discuss his upcoming game. In the interview, Igarashi discussed whether Bloodstained was made more for himself or for the fans, how difficult it is to make a 3D game in a 2D genre, and why exactly they decided to make the main character of the game female.


Gamasutra: So you’re making another Igavania, as the fans like to call them. Is this because it’s something you truly wanted to do, or is it more for the fans?


Koji Igarashi: There’s no doubt that I love this genre myself. But in a related topic, I think the answer to this question is what makes us different from “indies.” When I think of indie, I believe an indie game is based on a developer’s personal preference.

For Bloodstained, this is a title that started out on Kickstarter to answer the fans’ wish for another Igavania game, moreso than what I want to create. I feel that it is my duty to answer the fans’ wishes first, and so I’ve been shaping the game’s vision in that direction.


GS: What for you are the main differences between 2D and 3D assets in a game with 2D gameplay? What are the challenges of creating a 3D game in a 2D genre?


KI: Right, so our game uses 3D assets with 2D side-scrolling gameplay. The biggest differences between [side-scrolling] games and 3D games that are meant to be played on 3D environments are the responses, and placements of objects in 2D gameplay.

These responses and placements of objects are very specific and limited with 2D gameplay, while 3D gameplay puts more emphasis on the timing of each action.

In Bloodstained, differentiating the platforms [that players can jump on] from the environment was very challenging, and there were people who were confused by earlier implementations. We’re trying very hard to improve it by changing around the lighting without hindering the gameplay and visual appearance.

Another factor is the screen’s field of view. When the field of view becomes wider, it becomes difficult to know where players can jump, as well as the corners of the screen warps.

The most challenging part for us was figuring out where the hitboxes were when using 3D models in a 2D side-scrolling environment. It’s completely different from developing a 3D game that could be viewed from all different angles. We make sure the collisions are adjusted to have that 2D action feel.


GS: Bloodstained has a female lead, which is great. Japan’s bosses use to say having female leads would mean a game wouldn’t sell. How do you feel about that?


KI: A large reason for choosing a female lead was the Kickstarter. When we thought about collecting funds from Kickstarter, and thought about the modern social movement in America, having a female lead felt right, but also calculated. But in the end I could care less whether the lead is male or female as long as the game is fun to play. I did have a challenging time coming up with the story, but that could be said for a lead character of any gender.


To read the full interview with Igarashi, you can go here.


Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is set to release sometime in 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Wii U.

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