Dogurai was born out of a Game Boy Jam entry, but moreso out of the days the developers spent watching cartoons and playing games as kids. Starring an anthropomorphic animal hero, the game sets out to recapture that silliness and wild nature of the media they grew up with.
Siliconera spoke with the developers of Dogurai to talk about what drew them to make the game and why a dog samurai is the best hero for the job.
Where did the concept for Dogurai come from? Why turn a dog into a samurai?
Matheus Almeida, Programmer for Dogurai: The initial idea was to make a 2d sidescroller where we would pay homage to old platforming games we loved and enjoyed as kids. In Dogurai, we wanted to focus on presenting an interesting character like the ones we used to see in Saturday morning cartoons or in games that came out at that time, so why not a dog samurai? People have been enjoying the idea a lot so far!
What’s the story behind Dogurai?
All the police and army forces were replaced by robots in a promise to bring safety to everyone, making for everlasting peace. Or it would have, if the guy behind said robots did not have a plan to take over everything with his, now dominant, army of machines.
The protagonist is a retired agent from a long gone dream-team, forced out of retirement because, well, robots are taking over the world!
Dogurai was originally created for GB Jam a few years ago. What made you want to pick up the game again and flesh it out?
We’ve been wanting to go back to this project and finish it since the game jam, but never got the time to do so. We were also not really sure if people would like it. We then took the project to a local indie convention here and it was really well received. That convinced us it was worthwhile to finish it (also, very heartwarming).
Does working with the Game Boy color palette provide any challenges for what you want to present, visually?
Thiago Portella, Artist: It is certainly a challenge! Both the palette and screen size limitations are very challenging to work with, but they also allow us the chance to experiment a lot with the visuals. Part of that challenge also comes from me intentionally not outlining the sprites, making them blend all together.
Does this limitation affect what you can present with the gameplay?
In that it affects how many things we can put on screen, yes, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. I believe graphics and gameplay have to be tied together and go hand in hand.
You showed off some of Dogurai‘s special moves in the trailer, as well as mecha and motor bikes. What other abilities, rides, and flashy fighting techniques does he have?
Dogurai‘s special abilities will come as different gameplay mechanics. We don’t plan on adding power-ups and different weapons, such as in the classic Mega Man games, but still we wanted to have varied and yet not complicated gameplay, so that’s why we have the bikes and mechas.
The game itself is a love letter to classic platformers and, in that sense, the bikes and mechas are no different. Other than that, Dogurai features all the neat moves you would expect from an action platformer, such as double jumps, low kicks and the ability to deflect enemy projectiles.