Back during TGS 2019, Taiwanese developer maJAJa CEO Yi-Yuan Lee sat down for an interview, talking about just how they were inspired by manga and Chinese culture for the game, how reception has been, and how long the game will take to get out of Early Access. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]
Here are the highlights:
4Gamer: Dungeon Munchies is about using monsters to make delicious dishes and get stronger, but where did this idea come from?
Yi-Yuan Lee, maJAJa CEO: “The biggest influence was the manga Dungeon Meshi (Delicious in Dungeon in NA). Our game designer was like, “Incorporating this into our game could be interesting”, and this was where development truly began.”
4Gamer: I could faintly feel it, but so Dungeon Meshi did have influence on the game. You’ve prepared lots of dishes you can make in the game, but was this influenced by Taiwanese culture?
Lee: “Right. The game has a combination of Dungeon Meshi’s “eating monsters” elements, as well as Taiwanese food culture.”
4Gamer: It’s pretty interesting to have the protagonist gain wings and special powers depending on what they eat.
Lee: “In China, it’s said that if you eat animal organs, your organs will be similarly strengthened. By eating living things, you are absorbing its soul and energy. Dungeon Munchies uses that as its source for the idea of the protagonist changing appearances and growing stronger.”
4Gamer: The game released in Early Access on Steam in June, and made quite a large impact on Steam. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of opinions from players, but was the reaction what you expected?
Lee: “No, it was much stronger than I expected. (laughs) I think that taking the time to make this game, squashing out bugs one by one, led to good results. One thing that surprised me were the amount of people who liked the story of the game. At first, I thought people would focus on the quality of the action gameplay, so having people be this into the story was unexpected.”
4Gamer: What percent of development progress are you at right now?
Lee: “For the story, around 30%. I think it’ll take around a year for the game to be finished, and leave Early Access. The update set to be added at the beginning of next year will add at least two more bosses.”
4Gamer: Finally, do you have anything to say to your fans, and those who haven’t played the game still?
Lee: “This game is a Metroidvania-type exploration game, but with a visual novel-like story. If you’re interested, please give the game a try. For those who enjoyed the Early Access, look forward to coming updates. I believe you’ll enjoy the new story, new characters, and additional dishes. The characters in particular will be just as cute as Simmer [the cook] is, so look forward to it.”
Dungeon Munchies is available on PC via Steam in Early Access, but is currently in development for consoles.