Ravegan’s Daniel Igarza talks about paying homage to the arcade shooters of yore.
Arcade shooters have been making somewhat of a comeback in the mainstream thanks to titles like Alienation and Nex Machina from Housemarque. However, they’ve very much been a part of the PC gaming scene, eating up hours of time and challenging us to annihilate as many foes as possible. Ravegan’s Blue Rider is no different , allowing you to customize your arsenal and faces tons of enemies across several unique environments. The key aspect of the game is that it’s attempting to emulate old-school arcade cabinet shooters.
GamingBolt spoke to Ravegan’s Daniel Igarza about Blue Rider, his thoughts on the current arcade shooter movement and what Blue Rider has to offer to fans of the genre.
"Maps are big enough to keep you busy for several minutes, but not impossible to memorize and find hidden treasures and secret areas."
What are your thoughts on the audiences for arcade shoot ’em ups these days?
We experienced ourselves with the release of Blue Rider. It succeeded much better in older audiences (+30) and on console platforms. Our impression is there is a lot of nostalgia towards the shoot-em-up genre, plus the lack of challenge present in most of nowadays’ games. Shoot-em-up are well-known for being hardcore games.
What are some of the games that helped inspire Blue Rider?
The first Raiden (arcade), mainly. I personally loved the simplicity of this old game: only 2 types of primary/secondary weapons, plus just few items and… that’s it. Real straight-forward, getting harder every second yet using the same basic mechanics.
Basically, I designed the game I wanted to play. Something that’s extremely easy to learn but hard to beat.
How vast is each biome in the game? How many stages can players ultimately run through?
There are 9 different scenarios. You go throw desert, forest, water, snowy mountains, volcano and industrial environments. Maps are big enough to keep you busy for several minutes, but not impossible to memorize and find hidden treasures and secret areas.
"I guess when we put the bosses for the first time in-game, they were just 20% developed. Then we knew what was missing."
The first time you play, it can take you up to 10-15 hours to finish the game if you’re an experienced player. Once familiarized with all the classes of enemies (and specially bosses), you can beat the entire game (from Stage One) in less than an hour. Just like old arcade machines!
What was the thought process behind designing each boss? Can you provide a few examples of boss battles?
It was very atypical and organic. I enjoyed a lot sketching the bosses directly in 3D, and the ideas came through as I advanced on their designs. Later, the best ideas came out when playing the prototype. Unless you’ve designed dozens of games already, you don’t know how it will feels until you taste it by yourself. I guess when we put the bosses for the first time in-game, they were just 20% developed. Then we knew what was missing.
How big/small is the Ravegan team?
We’re a 15-member studio, but actually less than a half of it participated in the production of Blue Rider; just two Programmers and a few Artists and Designers. Ravegan is also an outsourcing studio, and we’re always co-operating with 3-4 projects at a time. Blue Rider was the first of several protoypes that we’ve finally published; our first 100% independent title.
"The soundtrack is very 80’s. Sticky rhythms and melodies that’ll keep your feet tapping during gameplay."
Are there any additional modes and challenges for very hardcore shoot ’em up fans to complete after finishing Blue Rider?
No. Again: we really wanted to emulate the spirit of old arcade machines, when your only mission was to beat the game in around one hour. The only addition is the existence of Trophies (PS4/XONE/Steam), so collector-players can give it another try to discover every single detail.
Can you tell us about the process behind the orchestrated soundtrack? What inspired its usage and how does it add to the overall feel of the game, distinguishing it from other indie shooters?
That’s the other thing we wanted to be old-themed. The soundtrack is very 80’s. Sticky rhythms and melodies that’ll keep your feet tapping during gameplay. Ariel (our musician) did a great job composing old-style songs with a fresh new high-quality sound.
Is there any Blue Rider 2 coming our way in the near future?
Not sure. Maybe. But we’re 100% sure we’ll keep on developing action games for PC and Console. It’s our passion.