Gaijin Games Talks To Always Nintendo

Always Nintendo got in touch with Gaijin Games’ Dant Rambo, to talk about their inspirations and what might be on the horizon for the team.

1. Gaijin seems like the perfect name for you guys, as you seem to like to approach gaming from the perspective of an “outsider”, looking at how conventions can be manipulated. How would you describe your process of coming up with new game ideas?

The process changes from project to project for us. Inspiration can come from anywhere! Destructamundo, for example, is a concept that Jason Cirillo AKA Robotube Games has been kicking around in his head for a while. The BIT.TRIP series, as you might imagine, was birthed from an interest in both music and retro, Atari-era games. So, really, I don’t know that there’s a steadfast “process” to it. We constantly throw around ideas, and if something sticks, we give it a shot.

2. Where did the idea for “Commander Video” come from? Any story behind this character from a production standpoint?

The concept of CommanderVideo has existed since the dawn of man. We were simply the ones lucky enough to dip our hands into the Idea Pool and catch it.

3. Music is a big part of your games, and most of it appears to be original compositions. Do you have in-house composers you work with regularly? Describe how your musicians might work with the programmers on a normal project.

We don’t have an in-house composer, though we’ve been fortunate enough to work with some incredibly talented musicians.

There’s a little bit of trial and error involved when creating the music for our games. With that said, because all of the music was created specifically for our games, it was nowhere near as difficult as it could have been. It was simply a process of constantly speaking with the composer, feeding them notes on what we needed, and going from there.

4. What would you say is the most important thing about designing a new game?

I’d say that’s largely dependent upon the type of game you’re making. For a title like Gone Home, for example, story probably comes first and foremost. For a BIT.TRIP game, on the other hand, gameplay really takes the center stage. I’m presenting two extremes here, but I’m sure you see what I mean.

5. What are your inspirations? Particularly, what inspired the BIT.TRIP series?

I discussed this a bit above, but the BIT.TRIP games were inspired by a love of retro games, as well as a passion for rad music. It was also an opportunity to play around with some known gameplay archetypes, and present them in a new, interesting way.

Beyond that–and as you’ll surely realize when we announce what we’re working on–we really glean inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. It could be an awesome song, a well-made movie, or even just a goofy conversation amongst ourselves. In fact, rarely a day goes by without someone in the office presenting a new idea for a game. Most of these ideas are just jokes, but still! We are bursting at the seams with inspiration.

6. What’s on the horizon for Gaijin Games? Any new games in the works?

New games indeed! In the immediate future, we have the impending release of Destructamundo, which is an awesome little puzzle game from our Robotube branch. We don’t have a release date just yet, but rest assured that it’s coming soon.
Destructamundo is currently headed to the iOS and OUYA, with other consoles as a possibility. Here’s a look at the trailer:

We’re also hard at work on some other stuff, although we haven’t made any formal announcements just yet.

7. Runner 2 looks like a whole new level of production for you. Can we expect to see more games of this caliber in the future? Or do you like returning to the 8-bit theme?

All I can really say at this point is that our future projects are going to be a significant departure from our previous work. Your mind will be blown!

But if you’re jonesing for a little retro-flavored goodness, be on the lookout for Destructamundo! Have I mentioned that game enough yet?
8. What do you consider when choosing which platforms to port to? What have your experiences with Nintendo been like?

As you may have noticed with Runner2, we’re not opposed to releasing our products on A BILLION PLATFORMS. It’s important to us that our games are available to everyone who wants to play them, and we try to let that be the driving force behind our porting decisions. With that said, being such a small company, we do need to be a bit particular when deciding where to bring our games to.

As for working with Nintendo, they’ve been wonderful to us. If I had to complain, though, I’d have to say I wish they’d do more with the Birdo character.

Here here! She would make a good Smash Bros addition! Speaking of which…

9. I think Commander Video would make a great Smash Bros character, what would his moves be if he were in Smash Bros?

Thanks! He would shoot music beats at other combatants, and then melt their brains with deep, existential questions. It would be glorious.

10. Any advice on how to succeed as a developer today?

Dare to be different. Dare to be loud. Go to conventions and meet everyone you possibly can (and be nice to them).

Thanks to Dant and Gaijin for answering our questions. Watch out for Destructamundo, coming to iOS, OUYA and other platforms, and if you haven’t tried the BIT.TRIP series yet, you can get BIT.TRIP Saga on the Nintendo eShop, that’s 6 games for about $15 USD. Once you’ve been absorbed by the beat, you can join the rest of us in waiting for what the fellas at Gaijin come up with next!

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About The Author


Hey folks! I'm Nick. I live in Atlanta and have been playing Nintendo games fervently for over 20 years. I also keep tabs on Sony, and Steam for PC games. My favorite games are adventure/RPG and platformers, and my favorite console is my 3DS. Thanks for reading, keep gaming! Current recommendations: Fantasy Life, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, and Mario Kart 8.