Guardians of Vengeance: MoonriderMasher’s Joy of Dev’s Nightmare and Changing Direction
To learn more about what inspired the game and how it evolved, and the role and overall influence of classic games in modern culture, we reached out to lead developer Danilo Dias and producer Thaís Weiller from Joymasher for a brief chat about the studio’s latest game. try.
Nintendo Life: What was your influence on Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider?
Danilo Dias: The direct influences for this game are titles like superman number 0, striderand shinobi. It’s definitely a ninja-focused game, so there’s also a lot of Hagane from Super Nintendo. In terms of style, there are many influences from Japanese Tokusatsu, such as kamen knight and Black Kamen Rider. It was a big deal in Brazil when I was a kid, so there’s a lot of that in Moonrider too.
What kinds of challenges have you encountered during game development?
Danilo: We changed the game quite a bit during development, it was originally supposed to be more linear, such as Dracula X. We wanted to change the game to have a more open style like Mega Man Zero so you can choose the order of the stages that you want to play. It’s a challenge, because you have to rethink a lot of aspects of the game.
It wasn’t originally supposed to include that many weapons, so during development we had to change things up and put new abilities and weapons in place. That caused quite a bit of stress for us!
Thais Weiller: Yes, the game is already working on the first prototype and we think “Hey, this could be cool with more stages.”and then you actually put in more stages and think “umm, maybe not that thing cool!”. Once you have the stages in place, changing the main gameplay can be extremely stressful. I forgot about that, thank you for reminding me of that nightmare!
Danilo: Yes, we had to change the level layout and mechanics a lot, but we thought the original idea was too simple, so we changed it to be more open.
How did you approach the design for the boss characters?
Danilo: Well, the idea for bosses was to try to create characters similar to Moonrider, who are essentially guardians. The idea is that each boss has different abilities like in Mega Man and then you get these abilities when you defeat them.
You’ve focused a lot on action games so far. Are you willing to expand to other genres in the future, such as RPG?
Thailander: I don’t know about RPGs, but we’re definitely thinking about what we could do next. We’re always looking to experiment, and right now, Danilo is experimenting with 3D visuals, like from PlayStation and N64. We’re not just pixel artists, we’re 20 years behind everything else!
What role do you think the nostalgic game will play in 2023? Why do you think they are still so popular?
Danilo: Well, I think it has become more of an art style than anything else.
Thailander: Yes, it has become an art style and a genre in itself. Classic games have a lot of restrictions applied to them, so they have to get straight to the point and that makes for a more immediate and immediate experience.
We wanted to create short games that could be played over and over again rather than a longer experience. There aren’t many things in our game that get in the way of gameplay, such as the crafting system or the open world; there’s nothing wrong with this, but we wanted to try something different.
Danilo: The idea is to try to emulate the arcade experience that old games used to present.
Are there any retro games you’re playing right now?
Danilo: I’m replaying now armored core series because of the recent announcement of Armored core VI. I think Armored Core is probably the first game I’ve ever played on a PlayStation, so I’ll play everything over again. I might as well take inspiration from it for some future projects, maybe!
Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider is now available on the Switch eShop. Arcade Crew has confirmed that a physical release is also underway, but no further details are available at the moment.