We’re currently working on a review for A Robot Named Fight on Nintendo Switch, so I got in touch with Matt Bitner Games to talk about the game’s development for Nintendo’s hybrid console.
PS4Blog: Morning! Thank you for joining us today. Can you please help us get this started b telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
My name is Matt Bitner, and I’m the sole developer of A Robot Named Fight!. I’ve been passionate about game development since I was very young. I started out modding Doom and Quake, and eventually taught myself AS3 to make flash games. Eventually, I got hired by a company called Hitcents to work on mobile games, but left in August 2016 to purse A Robot Named Fight! Now Hitcents is helping me publish on Switch.
PS4B: A Robot Named Fight is ready to go on Nintendo Switch. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?
A Robot Named Fight! is both a Roguelite and a Metroidvania (with an emphasis on the Metroid). It pays homage to a lot of classic games, shuffling up new and familiar mechanics every time you play. It’s a procedurally generated platformer not unlike Rogue Legacy or 20XX, but it adds in the item gated traversal obstacles of a Metroidvania. It emphasizes exploration and procedural map “design” over precision platforming. It’s a bite-sized version of a Metroidvania in a way. You can complete a run in about an hour, but you can play it over and over again and have a different experience every time.
PS4B: What made you decide to develop a Roguelite Metroidvania?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Metroidvanias, and of Super Metroid in particular. Rom hacks for that game, like the item-randomizers out there, really show how much can be done with the formula. I was drawn to the huge design challenge of combining two seemingly at odds genres and the huge technical challenge of procedurally generating maps with item gated progression. It was something I hadn’t seen done before when I started the project back in August 2016.
PS4B: How long did it take to develop the game? Where there any challenges or hurdles you had to overcome when porting the game to Nintendo Switch?
I started on the version of the game that’s available now about two years ago, but I’ve been toying with it for roughly a decade now. Thanks to Unity3D, porting the game to Switch was actually pretty easy. The only real hurdle was getting the game’s file system to play by Nintendo’s rules when it came to writes per minute and file size. Everything else just kind of fell into place.
PS4B: With the game all done for Nintendo Switch, are you currently working on a new project that might also find its way to consoles?
Actually, the current plan is to continue to work on ARNF for a while. The game launched on Steam back in September 2017, and since then I’ve been putting out free updates that add new items and environments. When it launched, it had about 60 items, and now it’s gotten to just over 100. I’m using crowdfunding platforms like Patreon [https://www.patreon.com/arobotnamedfight] and Ko-fi [https://ko-fi.com/arobotnamedfight] to support the continued development of the game through voluntary donations, as opposed to putting out paid DLC.
The game lends itself to being ever expansive, and I’m still eager to see how far I can push that. I’m working on a new environment right now and exploring things such as 4-way local death-match, and other alternate modes.
PS4B: And now it’s time for us to go. Would you like to add anything else before we end this one?
Thanks for your time. I want to let everyone know that there’s a growing, dedicated Discord community for A Robot Named Fight where players can give feedback, suggest ideas for new items or environments, and learn about updates as I’m developing them. Anyone is welcome to join!