We’ll be working on a review for The Eternal Castle [Remastered], so I got in touch with Leonard Menchiari to talk a bit about the game and its development. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us this morning. Could you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
I’m Leonard Menchiari, I came from a film background and moved into developing video games because of the potential of interactive media. The first concept of The Eternal Castle was back in 2015. I made a demo in a garage with two friends in 2016 and started production in 2017. By the end of 2018, the game was completed, and on January 5th, 2019, it was on the Steam Store.
PS4B: The Eternal Castle [Remastered] is out now on Nintendo Switch. What can you tell us about this title?
When I first decided to write the game, the main thing I wanted to capture was the feel of finding an ancient relic from a forgotten time and place, so my friend Manfredi Montemaggi and I decided to go somewhere that reminded us of that. We got in his car, I showed him all the concepts I made, and we drove down to his summer vacation home in Maremma during the cold and wet fall of 2015. It felt like a ghost town.
Eventually, we decided to stick with the feel that you would find in popular or B-series horror, science fiction, action, and adventure movies from the 1980s, mixed with our personal childhood memories, in addition to many locations we bumped into throughout the years. The result was an evolution of that spark, with more focus on design and on detailed background story that changes dynamically through each playthrough.
PS4B: How long did it take to work on the port for the Nintendo Switch? Were there any hurdles or challenges you had to overcome when trying to bring a game from over 30 years ago into the 21st century?
It’s been a tough journey to put this game on the Nintendo store page. I worked with one other person (Icculus) on the porting for about a year, so it almost took as long to get Nintendo’s attention than to make the beta of the game. The effort does show, though. Playing this game on a handheld device and being able to pick it up at any time is truly satisfying. It’s a similar feel to play a Game Boy game (which, by the way, Icculus and I are unofficially working on a Game Boy port right now during our free time).
The graphics are still outdated, considering it references the 1987 CGA graphics adapter, but the experience feels as if you played it back in the late 1980s / early 1990s.
PS4B: Are you currently working on any new projects that might be making their way to consoles?
Yes! Unfortunately, I am not in liberty to talk about it, but you should hear more about what it’s all about probably some time next year.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to add before we end this one?
Hopefully, if you end up trying this experience, you will have at least as much fun as me, and my team had while making it. It might be a bit hard to get used to it at first (since it somewhat mimics the old style cinematic platformer controls), but once you get into it, it keeps getting better. I have made it, and I can say that after more than a year after completion, I still enjoy it when I pick it up (which is very rare for a developer to say).
Thank you for your time, and for those who decide to dive in, best of luck!