We’ll be working on a review for Narita Boy, so I got in touch with David Flores over at Studio Koba to talk a bit about the game. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Good morning! Thank you for joining us today. Could you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
Hi! First of all, thanks for the interview! I’m David Flores, Technical Lead and Game Designer Assistant over at Studio Koba. My background is as a programmer. I have spent more than 20 years programming software, but this is actually my first video game!
I was making video games in my spare time, but this is the first time as a “professional,” so I hope it will be the first of many more games yet to come! There are only five of us at Studio Koba, so we’re a really tiny team. Because of this, I had my hand in almost all parts of the game’s development, from building the tools to implementing little tiny parts here and there.
But the parts I dedicated most of my time to were the combat and the game’s feel, along with Daniel Tomás. Our mission was that the gameplay was at least of the same quality as the aesthetic and the sound – which are awesome! I didn’t want the player feeling that the game was only a “pretty face.”
PS4B: On that note, Narita Boy is ready to go on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?
Narita Boy is a great adventure. It’s a trip back to the 1980s, where you will find an entire world to discover, with an unexpected story full of special NPCs, fun combat, and spectacular music. It has more to offer than what can seem at first glance. The game is the sum of many special and unique moments you have to play!
PS4B: How long did it take to develop the game? Were there any particular hurdles or challenges you had to overcome to make the game a reality?
It’s quite a difficult answer because the game took four long years, but it has seen many iterations and reboots at some points, so It’s hard to say exactly how long it took to develop. Narita Boy is the studio’s first game and is also the first game for most of us. We are new to making games, so we spent a lot of time learning and redoing some stuff.
The hurdles were the development itself and how to make things properly to achieve what we wanted.
There are many games released every day, so maybe people can think making games is quite easy… but it’s not! Just the fact we managed to finish Narita Boy is almost a miracle.
PS4B: How did you end up working with Team17 for this particular project? How did their experience help with the game’s development process and its eventual release?
Thank God Team17 knocked on our door! We know we are so lucky. A Kickstarter campaign can – sometimes – make things easier, and publishers were really interested in Narita Boy. We were so lucky we didn’t need to look for a publisher because they were interested in our game!
Team17 definitely helped to make Narita Boy a better game. They have an incredibly talented team. They helped us with the game design, improving the user experience, accessibility, and more. And, of course, their experience to reach gamers was key to make Narita Boy more visible. We are very lucky to have such a legendary publisher!
PS4B: Now that Narita Boy has been completed, what’s next for Studio Koba? Is everyone taking a break, or are you already working on a new project?
We are currently in a bit of a limbo, not making anything, yet making so many things at the same time. And yes, we did take a break… but a tiny one! Finishing the main development of a game is not the end. There are a lot of things to take care of. We were helping Team17 with the marketing, testing, and sometimes spamming the social networks to make Narita Boy more visible, but yes, we are sort of taking a break to see what’s next for the studio!
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?
We would love for people to give our game and studio a chance. We put so much love and effort into creating this game. We believe if you like video games – or if you’re a fan of the 1980s – then you will find something in Narita Boy you can love. And you can play it on all platforms, so there’s no excuse!