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Interview: Yanim Studio on its Kickstarter-Funded Wii U Adventure, Red Goddess: Inner World

Posted by Jake Shapiro

"Nintendo's audience will love what this game has to offer."

On Tuesday we reported on Red Goddess: Inner World, a beautiful new Kickstarter-funded Metroidvania-style title headed to Wii U, PS4, PS Vita, and PC next year if the campaign reaches its funding goal. If you haven't checked it out yet, take a gander at the Kickstarter trailer:

With over $18,000 pledged of its $30,000 goal and 28 days remaining as of this writing, Spanish developer Yanim Studio looks well on its way to a successful campaign, so we asked Yanim creative director Yannick Puig some questions about the project.


Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions today! First off, could you introduce yourself to readers and tell us a little about Yanim Studio?

We started to work approximately ten years ago with 3D animation, outsourcing 3D artwork for others developers, We have a development team of nine people, composed of people who have worked for games such as Risen, Deadlight, and Wanted: Weapons of Fate.

Red Goddess is led by myself, Yannick Puig. I’m the creator of many award-winning 3D shorts and music videos. My most remarkable work is probably "I Lived on the Moon", music video [for the French group Kwoon]. I suppose you could call me a veteran in 3D animation. Since 2002 I’ve worked in France and Spain as animator, storyboarder, 3D artist, and director. I’m also an avid gamer, an exploration/adventure game fanatic.

For those who haven’t heard about it yet, what is Red Goddess: Inner World?

Red Goddess is a side-scrolling action adventure game, 2.5D graphics with unique atmosphere and compelling storyline.

What does “Metroidvania” mean to you? What makes Red Goddess a Metroidvania?

The player must solve puzzles to unlock new powers that allow them to move to another area, but the areas are increasingly interconnected - different things depending on the powers that be will discover unlocked.

Yanim Studio has a distinct art style (you can check out a demo reel here). What are some of your artistic influences?

Studio Ghibli, Journey on PS3, Double Fine, the Frederator series, Trine, Giana Sisters...

The music in your trailers is fantastic. What was your approach to the music and sound design of Red Goddess? How did Ronald Jenkees get involved?

We have always had an attraction to music; in the past we’ve worked hard with music videos and we thought that electronic music style like Ronald Jenkees was very appropriate to the world of Red Goddess. For the environment and the youth of the main character, Ronald Jenkees authorized us to his music for the trailer. Ronald will be involved with the game’s musical experience, but not immediately. He’s currently working on his third album which is due out in the fall.

Another style of music we have in Red Goddess is Guehl Sylvain, a French musician with experience in video games and high sensitivity, which has given a great ambience to the demo and we want to give a more cinematic touch.

How did you create the main character, Divine?

It was a long process. We thought a goddess/god with powers, but liked the idea that she was still in training, and so decided that the character had to be a teenager. Doubt arose between a lead man or woman; we finally decided on a female main character, and after much thought, we decided upon a character with strength and sensitivity. Divine was born. We have always liked games with strong female protagonists, but also a style – like the fabulous Tomb Raider.

Many promising Spanish developers have emerged in the past few years. Could you talk about the gaming scene in Spain?

It is true that in Spain, the development of video games is an emerging market; we have many good studios developing good quality games, although it remains a battle achieved in a niche environment with few institutional aids.

Why did you decide to bring Red Goddess to Wii U?

We decided to bring Red Goddess to the Wii U because we believe that Nintendo's audience will love what this game has to offer. The detailed environments and characters, the fast-paced action, the platforming mechanics, and everything that the Red Goddess universe has to offer is something that fans desire for Nintendo's latest console, and it's something that we want to provide for them.

Will the Wii U version be different from the other versions of the game?

The Wii U version will be optimized to take advantage of what the console has to offer. Right now, we're considering placing a map and all of the UI elements on the screen of the Wii U Gamepad so that the TV only displays the game, and we'll also offer the option of playing the game completely in Off-TV mode, which is a great feature that allows people to continue playing if the TV is not available. On top of that, we're considering other things such as using the touch screen for quick access to some of Divine's skills, as well as for other abilities and options we can't discuss right now but will potentially reveal.

What are your plans for stretch goals in the future?

We have many stretch goals, like additional chapters, scenarios, more enemies, and also two very interesting projects: a comic with Red Goddess' adventures and exclusive short stories additional to the game (to better understand the game’s story).

Thanks for your time! We look forward to playing Red Goddess next year. Do you have any last comments for our readers?

We need your support to develop Red Goddess, we're so excited with the project and hope you’re as excited as us! Please take a look at the Red Goddess project, back the project if you like what you see and send us your comments. We will do our BEST to give you what we've promised and more!


We'd like to thank Yanim Studio for its time, as well as Dan Muir for arranging this Q&A.

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User Comments (27)

PJR0cks

#1

PJR0cks said:

OMG, I loved "I lived on the Moon", and after watching it my first instinct was the creators of this music video should be making games, so happy to hear this.

Spoony_Tech

#2

Spoony_Tech said:

I'll keep my eye open for this as I always like a good Metroid style game. However the video didn't scream Metroid at all to me so I'll need to see more before I get excited!

shigulicious

#3

shigulicious said:

From what I have seen from the trailer, the game does not appeal to me. So many games coming to the eshop. Scram Kitty and Armillo are my only must buys right now. But hey, WiiU support is always appreciated.

JaxonH

#7

JaxonH said:

@Spoony_Tech

How so? We have consistently received Metroid titles every generation since the Super Nintendo, barring the N64 of course. Not exactly my definition of Nintendo moving on from the franchise.

JaxonH

#8

JaxonH said:

This game looks interesting. Splitting into that ice creature with a fire ball, or splitting into that fire creature with an ice ball... really cool stuff. I might have to go back this real quick.

World

#9

World said:

What I want to know is how is this not on 3DS! It's one of the first games I've seen recently that LOOKS 3D ALREADY

Sounds great though, and this sounds like a passionate team. I hope they meet their goals!

Kroisos

#10

Kroisos said:

I was very disappointed when this game failed its first Kickstarter. I'm glad that Wii U is part of the initial target, so that I can pledge this time; I'll do so as soon as I figure out if I have the budget for any tier above the ones that offer just the game.

Spoony_Tech

#11

Spoony_Tech said:

@JaxonH Well first of all I don't count the abomination That was Other M a true Metroid game. Outside of that the last one was Corruption and that was what 6 years ago?! If we don't hear anything at E3 this year I might just give up hope!

If Nintendo really want to appeal to the hardcore crowd then they should've had a Prime style Metroid ready at launch. Not to mention Zelda a year or so behind that. As it is both if Metroid at all won't see the light of day till year 3 of its life cycle.

I'm just frustrated is all as it's my second favorite franchise right behind Zelda!

ricklongo

#12

ricklongo said:

Great start for what looks like a great game. Pledging for Wii U Kickstarter projects is becoming kind of a monthly thing to me, and I'll definitely consider contributing to this one.

kdognumba1

#13

kdognumba1 said:

This one looks so freaking awesome. I won't be pledging but I'll definitely be buying.

Shambo

#14

Shambo said:

Looks very nice! About time they start bundling some great eshop games on a disc, wouldn't you agree? So many good games, so little collectible.

Action51

#15

Action51 said:

This looks like my kind of game, non linear, interesting art direction, combat and platforming, imaginative...this is on my radar!

unrandomsam

#16

unrandomsam said:

@Spoony_Tech What about the other "hardcore" crowd that sees prime as an abomination. Or the ones who won't have anything to do with motion controls at all. Or the ones who are so certain that Nintendo is going to fail fairly shortly they wouldn't get it even if it looked the perfect game for them.

I would have enjoyed Metroid Prime more if it wasn't Metroid. (Always in the back of my mind I prefer Super Metroid to this). As much as I want to believe anything good enough will stand out enough to be ok that doesn't seem to be the case. (I feel like stuff with a known IP gets an 8/10 when a new one would get a 5 or 6 regardless of the actual quality of the game).

lippe_flamarion

#17

lippe_flamarion said:

Hope they meet their goal, seems like a good game!
Loving the art style, specially those trees! I would only change the name, for something simpler, like Red. haha ;)

brandonbwii

#18

brandonbwii said:

@Spoony_Tech
Like it or not, that "abomination" Other M IS a true Metroid game. So yes it hasn't been that long since the last game in the franchise. Sounds like you're one of the many Nintendo owners that don't care about originality so you just want what you're used to. I'm frankly quite tired of this whole "bring back Prime, bring back Star Fox, bring back F-Zero" mentality. -_-

jariw

#19

jariw said:

I like the thoughts on the Wii U-specific design for this game. Keeping the inventory and map on the GamePad and direct touch access are good things. Will back this project for this reason alone.

JaxonH

#20

JaxonH said:

@Spoony_Tech

Well, regardless of whether you enjoyed Other M or not it was still a Metroid game. Personally I thought it was pretty good. I understand it wasn't perfect but calling a decent game an abomination is a little unbalanced and harsh, don't you think? I understand there were some aspects of the game that players didn't like, but that doesn't reduce the entirety of the game as being completely unenjoyable. I never understood why people will say a game is worthless just because of a few aspects they didn't like- to me it's the same thing as when someone claims the entire Wii U system is worthless because it doesn't have a feature they wanted, or has a feature they didn't want.

But anyways, I don't wanna get off on a tangent about Other M. I just wanted to point out that the franchise is still very much alive and has not been abandoned by Nintendo. Kid Icarus was abandoned. Twenty years without a new entry qualifies as abandonment. But when we consistently see a new release every generation, you need not worry. We'll get one on both Wii U and 3DS.

One point I'd like to make though is I think people are making too much out of "appealing to the hardcore". The hardcore never liked Metroid anyways, or Zelda for that matter (or Nintendo in general tbh). Doesn't matter what Nintendo does or how good the games are, the 'hardcore' ignore them. Always have, always will. Prime was by all intents and purposes a game well suited to the hardcore, but the only people who cared enough to play it was Nintendo fans, unfortunately.

I understand where you're coming from though- I myself am getting a little anxious for the next Metroid. It's a great franchise- it's hard NOT to be excited for the next one. We'll get one, but it might be a while before we see one on Wii U (I expect a 3DS entry announced at E3 or at the very latest, E3 2015).

unrandomsam

#21

unrandomsam said:

@JaxonH The hardcore term is ambiguous now anyway. As far as I am concerned stuff like speedrunners or people doing no damage runs are definitely hardcore and they seem to use Nintendo games. Struggling through Monster Hunter 4 in Japanese I would also consider hardcore.

@brandonbwii I agree the problem is Nintendo are worse than ever when it comes to that. If it must be something that exists already I would have a Super Metroid like game with a long forgotten IP like Startropics.

JaxonH

#22

JaxonH said:

@unrandomsam
No doubt. 'Hardcore' has a different definition depending on who you ask, and can vary widely from person to person.

I agree with the current thought that it's the GAMER who is hardcore, not the game, although it would be ignorant to deny that some games are catered toward being played in a hardcore fashion more than others. I totally agree- speedrunners, importers, competitive gamers... these are all prime examples of hardcore.

What I feel is damaging gaming is this emerging belief that your hardcore status is solely determined by the games you play, and that you MUST be hardcore to be seen as legit in the gaming community. Therefore, you must play certain games and only those certain games, in order to be accepted as a gamer.

I say this: anyone who values gaming as a hobby, is hardcore. I don't care who you are- if you value gaming so much that you come on fan sites, then you're a hardcore gamer in my eyes, regardless of which games you prefer. I like the more mature titles on Wii U, and I own a PS4 and Vita with many mature titles as well, but, I also like Nintendo games. All kinds of em.

Some days I'm in the mood for a deep and satisfying Zelda experience, other days I feel like Mario Golf. What Nintendo excels at is designing games in a way that appeals to both hardcore and casual alike. As a hardcore gamer, I love Mario Golf. But it can also be casually enjoyed all the same. THAT is Nintendo's greatest gift- mass appeal. Most of the industry designs their games to specifically cater to one and not the other. Nintendo has built an empire from designing games that appeal to players on both sides of the fence.

FritzFrapp

#23

FritzFrapp said:

Hmm.... tentatively looking forward to this, mostly because I like the art style and I'm aware of some of composer Sylvain Guehl's work. My main concern is it looks a bit derivative at first glance. Hope they can put some unique shine to it.

brandonbwii

#24

brandonbwii said:

@unrandomsam
That's why I rather encourage Nintendo to bring out new games that are of high quality. There's no guarantee that Nintendo's next Star Fox/F-Zero/Metroid will be any better than say Steel Diver. I still always hope for them to make that one great original IP more than I wish they'd bring back such and such a game sequels.

I rather leave those to the more than capable indie developers who are great at "spiritual successors," as opposed to wanting some mega publisher to release the same old thing.

ICHIkatakuri

#25

ICHIkatakuri said:

He's not wrong I do like the look of this one, and with a reasonable financial goal too. I may pledge later today.

PJR0cks

#27

PJR0cks said:

@brandonbwii
you're exactly right, specially right now with the sales of the Wii U, Nintendo needs a game changer, people think Metroid or Star Fox can change things, they can't, I'm not saying I don't want them, but it's time Nintendo gives us something new, a new genre maybe, or one of the newer more popular genres that exist today. something that creates a new generation of Nintendo lovers and brings new opportunities.

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