Last week, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap was finally released on Nintendo Switch. Following that release, two outlets published an interview with the developers, starting with Siliconera.
Their interview goes over various topics, such as why the developers decided to make a remake of Wonder Boy, what they were trying to do with this remake, what they wanted to change, whether or not they discovered new things about the game when developing this remake, and a lot more.
Here’s an excerpt about what they discovered about the original game:
It feels like doing archaeological work. Sometimes we stumble on a coding or design decision that doesn’t seem to make sense, and we have to try make sense of it. And the answer is often simply that those games were made in a rush, using limited tooling, by people who had access to much less information that we have today (they had no internet!).
So, the end result, albeit a beautiful game, contains traces of human craft and human error. It is inspiring to remember that those 4 Japanese developers were just like us – learning stuff, making mistakes, and trying to ship their game maybe for a deadline, and in spite of all of this, they made an amazing game! And we are here playing a balancing act of being protective with what they created and also taking our share of responsibility trying to improve it.
Click here to read the full thing!
The second interview is from TechRaptor, and goes over slightly different topics: what was the developers’ guiding philosophy when developing Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, the inspiration behind the game’s art style, if they added any additional content to the game and how much the original creator influenced the remake, the challenges encountered when implementing the retro switches, and more.
Here’s an excerpt (about the retro switches):
The retro switches are an absolute joy for many people, and it historically grounds the game. But the truth is that from a technical point of view, that wasn’t the hard thing. The hard thing was to make the gameplay accurate and improve upon it within the narrow canvas of how the old game engine worked. That was stupidly hard. But once that was done, the next step was setting up selecting between two sets of graphics. Imagine rendering the game twice with two different skins. It just happens that the modern skin is computing, maintaining and taking advantage of much more data than the original. For example, in the original game, the player character only remembers simple states such as “being on the ground” vs “being in the air,” whereas the modern counterpart takes note of extra transitions, such as “starting to jump,” “landing,” “landing on from a high-spot,” etc. We used that data to add new animations and effects.
Click here to read the full interview!
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is available from the Nintendo eShop of the Nintendo Switch worldwide.