Blossom Tales Developer Chat/AMA Transcript

This chat took place on March 15th on the SwitchRPG Discord Server.

Rob – 7:02 PM
Hey all! I’m Rob, the lead artist / designer / secondary programmer. I’ve been making games since i was 21, Rex Rocket was my first real game and Blossom Tales is my last game I made 🙂 🙂

firestream – 7:03 PM
When did you first start working on Blossom Tales?

Rob – 7:05 PM
So Blossom Tales started in like 2013ish. Back then I was working with another programmer. In 2014 the project died, the programmer didn’t really have time to work with me anymore so he bailed. I met up with another programmer, made a game called Rex Rocket with him and Miguel. After we finished, we ran a kickstarter for Blossom Tales. The kickstarter never made it but FDG ENtertainment stepped in and offered to work with us. The rest is history
It was really close to never being made at all

Tuwile – 7:05 PM
When did you decide to develop for the Switch?

Rob – 7:05 PM
The switch or a nintendo platform was always our target
We used a framework to make the game called Monogame (it’s sorta like unity, develop once, publish anywhere), we published on Steam first, then had a port made on to the switch :smiley:

Alikatz22 – 7:06 PM
How excited are you?

Rob – 7:06 PM
I’m super excited haha

vehicularvehicle – 7:06 PM
I would like to know the sort of thought process going into a indie game. You know you won’t make a living off of the sales, but what motivates you to do so? What keeps you going to develop?

Rob – 7:07 PM
I just like making games personally. Even if i was a millionaire i would still make them

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:16 PM
Just the love of making games keeps me going! We know it’s a stretch that we’ll have Lily on shirts and Lego toys like Minecraft lol, but just being able to make a fun adventure for people to enjoy is enough for us :smiley:

Penguinized – 7:06 PM
How easy was it to port to Switch? Or difficult

Rob – 7:07 PM
Another company took our code base and ported it to the switch. We didn’t really have to do anything for it

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:07 PM
Delayed intro; Discord forze! Hi everyone, I’m Miguel, writer/narrative designer for Blossom Tales! I joined Castle Pixel during Rex Rocket development in like 2013. I also have other projects I talk about on my twitter: @Gr8saiyaman88 😉

firestream – 7:07 PM
So is game making still a full-time gig for you both?

Rob – 7:08 PM
For myself, I currently work as a software engineer. Game making is sorta my side hobby at the moment :smiley:

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:08 PM
For me it is. By some miracle I’m staying afloat in California as a full-time game writer :stuck_out_tongue:

findesmar – 7:08 PM
did Nintendo want to see it on another platform before you had the approval to develop on switch?

Rob – 7:08 PM
Nintendo approached FDG at PAX East and asked them if we’d like to bring it to the switch

phineasfool – 7:08 PM
When did you decide you wanted to make games, and was there a particular game that influenced you?

Rob – 7:09 PM
I started making games at my first job as a Flash developer. I had to make some educational games for a client and I was hooked ever since. I got into the Flixel framework for making 2d games and loved it

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:11 PM
Since I was 5 years old with my beloved SNES! Becoming a game dev is the reason I went to college, and thankfully I’m able to still do it for a living :smiley:

Senpavo – 7:10 PM
Other than LoZ, did any other game/franchise/movie/whatever inspire the project?

Rob – 7:11 PM
Other influences were movies like the Princess Bride and Neverending story
Mario was a big influence as well. The atmosphere of Blossom Tales I like to say is like the Mushroom Kingdom a little bit

Phillip | (Vault) – 7:11 PM
Question for @Gr8saiyaman88 What was the first game you wrote for? How long have you been writing full time?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:13 PM
If you don’t count my many RPG Maker adventures lol, my first was a student project called Stack & Deploy. It was a mobile card/strategy title for iOS with online/lan multiplayer and a single player campaign. Not sure if it’s still on iTunes :p

Josh | Buttons & Mash – 7:12 PM
How well did Blossom Tales do on Switch sales wise and did it surpass or go below your expectations?

Rob – 7:12 PM
It blew our expectations out of the water

Tuwile – 7:13 PM
After Blossom Tales failed to met its KickStarter goal. Did you think Blossom Tales was not going to happen or did FDG ENtertainment contact you during the KickStarter?

Rob – 7:14 PM
They contacted us during the kickstarter

firestream – 7:15 PM
What was your biggest challenge during the actual development of BT?
technical or otherwise

Rob – 7:15 PM
Biggest challenge for me was world building and making things that were fun
It’s really hard when you’re making a game and being so close to it, it became really difficult to sit back and ask myself “Is this fun?”

SkulShurtugalTCG – 7:16 PM
I have a question for whom it may concern. Is there a physical version planned for the game, i.e. through Super Rare Games, for example?

Rob – 7:17 PM
We can’t 100% confirm that yet but we’re looking into it :smiley:

vhbalmana – 7:17 PM
@Rob man, i enjoyed the game BIG time. hooked me up during Christmas time. so here’s an obvious question: when is the sequel coming? :heart:

Rob – 7:17 PM
hah @vhbalmana No plans for a sequel yet but we’ll know more in like 6mo

Phillip | (Vault) – 7:18 PM
This question comes from our community member @seamonkeystew : What do you love most about what you do with Blossom Tales and what are you most excited about in the future of the Nintendo Switch?

Rob – 7:19 PM
The thing I love the most is bringing a world to life and seeing other people enjoy it :smiley: As for the switch, I’m so excited to see where they take it, there’s so many games coming out for it that I’m hyped up for, smash bros, metroid, ect. It’s just awesome to see my favorite game company killing it in the industry

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:21 PM
What I loved most about working on Blossom Tales was the freedom to make something we would want to play! FDG is a pretty chill publisher so personally I had fun tossing in silly stuff based on my sense of humor, like the terrible lumberjack dad jokes :yum:
As for upcoming Switch stuff, new Pokemon and Metroid Prime 4! Anything Nintendo really, haha. Huge fanboy here.

Phillip | (Vault) – 7:20 PM
Quick followup, @Rob How does it feel to see your game on Switch games list up next to those titles that you mentioned there? Feels pretty good?

Rob – 7:21 PM
It feels absolutely amazing :smiley:

DjAtkins – 7:19 PM
What advise would you give a dev trying to do everything on his own because all the freelancers he hired bail on him during crunch tim??

Rob – 7:19 PM
Never stop trying. Like i said before, blossom tales almost died after the first programmer bailed on me. I never gave up hope on it though.
I would tell him to 1. Never give up on a project he enjoys 2. Never give up looking for a partner to work with. It took me a long time to find miguel and tyler (the lead programmer for btales)

willrun4fun – 7:22 PM
How did you go about choosing the soundtrack? The music is great.

Rob – 7:22 PM
That’s a funny story actually.
Tyler and I were crusing the net looking for placeholder music and we stumbled upon this girls album “Songs from an Unmade world”. We loved it so much we contacted the composer and she joined the team!

phineasfool – 7:24 PM
If you could make a new game with a well known established IP, what would you choose?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:27 PM
Never thought about it! It sounds random but I’d love to write for Dead Space 4 if it ever happens lol. Love those games!

Rob – 7:27 PM
Final fantasy!!!!

Alikatz22 – 7:25 PM
Did you guys think the game would be such a big [hit]?

Rob – 7:25 PM
Not really. It sorta tanked on steam so we were ultra excited with how it did on the switch
seriously couldn’t be happier.

DjAtkins – 7:26 PM
What is your favorite Switch game and why? (excluding BT) both of you?

Rob – 7:26 PM
Mine is by [far] Zelda BOW

shawn – 7:27 PM
I know you mentioned you’re not sure on a BT sequel for maybe another 6 months or so, but do you have anything else on the agenda or are you just waiting to see how things pan out before you make any solid plans?

Rob – 7:27 PM
I’ve been keeping busy with making another kickstarter
For a game called Holo-City
Holo-city will have FF7 style combat if it ever [gets] made

Tuwile – 7:27 PM
So the Switch version already out sold the Steam version? Have you thought about porting it to other platforms?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:28 PM
Switch version outsold the [Steam] version by x2 in the first 24 minutes 😉

vehicularvehicle – 7:29 PM
Turns out a really good friend of mine is also really serious into wanting to make a game. We’re both absolute beginners, so what is your advice/recommendations?

Rob – 7:29 PM
@vehicularvehicle Make it in unity lol. Watch all the youtube videos you can on unity game development before you start
i’d also gage interest in the game concept as well. steam greenlight is a pretty good place to do that at
same with kickstarter
That’s if you want to make some kind of money, if you’re just doing it for fun then don’t worry about any of that crap 🙂
Might still make some money anyways!!

DjAtkins – 7:30 PM
is the kicktarter up?? for holo-city ?

Rob – 7:30 PM
Nooo still a long way off
I have a ton of concept art done for it, i’m working on animating the scenes for it

findesmar – 7:30 PM
did you do anything special to promote it?

Rob – 7:30 PM
To promote what? Blossom Tales?

findesmar – 7:31 PM
yes Blossom tales

Rob – 7:32 PM
ummm not too much
Fdg did most of the promotion for it
They displayed it at the PAXs and gamescon

findesmar – 7:32 PM
did Fdg just randomly find your kickstarter?

Rob – 7:32 PM
Yep, I think they keep an eye on kickstarters for games that might match them. FDG is big on Action rpgs like oceanhorn

Phillip | (Vault) – 7:33 PM
Another community member question. This one from @Daf (Septimus Woolf) : What are your reactions to those calling Blossom Tales a ‘Clone’? Do you see it as a negative, or rather an easy way to define the vibe and gameplay?

Rob – 7:34 PM
I take it as a compliment! I mean all games are sorta clonish to a certain degree. Is COD a clone of Wolfenstien? Sorta!!!

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:35 PM
I never mind since most players who give Blossom Tales a chance find out that it’s definitely inspired by Lttp/LA but also has its own charm and feel :smiley:

DjAtkins – 7:35 PM
Prior to games do u have any published works @Gr8saiyaman88 ??

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:36 PM
Nope! I enjoy reading books/novels but my focus has always been games. There’s nothing like them when it comes to offering a captivating story 😉

phineasfool – 7:37 PM
What did you think of 3D Dot Game Heroes?

Rob – 7:37 PM
I never got to play that game but it looks so freaking cool

DjAtkins – 7:38 PM
What are your favorite Zelda games?

Rob – 7:38 PM
Mine is the wind waker followed by link’s awakening 🙂

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:39 PM
Boring answer but easily Ocarina of Time. That game blew my mind away unlike any other 20 years ago!

Fasner.holt – 7:38 PM
Ever thought of developing a game along the lines of recettear? I’m looking forward to moonlighter and little dragon

Rob – 7:38 PM
@Fasner.holt Never played recettear

Morai – 7:38 PM
I don’t know if you were asked this before, but any plans for a sequel?

Rob – 7:38 PM
No solid plans yet but we would love to make a sequel!!

Phillip | (Vault) – 7:41 PM
Earlier @DjAtkins referenced the frame narrative. Building off that, why did you decide on that storytelling device? At what point in the process did you decide going with it?

Rob – 7:42 PM
Princess Bride comes in to play here :smiley: I think from the get go we knew we wanted to create that sort of setting in the game, a story in a story

willrun4fun – 7:42 PM
The grandpa telling the story is definitely a Princess Bride influence right? :smiley:

Rob – 7:42 PM
totally

SkulShurtugalTCG – 7:44 PM
I have a quick question. Is there any chance of Blossom Tales DLC in the future?

Rob – 7:44 PM
There’s a chance but i would say it’s low
We’re such a small studio, if we were to put resources into something it would be another game or a sequel

DjAtkins – 7:45 PM
what other titles are u proud to have written for?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:48 PM
Rex Rocket for sure! That was a lot of fun writing. I’m currently working on FDG’s other upcoming game, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. Definitely worth checking out if you’re an action/platforming fan!

King_Cheetah – 7:47 PM
@Rob just arrived, sorry if it’s been asked already: any chance of a hard copy?

Rob – 7:48 PM
Welcome! There’s a good chance there will be a hard copy coming. Can’t say 100% yet though

Phillip | (Vault) – 7:49 PM
@Daf (Septimus Woolf) wants to know: What are the chances of either co-op or a second playable character? I’m thinking of Lily’s brother of course. Especially with a flowery name like Chrys (Chrysanthemum).

Rob – 7:50 PM
@Phillip | (Vault) I’ve sorta been kicking around the idea of co-op for a sequel :smiley:
Chrys definitely wants to join in the story haha

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:51 PM
Chrys as a 2nd playable character was an idea we had to scrap early on. Like Rob, I would also love co-op if Btales 2 happens, especially since I’ve turned my wife into a gamer and she loves playing together :smiley:

Pronterian – 7:54 PM
Do you guys think about a local co-op or could it be a online multiplayer co-op?

Rob – 7:55 PM
My preference would be both local and online

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:56 PM
Local so when we add Labo support with cardboard swords we can have sibling rivarly moments where players have to fight each other 😀

firestream – 7:50 PM
For @Gr8saiyaman88 How do you get started writing for games?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:51 PM
I struggled to find gigs early on, so I actually offered to do it for free! Small mobile games and stuff. Once I had some titles in my resume I started doing it for cash. Game writing is competitive but if you have passion, go for it!

DjAtkins – 7:54 PM
Just curious process wise how does it all come to doing a game is there a general concept or is the story done first etc??

Rob – 7:55 PM
It’s a big long process. You start with just spit balling ideas and sorta go from there

Phillip | (Vault) – 7:56 PM
What’s the most useful thing you guys learned through the process of making and releasing this game?
Something you’ll take moving to your next project

Rob – 7:58 PM
That’s a good one. For me, just countly little things learned over the course of development. When I look at blossom tales today, I just see things I’d like to change or could’ve done better. If we do make a sequel, it’ll be build upon all that knowledge and be that much better fo rit

Gr8saiyaman88 – 7:59 PM
you learn a lot from development but a TON from feedback post-release. Seeing what players like and, more importantly, aren’t fans of will help us (if it happens) do better in terms of things like puzzles, difficulty, etc.

Penguinized – 7:59 PM
I try to ask this at every AMA I’m at, favorite 3 sandwiches[?]

Rob – 8:00 PM
Roast Beef, French Dip, Whopper

phineasfool – 8:01 PM
Lily for Smash?

Rob – 8:02 PM
the thought has definitely crossed my mind lol

firestream – 8:02 PM
What’s your favorite retro RPG?

Rob – 8:03 PM
Fav retro RPG? Probably dragon warrior

Gr8saiyaman88 – 8:04 PM
Chrono Trigger!

firestream – 8:05 PM
In making blossom tales, who was your biggest critic and who was your biggest fan?

Rob – 8:06 PM
personally, my biggest critic was myself and Tyler the lead developer / part owner of blossom tales. If something looked bad, Tyler would be the first person to let me know. If a map sucked, Tyler would call it out lol.

Phillip | (Vault) – 8:06 PM
Aside from pixel art, are there other art styles you would like to explore in future titles?

Rob – 8:08 PM
I would love to make a 3d game with low poly pixel art

firestream – 8:09 PM
Do you think you would put blossom tales on any other platforms?

Rob – 8:09 PM
@firestream can’t really confirm this but iOS, ps4, and xbone

Phillip | (Vault) – 8:09 PM
@Gr8saiyaman88 As a writer, what’s your all time favorite video game story?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 8:11 PM
Chrono Trigger again haha. Awesome plot, locations, characters, side-quests, multiple endings… just a lot of narrative elements that go together magically and tie perfectly with the gameplay/world 😉

Xylon73 – 8:12 PM
@Gr8saiyaman88 do you have a favorite story in ideas and concepts but maybe was a bit lacking in execution?
main example for me is ff13, the writing could have been better

Gr8saiyaman88 – 8:14 PM
hard to say since my favorite stories are stories I liked haha. I will say that I recently played The Evil Within 2, which, like the 1st, has fantastic gameplay and an interesting theme… but the dialogue and storytelling could be way better.

Phillip | (Vault) – 8:14 PM
Going back to Blossom Tales for this question: do you have a personal favorite puzzle or dungeon in the game?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 8:15 PM
I’m a big fan of Runestone Temple! I love the whole celtic/ancient vibe in there with the energy dragons, golems, etc.

Rob – 8:15 PM
My favorite dungeon is the earth dungeon ( first dungeon ) in the game. The music and atmosphere are what get me

Pronterian – 8:15 PM
Not talking about inspirations from other games, what were your biggest pop culture inspirations when it came to designing and creating Blossom Tales? And is there anything about pop culture in general that could serve as an inspiration to something in a possible sequence? I mean, books, animes, cartoons, movies, anything.

Rob – 8:15 PM
like Neverending story, Princess Bride, The Labrynth, Dark Crystal were all big inspirations. Zelda obviously, Game of Thrones (the lift to the north is basically the nights watch).
The gasping marshers is insprired by the labrynths bog of eternal stentch.
oh, we put the goonies lost garden wishing well in the gasping marshes

Gr8saiyaman88 – 8:18 PM
I’m a big Lord of the Rings fan so I’m always looking for ways to inject backstory, mythical items, fictional races, etc. I also love funny cartoons like Gravity Falls, so that’s part of where I get some of the humor in my writing

Xylon73 – 8:19 PM
@Gr8saiyaman88 sorry if this was asked before, i just joined in, but with the story creation process, whats the order? Do you start with a beginning and an end? or go from major plot point to plot point? Do you characters first? Or the world and lore?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 8:21 PM
For Blossom Tales we started with the main elements: protagonist, plot, world, etc. Since we’re a small team we did a lot of bouncing ideas together and then I’d take what we came up with and refine it 😉

Rob – 8:21 PM
it’s a iterative process. Sorta start with an elevator pitch “Princess Bride meets Zelda” and go from there building out each part

phineasfool – 8:18 PM
Any Krull influence?

Rob – 8:19 PM
No direct krull inspirations :frowning:

firestream – 8:18 PM
Are you going to GDC?

Rob – 8:19 PM
no sadly not :frowning:

Rich – 8:23 PM
Sorry if I missed it, I have been bouncing back and forth between this and some things for work, your next project will it be in the same universe as blossoms tales or will you do something completely new?

Rob – 8:23 PM
@Rich Our future is sorta up in the air right now. To keep myself busy i’ve been working on a possible kickstarter project though which won’t be in the lily universe but it’s own thing

Xylon73 – 8:24 PM
@Gr8saiyaman88 did u ever get writers block? Howd u solve it?

Gr8saiyaman88 – 8:25 PM
I get it way too often! Sometimes I just step away from the computer and do something else for a while. Other times, I leave the Word Doc and take a paper&pen instead, which works wonders sometimes

phineasfool – 8:25 PM
Any thoughts of making a cyberpunk themed game, ala Shadowrun and the like?

Rob – 8:26 PM
no plans at the moment but that sounds like fun

firestream – 8:27 PM
What a framework or platform would you recommend a person like me start using to make a game[?]

Rob – 8:27 PM
Unity
I don’t know unity at all, I’ve never used it, but I think it’s the best there is right now. if I had to learn a game making software all over again, I’d learn unity. Lots of resource, huge community, lots of support.
I think a community around software is super important. Many times in the development of a game, you’re going to get stuck and need help. Having a big community of people to reach out to is huge

vehicularvehicle – 8:29 PM
Any thoughts on Game Maker Studio?

Rob – 8:30 PM
That would be up there with my top 5 choices
Lots of indie devs use game maker studio and it’s a great software to use
If I were to start all over with learning to make games, I’d probably research all this packages better and figure out which one fits my personal preferences more and go with that one
*these packages
Unity, game maker, monogame, ect

That’s it! We look forward to more games from these guys!

Phillip Pinyan
About Phillip Pinyan
Moderator. Podcaster. Facebook Page Manager. I enjoy playing video games and talking about them. I game primarily on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC.
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