Reverie Developer AMA Transcript

Last night’s AMA with the folks over at Rainbite, developers of Reverie, was a blast! We appreciate everyone that was able to come out and participate. In case you missed it, a transcript of the entire event can be found below. This information can also be found on our Discord server.

Additionally, if you haven’t checked out our official review of Reverie, please do so! These people did an excellent job on both the game itself and answering our questions during the AMA.

Note: Users in red signify our staff, while users in blue indicate comments from the development team:


Rich at 7:58 PM
Hello all and welcome to the AMA for the Recently Released game, Reverie. We have Daniel, Jared and Tom from Rainbite here to answer your questions. As always be polite, give them a chance to answer a question and also be patient there could be a lot of questions at once. If you guys would like could each give us a description of your part in the game dev/design as well as maybe a small background of your interest in building games

Timmydale at 8:00 PM
Welcome, fellas! Thanks for coming on

TrailBlazerr at at 8:00 PM
Hey, I’m Jared and I do most of the programming at Rainbite. I have always been interested in games but only started making them around 5 years ago.

Timmydale at 8:01 PM
Reverie your first, Jared?

impzero at 8:01 PM
Hi all! I’m the director at Rainbite. On Reverie I designed the original concept, did the art, SFX, and was part of the world/dungeon design. I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember, and have always loved Nintendo’s titles which I picked up starting in the N64 era. Always wanted to make my own games since I was a kid drawing out Myst puzzles on paper!

TrailBlazerr at at 8:01 PM
First commercial game yes. We made a couple smaller things at university

Butler at 8:01 PM
Hello! I’m Tom, I did the marketing and world building for Reverie! If you ever tweeted at us, messaged us, or interacted with us anywhere online, you most likely talked to me! I also placed pretty much every asset, one at a time, hand by hand, and it took a long time! I’ve been playing games pretty much my whole life and I decided I definitely wanted to make games in my final year of highschool! I was internested in game design pretty early on though!

Froz3nSlack5r at 8:02 PM
What you guys playing right now other than Reverie?

impzero at 8:03 PM
I’m playing Demon Gaze 2 on Vita, and Ni No Kuni 2 on PS4

Butler at 8:03 PM
I am definitely not playing Reverie right now :joy: I’m currently playing League of Legends a lot, but also slowly working my way through Resident Evil 2

TrailBlazerr at at 8:04 PM
I’m playing Axiom Verge on Vita and Far Cry 5 on PS4. Going back to some older games atm whilst I wait for some newer ones to come out.

Will at 8:04 PM
Been active in the Reverie discord for a while and just got it on switch. Did you know each other in school and then form a team? Also are y’all hiring? I’m looking for an (unpaid don’t worry) internship to gain some good experience

Ghostslol at 8:04 PM
Great to see games on the vita, and devs who appreciate the vita lol

Rich at 8:05 PM
How was you experience moving the game to Switch from Vita/PS4 and working with Nintendo?

impzero at 8:05 PM
We met at University, and decided in our last year to form a company and have a crack at making our own title

Butler at 8:05 PM
We all met at University when we were studying Software Enginnering and we had to complete a few group projects together. Also don’t take unpaid work! The amount of work you have to put into games is insane so working for free is not recommended!

impzero at 8:06 PM
@Rich Nintendo are great to work with, very responsive and their developer site is new and professional. Very smooth porting process

EeBeeArrPeeGee at 8:07 PM
Sound advice. What made you decide to begin working on Reverie as a commercial product? How did the idea develop, itself?

Timmydale at 8:07 PM
Tom, you did one helluva job on the world building. I was fortunate enough to review Reverie for our site and I thought the worlds and dungeons were incredibly imaginative! I couldn’t help but think of being a boy and using my imagination to turn any structure into a castle, dungeon, labyrinth, etc. Did any of that type of thinking go into Reverie? Did you want it to feel like Tal’s imagination was the inspiration for everything?

Rich at 8:09 PM
Who came up with the name Stephen?

Butler at 8:09 PM
That’s pretty much it! We wanted to use Tai’s imagination as a base for pretty much everything. Basically the further out from the town you got, the more the imagination was going to get wild!

impzero at 8:10 PM
@EeBeeArrPeeGee I’m a big fan of StarTropics and 2D Zeldas in general, and was sad there weren’t many NZ specific titles. So we thought to mix Minish Cap and StarTropics, but set it in modern day New Zealand with a background story of Maori mythology

Butler at 8:10 PM
I think Dan came up with Stephen

Timmydale at 8:10 PM
Incredible

Butler at 8:10 PM
If anyone has specifc questions don’t be afraid to @ us!

impzero at 8:10 PM
Stephen is named after Stephen in the bible (new testament). It’s a bit of a play on words as he was stoned to death

Shawndroid at 8:10 PM
May I ask how you settled on a retro art style? Reverie, Shovel Knight, and Blossom Tales all have different art styles. Why not something cleaner like Hollow Knight or Ittle Dew rather than retro? Money? Love? Trying to emulate something?

Gigabowser at 8:11 PM
Obviously you guys pulled from earthbound and Zelda for inspiration for this game. Were you pulling from any other games as you created reverie?

Will at 8:12 PM
Any news on what you guys will be working on next now that Reverie is done? Is gamedev your full time job or is it on the side?

Butler at 8:13 PM
We’re working on more stuff! Can’t say anything yet though, just prototypes at the moment!

Rich at 8:13 PM
is there a reason or meaning behind why you guys decided to call the Switch version Sweet As?

impzero at 8:13 PM
@Shawndroid As all 3 of us are actually programmers, pixel art was the best way for one of us (me) to learn and be able to release a commercially viable product with. We only had a year to make it, so learning 2D art in the vein of Hollow Knight would have taken too long and blown out the budget

TrailBlazerr at at 8:13 PM
Im doing gamedev full time. We are working on new things but they arent announced atm

impzero at 8:14 PM
@Gigabowser Zelda was the single biggest influence, with StarTropics coming up 2nd. Earthbound was an influence very obviously from an aesthetic perspective, but not really in any other areas. Jared and Butler havent even played it! Other influences would be Pocky & Rocky, Gunman’s Proof and Golden Axe Warrior

Rich at 8:14 PM
Wow, you guys made the game in a year

Din at 8:14 PM
What’s your favorite genre of games? Seems alot of you are currently playing RPGs.

Timmydale at 8:15 PM
Do y’all think you may revisit the world of Reverie ever again? Maybe a sequel?

EeBeeArrPeeGee at 8:15 PM
Oh wow, a combination of Minish Cap and StarTripics has my name written all over it! :smiley:

Will at 8:16 PM
In order to start a career in gamedev do you have to live off of savings for a year or so or do you do it in your spare time while having a job? Seems like unless you join an established studio, going indie would be very unreasonable financially

Rich at 8:16 PM
Do you guys plan to target Switch at launch with future projects?

impzero at 8:16 PM
@Din I like a wide variety of games, definitely enjoying DRPGs right now though. Also off-the-wall games that are hard to categorise, like Bangai-O

Din at 8:17 PM
I’ll have to look into it. Never even heard of it haha. Nor a. Couple of the influences you names earlier

Butler at 8:17 PM
I like pretty much most genres of games, RPG’s a probably my favourite though

TrailBlazerr at at 8:17 PM

@Din I like Third Person Shooters mostly. A lot of Sony first party games are great
Butler at 8:18 PM
Yeah we definitely want to target Switch at launch for future projects!

TrailBlazerr at at 8:18 PM
@Will Some of us lived off savings and some had part time things. We all lived at parents places which allowed us to keep costs low

impzero at 8:18 PM
@TimmyDale I’d really like to! But I’m not sure if the other two guys want to right now :joy: Making two very similar games in a row can get quite tiring. We might need a bit of space from Reverie before tackling a sequel, so we can get some fresh ideas brewing.

Timmydale at 8:19 PM
Awesome

Din at 8:19 PM
Yeah I remember one of you were talking about Uncharted series in your discord. I’ve heard of that game haha

Rich at 8:19 PM
who came up with the nerf gun and why that over a traditional bow & arrow?

Will at 8:20 PM
@TrailBlazerr at that’s cool. Props to you guys

Butler at 8:20 PM
That was Jared talking about Uncharted :joy:
@Rich we wanted to use easily accessable and recognisable kids toys, we figured a toy gun is easier and fits more into the theme than a bow and arrow

EeBeeArrPeeGee at 8:21 PM
In terms of development team, you’re all located in the same general area, correct? How was product management for the title? Were there any huge hurdles in putting Reverie together?

Will at 8:21 PM
Is your next project going to be a top down/2D like Reverie but different in all other ways? Or something completely different? Understandable if you can’t answer

Din at 8:21 PM
@Butler what’s your top 3 favorite rpgs

Will at 8:21 PM
Coding two different genres would be difficult after getting so much experience in one

Timmydale at 8:21 PM
Is there any Reverie merch available anywhere?

TrailBlazerr at at 8:22 PM
@EeBeeArrPeeGee atm we are all living around Auckland. We met up to have some design meetings and such but mostly worked online with each other. Main hurdles for me was learning how to develop a game for conosoles as that was a first.

impzero at 8:23 PM
@Will our next game will be 2D, with some similarities but a great number of differences too. the second to second gameplay will be quite different indeed. the art style with also not be similar to Earthbound like Reverie’s this time

Din at 8:23 PM
Reverie
The Yetee
Reverie

Butler at 8:23 PM
@Din ooh thats tough. I’d say the Pokemon series as a whole is great, The Elder Scrolls series as well, specifically Oblivion, and I guess my other favourite is Assassins creed, I’ve played all of the games

Rich at 8:23 PM
Is there anything that you guys cut from Reverie or due to timing had to leave out? Obviously with the Sweet As edition, you went back in polished somethings up and moved somethings around 😉

Will at 8:23 PM
@impzero awesome! Can’t wait to see what’s in store

Din at 8:24 PM
No Witcher 3? I’m not sure if I’ll be able to look at you the same anymore…lol. kidding of course.

Butler at 8:24 PM
I played Witcher 3 a little but I couldnt get into it unfortunately 🙁

Will at 8:25 PM
The Witcher takes some time to get into with the learning curve but then it’s amazing

Timmydale at 8:25 PM
Merch is so sweet! If I buy a t-shirt, can I get it signed? :joy:

TrailBlazerr at at 8:25 PM
@Rich We didn’t cut out much late in production. We were thinking of adding another dungeon but knew we would run out of time.

Din at 8:25 PM
Yeah it definitely has a pretty dark atmosphere to it. Which can make it harder for people. Also, every decision is always a bad one lol

Rich at 8:25 PM
@TrailBlazerr at any chance of that being DLC?

TrailBlazerr at at 8:25 PM
Nah no dlc planned. We want to work on new things

Timmydale at 8:26 PM
Someone asked earlier what the inspiration was for the Switch version being called the Sweet As Edition?

Will at 8:26 PM
How hard is it to port/code from PC to consoles. PS4 and switch specifically?

Rich at 8:26 PM
that’s cool, just know if you change your mind on DLC, its a day 1 buy for me

impzero at 8:26 PM
@Rich Very early on we also cut fishing as another ‘collectible’ in addition to feathers. It didn’t fit overall unfortunately, and we even considered putting it into the Switch edition!

Timmydale at 8:26 PM
Same

impzero at 8:27 PM
@TimmyDale ‘Sweet As’ is a very common expression in New Zealand and nowhere else in the world (that i know of). It’s the equivalent of ‘Sounds good’, basically a positive confirmation

TrailBlazerr at at 8:27 PM
@Will The main difference is trophy or achievement systems and saving. Switch is a bit easier at is only saving that causes big problems. We used Unity so by default porting is easier.

Rich at 8:28 PM
i saw IndieGameChick recently praised your game and mentioned it was included in one of her promotions last year, how was it working with that team and program?

Will at 8:29 PM
Oh cool. Was it for that reason why you used unity?

Timmydale at 8:29 PM
Tom, what was your favorite dungeon personally?

Butler at 8:29 PM
@TimmyDale Dungeon 3 is my fav!

Will at 8:29 PM
Also have any of you visited the LoTr filming locations? Hobbiton? Nature in NZ looks amazing but plane tickets are several thousand

EeBeeArrPeeGee at 8:30 PM
What are some genres you foresee your team working on, without giving anything away? What are some genres that seem unapproachable?

Timmydale at 8:30 PM
Mine too, man. Super fun boss fight

Din at 8:30 PM
@Butler Are you looking forward to the next pokemon? I never liked Pokemon Go. So I passed on Let’s Go. I’m pretty excited myself for a new step onto the Switch though

TrailBlazerr at at 8:30 PM
@Will We used Unity mainly because we learnt to use it in University. It’s something we were all comfortable with. Game Maker is another good one for 2D games.

Butler at 8:30 PM
@Rich Working with IGC was cool! She was super helpful and we took a big risk sending her lots of codes and it worked out well!

Timmydale at 8:31 PM
How did y’all come up with the name Rainbite?

impzero at 8:31 PM
@Will I’ve visited a heap of LoTR locations, including Hobbiton and the Green Dragon Inn, areas around Isengard, Lothlorien forest, Argonath etc. NZ’s natural environment really beautiful, if you visit here you wont regret it! As you mentioned though, we’re far away from everywhere

Rich at 8:31 PM
@Butler do you guys have any indication how the game is performing on switch?

TrailBlazerr at at 8:32 PM
@EeBeeArrPeeGee We can’t specify but we are open to doing different genres. We don’t want to get stuck doing the same thing.

impzero at 8:32 PM
@TimmyDale No rhyme or reason to that one, I wish we had a good story! Just thought it had a good ring to it :smiley:

Butler at 8:32 PM
@Din I am! I enjoyed pokemon lets go because I knew that it wasn’t a mainline game and was targeting a different audience, not the mainstream pokemon fanbase. I cannot wait for the next gen

impzero at 8:34 PM
@Rich We have a few days of sales, and we can’t reveal them unfortunately but we’re definitely happy with the figures and are pretty confident going forward

Rich at 8:35 PM
that’s good to hear, i really enjoyed the game and can’t wait to see what’s next and highly recommend the game

EeBeeArrPeeGee at 8:35 PM
Of course, I understand. What are some of your favorite independent titles?
Will at 8:35 PM
@impzero that’s awesome. I think I might go to NZ in the coming few years. I imagine you’re able to backpack/camp there if it’s a national park?

Timmydale at 8:35 PM
I agree with Rich. I’ve shared my review as often as possible on as many platforms as possible. People need to know about Reverie

Din at 8:36 PM
Well thanks for the answers! Been nice chatting with you guys. I’ve got to run though and didnt want to miss thanking you for coming here tonight. (Or afternoon. I guess timezones are a thing)

impzero at 8:36 PM
@Will Yes there are huts all over the country in the various national parks. Depending when you come in the year, some are even free! Here’s some more details on them: https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-stay/stay-in-a-hut/
Stay in a hut
DOC manages a network of over 950 huts of all shapes and sizes. They provide unique places to stay, refuge from bad weather, or rest and recover when you’re out exploring the outdoors.
@Will And plenty of hostels around too

Timmydale at 8:36 PM
Thanks SO MUCH

impzero at 8:36 PM
@Din thanks for the questions, you too!

Rich at 8:37 PM
Do you guys have an office space?

Will at 8:37 PM
Thanks @impzero that’s awesome

TrailBlazerr at at 8:37 PM
@EeBeeArrPeeGee It’s hard to say what is indie sometimes. But some of my favourites are Beat Saber, Celeste, Severed, Chasm and Thumper. Those are mostly more recent ones but its hard to remember further back

Butler at 8:37 PM
Fav indie titles is a tough one! I quite like Stardew Valley, Beat Saber is great too!

impzero at 8:38 PM
@EeBeeArrPeeGee stardew valley is a modern classic for sure, timespinner, Chuchel, Minit..the list goes on!

TrailBlazerr at at 8:38 PM
@Rich Nah no office space, still at home atm.

Rich at 8:38 PM
@TrailBlazerr at all good, i work from home myself, has its pros/cons
You guys choose to self-publish on switch, did you consider working with a publisher like Chucklefish Games

impzero at 8:40 PM
Here’s a reverse question for those who’ve played Reverie. What did you learn about NZ from playing Reverie?

Rich at 8:41 PM
@impzero learned about the various types of birds thru collecting the feathers

impzero at 8:41 PM
@Rich We felt confident enough to self-publish in NA/EU, though we did consider some publishers but ultimately felt it wasn’t worth it. However, we worked with EastAsiaSoft in bringing out a physical edition and to Japan/Korea/HK/Taiwan. They did all the asian language translations which was a huge help.

TrailBlazerr at at 8:42 PM
Dan likes his birds. He was keen to add in that info

Rich at 8:44 PM
When deciding to bring your game to switch, did you reach out to any other developers, Sidebar Games comes to mind

TrailBlazerr at at 8:45 PM
Nah we didn’t think to give to porting to somebody else. We wanted to get the experience and learn how to do it ourselves.

EeBeeArrPeeGee at 8:45 PM
Very commendable. Also, it’s great to work with a variety of hardware types!

Rich at 8:46 PM
i meant for tips/pointers, but its sometimes better to grind it our and learn it for yourself

TrailBlazerr at at 8:47 PM
Eastasiasoft was a great help for us and gave us tips when needed. We didn’t feel like we needed help outside of that

impzero at 8:47 PM
@EeBeeArrPeeGee Agreed, it was fun to work with all the consoles we ported too. Very happy to work with the Vita before it dies completely

Rich at 8:48 PM
what your most anticipated overall game of 2019? and game for Switch?

Butler at 8:49 PM
Oh man, Pokemon or Animal Crossing is my most anticipated for Switch, not sure about overall game though, nothing that really jumps out to me aside from those two

Hayyechi at 8:49 PM
hello! i’m also living in NZ and would really like to get into Game Design but have literally no idea where to start. think i could get any pointers?

impzero at 8:50 PM
@Rich Animal Crossing most definitely, Switch or otherwise

TrailBlazerr at at 8:50 PM
Most anticipated atm would be Days Gone, Division 2 or Anthem. Not sure about release dates for others. For Switch it’s probably Pokemon. Hoping they do something new with it

impzero at 8:51 PM
@Hayyechi Fellow kiwi! In terms of general game development, I would download the free version of Unity and start learning to make simple projects similar to pong or space invaders. once you have the basics down, it’s easier to branch out. Theres heaps of Unity code examples, tutorials and forum posts out there to help you out when you get stuck too!

Will at 8:52 PM
Check out some Udemy courses on Unity 2D dev
Sales for 10 bucks and tons of content

Butler at 8:52 PM
@Hayyechi Also try going to a local game dev meet up! If you are in Auckland, you can come and meet us!

Rich at 8:52 PM
@impzero is that the reasoning for the arcade in Reverie?

impzero at 8:53 PM
@Rich by that point we were feeling very comfortable with Unity, so it was more a matter of trying to add a fun feature that would take people by surprise. most reviews mention the arcade game really positively, so i think it worked!

Hayyechi at 8:54 PM
i didn’t know that was a thing! :O
where could i get details about it?
also thanks so much guys!!
i’ll try that soon 🙂

Rich at 8:54 PM
Anyone else have any questions for the guys from Rainbite?

Butler at 8:55 PM
@Hayyechi There’s an Auckland indies page on facebook which you can try and join, there’s also the NZGDA newsletter which you can sign up to which has information about the games industry in NZ and is sent out once a month
https://nzgda.com/

impzero at 8:55 PM
@Hayyechi heres the Unity site: https://unity3d.com/ and some tutorials here: https://unity3d.com/learn/beginner-tutorials
Unity, the world’s leading real-time engine, is used to create half of the world’s games. Our flexible real-time tools offer incredible possibilities for game developers, and creators across industries and applications in 2D, 3D, VR, and AR.
Beginner Tutorials: How to Build Games in Unity
Unity’s beginner tutorials teaches you the basic terminology, functions, and skills to create a game. Along the way, you will also make three simple games, which will make the concepts stick.
Also have to mention that I’m looking forward to the Yoshi game for Switch
Haven’t had a good one of those in awhile

Rich at 8:58 PM
If there are no further questions. Thank you @Butler , @impzero & @TrailBlazerr at for taking the time today to chat with us. Reverie is out now. We loved it and highly recommend everyone check it out. We look forward to seeing what is next from you guys

Butler at 8:59 PM
Thank you for having us!

TrailBlazerr at at 8:59 PM
Thanks!

impzero at 8:59 PM
Thank you!

Butler at 9:00 PM
If anyone has any more questions you can ask us over on our discord! We might not reply instantly but we’ll try to get to you! https://discord.gg/UV4tREu

Hayyechi at 9:01 PM
thank you for all the info, guys! ^^

Will at 9:03 PM
Great AMA thanks!!

firestream at 9:03 PM
Thanks for coming out!

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firestream
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It was really great of the devs to come out and support this!