First, before we begin, I would like to offer some background on this post and an apology. The interview was conducted at Tokyo Game Show (September 2017). As you can figure out, this is a long time coming. Between slipping through our posting schedule several times, and then getting a translation done, the post was delayed multiple times. So I’d like to offer a personal apology to 夢工場長 for having this interview delayed so long. The interview was translated by brando and PushDustIn.
Let’s go ahead and get started with this interview!
If you haven’t seen the game in motion, go ahead and check out the video below.
Push: Can you tell us about this game?
So, this game is called LunaXXX.
Similar to the story of Noah’s Ark, your goal is to put the animals on this rocket and rescue them before the planet is destroyed.
This big robot is Luna, and underneath them is this boy wearing a spacesuit, named Yona.
As Luna and Yona work together and rescue the animals, the game progresses.
The game was made to use the Nintendo Switch’s HD rumble feature. The left Joycon controls the robot Luna, and the right Joycon is for the boy, Yona.
Luna has to move Yona so that he doesn’t hit the walls, and Yona has to hit his tambourine to make the animals groove, then they stick to him, and everyone goes up together.
That’s how the game goes, shall we play a bit?
(Tambourine thumps and other gameplay sounds ensue, with cries of “Yes!” and “Ah, they fell! One more time!”)
Push: Do you have any plans to release this game in the West?
First, we’ll release in Japan, and we’re thinking about expanding overseas.
Push: Kenichi Nishi is also involved, right?
Yes, He’s the director, and I’m serving as the producer. By the way, my Twitter name is YumeK.
Push: How many levels are in this game?
In addition to the [ones in the demo], we’ll be adding a variety of more levels to the game through the end of the year.
Push: Will it release before the end of the year?
Well, tentatively we’d like to release in December, so we’re aiming for that.
Push: Will it be a download title, or a physical release as well?
The plan is to release it as a download title, but we’re thinking about a physical version too… a packaged release would be nice, but we’re still discussing things. We are going to do the download version, that’s been decided.
Push: Is Pygmy Studio currently developing any other titles for the Switch?
Right now, this is the only Switch title we’re working on. We’ve worked on other games for PS4 and Xbox One, but this will be the first Pygmy Studio release on the Switch. It’s a very interesting piece of hardware, so we want to keep making games for it.
Push: What are the good points about the Switch?
Let’s see… First of all, as a developer, it’s interesting that they put so much detail into the HD Rumble, and of course the fact that you can take it outside and play. Other things too, but mostly since it has such a detailed rumble feature, which other consoles don’t have, that’s what I really want to use.
In LunaXXX, players will use the vibration from the HD Rumble in order to have good timing with the tambourine and rescue the animals. Right now, we are still adjusting it to make it more fun in game.
Push: How long has LunaXXX been in development?
It’s been about three months, I think. Again, from here we’re aiming for December to hopefully finish things up.
Push: So Luna originally appeared in another mobile game in Japan—will this be a sequel? Or a prequel?
Oh, Lunatan. Right, Luna appears in the smartphone game Lunatan, and the animation they made for it. This game takes place before Lunatan. In Lunatan, the planet is already destroyed, but LunaXXX shows the planet before that destruction. Before a giant tidal wave ends Earth, save the animals. So, the two are connected.
Push: How is the story told within the game?
The story is told on the screens in between stages. You clear a stage and the story unfolds, you clear the next stage and it progresses more, and this continues to the last stage when you put the animals on the final rocket and escape.
This robot is one of many that were created in the center of the planet at one time, but he’s friends with Yona, good friends. They have a strong bond.
But he’s a robot so he breaks, and a day will come when he has to say goodbye… of course it’s the same way for humans, but anyway, it’s a heartfelt story about man and machine. A story of friendship.
Push: Do Yona and Luna meet in this game? Or does their story start before this?
Here, Luna and Yona are rescuing animals together, they’re friends now but they grow closer over the course of the game.
She doesn’t appear in this game, but actually, there’s this character, a girl named Nene who’s a childhood friend of Yona’s.
So the three friends are remembering a time when they went on adventures together. The memories are indicated by the pastel style graphics, while the present has a more realistic style to it.
In the end, a giant tidal wave is coming and the world is going to be destroyed. When that day comes, will the three of them be able to escape? It’ll be exciting to see.
Push: Is there anything you can tell us about Pygmy Studio’s upcoming plans?
Well, I’ll say that we’re broadening our view of what we can do with Luna and this IP, and with the Switch, which is a wonderful device, new developments may unfold… Whatever it is, please look forward to it. There are also various things we want to do on PS4, but really the Switch is what we’re focusing on right now. It’s great, a very interesting console… we call Pygmy Studio’s games digital toys, so we want to make games you can play within that way, like a toy, very innocent, child-like.
Thank you very much!