Koji Igarashi, producer and scenario writer for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, recently participated in a panel at SXSW where he talked about some of the changes made in the game and where it's headed.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is an upcoming Metroidvania that made over 11 times its original Kickstarter campaign goal of $500,000. A panel took place at SXSW 2018 where we heard some details about the upcoming game from Mr. Igarashi and his cohorts at Artplay. The panel as a whole made for an interesting watch for fans of the Castlevania series of games who are especially looking forward to Bloodstained. It was moderated by Evan Narcisse and Mr. Igarashi was joined by translator Mano. You can watch the entirety of the hour-long panel on YouTube:
One of the opening points was about how the earlier Castlevania games were very linear experiences. Mr. Igarashi felt that the price point for the games didn't really match up with what you got out of the game. As a result, the design changes were made to add replayability so that players could explore the map in greater, non-linear detail. Of course, some level of hunting for items and backtracking was part of this package. In short, a core part of the Metroidvania experience was devised to add value & replayability to the game. Considering the popularity of the Metroidvania genre, there's certainly something to that idea.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is still very much a work in progress, and viewers are treated to a few scenes of how the game has changed since its initial reveal. One of the game's signature bosses were changed to better fit the game's gothic feel. Lighting is a big area of concern with the game, and many of the pieces of gameplay that were demoed throughout the talk had temporary lighting effects as the permanent ones were still a work-in-progress.
Food has been a big element in Iga's past games - goodness knows that Castlevania fans are well familiar with the mysterious chickens concealed in a wall. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will be no different in this regard, and it will include a crafting system of sorts where players will be able to cook food. Some of the food in the game will permanently increase your abilities (as opposed to just temporary buffs or healing as it had done in its spiritual predecessors). There will be other ways to increase your power by powering up your equipment or through other methods, but Iga-san decided not to reveal those details at this time.
The panel closed with questions from the audience. Among them were a fan wondering about the possibility of a Kickstarter to secure the Castlevania rights from Konami as the company has generally been backing away from the development of video games. Mr. Igarashi stated that he would love to make a new game in the series, stating that there's a lot of potential for new scenarios to be written for the series. Whether or not they would go the Kickstarter route (or some other path) to secure the IP was unfortunately not really addressed.
Some corrections regarding the panel were made after it had concluded. The game's voice acting will be localized into both English & Japanese. Secondly, backers of the Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Kickstarter will learn of the release date for the Alpha Backer Demo in the March backer update at the end of this month. Be sure to keep an eye on the game's backer updates page to see when it drops.
We've only covered a few of the interesting bits of the panel - do be sure to watch the entire thing to see all of the fine details about what's in store for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. It does not yet have an official release date. We'll get one soon - that March backer update will also include the final release date for the game.
What do you think of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night? Do you think the game will be able to capture the magic of the classic Metroidvania games of old? Let us know in the comments below!