Reverie Under the Moonlight is the fourth entry in the Momodora series–a side-scrolling action platformer with melee combos, dodge mechanics, and a plethora of items and spells to unleash upon your enemies.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the lead developer, rdein, for more details about the game and their studio.
Diogo Teixeira: Tell me a bit about yourself.
rdein: I’m rdein, and I’m the lead developer in a small development group called Bombservice. I guess I’m mostly known for creating the Momodora games.
Diogo Teixeira: Bombservice is quite the multicultural game dev group. Can you tell me a bit more about its members and their backgrounds?
rdein: Sure! For the newly-released Momodora game, the development team consisted of me, PKBT, Hernan, and notoriousKnave. Basically everyone did a little bit of everything.
I met them throughout the years either on internet forums or on Twitter.
Since we all live in different parts of the world, like the Netherlands and Canada, our group has never had a meeting face to face.
Diogo Teixeira: That’s quite interesting. So it was fully made through distance collaboration? Was there any issues, such as different time zones?
rdein: Yes. We’ve always worked like this, since before I was making the Momodora games.
Different timezones are not that big of an issue, since we are all only a few hours apart from each other.
Diogo Teixeira: Your studio has just released the fourth game of the Momodora series. How does it feel being part of a project with such a pedigree?
rdein: I honestly don’t know how to answer this very well. I feel grateful for being able to keep making the games I want to make, and it’s great to see a response in the form of fanart and such.
Diogo Teixeira: Momodora IV is actually a prequel, telling the story of Kaho in the country of Karst. This is a plot element mentioned in Momodora II and III. Were you guys planning to make IV from the start, or did the idea come up when creating lore for II and III?
rdein: Back when we were discussing future projects, I had this idea to make a Momodora game that expanded on things mentioned in previous titles. Both Kaho and the kingdom of Karst had been mentioned in Momodora II and III, so they were a very natural choice for me.
Setting it in a different land and era also sounded interesting from the point of view of a developer.
Diogo Teixeira: Confess. Who was behind Lubella, Witch of Decay’s jiggly boobs?
rdein: I’m going to be honest with you: I don’t remember, haha. Very late in development, though, I was the one who adjusted the animations so the boobs would jiggle according to her different actions (like rising up, etc). I suppose the hitting-jiggle is the most obvious, though…
Diogo Teixeira: Momodora IV (and the series overall) is quite devious in terms of secrets. And that’s understating it, I remember Momodora I required reading a file in the game’s folders to get a hint for a specific secret. Are there any secrets players haven’t found yet in IV? For example, the mystery behind the broken save bell in the underwater catacombs?
rdein: There’s ONE particular enemy that I haven’t seen any mentions of. It appears based on a very low random chance, and only in one specific room. There are some other few things in the game that are set up in a similar fashion, too.
Diogo Teixeira: I hate you guys. I love you for doing things like this, but I hate you at the same time. I will have to waste more hours looking for rare spawns.
rdein: Haha, I’m sorry! To me these were very minor surprises that could potentially make the playthrough of someone more special. The jellyfish spawn in the underwater area, for example.
Diogo Teixeira: There’s a quite visible graphical upgrade from the previous games. A sign your studio is improving their skills?
rdein: I guess so, yes. As we keep making more games, we also set up higher standards for ourselves to keep improving. That’s one of the biggest driving motivational forces in our development group, aiming to make a better game than the one previously released.
Diogo Teixeira: Is there a Momodora V in the works? Or a new project?
rdein: We are currently working on something new, but I’d rather not drop names or confirm anything for now. It’s still an extremely early prototype.
Diogo Teixeira: Which were the major influences to Momodora series?
rdein: I’m inspired by many things, beyond games even. Overall, the series always had some influences from games such as Cave Story, Castlevania, and Zelda. Then there’s anime and manga, among some other things.
Diogo Teixeira: What advice would you give to any future game devs?
rdein: Stick to your vision and be very persistent. Finishing games is no small task. Many times, it’s easy to feel like giving up, especially if you are an indie developer.
Another advice I’d give is to save your improvement for the next project. I’ve fallen to the trap of improving my abilities during the development of a long game, and felt the need to redraw all the art from scratch to make the game prettier, for example. This is both a good and a bad thing. You don’t want to be stuck in a loop of always reworking the assets you’ve finished. I feel it’s better to set a limit on yourself, where you feel you are satisfied with the game, then release it and move onto making something with the newfound knowledge/skill you achieved.
Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is available on Steam.
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