Published On: Sun, Jun 21st, 2020

Feature: Shantae And The Seven Sirens Director On WayForward’s Design Approach To This Metroidvania Series

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Shantae and a Seven Sirens expelled for Switch and console platforms behind during a finish of May after debuting (in parts) on Apple Arcade final year. You can examination a examination for a full verdict, though given a series’ story of top-quality entries in a Metroidvania platforming genre, it’ll come as no warn that a suggested Half-Genie’s fifth diversion is a genuine winner.

Since it launched, we have been means to pronounce with Seven Sirens’ executive Matt Bozon from developer WayForward about a change in impression from a prior entry, a knowledge of operative with eminent animation studio Trigger, and how a team’s proceed to conceptualizing a Shantae pretension has altered (or not) over a past 18 years given she began life on Nintendo’s reliable Game Boy Color.


Nintendo Life: While many people will no doubt be informed with a Shantae series, can we give us a conveyor representation for Shantae and a Seven Sirens for players who haven’t encountered Shantae before?

Matt Bozon, Director: Sure, I’d be happy to! At a heart, a diversion is a retro-inspired brew of side-view scrutiny and platforming, like a brew of Metroid, Zelda, and Castlevania, combined in a hand-drawn 2D art style. The Shantae universe is an “anything goes” brew of scholarship and fantasy, filled with monsters, mermaids, pirates, and zombies.

The categorical character, Shantae, is a Half-Genie innate to a Genie mom and a tellurian father. She’s a enchanting bauble that can whip monsters with her prolonged ponytail and swell dance to renovate into opposite creatures. Half-Genies use their singular enchanting powers to quarrel for probity and frustrate evil.

In this newest adventure, Shantae embarks on an all-expenses-paid vacation to a remote pleasant island, that sits atop a hull of a fallen city. However, there’s a sinister force during work on a island, and Shantae’s friends go missing. Rumors widespread about a Seven Sirens who dwell down below, luring visitors to their doom.

As Shantae, it’s a player’s pursuit to mountain a rescue, try a inlet of a fallen city, and save a day. Along a proceed Shantae will learn to renovate into nautical quadruped forms that will extend new abilities, and learn how to compound her sorcery with other Half-Genies to clear powers she never knew she had. Players will conflict monsters, emporium for new abilities during any town, unearth tip items, solve puzzle-filled labyrinths, and conflict a large bosses – a Sirens.

How prolonged has a diversion been in development?

We worked on a diversion for about a year and a half, give or take.

After a some-more linear proceed taken in Half-Genie Hero, Seven Sirens earnings to companion universe impression of progressing entries. Can we tell us about this change from a prior game?

This was due to fan feedback. We listened over and over again that a fourth Shantae game, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, was a good change of pace. But, if another supplement was to be made, they hoped we’d go behind to a prior Metroid-inspired formula. So we did – mixing a best tools of all 4 prior Shantae games, and also adding some new facilities such as a present transformations and a new collectable Monster Card complement that allows players to customize Shantae’s abilities.

Animation studio Trigger worked on scenes for a game. Tell us a bit about a routine of operative with them and your thoughts when we saw what they had produced.

It was overwhelming removing to work with Studio TRIGGER! We’re outrageous fans, so this was a dream come true. Shantae creator Erin Bozon (Futurama) and Naoko Tsutsumi (Little Witch Academia) were producers on their particular sides. I’d do discerning sketches and time them to a soundtrack, afterwards TRIGGER’s animators would reinterpret them in their possess signature impression and move all to life. We speedy them to do it their way, and take any autocracy with a designs. The finish outcome was jaw-dropping. If we haven’t seen it yet, get prepared to be as vacant as we were!

The initial partial of Seven Sirens primarily launched on iOS final year alongside Apple’s subscription service, with a second partial rising in Mar this year. From a developer’s perspective, how does it feel releasing a diversion in ‘parts’, as against to putting out a finished product all-at-once? What are a pros and cons of operative that way? Do we see yourself doing it again in a future?

It worked out excellent in this case, though consider we cite gripping a whole diversion dark behind a screen for as prolonged as possible. Not observant we wouldn’t pattern an episodic diversion again someday, though this one was always dictated to be one whole adventure. So it’s good to have it finish and accessible everywhere.

We listened over and over again that […] Half-Genie Hero, was a good change of pace. But, if another supplement was to be made, [fans] hoped we’d go behind to a prior Metroid-inspired formula. So we did

Are there any changes or additions to a console chronicle of Seven Sirens?

The usually disproportion in a console chronicle is miss of hold controls, and altogether fortitude depending on that height you’re personification on. The diversion supports 4K, though looks extraordinary in HD as well. And…the Nintendo Switch chronicle includes HD Rumble. So we unequivocally can’t go wrong!

Back in Mar there were no DLC skeleton for Seven Sirens. Is that still a case?

That’s true. We motionless not to do paid DLC, or an “Ultimate Edition,” for this game. That pronounced – calm updates are giveaway and are accessible to everyone! We don’t have any specific announcements today, though we can contend that we have ideas for some fun little giveaway add-ons in a works! We’ll have some-more info on that in a entrance months.

After starting out proceed behind on a Game Boy Color, how has your proceed to creation a Shantae diversion altered over a final 18 years?

We still follow a same ubiquitous growth path. We build a greybox gym to pattern a impression mobility while during a same time formulating art mockups. Then we mix a art with a greybox to get a initial playable. We emanate monsters, hazards, spikes and pits, and infer out a construction methods with a singular Labyrinth. Then, we build a finish territory with a territory of overworld, NPCs, and diversion upsurge to infer a concept. And finally, build a diversion territory by chapter.

Once a whole diversion is playable from start to finish, we typically carve a universe to urge a altogether experience. Often this formula in some teardown or book rewrites. Then balancing, polish, and any additional optimizing, localization, ratings, submitting to initial parties, and afterwards watchful with fingers crossed to wish players like what we made!

Looking behind over a series, do we have a personal favourite of a 5 Shantae games? If so, what creates that one quite special to you?

On a personal level, a strange diversion is by distant a many special to me. The group was tiny, and we were creation all adult as we went along. The attention was really opposite behind then, and removing an opposite eccentric diversion made and into stores was a little miracle. Everyone poured their souls into that game.

On a personal level, a strange diversion is by distant a many special to me. The group was tiny, and we were creation all adult as we went along. The attention was really opposite behind then

But, any one of these journeys has been special. Each Shantae diversion was built by a mostly new team, who had to understanding with new tech, attention trends, and appropriation models, changes in a medium. They any had to overcome a obstacles of their day while essay to emanate something that would put a grin on players’ faces.

With COVID-19 inspiring studios everywhere, how has a stream conditions altered your day-to-day during WayForward? Has it had an impact on Seven Sirens during all? Has anything astounded we about a conditions – certain or negative?

We’re all operative from home, that is surprisingly effective for a studio like ours. WayForward has over 150 employees, though also has a immeasurable network of gifted freelancers. Having a onsite people switch over to regulating identical methods as offsite people wasn’t too jarring. We have identified some bugs that could have been caused by everybody operative in siege in temporary workstations during a home stretch. But, a subsequent refurbish should set things right. Fans and staff have been really studious and flexible, and we’re really beholden for them!

Are there any games on Switch or elsewhere you’ve been quite enjoying recently?

A lot of us are personification Animal Crossing to keep in hold and have some kind of unnatural “in-person” time. It’s been really therapeutic! I’m also anticipating a lot to suffer on Nintendo Switch Online. And we only did a discerning run-through a mostly lost (and Nintendo published) Warlocked for Game Boy Color.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to supplement about Seven Sirens that we haven’t hold on?

I’d like to contend appreciate we to fans who are personification a diversion on Twitch and YouTube, submitting fanart, stating bugs, and so on. We have a good village of players and would adore to continue creation Shantae games for we to play!


Our interjection to Matt for his time. Shantae and a Seven Sirens is out now on Switch. We suppose many of we have been enjoying it already – let us know with a criticism below.

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