The Nintendojo Interview: GalaxyTrail’s Stephen DiDuro

We spoke with the producer of Freedom Planet on the game’s Sonic ties, Nintendo exclusivity, and more!

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 03/30/2015 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

ND: Do you see Freedom Planet as a potential franchise, or is it too early for you to start thinking about that?

SD: I still have expansion content to work on, but beyond that, the team and I have a few ideas for what we could work on next. One thing’s for sure – this is definitely not going to be our last game!

ND: How many team members are there with GalaxyTrail?

SD: We have 15 full-time members. Most of them are voice actors, freelance musicians or both, and we have a few coders and artists as well. We’re mostly US based but some of us are in Canada, Australia, Europe and Japan.

ND: How did GalaxyTrail end up with members so far apart in terms of distance? Has that lead to any complications?

SD: I was originally the only member of the team, but when Freedom Planet became a commercial project I started to recruit people online. We communicate through email and Skype groups and it’s worked pretty well for us so far. Admittedly, it can be a bit tricky for voice conversations to feel natural when all of the voice actors are in different parts of the world and with different types of recording equipment, so I’m pretty impressed that it turned out as well as it did.

ND: Speaking of the game’s voice actors, some fans have noted that the character voices bear some similarity to the voice work in the Sonic Adventure titles. Was that an intentional homage?

SD: (laughing) It was more of an homage to Japanese games in the 1990s that were localized to English, with all of the cheesiness intact.

ND: The industry has recently shifted a lot of focus on to indie developers. With the cost of developing blockbuster titles increasing, there’s a lot of incentive to spotlight smaller studios that are creating content to fill-in the gaps between those releases. Unfortunately, there’s been a lot less focus on the future of these studios. Ideally, where would you like to see GalaxyTrail in ten years? Is there a long-term plan?

SD: I’d love to keep going and developing new games. I feel like it’d take us roughly 3-4 years per game, so a decade from now we could have four games under our belt. It’s pretty cool to think about and I hope Freedom Planet is successful enough to make our dream happen.

ND: What advice would you give aspiring developers looking to start their own games?

SD: Just go for it. I see a lot of aspiring developers worry about things like cost and development time before they even begin, but if you set all that aside and just work on your idea one small step at a time, you’d be surprised how far you can get. Also, if you have a huge idea for a game, get some practice in by making a few smaller games in the same style and genre. I made a dozen or so platform games before I got to Freedom Planet, most of which were never finished, but I feel like the combination of everything I learned building those games really helped make this one a success.

ND: Before I let you go, can you give our readers a few reasons they should check out Freedom Planet when it hits the eShop later this year?

SD: Ask yourselves the following questions: Did you grow up on the Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis? Do you like colorful platform games? Do you like cartoons, animals, aliens, robots, dragons or explosions? Do you like speedrunning or fighting tough bosses? If you answered yes to any of these, I think you’ll get a really big kick out of Freedom Planet.

ND: Stephen, thank you so much for your time!


We’ll have more information on Freedom Planet in the coming months! In the meantime, stay tuned to Nintendojo where we’ll feature more interviews with up-and-coming developers in the very near future!

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One Response to “The Nintendojo Interview: GalaxyTrail’s Stephen DiDuro”

  • 1396 points
    penduin says...

    Great interview! This game looks like a blast, and I look forward to playing it on Wii U. It’s very exciting that indie studios can pick up where traditional publishers left off and revive some of these great formulas and mechanics.

    When Sega comes out and says, “there’s no single-player future for Sonic”, I just scratch my head. I understand them wanting to try new things, but there’s still so much more mileage to be enjoyed in these old gameplay styles.

    Thumb up 0

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