Goodboy Galaxy smashes Kickstarter

The recent Game Boy frenzy continues as a brand new GBA title, Goodboy Galaxy, smashed its Kickstater this week. Not only does this mean we will get a physical release but stretch goals mean even more goodies for backers. I chat to Goodboy Galaxy creator Ric Nicol about the upcoming release. The Kickstarter is currently running and you can pre-order your copy today over at First Press Games. Just before we hear from the team behind the game it’s worth noting that a playable demo is available and gives a glimpse into just how great this upcoming platform shooter is going to be.

The game is also set for a Switch and PC port but its the physical GBA cart I want to get my hands on! I played through the demo recently to get a feel for how the game is shaping up and was impressed. You play as a dog who has landed on a strange planet that is waking up after a two year slumber. You make friends who help you traverse the levels as well as giving you upgrades and items needed to progress. The platforming is sharp and the shooting fun. I was enjoying working out the light-touch puzzles and exploring the world. The little cutscenes featured between the levels are also excellent. There are plenty of secrets to be found as well, it looks as though there will be a lot of re-playability. 

Please tell us a little about yourself and how Goodboy Galaxy came to be?

Jeremy and I met while working at a mobile game studio in the Netherlands. We both love playing and making games, and often did game jams together – me as an Artist and him on the code side. The first prototype version of Goodboy Galaxy was our ludum Dare Jam game “Goodboy Advance”.

How did you decide that you wanted to start work on a new GBA title?

We had a lot of fun working on the jam, had a bunch of ideas we couldn’t implement in the time limit and felt it had a lot of potential so we decided to keep working on it (once we’d recovered!)
What other games influenced the design of Goodboy Galaxy?

Funny character based games were a big inspiration for me – I really love Crowtel Renovations by SinksAdventure and Pikuniku (by Arnaud De Bock, Remi Forcadell, Alan Zucconi, Calum Bowen). We decided to have the mini ‘quests’ based on how much we enjoyed those in Link’s Awakening, and Jeremy is a huge Yoshi’s Island fan (he insisted I make a cave level with waterfalls based on his love for that level). We’re also both massive fans of Spelunky (by Derek Yu) and it’s thoughtful approach to game design was a big inspiration.
What makes the system a good one for making new games?
We think the GBA is one of the most fun and accessible handhelds to develop for, being a 32-bit console with many hardware features from the 8/16-bit era. The constraints are just right: You can use modern programming languages, so development isn’t a chore, but you still have to work with limited resources. There’s still plenty of opportunity to experiment with old-school techniques such as palette-cycling and scanline scrolling effects.  
Did you ever think it would get as far as a physical release?
We definitely had pretty modest expectations, but we’re really excited to do a run of cartridges.
The Kickstarter has been a success, what stretch goals are you hoping to meet?
We’ve breached all of our stretch goals, so we’ve just added one to give all GBA boxes a box-protector (a backer suggested it). Delivering in an acceptable time frame is more important to us than stretch goals that add to development, so we’re being a bit picky about adding more, but we are looking into some cool stuff if we can sort it out in time.  
It is not just yourself working on the game, how did your team come together?

Besides me and Jeremy, we also hired another ex-colleague of ours to do some additional character designs (Emi Monseratti), and a fantastic animator who I met over twitter (Jesse Zhang) who’s helped me with the trailer. For the full game we’ll probably get a couple more friends to help out too.  
How does it feel to know you will be releasing a physical game?
There’s definitely something really special about it being a tangible object, I mainly feel extremely extremely grateful for everyone that’s supported us to get to this point.
Any plans for future games?
We have talked about a few things, but daren’t think about them too much right now  😀
A huge shout out to Rik and the team for taking the time to chat with me.