Wild Guns Reloaded Developer Interview

Magazine/Site: Famitsu
Date: 05/03/2018

The Reason for Remaking Wild Guns

A remake of Wild Guns by the original staff. We’ve asked director/programmer Mr. Miyabe and sound composer Mr. Iwatsuki about the secrets behind the birth of this title.

Reloaded was made by the same team that made the original

First of all, please tell us the details of developing Reloaded.

Wild Guns Reloaded - Miyabe and Iwatsuki
(Left) Toshiyasu Miyabe (Senior Chief Engineer at Natsume Atari) (Right) Hiroyuki Iwatsuki (Chief Engineer at Natsume Atari)

(Miyabe) Our biggest reason for doing it was that last year was our company’s 30th anniversary. It’s not a very big company and the name of it has changed over time. Also “They don’t have anyone left that actually makes games” and “No one who used to work there back in the day is still around” are both things that people think about us. Even so, we wanted to say that we still had it in us. We’d hardly released any of our past titles to Virtual Console and such, and we’d been thinking that we’d like to make them available somehow. Also we still had all of the original team members around from back then, so we wanted to try actually remaking it instead of just putting it in an emulator or something. We didn’t have much confidence in its success at the time, but being in the Internet age we looked up what people thought about Wild Guns and learned that it’s well liked after all.

I see. Even so, it’s really amazing that all of the team members are still with the company today. By the way, how many people worked on the original game?

(Miyabe) Three people: Myself, Iwatsuki, and though he’s not here today, Taniguchi (Shunichi Taniguchi. He was in charge of planning and graphics for both the original and remake).

Only the three of you?! That’s amazing. Mr. Iwatsuki, what did you think about the idea of Reloaded when you first heard about it?

(Iwatsuki) I never thought we’d get a chance to remake it. I was surprised by it in a way, and thought it sounded like fun.

Wild Guns Reloaded - Design Documents
They pulled out actual development documents from the original Wild Guns during interview. They’re all handwritten by Mr. Taniguchi!

And actually when you started development, there was initially only a PlayStation 4 version. Then came the Steam version, and now there’s the Nintendo Switch version. Did that make development difficult?

(Miyabe) For Reloaded I looked at the old Assembly source code that I wrote for the original and thought “How am I going to write this in a modern programming language?”. I did that by analyzing that old code and copying it over by sight. It was basically like rewriting it from the beginning so it took a lot of time, but it was a very valuable experience.

(Iwatsuki) For the soundtrack I did re-arranged versions that were based on the originals, so it wasn’t all that much work in of itself. But I had other projects alongside of this, so it ended up being a struggle to balance them all. In addition to the soundtrack, I was also in charge of the online leaderboard. I already had some experience there from things I’d worked on before, so the development work itself wasn’t that difficult. The debugging was horrible though (laughs). We didn’t have enough resources.

Ahh. Because it was only the three of you developing it… You added Beginner and Boss Rush modes for the Nintendo Switch verison, so please tell us about the reasoning behind that.

(Miyabe) It’s a minor release, so we thought only people who had already played Wild Guns would buy it. But there ended up being a lot of people who bought it for the first time with this release. We realized that many of those people weren’t able to clear the game, so we thought we needed to do something about that. Apart from those things, it’s just the same as the PlayStation 4 version. The Boss Rush mode we added because we thought it would be nice to give someone playing alone another mode to extend the game’s life with, apart from the original mode.

You’d really like for anyone who likes action games to play this, right?

(Miyabe) That’s right. We haven’t really made anything but action games, but we always put our hearts into making ones that will make your fingers start moving without even thinking about it. People who like the type of game in which you gradually improve throughout the course of play should really give this a try.

(Iwatsuki) I’ve gotten mail about people’s thoughts on the music in Wild Guns ever since it first released. Not only from people in Japan, but overseas as well. I’m happy that with the Nintendo Switch version we could make it so that people playing all over the world can enjoy this game, whether or not they’ve previously played it.

(Miyabe) Also the team name that we do our projects under is “Tengo Project”, and we’re working on new ones as well. I can’t talk about details yet, but please look forward to them.

Soundtrack Release Plans!

A release date for the original soundtrack to Wild Guns Reloaded has been set! It will consist of 32 tracks with two arranged versions across two discs, and will be released from SuperSweep. It will go on advance pre-order exclusively at the retro game, indie game and doujinshi exhibition Game Legend 28, held at Friendia near City Hall in front of Kawaguchi Station in Saitama. Regular pre-orders will begin on 06/02 from Sweep Record (http://sweeprecord.com/shops) and last until general sales begin on 06/23. Check it out!
On sale from: SuperSweep
Price: 2800 yen (tax excluded) (3024 (tax included))