🎤 Interview with bunaguchi

2022年 12月 10日
Indie Tsushin 2022 December issueThis article was featured in our 2022 December issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.

bunaguchi was kind enough to speak with us about Shadow Break and its follow-up Super Shadow Break!

English (translated)

Translated by Renkon

Title screen of Super Shadow Break on the Nintendo Switch

(2022) Super Shadow Break

Please tell us about Super Shadow Break.

Super Shadow Break: Showdown! NINJA VS The Three KAIJUs is a block-breaking action game that combines 2D combat and block-breaking puzzles, and is available to download on the Nintendo Switch. In this game, you wield your sword against enemies and use different ninjutsu abilities while breaking blocks.

This version is based on Shadow Break, which I released as a free game in 2012. The stages and story have been updated, and in addition to powerful monsters that appear as bosses, new items and gimmicks have been added to power up the content.

What was most influential when making Super Shadow Break?

"Most" is a difficult question. Super Shadow Break was inspired by many games I've played, seen, and heard about, such as Kirby's Block Ball, Strider Hiryu, Ninja Combat, and more.

During production, I also watched a lot of old Japanese and overseas monster movies. I used them as references when designing and naming the monsters, or used them directly as motifs. If you are familiar with the original monsters, you might recognize them in the game. (laughs)

When you hear the word “kaiju,” you probably think of Japanese monsters. But Super Shadow Break is based on “the inaccurate portrayals of Japan that you see in old overseas works,” so the kaiju designs have that same feeling. I wanted to see what it would be like to make kaiju that appear in foreign movies.

What was the most challenging part of making Super Shadow Break?

The technical side of creating the game was not much of a challenge. But when it came to the graphics, I had to draw a lot of large-scale pixel art, such as the backgrounds and boss designs, and that was tough. I put a lot of effort into the look and direction of the boss monsters in particular, so I hope you can tell how much work went into them.

I guess it was also a challenge to release the game on the Nintendo Switch, but thanks to the support and cooperation of my publisher PLiCy, we were able to release it without any major problems. I am very grateful to them.

Title screen of Shadow Break

(2012) Shadow Break

What are some of the changes you made to the original Shadow Break for the release of Super Shadow Break?

I made the original game with a semi-experimental mindset, and thus there were parts of the game system where I only added what was absolutely necessary to achieve my concept of block-breaking and 2D action. Because the original version contained only the bare minimum, when making this new game I made sure to add elements to power up the content without removing any elements from the original version.

Also, since I was going to the trouble of making a new game, I thought the world-building and other visual aspects needed to have a greater impact than the previous version, so I decided to include kaiju.

I also improved things like the layout of the gauges, collision detection, and behavior of the ball. It’s been a while since I worked on the original Shadow Break, and in the meantime I have gained more knowledge and increased my skills to enhance more parts of the game.

Super Shadow Break includes the original game in its entirety as a mode that can be played after clearing the article game, so rather than discussing the specific changes in the game content here, it would make me very happy if you play both games for yourself and compare what has changed.

Title screen for Psi Knuckle

(2016) Psi Knuckle: A side-scrolling action game.

Can you tell us about some other games you’ve worked on in the past?

My previous works are listed on my personal website, so please take a look if you are interested.

Starting with GUILTES released in 2008, I have been making games for many years, articlely free games. Some of my older games might not run on newer systems. Basically, I have a lot of action games. Beginning with Dual Prism released in 2011, my aim has been to make games that contain new elements. Among my free games, Psi Knuckle has an English instruction manual translated by someone from overseas (ed. note: the English-language manual was translated by GSK), so I recommend that game for English speakers.

I have been shifting to paid games in the past few years for various reasons, but I’d like to make free games again.

Title screen for Heiankyo Crisis

(2018) Heiankyo Crisis: A side-scrolling action game.

What does your general game-making process look like?

When it came to Super Shadow Break, I already had the foundation of it with the original Shadow Break, so as I mentioned, I worked hard to improve upon it. But generally, I first think about what kinds of actions will compose the article system of the game.

While playing, watching, and learning about various games, there are times when I think, “This part of the game is interesting,” or, conversely, “This part is so close.” I then take that feedback and flesh them out to become the core of a new game. Afterwards, I add my own themes and visuals to those foundations.

Can you tell us about some of your favorite games and genres?

Regarding game genres, I have always loved 2D action games. I like old school side-scrolling games with stages the best. In particular, I love Ghouls ‘n Ghosts a lot, and always have a great time whenever I play it. In addition to 2D action games, in recent years I have also become interested in related genres like shooting games and side-scrolling beat ‘em ups. I will never get tired of exploring the breadth of games out there.

Can you tell us about anything that you’re currently working on?

This is related to the previous question, but I still think that what I like most are hardcore side-scrolling 2D action games. I’m currently trying to get back to the basics and make something like that. Super Shadow Break was a totally different kind of game from what I usually make, what with its comical world and irregular gameplay, so I want to go back to my roots.

On rare occasions (and I mean rare), I upload work-in-progress images to my Twitter and other places, but I don’t think I’m at the stage where I can disclose specific details yet. I hope that people are looking forward to what I’m working on. If you are, thank you for your patience.

Do you have any messages for your players?

Super Shadow Break is intended to be something that can be enjoyed both as a 2D action game and a block-breaking game. If you are interested in playing, I would love it if you checked it out.

And to the people who have already played it, I sincerely thank you. After you clear the game, you can access further modes like score attack. I made this game so that you too can become a true ninja, so I hope you can enjoy playing to your heart’s content.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!


Title screen of Super Shadow Break on the Nintendo Switch

(2022) スーパーシャドーブレイク

この度のSuper Shadow Breakという作品についてご紹介お願いします。

『スーパーシャドーブレイク 決戦! 忍者 対 三大怪獣』は、Nintendo Switch向けのダウンロードソフトとして発売中の、2Dアクションとブロック崩しを融合させたブロック崩し忍者アクションです。刀と数種類の忍術を駆使し、ブロックを崩しながら敵と戦うゲームです。

2012年にフリーゲームとして公開した『Shadow Break』が元になっていますが、ステージやストーリーも一新し、ボスとして登場する迫力の怪獣に加え、新たなアイテムやギミックなど、よりパワーアップした内容になっています。

Super Shadow Breakを作成するにあたり、最も影響を受けたものは何ですか?(例えば、ほかのゲームや映画など何でも構いません)




Super Shadow Breakを作成するにあたり最も挑戦したことなどはありますか?


それと、Nintendo Switchでリリースしたこと自体も挑戦だったと言えるかもしれませんが、パブリッシングと開発協力をしてくださったPLiCy様のサポートのおかげで、特に大きな問題もなくリリースに漕ぎつけられたので、大変感謝しています。

Title screen of Shadow Break

(2012) シャドーブレイク

Bunaguchiさんは以前にShadow Breakを公開されていましたが、Super Shadow Breakを作るにあたりどのような変更を加えましたか?





Title screen for Psi Knuckle

(2016) サイナックル




基本的にはアクションゲーマー向けのゲームが多く、2011年公開の『Dual Prism』以降は新しい要素を持ったゲームを志向しています。フリーゲームの中では、『Psi Knuckle』には海外の方に翻訳していただいた英語の説明書をつけていますので、英語圏の方にお勧めできるかもしれません。(編集者注:英語の翻訳者はGSKさん。)


Title screen for Heiankyo Crisis

(2018) 平安京クライシス















bunaguchiYou can find more of bunaguchi's games on their homepage and follow them on Twitter @bunaguchi.