The recent release of Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill on Xbox One has been an intriguing one. Currently exclusive to Xbox One, it provides a strange experience; one that is both quirky, original, and manages to revive an old Dreamcast title. We wanted to know more about how Gaijin Charengi 1 came about, so reached out to Youenn Thirion of overGame Studio to find out more.
First of all, thank you for doing this interview and congratulations on the release of Gaijin Charrenji 1: Kiss or Kill. Can you give us a brief history on how overGame Studio came together as a team?
OverGame Studio is born from the desire to do different and useful things. I have been passionate about video games for a long time. The desire to make a game titillates many players. Sometimes we believe that it is not possible. In truth it is accessible. Not easy but feasible.
We understand you are the main developer and PR for overGame Studio. Can you tell us a little bit about your previous work in the video game industry before forming overGame Studio?
Gaijin Charenji 1 is our first project. I had no experience developing video games before working on this one. To be honest, I have an initial training in pyschology.
What was it about Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill that made you want to complete the project 21 years after it was initially conceived by Yoshiro Takahashi?
It is a truly unique project.
How far into development was the original Dreamcast version of Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill before it was cancelled?
One can consider me as Dr. Frankenstein and Gaijin Charenji 1, as the created monster of any kind. It’s an assembly, a jigsaw puzzle of games and idea of gameplay.
How much of the original design of the Dreamcast version from 1998 was retained and kept in the final Xbox One release?
We unfortunately could not put everything we wanted in the game. We keep it for an episode 2.
For readers who are curious about this game, what’s the best way to describe a “Punk Narrative Shoot-Them Up” video game?
Good question. All your readers know what a shoot-them-up is (R-type, axelay, last resort).
GC1KOK adds a narrative dimension to FMV videos, video artifacts, its own story and its atypical side. From all this comes an atmosphere and a story. This story is not clearly stated but we guess it and everyone can have their opinion and take ownership.
For the punk aspect, you must have noticed that GC1KOK is different from other games, it marks after its difference, it is not perfect but assumes and does not care. If it could speak it would say “never mind the bollocks”.
The game makes extensive use of FMV cut-scenes. Are all of these new or were some of them kept from the original Dreamcast concept?
It’s more of a homage to the golden era of the Sega Mega CD
Why was the Xbox One chosen as the home for Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill?
The Xbox via its [email protected] program was a real opportunity to launch a first game. Throughout the development and before contacting Xbox we had enrolled in the creator program that could turn any xbox one into a dev kit. So we made Xbox comaptibility from the beginning of our development. When the project was accepted at [email protected] much of the adaptation work was done.
What was it like to work with [email protected] in publishing your game?
Very frankly, they are very present and available. They helped us a lot to integrate Xbox services. I learned a lot from them.
The Xbox One console is featured extensively throughout the game’s story, is it fair to assume that the game will remain exclusive to the platform?
We have requests to bring the game to other media. This will require an effort of adptation and as you say not only in terms of code. This is part of the game content that needs to be adapted. However, we have not signed any exclusivity. We like Xbox, that’s all.
Are there any plans for a limited physical edition release for Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill on Xbox One?
Really, will that interest you? We have no plans on this, but of course we would love that. I am myself a collector of video games. On the other hand, it must be recognized that the dematerialized has advantages. We do not have to worry about undistributed quantities and storage issues.
Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill plays like a classic arcade game and yet has a strong artistic presentation, do you consider video games to be art?
Obviously it can be art. We made no compromise on the content of the game by telling us: “No, we can not, it will not please” or on the contrary “it is imperative that we put this or that thing”. Thus, GC1KOK is faithful to what we could / wanted to reveal. I consider it my first piece of art as a video game developer.
The narrative in Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill is very mysterious and surreal, what is the main message you are trying to deliver to players?
Everyone will see the message he wants / can. I just wanted to tell a story like it came to me … but please, make love, not war.
The Xbox One console doesn’t often see experimental Japanese games, how does it feel to create such a unique title for Xbox?
I wanted to make a different game. I think that’s the case. I’m pretty proud of the result. Not perfect, but with at least as many qualities as defects. Is the audience on Xbox … the future will tell.
Will overGame Studio continue to develop for Xbox One and can you tell us more about your next project?
We have a lot of ideas for the future. Gaijin Charenji 2! But it will depend on sales. so please.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
Just one last word. While playing games and playing video games, there are kids who make the war in real life. Not to play. this bothered Studio overgame, so we decided to help them by donating 10% of the game’s revenue. This money will be donated to www.sosenfants.com. We can all do something to improve the world we live in.
Huge thanks go out to Youenn for spending the time to answer our questions and impart a bit more detail in terms of Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss of Kill on Xbox One.