NINTERVIEW BLOOBER TEAM Alongside our review of Observer in this month’s issue, I got the chance to speak with Bloober Team’s Rafal Basaj about the game’s themes, and the process of porting it onto the Switch platform.
Thanks very much for taking the time to talk with us! Can you perhaps talk a little bit about yourself? And whilst were Switch related, lets hear some of your favourite Nintendo games! Hello, my name is Rafal Basaj and I’m a Brand Manager at Bloober Team. I also worked as a Producer on both Layers of Interviewer Fear: Legacy and on Observer’s Nintendo Ethan Hunt @genericcoyote Switch version, so you might say I’m pretty close to Nintendo’s newest console. Favourite Nintendo games, as in throughout the history? Wow… umm this doesn’t in any means cover all of them, but I definitely have a sentiment for a few titles (they are also in no particular order): Bloober Team
Legend of Zelda: Windwaker – my favourite in the whole franchise, loved the aesthetics and the overall “chibi” feel of the game, it stirred a sense of adventure that brought me back to my very early teen years. Pokémon: Red – my first Pokémon game and still the most beloved for me. It was a very refreshing take on RPG games at the time. Eternal Darkness – I don’t think I need to explain this one. :) Somewhere in the top there are also: Donkey Kong (the original from Atari times), Pikmin, The World Ends With You, Ghost Trick: The Phantom Detective, Star Fox… sooo many good games that have made their way to Nintendo systems… On the Switch platform itself, we know that you have previously put layers of fear on the platform, and so have worked with it before, but what are your thoughts on the Switch hardware itself?
The first time I held it in my arms I fell in a nerdy love with it. I took it everywhere with me. I was pretty impressed by the games it could launch, so it wasn’t long when we decided to make Layers of Fear for it, as we knew the hardware would be able to handle the game. Switch is pretty powerful for a such a small device, it might not be a full replacement for a stationary console for many, but we hoped to prove those people wrong by launching Observer on it. The legendary Rutger Haeur trades Blade Runner's Tyrell corporation for Chiron in Observer, and as a cyberpunk game it's quite fitting. What are some of the influences for Observer and what was it like working with Rutger? Inspirations and influences are pretty easy to spot in Observer. Obviously one of the most obvious is Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (duh!), but we looked into almost everything classic for the genre, from Dick’s and Gibson’s books, through manga and anime (Ghost in the Shell, Akira), to films like Johnny Mnemonic or even Barbwire. We’ve added some Polish history, décor and architecture to the mix, while at the same time providing a lot of horror to fill up the recipe. When we reached out to Mr Hauer he quickly understood what we wanted to achieve with the game. He was hyped for the project and came to our offices to Krakow, to record his VOs. It was extremely educational as well as fun to work with him. To see how he worked with the script and gave life to Dan Lazarski was inspirational in itself.