First off I’d like to thank the devs for taking the time to answer some of my questions about Deadpool, a great NES (Homebrew/rom hack I’m not sure what the best description would be so please correct me on that) that uses Ninja Gaiden as the base.
I’d like to thank Twin0mega for answering my questions and giving me some insights for my upcoming video and to Retroslam for answering the questions for this interview.
Would you like to introduce the team to my readers and give us a little insight into what Deadpool for the NES is?
Techmoon the development team is a major joint collaboration and cohort featuring many talented artists, programmers, testers and promoters.
Nio, the founder of the project did in game sprite and cut scene artwork, level design, concept art for packaging and Spanish translation.
DangerX did programing, stage layouts and design, feature design, concepts and Romanian translation.
Darkmoon did major programing, re-coded the game in hex, adding new values and features, coded our original utilities to edit the game.
I Retroslam, focused on art direction, did some sprite work, wrote the game script, composed about 80% of the original game soundtrack and did the ports of the game for other consoles. Other music hackers include
Woodman, FCandChill and Dr. Floppy who did the major George Michael, DMX and Wiz Khalifa covers.
Sorin-Kun who did sprite work, other character designs and Romanian translations.
Twin0mega was responsible for some quality control changes, press releases, and promotion.
Our valued game testers include Hayabusa, HarlemHero and Dreadpenguin who put countless hours into bug testing the game, tested ports on various physical consoles and giving the team valuable feedback.
Christophe “Lord of The logos” Szpajdel who did the Techmoon logo and branding.
ThisRoomIsAnIllusion for publishing the title onto NES and GBA carts. We also want to thank the Ninja Gaiden speedrun community for beta testing the title and everyone who helped translate the game into many languages.
What made you chose Ninja Gaiden as the base game as opposed to other similar games on the console?
The founding developer of the project Nio chose Ninja Gaiden as a base because it just suits the feel of the Deadpool lore. The weapon, attack system and the cut scenes were perfect in capturing a motion comic aesthetic. It just felt like a perfect fit to the team from the start and it evolved into its own thing.
It’s quite evident that this wasn’t just a palette/model swap as we have seen in other games; this truly feels like a brand new game. What made you decide to add so much to the game?
As retro gamers, fans of comic books and Deadpool we wanted to push the NES and romhacking to its limits. Give retro NES gamers a 2019 indie experience on the 1985 console. We all felt that a simple reskin is just lazy, so we wanted to set the bar very high for romhacking. I felt that we should expand the game to every platform possible so I decided to port the title to the GBA, PS1, Dreamcast, 3DS, PSP, N64 and Mobile so everyone could experience this game on their preferred hardware of choice.
I love how you captured Wade’s humour perfectly; there are so many great lines. Are there any that stand out to you, or any that you had to cut during development?
Writing the script for Deadpool, I felt I had to become the character by adding some of my own humor while staying true to the comic book and movie source material. I love storytelling and I was inspired by the “Death of Deadpool” series and the entire “Deadpool, Lady Death and Thanos love triangle” lore because it has it all – Love, Drama, Comedy and Tragedy. I wanted to put my spin and twist on this tale instead of trying to recreate the storyline of the first 2 live action movies. One of my favorite lines is the “this game took longer to drop than Duke Nukem Forever” line. The ending scene is my personal favorite. Without spoiling too much the music, atmosphere and final line will give players a sense of accomplishment. If anything was dropped, it was to conserve text space and to tighten up the Script’s flow. I reworked the script a few times because I didn’t want it to come off as cringy and to best fit the NES format. I just wish I would have added a line based on Ant-Man going up Thanos memes.
The inclusion of Easter Eggs like having other Super Heroes to fight against was one of the best features to me. I love when games/movies reference each other. Who came up with the decision to include them or was it a team effort?
The Easter Eggs were a team effort; we all pitched in and tried to use up every single graphical tile in the game’s data bank. DangerX added sprites of his favorite NES games and pushed for hidden features, stages and bosses. Nio added DC comic book characters since at the time there was that whole DC movie universe VS the Marvel movie universe rivalry going on. I added Easter eggs as well from the movies, references to Ryan Reynolds, the Ajax drawing from the first movie, etc… The whole team just had fun adding little nods to much pop culture, comic book, gaming references here and there.
I know there was some controversy around the game when one of the guys behind the scenes who you mentioned ‘did jack sh*t’ when it came to developing the game tried to sell your hard work for profit. Did this influence your decision on making the rom available for free or was this something you were planning to do anyway?
Oh boy the controversy lol. We always planned to give away the game for free. We did this as a passion project and not for the money or anything like that. For those wondering we didn’t even receive money from the official carts our repromaker made. It’s more of a “our repromaker broke even, it’s for the fans that want a physical premium cart” type of thing. What did bother us at the time was the fact that people would be playing an inferior product, an unfinished beta game and the credit would go to someone else who didn’t deserve it. The disrespect towards the team’s hard work is unacceptable to me. It was about principle at that point. We strived for perfection on this title. As a dev team we aimed the game to be released the same day as Deadpool 2 but we felt the game was unfinished so we extended development. This game was to be released when the whole team all agreed it’s 100% done.
With such a polished release I can only hope you are continuing to develop more games for the retro consoles. Is there anything you’re working on a the minute you can talk about?
We were playing with a few concepts and themes for the next title. If this new title happens it will be 100% original, no romhacking, a brand new Techmoon original exclusive. Hopefully plans will come to fruition and we will get the ball rolling soon. I personally composed a few musical tracks to capture a conceptual atmosphere for the next possible title, trying to get a few friends of mine who are game designers to jump on the Techmoon team. DangerX and Sorin-Kun were programing and testing for modern gaming engines. At this point this is brainstorming and experimenting with media that will suit the next title.None of this is concrete so take it with a grain of salt, however once we get started we will announce our new title publically on our facebook page and other social media.
A question I like to ask everyone I interview, what tips do you have for a beginner looking to get into game development like this?
My advice for anyone getting into game development is to just do it. If it’s your dream to create games or entertainment… go for it. Romhacking, playing with Unity, Game Maker, etc… Start creating and learning. Do not get discouraged nor shy away from a project. Most importantly finish what you started. It will be long hours of hard work but holding a finished product is very rewarding. Don’t be afraid of failure because it’s all trial and error which is part of the learning process. Don’t be afraid to network and connect with other people who can possibly help you or help introduce you to people who can help you. Haha, we may not work for EA or Bethesda but having support from the retro gaming community and having James Rolfe and Mike Matei play our title is the biggest compliment and accomplishment to our team. This is just advice I apply to everything I pursue in life. Hard work, patience and perseverance go a long way.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention that you haven’t already covered?
Deadpool is a hybrid of a rom hack and a homebrew nes title. I would like to consider it a standalone game that runs on the Ninja Gaiden 1 engine. The title’s code is heavily modified and will not run on NG utilities like Ninjax. In fact one of our developers, Darkmoon made many of the game’s custom utilities like stage, enemy placement, hit detection and cut scene editors from scratch on C++ for the team to use.
Once again I’d like to thank the team for taking the time to speak to me, there’s so much in depth information here and I have some more information to include in my ‘History of Deadpool’ video as well. I’ll link it here when it’s uploaded as well. And most of all thank you for reading!