Sushimageddon

First things first: Sushi Castle is a Binding of Isaac clone.

We totally acknowledge it, and there’s even a link on the game’s page that sends you to Binding of Isaac on Steam so that you can buy it. Our goal was to make a shorter game at a cheaper price, and we don’t think it competes directly with BoI at all, they’re on totally different levels.

We had the chance to work with an amateur artist for some months and we really wanted to play a game like BoI on the Xbox (that’s our main gaming platform), so we though it would be a great experience to make a similar game on it.  We think the results are really good being this his first game and doing the whole game from the ground up was a great experience for everyone involved.

We also love Binding of Isaac (and Super Meat Boy too, you can check our Gamerscores) and if you’re a PC gamer you should totally buy it, right now it’s on the Steam sales. Actually, doing this game has increased our respect for Binding of Isaac a lot.

Both Edmund and Florian did an awesome job and they took really smart decisions on a lot of things. For example character design and customization is done in a way that saves lots of frames of animation. We modified those parts in our game because we thought that they were unique on BoI, and we wanted to keep it that way.

TARGET AUDIENCE

We made this game for the people that can’t buy BoI or wants more of that kind of gameplay. There are kids that can’t play the game on PC (they don’t have Steam accounts), and also our game is way less disturbing than Isaac (I like Edmund’s twisted style, but it would be a little too much for a 10 year old to play, I think).

Furthermore, my main computer is a Core2Duo with an NVidia 9600GT and BoI runs fairly bad on it when there’s a lot on screen. It’s totally understandable because it’s a Flash game (and actually it runs well if you consider all that is going on at once sometimes), but we made a game that runs really fluid on the console (60 FPS most of the time), so it’s also an alternative for people that don’t have a PC powerful enough.

GAMEPLAY

We prefer to retain the feeling of the game and add our own modifications to the mechanics . For example, we had to use a dual stick control scheme, because on the Xbox we must use a gamepad, so we decided to remove the bullet inertia. It just felt weird with the dual stick controls.

By doing that the shooting becomes snappier and the battles are faster. The shooting angles were limited to eight, basically because the artist had to draw lots of frames of animation already, so we balanced the enemies and the gameplay in general to account for it.

Two of the bosses are really clones to bosses in BoI (the sumo guy and the samurai) but the other ten were completely designed from scratch. There can be some similarities on those, but they weren’t intentionate. The rest of the game is done in a similar way, many of the first level enemies are mostly clones of BoI, but later enemies aren’t.

The same is true for other things in the game: we started with some clone items to have the game up and running, to be able to test it as soon as possible, but then we added many items that weren’t copied. We also tweaked most things to balance the gameplay and smooth the difficulty curve (although it’s still a difficult game).

We also added some new types of rooms like night rooms or 8-bit rooms, and include improvements like showing the character stats on the main interface (to be able to compare the items’ effects on the player).

DLC PLANS AND PRICING

The DLC milestones are done using our sale estimates, and you can see we weren’t planning to become rich. In fact, we haven’t reached the first milestone yet. Also, all the “DLC” will be released as free updates to the game, as a way to thank the players for their support. It’s not the first time we do that, both Little Racers were enhanced with online modes after they reached a number of sales, but it’s the first time we show the updates on the game itself.

We received some comments demanding that we should have released Sushi Castle for free. You can afford that if you’re doing it as a hobby but we’re trying to make a living of developing games. We can’t even do that, it’s not possible to release free games on the XBLIG Marketplace.

In fact, there’ also people that asked us to increase the price of some of our games, that they we’re too cheap for what they offered. Sadly, we shouldn’t do that, because to be on the “Top Downloads” chart, your best bet is to sell the game at 80MSP ($1). In that case, we recommend people to buy some of our other games to support us.

THE NEAR FUTURE AND CONCLUSSION

Our future plans rely on Steam Greenlight, because our most beloved games (and the ones with more fans, judging by the player response) are sadly not our best selling titles on XBLIG. We have many ideas that we would like to try on new games (we have an internal wiki filled with stuff), but we also think we need more experience before tackling a big and risky project (always within the limits of a small studio).

Making games is our dream job, but we still have to pay the bills, so we don’t always get to do the games we would want to do. But we try really hard to make our games as fun and polished as we can. Because when the day is off and we arrive at home, we’re gamers just as everyone else.

As you might think, we would prefer to be releasing a completely original game each month, but it’s hard to keep a young company profitable here in Spain. Some persons even said that we should get killed for cloning games, or even worse. Please try to put youself in our shoes and hope that we get the chance to do more unique games, because we would love to.

Thanks for reading the whole thing!

  • Alan C says:

    Well argued, and I’m glad to say I’ve used many of these arguments in defence of my positive reviews of Sushi Castle.

    For the record, I’m not a fan of the night rooms but I do think the 8-bit rooms are a nice touch. Surprise themed rooms like those are one of the worthwhile innovations you’ve added over the basic formula.

  • Master Blud says:

    I feel that Sushi Castle plays differently than BoI. To be honest, BoI isn’t so original itself. People are only going by visuals nowadays to call out clones or ripoffs. Each game plays differently.

  • Chris says:

    Well said. I hope the haters chill out now. People always got to complain about something that has no effect on them. It seems to me every game nowadays takes an idea from another game anyhow. It’s how you improve on the original formula. I will be posting some ideas for the patch in the forums. And just like the above poster stated I love the 8 bit rooms. I also enjoy the night rooms as well. They can be challenging sometimes. Thanks for making this game.

  • Puzzlement Gum says:

    I’m happy you’ve come out and said it, but unfortunately that does not resolve the ultimate problem. The issue is that you have knowingly taken the mechanics of another game and are trying to pass it off as something of your own design without any creative consent from the original creators for profit.

    Now that you’ve admitted it, there’s no arguing it anymore.

    • srsgamer87 says:

      Quit being so dramatic.

      Binding of Isaac itself borrowed a lot from 2D Zelda games and rogue-likes.

      • Puzzlement Gum says:

        Yes, but BoI blended those elements in a unique and interesting way, along with a mix of some of they’re own original ideas.

        Sushi Castle admits to stealing it.

  • srsgamer87 says:

    I’m really enjoying Sushi Castle. Just ignore the trolls.

    Every game borrows from other games nowadays.

    I bought every single one of your games on xbox. I’m sorry to hear it’s not selling as well as on Steam, but please don’t let that discourage you. Myself and I’m sure many others don’t have a Steam account.

    Also, do you still plan on updating Red Invasion with achievements? That’d be cool.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

    • Soy1Bonus says:

      We can’t add achievements to a game on Xbox LIVE Indie Games. If it was an Xbox LIVE Arcade release we could do that, but on Indie Games it’s not possible (it’s a Microsoft policy).

    • WaaghMan says:

      Thank you for your support!

      We’re not thought about adding achievements to Red Invasion, that’s rather unlikely :\

  • murroak says:

    I love the game can’t wait for dlc hopefully you can bring it on android marketplace i never played boi. Glad you made this for Xbox

  • murroak says:

    Oh and need more everything different scenery and lots of weapons and combinations maybe a custom skin loadout hhhmmmmmm

  • John Roth says:

    So, there is no quelling the shit storm that is trolls, so stop trying to do that. People will attack you for whatever reason they can find, and unfortunately you have a HUGE target painted on your backs for making a game that’s similar to another game. There really is nothing wrong with what you’ve done. But people will attack you for it, because some people just need to feel better about themselves, and trash talking indie developers is sort of an easy thing to do.

    “Here community! Here is a game that me and my friend put our blood, sweat, and tears into!”
    “gam sux dik, be more original”
    “Oh… oh. I’m sorry. How can I improve it?”
    “u caant. kill urself.”

    Anyway, don’t let the community comments get to you. If it was up to them, video games would stagnant endlessly and never get better. I don’t know. Just don’t listen to it or let it bother you. Just keep making cool games, and keep making the games you like and that you’re interested in. It’s like comedy, the funniest comedians are the ones who do what they think is funny, who make themselves laugh. You can tell when they do their stand up they’re having fun because they’re telling the material they enjoy. And the comedians who’re trying to write what they think people will think is funny… end up being not that great.

    So don’t stop doing what you’re doing. Make a Dungeons of Dredmor like game next. I fuckin’ love that game!

  • Mad Mike says:

    I was just wondering if you’ve heard if Edmund Mcmillen or Florian Himsl have said anything about Sushi Castle. I bet if one of them came out and commented on, or approved the game or something like that, that might hold off the onslaught of trolls that aren’t smart enough to form an educated opinion and instead want to pigeon hole everything that they can’t understand or are too stupid to see the big picture.

    I personally Love both games. I bought Binding of Isaac back when it came out, and though I think that even though the overall gameplay concept of both games is the same, The games are unique enough in their own way that I never felt like I was playing the same game. Seeing as Binding of Isaac isn’t likely to get a console release any time soon, Sushi Castle should be considered an completely viable Alternative for Xbox owners.

    • John Roth says:

      It wouldn’t stop the trolls. It doesn’t matter. You just have to suck it up and ignore them. It’s really the only way.

  • Jason D says:

    Don’t care if it’s a “clone”. It’s a fun game that allows for a unique experience every time. Congratulations, gentlemen.

  • sushi bomb says:

    I love sushi castle! I hope dlc is in the works. How are sales going? Thanks for making a great game.