FOX n FORESTS – The Switch Island Interview
FOX n FORESTS is a stunning 16-bit side-scrolling platform video game developed by German studio Bonus Level Entertainment. I took time to sit down with game director and studio co-founder Rupert Ochsner to discuss indie gaming and why the Nintendo Switch is the new platform of choice for so many.
Q: Hi Rupert, welcome to Switch Island, could you possibly start by telling us a bit about yourself and Bonus Level Entertainment?
A: Thank you for having me! I grew up playing Super Famicom (SNES) and since then has been my dream to create my own 16bit action platformer one day. After working in the games industry for over 10 years, I finally had the idea for a platformer with a season switch mechanic and FOX n FORESTS was born. Then I founded Bonus Level Entertainment together with Holger, CEO of Independent Arts Software, the co-development partner for FOX n FORESTS. The game was partly funded over Kickstarter, so a big thank you to all the backers out there, supporting indie game development.
Q: Many studios report very strong sales on Nintendo Switch when compared to other systems. I recently read on http://gamesindustry.biz that FOX n FORESTS was selling extremely well on the platform. Is the game still living up to the initial strong sales period?
A: It is true that the Nintendo Switch is our strongest platform but it would be a lie to say that I am 100% satisfied with the sales. A lot of hard work and passion went into the creation of FOX n FORESTS and I do hope that the total sales will go up more in order to enable us to create more cool games.
Q: Why do you believe Indie games are so at home on the Nintendo Switch?
A: First of all, I think that the Switch is a great platform and many Nintendo fans seem to have a heart for creative, nostalgic and fresh indie games. Furthermore, especially handheld mode is perfect for smaller titles as they usually do not take so many hours to finish and are therefore great to play on the go or during lunchbreak.
Q: What Nintendo games played a part in inspiring FOX n FORESTS?
A: Super Nintendo titles such as Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts and ActRasier 2 as well as games developed by Nintendo like A Link To The Past or Super Metroid were a good source of inspiration when designing FOX n FORESTS.
Q: The collector’s edition with Strictly Limited Games is a real beauty, what made you work with the team to bring the game to physical?
A: The whole cooperation with Strictly Limited Games was brilliant and I’m so happy with the quality of the collector’s edition as well as the smooth workflow, social media support and positive vibe. It actually all started at Gamescom 2017 when Strictly Limited Games saw and played the demo of FOX n FORESTS on the Indie Arena Booth. They immediately fell in love with the pixel art of Lead Artist Michael.
Q: What does the future hold for Bonus Level Entertainment, can we expect to see future titles on the Nintendo Switch?
A: I really hope so! Art the moment I am working on the concept for a new game which is financially supported by the amazing FFF Bayern. It will be pixel art style, feature playable creatures such as a werewolf or a gargoyle and deal with the topic of the seven deadly sins. Prepare yourself for something rather unsettling *muagahahaha*
Q: Rupert, it’s been brilliant talking about FOX n FORESTS, and I thank you for choosing to preserve the game in a physical format. Before we go could I ask what has been your favorite Switch game released so far?
A: That is easy: Octopath Traveler! A pure masterpiece and in my view the best JRPG since Final Fantasy 6 and Dragon Quest 8.
Interview with Bonus Level Entertainment
Interview by @Morfid_Plays
FOX n FORESTS is available now on Nintendo Switch for £17.99