An Interview With the Developers of Earth Atlantis
One of the most intriguing upcoming Switch games shown at the recent Nindies showcase was Earth Atlantis, a side-scrolling shooter from Pixel Perfex set in an underwater world.
After seeing the trailer, we got in touch with the developer to learn more about the game and spoke with Anucha Aribarg, the director and designer of Earth Atlantis.
Earth Atlantis is a side-scrolling shooter that combines arcade-style shooting with “Metroidvania” exploration elements, along with a focus on defeating large enemies in an underwater world. That’s an interesting combination. What were your greatest inspirations for the premise and gameplay?
We really like side-scrolling shmups. We played all the classic shooters (Gradius, Paridius, and R-Type). Unfortunately, this genre is dying. That was why we created this game. Also, we always feel that “boss battles” are the most enjoyable part of a shooting game (probably all action games). That’s why Earth Atlantis is all about boss battles. We want to focus on the best part of this type of game.
Regarding the “Metroidvania” element, Earth Atlantis is about an ocean adventure, so we tried to give players a sense of freedom. Also, just like most gamers nowadays, we like non-linear games, which is why we designed the game level this way.
Did anything in particular draw you to the Switch as a platform for Earth Atlantis? Will it make use of any of the Switch’s special features, such as HD Rumble?
Earth Atlantis uses the HD Rumble feature, but personally, I love the fact that players can play the Switch on both handheld and home console modes. Recently, I heard that most people play the Switch on TV. Personally, I don’t. That’s why the Switch is so good.
The first thing we noticed about Earth Atlantis is its art style. It has a unique, hand-drawn graphics style that really makes it stand out. What made you pick this style for your game?
People may think that the art style is just a gimmick or the developer uses this style just because it looks different. Actually, it’s a lot more than that.
The art style and the themes are the core ideas of the game. Our team wanted to make the game about sea monsters that gives players the feeling of 14th century ocean exploration – when the sea was considered a very dangerous place and full of terrifying monsters. We were inspired by Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and old monster films. The old drawing style is the perfect choice.
We will never make this game differently. I can tell you it’s much easier to make a typical color game.
According to the game’s description, the player is one of the survivors of a catastrophe that put 96% of the world underwater. Will there be a story to follow, or will most of the focus be on defeating enemies?
Since we tried to give this game a “retro” feeling – with a very brief story and dialogue, players will not know much about ”the lore” behind everything. That’s intentional. You only know that you are “a hunter” and it’s your mission to search and hunt down all monsters. Just read a short-story introduction and go right to the action!!
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about Earth Atlantis?
We believe that it’s very important to deliver something that is unique and interesting. We want to give player a new experience. That’s why we created the game this way.
We are fully aware that the art style and the genre (side-scrolling shmup) of this game are not for everyone. Shmups are obviously known for being very hard. However, Earth Atlantis is not a hardcore game. We make this game for everyone to enjoy and hope people will give it a try.
We’re happy we had this chance to speak with the director of Earth Atlantis, a unique side-scrolling shooter coming to the Switch this fall. What are your thoughts on Earth Atlantis?