The BIT.TRIP titles have an old-school approach in many areas, from visuals to music and difficulty. What is it about retro titles that you wanted to create your own take on them?
"Retro games are what most of us at Gaijin grew up with so they are kind of the fabric which we are made from. When we were kids, games like Combat on the Atari 2600 were amazing because you could play them in your home; the downside was the graphics were not as comparable to the arcade machines of the same era.
"Our goal with the BIT.TRIP series was to recreate the feel and experience of a 2600, but to add modern sensibilities and give it some more depth."
What have been the biggest influences on the BIT.TRIP series?
"The game designs call influences from many retro and some semi-retro games and then alters them to fit into the BIT.TRIP world. Obviously Pong was a huge influence for BEAT but really all we took was a paddle that moves up and down and a dot.
"Pong is the simplest video game and by altering it to have a musical element and flowing movements seemed like a great thing to do. We also call on games like Pitfall, Gitaroo Man, Vib-Ribbon and Breakout.
"The art style was mostly influenced by the Atari 2600 but turned into a 3D world. BIT.TRIP RUNNER pulls a lot from Mario games."
The series are noted for telling a story through symbolism. What do you think games can offer when it comes to storytelling that other mediums can't?
"Video games in some ways are the ultimate form of media. The music can set a mood, whether this is excitement, gloom, joy or sadness. That alone is very powerful. When you add an interactivity to sound alone it opens up so many possibilities.
"I sometimes need to play games like Silent Hill with the sound off because that element is so powerful. Visuals are next in this formula and I would say colour can influence your emotions more powerfully then you might think.
"BIT.TRIP uses colour to convey happiness, loss, fear and safety. With gameplay we are able to interact with objects, solve puzzles or simply have fun. This produces a feeling of accomplishment and self-confidence (or hate and frustration as is the case with some BIT.TRIP games) but all are still very valid emotions.
"Lastly, there's control. Games that use the controller to mess with the player or have elements that bring the controller to the game are amazingly powerful. I will cite Psycho Mantis messing with your mind/controller, or more recently, God Of War 3's Poseidon death where you use R3 and L3 to gouge his eyes.
"When we mix all those elements we get a medium that has the potential to insight great emotion."
What are the advantages of having the games in 3D through the 3DS?
"Having the BIT.TRIP games in 3D just kinda made sense. We have a semi 2D foreground that holds the gameplay and the backgrounds are in full 3D. This has a really nice contrast and makes the gameplay pop."
Were there any challenges adopting the original games into 3DS, whether due to 3D screen or controls?
"We had some difficulty with the motion controls with BEAT and FLUX. We knew people would want them, the downside was when you move the device it would kill the 3D. I personally think playing with the stylus is the best way to play those two games."
Which was your personal favourite in the series, whether it was to develop for or how the end product came out?
"We totally loved working on RUNNER. It was really just a joyful work environment mixed with getting lost in the game when testing gameplay or assets. VOID would most likely be second. When we look at the final product that is VOID, it reads like an art piece in some ways. It's a great feeling to look at something you have made and get that emotional response."
Do you think you'll port any more BIT.TRIP games to PC and iOS?
"PC/Mac will be seeing the rest of the series (hopefully) this year. Look for CORE soon!"
BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2 sees a shift to XBLA and PSN. Why choose those particular platforms?
"We want to reach as many people as possible with Runner 2. XBLA and PSN are not only huge platforms with the horsepower to handle Runner 2, but also platforms where our games haven't yet been."
Can you tease what BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2 will be like? In what ways will it be a follow-up to Runner?
"We will have some new fun in Runner2, forshizzle! Some new features include checkpoints, branching paths, alliterative exits that lead you to different stages, unlockable clothes and characters, loop-de-loops and dancing! We also have a planned local multiplayer element."
It's recently been revealed that BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2 has been delayed to late 2012. Why is this?
"Unlike the original series we really want to spend time on Runner 2 and make it the game it needs to be. We made each original BIT.TRIP game in about three months for WiiWare.
"This was not an easy task and in some cases we had to scrap features we really wanted to hit our deadlines. Runner 2 is a chance for us to stretch our wings and really see what Gaijin can do if we have time to do a project that is a step up from what we have been doing."
> Read our review of BIT.TRIP Saga
> Win: Nintendo 3DS, Tritton Headphones with BIT.TRIP Saga
BIT.TRIP Complete and BIT.TRIP Saga are now available on Wii and 3DS worldwide.