Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This? Q&A

Producer Masami Yamamoto gives us the background info on this wacky PlayStation Portable game.

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If you haven't had a chance yet, the demo of Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This? is available on the PlayStation Network. The game is scheduled to come out on July 16, and NIS America recently announced that it would be a downloadable-only release. We've had the opportunity to play this hilarious and quirky game, but we wanted to know a bit more about the origins of the evil overlord and how this crazy idea for a game came about. Masami Yamamoto, the producer of Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This? offered to answer some of our questions through a translated e-mail interview.

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GameSpot: How did the idea of the game originate?

Masami Yamamoto: Talks about a small, casual game like Badman came up during our discussion with the director of a ninja action game called Tenchu. After spending an enormous amount of time (which occurred over only one week), we finally came up with the idea of our "ecosystem."

GS: So what can you tell us about the story of the game?

MY: There is no real story at all! The player simply has to defeat the heroes that try to come and capture the overlord, so if the players could imagine their own stories to go along with it, that would be great. This was actually one of Badman's game concepts--not to force a random story onto the players. Interestingly, in Japan, players are posting their own stories on the official Badman forums.

GS: The evil overlord is one feisty and funny guy. What is his story? How did he come about?

MY: Originally, Badman wasn't a really comical character. He would just explain the game system and tutorial in a serious way, but as the deadline for game development got closer, the writer was getting less and less sleep, which affected his writing (in a good way!). Since then, the writer has started talking like the idiotic Badman, so we gave him an extended vacation.

GS: The gameplay is so simple yet there's so much more than just digging dungeons. How did you come up with the idea of a food chain within the dungeon?

MY: The director and I were discussing how we would love to make a simple yet intuitive game like Tower Defense, and that's when the key word "ecosystem" came up. Schools in Japan used to have small ponds with frogs and dragonflies so that kids could observe and study these small creatures. However, there are much less of these locations now, so we thought it would be nice if people could sort of check out the circle of life by playing the game.

GS: Despite the simple gameplay, the difficulty is ramps up quickly, especially with no save points in the Story mode. How do you determine the game's difficulty? Do you worry about scaring away gamers who are used to games that have frequent save points now?

MY: For the difficulty of the game, we deliberately made it hard. These days you can get walk-throughs or cheat codes through Google instantaneously, so we wanted players to figure out on their own how to beat the stages. Badman doesn't have a preset walk-through, so by setting the difficulty high, we hoped to have players discuss with each other how to beat it. When I was defeated by the three heroes, I wanted to throw the PSP against the wall, but I didn't want to pay for a new one, so I didn't do it.

The 8-bit cast.
The 8-bit cast.

GS: The art style is like a throwback to 8-bit gaming. What was the decision behind the look of the game?

MY: In a time where 3D is king, we seriously discussed what style of graphics people would cheer for. In Japan, the classic 8-bit graphics are popular amongst girls, and that style has been used in a bunch of TV commercials, so we said "Let's go with this!" However, after the release, there are no numbers to tell us that we got the "lots of girls" that we were expecting.

GS: Tell us about the music. How did you come up with something to fit this type of game?

MY: When my child was entering elementary school, the second graders welcomed us by playing a musical instrument called a recorder (which is like a flute). I remember the musical tune played by 60 students sounding so great that I just knew this stripped-down music would be perfect for our 8-bit graphics. And I was certain that I would get more girls with that! So we decided to use this kind of simple but catchy music. Although I have to say we didn't get any more girls after the game's release...

GS: Did the game turn out the way you expected it to? Anything you would have done differently?

MY: Within the short amount of development time, I think Badman came out to be what we wanted to create. If I could change something, I would've made a main character called something like Snake. And I would make this game a first-person shooter game and shoot for a million-seller!

GS: There's always next time. Thank you for answering our questions!

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