8am, Friday June26th 2015 and I was packing up my car to head to one of my favorite conventions called TooManyGames in Oaks, PA (http://toomanygames.com). I have been excited for this con for many reasons.
First, it’s video game centric, which you don’t often see. Second, there are video game bands and chip tune masters like DJ Cutman, Brentalfloss, and Mega Ran performing throughout the weekend. Last, but certainly not least, the guests, vendors and artists like Adam Soltys of Asoltys Art Creations, co-creator of the Yea…Bout That… web comic and the “Zomiibo” mods. I attended this year in multiple capacities. One as a vendor/artist and also as Press for Gaming Age. There was a lot to see and the show was packed full of fans from the moment the doors opened at 2pm Fri until closing at 5pm Sunday.
The biggest surprise for me was the addition of Inti Creates, a Japanese video game development company formed by ex-Capcom staff in May 1996. They are best known for the creation of the Mega Man Zero and Advent series on various Nintendo portables over the years. Their most recent involvement includes their first self-published Azure Striker Gunvolt and Mighty Gunvolt as well as Kickstarter successes Mighty no 9 (in conjunction with Comcept) and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
Inti Creates were making their first North American Fan Event Appearance at TooManyGames and I had the pleasure to stop by and check out Mighty No. 9 and talk with International Coordinator for Inti Creates, Matt Papa. The show was pretty crazy and their booth was always booming, which was great to see, and they had a panel on Saturday afternoon as well as a signing for the fans after. I had the chance to talk a little with Matt and pick his brain on the convention, being a resident of New Jersey, and what it is like to be a part of Inti Creates:
Benny Rose: How was the TooManyGames experience for you and the team?
Matt Papa: It was fantastic! I went to my first Too Many Games five years ago, and to see how the event has grown and now being able to participate in it this way has been amazing. It was definitely a success for us, no doubt about that.
BR: Being a native of New Jersey, how did it feel to be close to home after living in Japan and Travelling to LA for E3?
MP: It felt amazing. People hate on Jersey a lot, but I love my former home to death, and always will. Getting to see friends and family was the highlight of the trip for me on a personal level. Having cheesesteaks, Italian hoagies, and pork roll again was pretty rad too.
BR: What do you do at Inti Creates?
MP: I’m the International Affairs Coordinator, which means I wear a lot of hats. In addition to being Inti’s sole window to the western world, I do everything from marketing and PR, to localization and translation.
BR: How long have you been in the industry, can you tell us how you came to work with Inti Creates?
MP: I’ve been at Inti Creates, which is my first industry job, since September of 2014. How I came to work here is a pretty long story, but I’ll tell you this much. The first link in the long chain of events that led to me working here was meeting Keiji Inafune on the show floor of New York Comic Con in 2010.
BR: Your team came to TMG with Azure Striker Gunvolt and Mighty no 9 both playable at the booth. What were some of the fans thoughts?
MP: The fan reception was overwhelmingly positive! It was so nice to get real feedback from people who can share their thoughts with you in real time.
BR: Were fans asking about Bloodstained at TMG? I saw someone in Cosplay as Gebel. That was cool to see.
MP: Absolutely, I mean, we kind of encouraged it with our big ole’ Bloodstained banner we had set up after all. It’s nice to see that people are so hyped for it!
BR: What is like to work with gaming veterans like Takuya Aizu and Koji Igarashi?
MP: It’s incredibly humbling and educational. These guys got to where they are by kicking ass at what they do, and I learn so much just by watching them do what they do best. They are also both very humble, down to earth, respectful, and genuinely kind guys. I couldn’t ask for a better boss in Aizu-san.
BR: What sort of challenges have you faced following in the footsteps of such iconic characters from Megaman and Castlevania?
MP: Both franchises have incredibly big, passionate fan bases, and you always want to make sure you meet or exceed their expectations.
BR: At the same time, how does it feel being part of two of the most successful gaming Kickstarters ever? I am sure Capcom and Konami have taken notice. (Mighty no 9 and Bloodstained.)
MP: It feels pretty awesome! I wasn’t around for the MN9 campaign, but being a part of the Bloodstained campaign was a fantastic learning experience for me. The whole team was a pleasure to work with.
BR: What are your thoughts on the whole Kickstarter trend of reclaiming franchises as spiritual successors and now even reviving existing franchises? Good? Bad? Healthy?
MP: I think anything that gives awesome creators the chance to bring their visions to life and make fans happy is a good thing.
BR: Going with this trend of spiritual successor style games. Is there any game franchise that you'd like to take on in a similar fashion?
MP: If I’m being selfish here, I would absolutely choose Final Fantasy Tactics. It’s my second favorite game of all time after Mega Man 2, and the tactical RPG genre could use an awesome new blockbuster.
BR: Other than Bloodstained, are you working on any titles you can speak about? Gunvolt 2? Gal*Gun in North America? I could've sworn I saw something at TMG.
MP: Currently we have the tail end of Mighty No. 9 development, Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, Gal*Gun 2 (currently slated for Japan only), Bloodstained, and of course, stuff that is still hush-hush.
BR: Lastly, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom for our readers?
MP: This is gonna sound reaaally cliché, but its true: If you have something you truly want to do with your career, absolutely do not give up on it. If you would have told me a year or two ago that I’d be working at Inti Creates, I would have said you were nuts. Keep at doing what you love, and you just might be surprised at the kinds of cool things that will happen.
It was an absolute pleasure to meet Matt at TooManyGames and everyone here at Gaming Age wishes the team continued success. I look forward to reviewing Mighty No. 9 when it releases Sept 15th 2015.
Update: It was announced that Mega Ran- rapper and chip tunes DJ is doing a collaboration with legendary Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae which will be featured during the credits of Mighty No. 9
Be sure to check out the following:
Inti Creates: http://inticreates.com
DJ Cutman: http://www.gamechops.com
Mega Ran: http://megaran.com
Asoltys Art Creations: http://www.yeaboutthat.com