That concludes our reddit AMA. Thank you to everyone for participating! We had a lot of fun answering your questions. If you have any more questions for us, please feel free to bring the conversation over to Twitter at @SPuppeteerGame.

Hello everyone! I’m Catharina Bøhler, CEO of Sarepta studio, the developer behind the award-winning local co-op adventure, Shadow Puppeteer. Being one of Nintendo’s “Nindies” has been an amazing experience and we’re looking forward to releasing Shadow Puppeteer to Wii U this Thursday, Jan. 28.

Joining me today for this AMA will be: Marianne: Project Manager/Producer (/u/Vaffeldamen) Stian: 2D Artist/Level Designer (/u/Equiliari) Anna Lena: 3D Artist/Level Designer (/u/lianaboff) Klas: Technical 3D Artist (/u/kissklas)

We’ll be answering questions from now, 1 p.m. ET, through 3 p.m. ET. If you have a question about Shadow Puppeteer’s dev process, the game itself, or anything else Shadow Puppeteer related, go for it!

My Proof: Here is a photo of us exhibiting as one of 15 Nindies in the Nintendo stand at EGX 2015:

Here is a photo of us today:

Comments: 187 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

onesteleft7 karma

If you were going to change the words of any popular song to be about Shadow Puppeteer what would it be AND WHY?

CathInShado6 karma

Puff the magic dragon, because it is just too sad. And the game does have a theme kind of inspired by being lonely

onesteleft5 karma

I'll field this question. The correct answer is Denmark's 2013 Eurovision Winning song: "Only Teardrops" by Emmelie de Forest. The song would be about the day Shadow Puppeteer comes out, and the refrain would be "PUPPETEER DROPS, PUPPETEER DROPS". At that point it writes itself.

CathInShado2 karma

You are so right!

IndieGameGirl6 karma

Where did the inspiration for Shadow Puppeteer come from?

CathInShado3 karma

The game’s concept grew from a fascination with the connection we share with our shadows, as well as what a shadow’s life might be like if it were a sentient being

Shadow Puppeteer actually started as a student entry in the “Dare to be Digital” contest at Abertay University.

IndieGameGirl3 karma

What is the Dare to be Digital contest?

CathInShado3 karma

It is a international game making contest primarily for students, :) You get 10 weeks to make a game.

CathInShado2 karma

I really reccomend any student interested in gave development to go for it. It is a great experience.

NintendoImpactGaming5 karma

Do you all have a weekly tradition? Eg. Get Pizza every Friday or something

CathInShado6 karma

We have a daily tradition: Morning stretch :)

We bring it everywhere with us. We will even get people to join in during this years Game Developers Conference in SanFran :3

CathInShado3 karma

We do also have something we call "friday fun" where we end the day an hour early and sit down to play games in the office livingroom

CathInShado2 karma

If you have any suggestions to games we can play during friday fun, let us know. (Pick a scary one, the guys here get so easily scared XD)

WriteLefty5 karma

Were you paid to say 'Nindies'?

kissklas6 karma

Hehe, nope, but it's kinda cute. We like it.

WriteLefty1 karma

Fair enough.

chazysciota-1 karma

I don't buy it for a second. They used it three times in the OP... it's in their contract for sure.

CathInShado1 karma

On no! They are onto us. Actually I feel kind of proud calling myself that. I have always been a Nintendo fan :)

Frodedal4 karma

Why does the player character have no mouth? Been wondering about this for a while now. :D

CathInShado5 karma

Well actually when the Boy was being designed, he was made without a mouth because we were still talking about what kind of style to give the mouth. Then we realised we really liked him without. And as we realised that this would be a "silent" game, it fitted in a cute way. :3

Frodedal3 karma

Some indie developers work too much and burn themselves out. What countermeasures did you guys have so that would not happen? And how was the average working hours for the team when developing Shadow Puppeteer?

kissklas2 karma

It was rough at times to begin with, but we quickly found out that it's way more effective to just balance it out. I mean, of course it's possible to survive a crunch once in a while. But spreading out the work, and taking breaks is important.

We try to keep the hours at 7,5 hours a day. Sometimes it does go a bit over that, but we try to aim for normal work days:)

CathInShado2 karma

I'm very strickt to sending people home at the end of the day. People get more productive when they are not dead tired. There have been some exceptions, but we try hard to keep our health.

Morning stretch, screen breaks and ending fridays early with "friday fun" are some measures. Also we make sure to have fun.

NintendoImpactGaming3 karma

Would it be possible to release Shadow Puppeteer as New 3DS Exclusive? Would work great with the 3D Depth I think :) Something I forgot to as you on our podcast :( haha

CathInShado2 karma

I agree that would be great. However we have no plans for the 3DS, sadly. It's all up to budget really.

NintendoImpactGaming3 karma

Are we getting exclusive Shadow Puppeteer amiibo or have I to make my own? ;)

kissklas3 karma

We haven't really thought about that. If you make one, we would love to see it!

CathInShado3 karma

And please make me one :3

Brynnjulf3 karma

What is the go to snack for Sarepta studio?

CathInShado2 karma

Super chips, salty

Brynnjulf1 karma

Great! Now I know what to bring next time I find myself in Game Collective ;)

CathInShado1 karma

Please do (and bring all the chips)

aqissiaq3 karma

I met some of you guys at SpillExpo last fall (Hi, /u/Vaffeldamen) and I have two questions:

  1. When designing Shadow Puppeteer, do you design the 2D or 3D platforming first? or both?

  2. Are any of you going to Norwegian Game Awards?

CathInShado3 karma

  1. Great question. We actually try to design them separately first.

  2. Probably :) I heard it will be amazing again this year

Aslakhol3 karma

Thank you guys so much for not releasing last night, I'm sick with a cold at the moment and only barely got myself to school, that never would have happened if it was the 28th.

Now for the question. Will you guys have any time to participate in the global game jam this weekend, or will you be all hands on deck with release?

kissklas1 karma

Aw, get well soon!

Yes there will be a few of us at least:) It is busy now with release, but we'll find time!

CathInShado2 karma

You should definitly stay in on thursday and make sure you get better ;) Some of us are actually helping arrange this year, It will be really spectacular with over 200 participants and visitors from Valve, Riot Games, Unity, Tobii and Microsoft. The best thing is that this guy will be on every persons chest (GGJ T-shirts)

Will you come join us? :)

Vaffeldamen1 karma

I love GGJ and have been fortunate enough to help organize it for the last couple of years. It is kind of "the event of the year" for me (not counting game releases of course), so I'll be there as much as possible. Get well soon, and hope to see you at GGJ. Speaking of which: What is your discipline? Art? Code? Sound? Footrubs?

Aslakhol1 karma

Production/team organisation with a small dose of coding and a smattering of everything else. Sadly I don't think I'll be able to make it for GGJ this year.

Vaffeldamen1 karma

Those are good skills to have. I am sorry to hear that you won't be joining us this year. But you know, one of the benefits of an annual event is that you can join in next year:) Hope to see you then!

Aslakhol1 karma


CathInShado1 karma

We will probably post a lot, and stream :)

Hophop2412 karma

I've always wanted to learn more about shadows...Clearly, you are experts on shadows...So, here is my question: Different times of day produce different shadows. In addition, shadows are different based on gps coordinates and time of year. Assuming perfect conditions, you are at the equator and it is a sunny day (maybe with only a few clouds), at what time of day would you say the best shadow is cast? Things to think about, obviously are the length and contrast of the shadow (in addition to any others I might be missing).

CathInShado2 karma

Probably around 7pm spring

Espenask2 karma

How long was Shadow Puppeteer in development for?

CathInShado2 karma

On and off for approx 5 years. There has been a lot of breaks and iterations throughout development.

akiraunreal2 karma

Did you played any other Nindie game while the development of SP?

kissklas2 karma

I can't say I have personally. Can you recommend any? Maybe we could get a few of them for the office:)

akiraunreal3 karma

I'm playing Runbow right now. It is a great game and is really fun to play with friends and family. Up to 9 players can play and it have many characters from others indies like Mutant Mudds, Steam World Dig, The Fall, Azure Strike Gunvolt (3DS only) and many more. Maybe in the future we can see The Boy in there too or in a new indie collaboration.

CathInShado1 karma

I Actually think the Hamar GAme Collective (Game collective we are in) were interested in creating a brawler with all our characters. So: Shadow Puppeteer, Amphora, Among the Sleep, Manual Samuel, Corroded and Klang. :D

IndieGameGirl2 karma

What do you think makes Shadow Puppeteer different from other local co-op games?

CathInShado3 karma

Well, this is a bit of a difficult question. There are so many great local co-op games out there. We wanted to focus on the balanced play between two characters where both players feel equally important.

I believe we manage to use the play between 2D and 3D to emphasise this. Not only do the characters have different strengths but the players will see things differently. In that way they actually end up with their own individual strengths too :)

CathInShado1 karma

It's really about two people having fun though, and experiencing something together. Do you have any good memories of shared gaming experience?

JellyTom2 karma

Best interview you have ever done? (There is certainly a correct answer here :P)

NintendoImpactGaming3 karma

Was obviously with me! :P lol

Vaffeldamen2 karma

Indeed! THIS WEEK'S favourite was of course: Always fun to be on podcasts. A bit more relaxing than having a camera in your face.

(this "playing favourites" thing is a dangerous game, like walking on egg shells)

But we also loved Alex from NintendoLife and his EGX interview: It was adorable how he tried SO hard to get my name right. Check out those final seconds^

CathInShado1 karma

We will love whoever visits our office first, the most. Must warn you, it is dangerous to go here in winter XD

Hophop2412 karma

Why did you decide to launch on the Wii U?

CathInShado3 karma

Since Shadow Puppeteer is a co-op game, we have always felt it was better suited for console. And, because Wii U was built for co-op experiences, we really feel like it is the most ideal fit.

Some of us are also old nintendo fans, so I think that helped a bit ;) A lot of us played Mario and Zelda growing up.

Hophop2412 karma

Your artwork resembles that of Tim Burton. I'm curious if his work is an inspiration of yours, or if it just kind of happened to be similar?

CathInShado1 karma

The team has changed a bit over the years and so the style has been experimented with. Still, we have always had one guiding sentence for the style and feel, building on the setting and story: “Gloomy, cartoony, with a twist of weird”.

So it is a bit of a coincidence, but then again we have been formed by popular culture and the styles we like :) And we are fans of Tim Burton

RedditTrollin2 karma

Why did you wait until I got rid of my WiiU to start releasing indie games? I had it for almost 2 years and the market was horrible. Now I have to play recycled STEAM games, not that I dislike STEAM. Was it Nintendo not accepting games on their market because of platform differences?

CathInShado1 karma

Aw that is too bad. You can get Shadow Puppeteer on Steam though. I do reccomend playing it with controllers :)

JellyTom1 karma

Any plans for a 3DS version? Could make a good co-op game :)

CathInShado1 karma

Unfortunately no, not at this moment.

akiraunreal1 karma

SP will have Miiverse support?

CathInShado1 karma

No, we will not have Miiverse support.

JamiesWhiteShirt1 karma

Are you involved with any of the organizations in the Norwegian games industry?

CathInShado3 karma

Some of us are. Like we are part of the Hamar Game Collective, a game collective for developers locally. This is a group of amazing devs and we band together to do stuff like Global Game Jam, and set up tech we can all use.

I am also the board leader of the Norwegian Game Makers Guild. A volunteer organization that focuses on helping the Norwegian game industry.

It's really interesting to be seing what is happening in Norway. I encourage everyone to contact the Guild and the Collective if you are interested in the Norwegian Game dev scene

Redd_it_11 karma

I saw a vid on Youtube showing lots of slowdown with Shadow Puppeteer. Your response?

Equiliari2 karma

We have seen the video.

There are issues when you install the game on an external disk.

It makes it heavier for the Wii U to run it.

We will look into it in a future patch so that you may play the game in any way you want.

CathInShado1 karma

Until then we recommend playing it directly on the Wii U, to avoid any slowdowns.

titandrop231 karma

If you were to review your game 1-10, in all seriousness what would you give it?

kissklas2 karma

Ooooh, that is a hard one.

All considering, I would probably say 7.

I am so proud of what we have achieved, but I know that we could make so much more cool stuff for it, given the time and budget!

titandrop232 karma

I'm sorry for putting you on the spot, and I honestly didn't think you'd reply to that, but thank you and I'm sure you're underselling it. You're awesome.

CathInShado2 karma

It is really difficult to rate your own work i feel. There is always so much you want to do. That is when it helps to get feedback from others :)

Although we are Norwegians, so we get a bit weird when praised XP

titandrop231 karma

A question for the level designers: what made you want this job? What kind of training did you go through? Are you a fan of littlebigplanet? Other level creating games? And is this what you love and want to do for the rest of your lifes?

CathInShado2 karma

As we are a Indie studio, none of us are "just" level designers. We have CEO/Level designer, Art director/level designer and 3D tech/level designer. All of us studied different things, but we went to the same school and had some of the same courses.

A lot of us are fans of Little Big Planet :) Super Mario Maker is also pretty fun.

Being a game dev is pretty heavy work, but this really is what makes the world turn for us. At least, myself I would never be able to do anythig else TBH.

kissklas1 karma

Haha, yeah. The "+ +" behind my title in the picture on our AMA post involves level design as well as other things:p

CathInShado1 karma

Hehe, yup. More skills are needed ;) What are you working on?

akiraunreal1 karma

How many languages are available in SP?

kissklas1 karma

English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Norwegian, Neo-Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Portuguese. I think that was all of them!

CathInShado1 karma

Which language would be your favorite? Any languages you are missing?

JellyTom1 karma

How similar is this release to the one I can buy on Steam?

lianaboff1 karma

The game will be similar to the Steam version and there will not be any Wii U-exclusive features.

JellyTom1 karma

Do you feel this game is more suited to WiiU than the PC?

kissklas2 karma

I personally think so. The game fits the WiiU platform well in both style and the way it plays. Also, it's made for controllers, and local co-op.

Then again, If you have 2 gamepads for the PC it's pretty much the same there:)

CathInShado1 karma

Except that using the Wii U GamePad actually is more comfy, in my opinion _^

CathInShado1 karma

But the game plays a lot better with controllers, in the livingroom with someone close to you :)