Furi is an upcoming all-boss fight, bullet hell, over-the-top action game featuring characters created by Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai) and an intense soundtrack with musicians such as Carpenter Brut.
I stumbled upon the ten minute long boss fight trailer for Furi a few days ago. I was thoroughly impressed with the intense game play, as well as the music that was featured in the trailer. So much in fact that I reached out to The Game Bakers (The team behind Furi) for a quick interview.
DMH: How long has the team been working on Furi? What were some of the challenges that the team faced when in development?
TGB: The game has been in development for two years. Once we had the concept with Takashi, Anthony and Carpenter Brut on board, a lot of the usual challenges dropped. With such a dream team, a lot of things became easier. However, working with a team of 20 people all around the world is not a piece of cake. Our studio is located in south of France but most of the team is working remotely. The team is spread across 13 cities and 3 continents! It requires a lot of effort in communication.
DMH: What were some of the teams influences when making Furi?
The Game Bakers: The were multiple influences, from Greek mythology to movies like The Duelists (Ridley Scott) or Old Boy (Park Chan Wok). Furi is most of all about duels. Two relatable opponents fight each other for a reason. Gameplay wise, I loved these boss fights in games like Metal Gear Solid, No More Heroes or God Hand, where you fight an opponent that is a cool looking character that you can identify with.
DMH: I’ve noticed that there is a Quick Time Event in the boss trailer. How do you feel about using them? And how many can we expect to see from each boss?
TGB: The problem in games about QTE is not the QTE itself, it’s how it is used. When you are prompted to press a random button without warning and you fail to do the input, it’s not really fun. There’s nothing interesting in reacting to a random prompt. In Furi, the QTE are always the same, and it’s always used to represent a close combat struggle with the opponent. the enemy grabs you and you need to free yourself by wiggling the sticks. There is no reflex, no random, no surprise. It’s just a way to make the combat physical for the player, just for an instant.
DMH: The soundtrack so far is phenomenal. Carpenter Brut is a fantastic musician. Who else can we expect to see on the game's soundtrack?
TGB: This will be revealed soon, but I agree, Carpenter Brut is incredible, and the soundtrack will be as well.
DMH: Was there any other genre of music that the team was looking at for the soundtrack? If so, what was the deciding factor for choosing Techno?
TGB: We always wanted a music genre that provides adrenaline and fits the fast pace of our game play. This electro soundtrack was decided upon early on. It’s the music I listen to get pumped up when I work late or when I do sports to get a last boost of energy. It fits really well with the idea of a fast paced gun & sword duel.
DMH: What was it like working with Takashi Okazaki?
TGB: Takashi-san is an incredible artist and a super nice guy. It was a pleasure to work with him. It was always a great surprise to see mail from him in my mailbox, especially with an attachment. I would open it like I unwrap a Christmas present and discover a new character for the game! Such a great feeling.
DMH: Did Takashi-san create only the characters? Or did he help with the art direction as well?
TGB: He created the characters, helped with some of the environments and for some elements of the story as well. He is very open minded and is very cultured, so it was always interesting to get his opinion on the game’s content. But, most of the art direction in the game was handled by our key artist Anthony Beyer. They made a great team!
DMH: Will Furi have different difficulties or modifiers that could make the game even more challenging? (No healing, bosses hit harder, etc.)
TGB: There is “Promenade” mode, a very easy mode for those who want to enjoy the universe and the story without the combat challenge. There is also a “Furier” mode, a hard mode with completely different patterns, timings, and defenses. It’s not only the damage that's boosted, it’s a completely new challenge.
DMH: How many bosses can we expect to face in Furi? And is there any plans for DLC bosses?
TGB: That’s a secret. Revealing the number of bosses would be spoiling too much of the fun found in discovering them one by one. We have no plans for DLC at the moment.
DMH: Benjamin Le Moullec makes fighting that sniper women look easy in the boss trailer. How much time did he have to practice against her, and why did he choose that specific encounter?
TGB: We chose that encounter because, well we had to choose one! Also because I think it’s an interesting one as it’s very varied. Long range combat, flying drones, snipping, close combat, there’s a bit of everything in this fight, and I love this cyber-cammo-sniper character as well. Benjamin is a very skilled player. He plays a lot of competitive games like Street Fighter or Super Smash Bros. As the combat designer on Furi, he is the most trained player there is at the moment! To record this almost flawless run, he did about ten runs I think.
DMH: Are there any plans for Furi to come to the Xbox or WiiU?
TGB: There is no such plan at the moment, but that would make me very happy if we could make that happen!
DMH: On a scale of Hard to Dark Souls, how difficult can we expect Furi to be?
TGB: The difficulty of Furi is different than Dark Souls; it’s less punitive but requires more skill. But in order to throw a number out there, I’d say the normal mode is probably 70% Dark Souls hard. (Says the guy who’s been playing the same game for two years and has literally no objectivity.)
I would like to sincerely thank the team over at The Game Bakers for taking the time to answer my questions. Furi is scheduled for a release some time this year (2016) on PS4 and PC.