Old School Gamer chats with Choice Provisions Mike Roush, Co-Founder and Alex Neuse, Co-Founder, who discuss the hotly anticipated retro-indie Bit.Trip ReRunner.
About Bit.Trip ReRunner:
The original rhythm platformer is back with new mechanics, trippy visuals, and a KILLER soundtrack. The new installment includes RUNNER MAKER, a powerful level editor that allows players to create and share ever more challenging custom levels. With RUNNER MAKER, it’s dead easy to fine-tune obstacles and shape beat-driven gameplay to stun fellow runners everywhere – newbies and BIT.TRIP veterans alike.
Whether players enjoy the pre-designed levels in BIT.TRIP RERUNNER or venture into the user-generated content of RUNNER MAKER, the combination of rhythmic gameplay, retro visuals, and an infectious chiptune soundtrack delivers an unforgettable gaming experience. BIT.TRIP RERUNNER tests players’ reflexes and rewards their creativity – with tasteful nods to the games that started it all!
Old School Gamer Magazine: How does it feel to be working with the BIT.TRIP franchise again?
Mike Roush: It has been absolutely amazing. We got back to our roots, and it caught us off guard a bit. Working on a BIT.TRIP game has been like hanging out with an old friend. We also had a chance to reflect on our 15 years as an independent studio in the industry. We have done a lot of cool things over the years, but BIT.TRIP has always been the building block that made us.
Old School Gamer Magazine: Why do you think this series deserved the visual upgrade?
Alex Neuse: Over the years, we have chatted about making RUNNER with this upgraded style – sort of a hybrid of RUNNER and Runner2. Fans have requested a RUNNER 1.5, and what we have in BIT.TRIP RERUNNER is a great mix of the two. This visual upgrade boosts RERUNNER’s production values and also makes the world feel deeper and richer.
Old School Gamer Magazine: How does it make BIT.TRIP feel new?
Roush: We have worked very hard to add a feeling of newness and freshness to RERUNNER, with the mandate that it still needs to feel like the original BIT.TRIP RUNNER. The whole game was made new from the ground up. There is, of course, the visual style that has been changed. However, we have added a whole new adventure, which is the main campaign. We have added some features to make the game easier OR harder – which we believe will help the player find the skill level that best fits their play type. We have also introduced checkpoints: they are on by default but can be toggled as desired. There is also the introduction of RUNNER MAKER, which is AMAZING! We cannot wait to see what people make. And lastly, we have the Community Zone. It’s a neat little meta experience and social hub.
The music, of course, has been fully remixed by Stemage. And we have added EP levels with songs from the original six BIT.TRIP games, Runner2, and Runner3. And of course, you can unlock and play the original BIT.TRIP RUNNER!
Old School Gamer Magazine: What are the hopes for this version?
Neuse: We really hope we can get enough people behind this game and making levels, so we can add more content to RUNNER MAKER. We have plans to add Runner2 and Runner3 mechanics and visuals. Being able to make and share games with anyone on the planet makes RUNNER MAKER very deep. We are already seeing people make levels that, honestly, are blowing our mind.
Old School Gamer Magazine: If someone has never played, why should they jump in now?
Roush: I would say there has never been a better time for a new player to dip into the world of CommanderVideo and BIT.TRIP! Being able to adjust difficulty settings – paired with the use of checkpoints – makes for a very rewarding experience for new players. BIT.TRIP games are also kind of timeless, and we believe the retro/modern style only bolsters this.
What should returning players be hyped about?
Neuse: The first thing returning players should be hyped about is the fact that we made RERUNNER for them! A lot of love has been put into RERUNNER. With the addition of the RUNNER MAKER tool, players will be able to play levels from around the world, giving them access to vast amounts of content.
Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?
Roush: Our hope would be that RERUNNER resonates enough with players that we can move on to console ports, and then eventually … possibly … just maybe think of BIT.TRIP REBEAT +BEAT MAKER!
Old School Gamer Magazine: Anything else you’d like to add?
Neuse: BIT.TRIP RERUNNER really is a love letter to BIT.TRIP RUNNER. We have added a lot of unlockable content, added features that the community has been requesting, and made sure we cater to BIT.TRIP fans around the world.