Old School Gamer Magazine chats with Galerider dev Daniel Choo, who lets us know how a love of Panzer Dragoon played a role in his beautiful iOS game.

Old School Gamer: How was Galerider born?

Daniel Choo: The original idea of Galerider came to me about five years ago. The concept was born out of a fantasy of mine, which was to fly fast across the skies on a mighty dragon and battle against monstrous hordes. There weren’t any similar games on mobile, so I thought I could try dusting off the old design document and pitch it to my team.

Old School Gamer: What was your role in the game?

Choo: I was mostly the visionary and coordinator – but being part of a small team means that I had to wear many different hats. The production and development was handled by other members of my team. I was able to lean on their expertise – and everyone chipped in to shape Galerider into the game it is today.

Old School Gamer:
 How did you get involved in the industry?

Choo: I believe that most of us who entered the industry were avid gamers ourselves – and I am no exception! I started out as a production artist. My assistant producer for Galerider was my lead artist back then.

Old School Gamer: What was development like?

Choo: We were glad that our team didn’t have to endure any sort of “development hell”! We were able to work at a consistent and reasonable pace – even though our delivery timeline was rather short. 

Old School Gamer: What makes Galerider special?

Choo: I guess the combination of speed and combat makes it a little different from other games in the genre. We also went above and beyond to make the Wind Drakes and Colossal Monsters look really good!

Old School Gamer: What made Panzer Dragoon so special to you?

Choo: Panzer Dragoon was a major inspiration for me. I felt that the gameplay was quite unique – and the game itself stood out from the other rail shooters. In my opinion, Panzer Dragoon’s creature designs and world-building were way ahead of their time.

Old School Gamer: What other games influenced this one the most?

Choo: Apart from drawing inspiration from Panzer Dragoon, we also looked at different “endless runner”-type games. We wanted to let players experience the adrenaline of flying fast and have their reflexes challenged.

Old School Gamer: Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

Choo: Sadly, we don’t have any wild stories to share. Our team was very mellow! I think the most interesting thing is our studio’s location. We were really spoiled for choices when it comes to lunch: All the best restaurants were within a short walking distance 🙂

Old School Gamer: What were the major lessons learned?

Choo: I think the choice of platform is super important. For example, if the game was on PC or console, the way players control the character in combat would be quite different. As you know, Galerider has a “buttonless” control scheme where the screen is divided into two sides. By default, the left side is used to control the targeting reticle – while the right side uses gestures to turn and fire. This was what we believed to be the optimum setup; however, some players have had some difficulty adapting to the control scheme. In retrospect, having more time for prototyping and user testing would have been incredibly helpful.

Old School Gamer: Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

Choo: If a game is meant to resonate with old-school players, it would be wise to stick to old-school mechanics. In my opinion, the gaming community is ever-growing – and it’s expected that its taste in games will evolve. Mechanics that worked with my generation may not easily be accepted or understood by a younger generation. I believe it really depends on your target audience.

Old School Gamer: What’s your favorite memory as a gamer?

Choo: Great question – but these are just too numerous to recall! Maybe the one that’s easiest to describe was finally defeating Mecha-Hitler in Wolfenstein 3D.

Old School Gamer: How do you want this game to be remembered?

Choo: I wish that Galerider would be remembered as a game that allows players to experience the thrill of riding a mighty dragon. That alone is worth the price of admission 🙂 The fact that you’re facing massive, epic monsters and WINNING is the cherry on top.

Old School Gamer: What’s next?

Choo: That depends. I guess we could try to make Galerider available for Android if we have the bandwidth. As of now, we don’t have any concrete plans – but I can reveal that my team has been working on a top-down shooter prototype for the past few months.

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (324 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com