By Diego Hernandez / June 28th, 2022
It’s time for a really special piece: an interview with the developers of Good Luck Baby! Following our coverage earlier this month, this writer had a few questions regarding the staff involved and the direction of the game. Fortunately, the duo were really kind and ready to answer my questions regarding their promising yuri title. Ahead will be a ton of questions regarding their beginnings, their last title and the current title. There will be tidbits about the story, characters, and so much more. If you like what you see, please consider visiting the Kickstarter page here, and their Twitter here. I want to take a moment and thank Noodletub Games for the opportunity to get this interview done. Let’s get on with the questions, shall we?
Operation Rainfall: It’s always exciting to have a developer come on for an interview. May I kindly ask you introduce yourself to our readers?
OSENA: Thanks so much for having us! We’re Noodletub Games, and we’re a two-woman team of indie devs comprised of a writer and a programmer specializing in yuri-only games. I’m Osena, the programmer and general stuff-doer. Besides crying in code, I handle character design, most in-game graphics, and the social media side of things.
CAT: And I’m Cat, the writer for Noodletub! I come up with all the stories, character ideas and responses to longer emails, reviews or messages that we get. It’s a real pleasure to be doing this interview, so just to echo that again, thank you so much for having the both of us!
OR: Before we get into current stuff, I want to ask about the team itself. The first campaign I saw from you was the ever-so colorful Love Bakudan a couple years back. Before you got on that rollercoaster, how did you two decide that you were going to try this game development thing for yourselves?
CAT: To be honest, we just really got the itch to be able to put our own creative works out there in the world. We’ve both been interested in the idea of making games for a long time, as far back as 2013, which was the year we came up with our first game’s idea, THE GHOST OF YOU. That was originally going to be an RPGMaker game, but at the time we both had a lot of other commitments going on, which meant we couldn’t really work on it full-time as we wanted.
OSENA: Yeah, that about sums it up. We’re both super creative, like we’re always thinking up wild new characters and ideas in the middle of the night, or while doing other things, so having an outlet for all of that energy is pretty cool. It’s even cooler knowing people like the weird stuff we come up with!
CAT: For sure. On top of that, I think we both just got kind of tired of getting queer-baited by other instances in mainstream media, so we wanted to just make things that were out-and-out girls falling in love with each other. It’s very gratifying to be able to see your own creations out there in the world and seeing other people’s opinions on them, so once we actually bit the bullet and made a game, it was pretty much something we knew we wanted to do as a full-time career from that point on.
OR: When I got my hands on Love Bakudan, it was this colorful yet so down-to-earth girls’ love story that was absolutely unique in presentation. I have to know where the motivation to craft this story, with all its charming tidbits, come from and does it share any similarities with your current campaign?
OSENA: First of all, thank you for the praise! We’re both super happy that you enjoyed the game so much. Love Bakudan was actually two previous game ideas of ours that got combined into the smutty adventure it is today. There was one that was a NSFW visual novel about a girl running a bookstore. It wasn’t a dirty bookstore, but there were pretty ladies fawning over the shop owner, so that part stayed intact. The second game was also set to be NSFW, but super shameless; it basically had no plot and was about picking up girls at a bar in Tokyo. Characters like Sei, Yuki and Himeko were formed in that version of the project though, which is weird to think of now!
CAT: Yeah, it’s really strange to think of any of the Love Bakudan girls outside of what it went on to become. It’s definitely gone on to touch people’s hearts in ways we never expected. We’re very happy with the finished product as it definitely works better as a single entity. So, I guess in summary, the motivation came from a desire to see as much girls’ love as possible in one game, but to actually put a pretty big plot behind it.
OSENA: As for similarities to Good Luck Baby! … well, it technically takes place in the same continuity as Love Bakudan! Kasumi is actually Sei’s relative. There’ll probably be a few sneaky little references in there, but other than loose connections, it’s a story unlike any of our previous ones in terms of content.
OR: On the subject of current campaigns, you’re back on the crowdfunding trail with Good Luck Baby!. What can you tell us about this campaign that’s doing well over there on Kickstarter?
CAT: To be honest, we are totally shocked by how well Good Luck Baby! has gone on to do. I mean, getting the funding within 24 hours was absolutely beyond anything we would have ever dared to imagine. It’s interesting to have seen it blow up in such a way. I think that the plotline this time really seems to resonate a lot with various different people, especially with the themes of finding your own family out there in society. I think sometimes you just want to read something that has a good mystery to it, but also manages to make you feel the warm fuzzies that we think come with this story.
OSENA: We must have a good luck baby of our own watching over us or something, because the response really has been mind blowing. It continues to be, too! We get messages every day from people telling us that they can’t wait to play it, which never stops being a humbling and touching experience.
CAT: I absolutely agree. The reception this time has been very different to Love Bakudan, where with that campaign, it was mostly quite clinical questions people would ask us – what platforms it would come out on, what certain rewards meant, etc. But with this one, we get a lot more of people’s heartfelt feelings. It’s honestly been a dream come true so far.
OR: There’s a lot to digest here so let’s start with the characters. Hifumi is perfect, Kasumi is breathtaking, Oda is cute, Saki could beat me up and I’d be happy. My list of compliments could go on and on. How did you two approach the character designs this time around?
OSENA: Aah, again, thank you!
CAT: Yeah, thank you very much for the kind words! I’m sure Saki would be thrilled to hear such a thing. With regards to the character designs, as Osena previously said, she comes up with all of them. I think generally we just really like to come up with characters that we personally feel look good together. One thing I will say though is that the design for Hifumi is intentionally supposed to be quite subtle when compared to a more bombastic, colourful girl like Kasumi. Hifumi is a girl who feels as though her life is incredibly ordinary, so we wanted her design to reflect her personal feelings.
OSENA: She’s pretty, isn’t she? I like Hifumi-chan a lot, too. The way I typically approach character design is like Cat said, really: these girls are going to inevitably be paired up, so I try to put a lot of thought into who’ll look good together and making them distinct. Complimenting colours, or conveying attitudes is important. Like for example, Saki is pretty monochromatic in design – even in full-colour – to reflect her more grey moral compass compared to the bright main characters. She’s also inspired by wolves, since she’s a loner with a bad bark.
OSENA: I’m not the best at art, but our artist, @mpmrpjb, has done a fantastic job of taking the rough drafts and conveying the designs as we envisioned them. We just wanted to give her a shout-out as she’s definitely a big reason that Good Luck Baby! has already begun to succeed in the way that it has!
OR: I’ve been staring at the Kickstarter page for a fair bit now and I’m starting to notice something interesting. There’s arcana on all the character bios. Is this a clue for what’s going to happen in the story or am I simply overanalyzing?
CAT: You’re absolutely right! We tried to pick Arcanas that would reflect each individual character and their roles in the story. With Hifumi and Kasumi, obviously The Moon and The Sun go together in harmony; Oda is, well, the Good Luck Baby, so Wheel of Fortune reflects him nicely! All of the Arcana were chosen deliberately for their individual meanings, so it’s really cool that you picked up on that!
OSENA: Good eye! There might be a subtle hint or two more on that page to do with roles and the story …I won’t say anything else though!
OR: Another thing I noticed while browsing was that you responded to a comment on the campaign stating that Good Luck Baby! will be a completely work-safe game. Seeing how Love Bakudan was 18+, it certainly surprised me. Is this a case of just wanting to try something different or was there more to it? In addition, the little pervert within me wonders if there’s a chance we could see 18+ content for the game at all, whether now or further down the line.
OSENA: Good Luck Baby! is set to be totally work-safe for a couple of reasons, but the biggest one being that we’re eventually aiming for a home console release with this project. With that goal in mind, we wanted to keep the contents pretty clean – I’ve heard Nintendo is pretty hyper aware of content that could hurt their profit margins during their review period, for example. We actually considered trying to make a “clean” edit of Love Bakudan for potential console release, but if you start removing every reference to sex in that game, there wouldn’t be any game left! So it’s been left on the cutting room floor for now. There won’t be any NSFW for Good Luck Baby!, but we’ll definitely go back to dabbling in new and unrelated 18+ yuri games sometime in the future.
CAT: We just really enjoy writing 18+ content too much, to be honest with you.
OSENA: Yeah, no shortage of ideas for that here…
OR: A lot of times people cite crowdfunding as this super intimidating process to do even once. You two are doing it a second time and doing well, might I add. How do you compare your experience with both campaigns? What’s your advice to developers contemplating crowdfunding?
CAT: Oh, yeah. It’s super intimidating. I mean, you never know how people are going to respond to something you’re putting your heart and soul into, but honestly my advice? Just go for it. You have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain. I think it’s something that has not only shown that there is an audience for the stories we love to put out there, but it’s also just really re-affirming to have people show their faith in you putting out something that they want to enjoy. I think the sense of sheer satisfaction totally outweighs any sense of intimidation, but that’s not to say it’s not slightly terrifying.
OSENA: We went into the Love Bakudan campaign totally blind; at every turn we were like, “what? A cover? A pitch? They want all this stuff?!” But that experience helped make the setup for our second campaign much smoother. Putting yourself out there never stops being nerve-wracking, no matter what you’re working on. In a way, the Kickstarter is like a mini project in and of itself; writing up the pitch, making a bunch of graphics, fine tuning it over and over and over again… The advice I’d personally give is: don’t be afraid to reach out to people. I still kinda wanna puke every time I send off an email to a website or blogger, but you’d be surprised at the amount of love you’ll receive!
OR: A couple hopefully easy questions to end the interview: what do you see as the best part about making games like Love Bakudan and Good Luck Baby!?
CAT: Definitely that we get to make completely original and thoroughly yuri-centric stories, for sure. I’m always of the opinion that if you want to share something with the world, then you just should. The best part is getting to create these worlds and breathe life into them, especially with the help from people on Kickstarter who enable us to actually make these things. It’s incredibly stressful to actually begin making and developing games, but at the same time, there’s no better feeling in my book than seeing something you wrote and helped create actually come to life.
OSENA: 100% agreed. Once the game finally starts to come together – all of the art is in place, the story’s wrapped up, the UI and font and everything is looking just right, and no bugs are gonna ruin this moment – it’s a feeling unlike anything else. It’s like seeing a baby walk for the first time, a really special feeling I could never really put into words. Chasing that high is the gamedev experience, I think.
OR: Lastly, and thank you for your time, is there anything you want to tell our readers, potential backers, fans that already backed you?
CAT: I think for people that have already backed us as well as long-time fans, thank you so much. I don’t think we could ever put it into words just how much this means to both of us, or how simply life-changing it is that we get to be lucky enough to call this a career. It affects so much more than just someone you see on Twitter who happens to be making a game. I mean, both of us are individual people with real lives and families and stuff that we want to support and look after, so to be able to have an actual way of doing that through a medium we love is incredible.
For people who may not have backed yet or are just hearing about us for the first time, I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading our candid thoughts in this interview and that it’s made you interested in seeing what we’re all about.
OSENA: Thank you for the opportunity, seriously! I’ll definitely echo Cat’s grateful sentiment; it’s truly a dream come true to be able to share our stories with the world, and for the world to enjoy them as much as we do creating them. We’re only a tiny little two-dev team, so every comment, every tweet, every piece of fanart and every well wish goes straight to the source. So thank you all from the very bottom of my heart! Good Luck Baby! is a story the both of us have wanted to tell for a long time, so I hope that people who are hearing about us for the first time and longtime fans alike join us on this.
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