The Godfeather: Developer Interview with Hojo Studios

The Godfeather: Developer Interview with Hojo Studios
Hojo Studios

Written by 

Liam Ho

Published 

18th Oct 2022 13:14

Sydney-based Hojo Studios isn’t your typical game studio. They don’t have a primary office or a huge team, but what they lack in numbers and resources is well made up for by the sheer passion they bring while creating games. 

Attending PAX 2022 as a part of the PAX Rising section, Hojo Studios was able to bring its newest bird-based creation to the masses. The Godfeather is the newest title to fly out of Hojo Studios, and is all about aviation assassination as you take on the role of a Pigeon Godfather - hellbent on taking down all those who invade their territory.

Taking Flight

GGRecon was able to speak to Rick Salter, one of the studio co-founders  about the inspiration behind this fantastical idea. "I think that everyone's looked at flocks of birds and wondered if they were working in some kind of organisational group. So we just had this idea of, what if we took birds that are very peaceful like pigeons.

"What if they believed they were in some kind of mafia organisation and that this was all a turf war? They saw all these sorts of people out in the world and people having lunch or lovers on a bench as enemies who were encroaching on their territory and it became a whole mafia story.”

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Salter went on to explain the philosophy behind Hojo Studios games. "The way we generally approach things is. if the idea we have is a silly idea, we'll pursue that idea as much as possible. That's sort of the style of games we make because we like to make people laugh and have stupid responses and stuff, that's our style."

Attending PAX for Hojo Studios was an eye-opening and enjoyable experience. Salter spoke more about the classic 'Hojo smile' he loves to see on players. "We always joke about the 'Hojo smile,' there's a certain kind of happy response that people get from playing our games, and you can see it when people play it at PAX."

The Godfeather will be released shortly after PAX Australia on Steam for all those interested. Salter was also able to comment on The Godfeather's time at PAX, what they've learned from it, and what the future has for the game.

"We're just focused on finishing the content, you know our roadmap for getting the game done, telling the story we want to tell and then getting it out there on as many platforms as possible."

What's Next For The Godfeather?

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Salter is looking to expand The Godfeather past PC and move toward the mobile and console markets if possible as well, however, he explains the limitations of working with such a small crew.

"Because there's just two of us, publishing on one platform is tricky, let alone publishing on four platforms. I think there's definitely a future on mobile for this, definitely on Switch, and we'll see if there's interest in console as well for PlayStation and such."

 

However, regardless of the small team size, The Godfeather could definitely see some DLC in its near future. Especially with the feedback granted from PAX this year.

"A lot of people are asking for DLC, 'Could I be a magpie, could I be a different creature?' and that's something that we never really considered but it's something we're considering now if it works for the general style of the game."

Spreading Its Wings

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As a studio of just two developers, you'd think Hojo would struggle to produce games in a timely manner, but Salter spoke about the benefits of a two-man team. 

"When you've got a smaller team, it works better for us cause we can keep our vision very specific and pure. There aren't as many arguments, it's much easier to get things done when there are just two of you. You'd think that it'd be easier with more people, but we've found it's just smoother when the team is smaller."

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It’s clear how passionate both the devs are at Hojo Studios - both work day jobs and continue to develop games in their evenings and weekends. The Godfeather looks and feels like a love letter to games from Hojo Studios themselves, and there's a definite sense of fun and enjoyment that the devs are conveying across to the player. 

"We just want to reach an audience and share what we've done. For us, the process of creating something is where we get the joy from it and the payoff is seeing if there's an audience. When we publish The Godfeather, we're not going to be gougey with the prices, we're not putting any microtransactions, we're making it nice and cheap. We just want to get the game out there, we see it as a kind of performance art for us - we're not seeing it as our career."

The Godfeather will be released on Steam shortly.

Liam is a freelance writer from Sydney, Australia. He currently writes for GGRecon, Blitz UNSW and works as a team leader at Summoner’s Society OCE. He is addicted to MMOs, mainly Final Fantasy XIV.

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