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Spotlight Interview: Elijah James from RapBot Studios

Note: This is a cross-post from Red Hare Studios (original link)
Daily life can be chaotic. We may have a stressful job, a thankless boss, or a busy schedule in a noisy city. So why not appreciate the little things in this adorable casual game called Tsuki Adventure? Developed by RapBot Studios, this game about escapism to a simpler lifestyle ironically took a lot of effort to make. Elijah James and his team have worked hard to bring their company and this game to the spotlight. This interview will encompass some of their experiences in putting their game on the global stage.
Check out their website – https://www.facebook.com/tsukiadventure/

Q: Give the readers a short introduction about yourself and RapBot Studios. What is your role? What is your company about? What is your “origin” story?
Hi! My name is Elijah James, and I am a programmer and the co-founder of RapBot Studios. We formed our company towards the end of our National Service, because we felt we were capable of making games on our own.
Live vicariously through a rabbit named Tsuki as he explores his new home in Tsuki Adventure, a mobile game from RapBot Studios.
Q: What challenges have you and your company faced since it first started? How does it feel to start a game business?
Starting a game studio is hard when none of your team members come from a business background.
Escape the mundane life to experience your new country adventure.
Q: Tsuki Adventure is currently your most popular game to date. What other games have your company made and what sort of games do you dream of making in the future?
We have made a few unreleased games before Tsuki but they were more hardcore. In the future, we hope to return to making hardcore games.
RapBot Studios giving a Fireside Chat at PIXEL organised by Singapore Game Guilds (SGG).
Q: Tsuki Adventure is currently published by HyperBeard. What was the process like to get a publisher? What are the perks of getting an external publisher compared to self-publishing?
Getting an external publisher was quite important for us as we had no contacts with anyone in the industry and we also had no experience with marketing a game. We shot Hyperbeard an email and finalised the deal about a week or 2 later after a Skype call. Hyperbeard was a great studio to work with as they were really friendly and transparent. They also handled extra costs for localisation and hooked us up with music too. Without Hyperbeard, the game would not be where it is today!
Visit the various characters that populate Mushroom Village.
Q: Players have created their own interpretations about the story of Tsuki Adventure. This ranges from the melancholy of solitude to the adventure of self-discovery, despite the game not having an elaborate narrative. What do you think the story of Tsuki Adventure is about?
We never wrote a story! All we did was come up with a setting and write the characters in it. It would not be fair to say that there is a story to Tsuki as it never really progresses forward. There are themes that we explore with the characters but all of those themes are meant to help the atmosphere of the game, and make the world worth exploring.
Travel across the world of Tsuki Adventure and experience a variety of environments.
Q: Of all the cute animals the game Tsuki Adventure could have chosen from, why was a rabbit used as the main character as opposed to cats and dogs?
There are too many cat games! The rabbit felt appropriate as there weren’t many rabbit themed games at the time.
Collect memorable photos in your game diary.
Q: There is an infamous car item in Tsuki Adventure that costs a lot of in-game currency to obtain. Why was this car included and when will it finally be driven on a road?
The car was created towards the end of our development of the game, before Hyperbeard was in talks with us. At the time, we were about to release the game exclusively in Singapore, and we figured we had some leeway for experimentation, since the car was gonna be a late game thing, it wouldn’t affect players that much. So we created a car that cost 15000 carrots which does nothing if you bought it. Just to see what would happen. After the worldwide release, we added in the ability to drive the car. We are also working on a big expansion where the car will be used to access a whole new area!
Visit the city to buy more extravagant items for your cute mammal.
Q: What are your favorite games or examples of entertainment media?
I like these small games made by a dude called Daniel Linssen. They are really compact games with interesting out of the box mechanics! His work can be viewed at https://managore.itch.io

Q: Who do you look up to as an inspiration for work or life?
My mom.
There is always something new happening at different times of the day.
Q: Before we end this interview, are there any interesting tidbits about Tsuki Adventure or Rapbot Studios that you would like to share?
RapBot Studios was actually made while we were in Polytechnic and we used the name and branding while developing our final year project. We even kept the original website from way back then!

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