Co-Optimus - Interview - Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story - Developer Interview

Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story

  • Couch Co-Op: 4 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign
Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story - Developer Interview
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Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story - Developer Interview

Katsu spills the beans on their unique shmup's sausage bombs, mechanics, and much more.

Modern shoot 'em ups can often be dark and imposing, but not so for Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story from Katsu Entertainment and Hound Picked Games. Dogfight is colorful, a little bit silly, and more approachable than many shmups. Most impressively, it supports 4-player local co-op. We interviewed Anthony Marinello, Director of development at Katsu Entertainment, about Dogfight's gameplay, quirky humor, alternate titles, and more!

Co-Optimus: Thanks for taking the time to fly to our hidden compound for this inarguably in-person interview. First, could you tell us a little about your experience in game development and some of your favorite non-shoot ‘em up games?

Anthony: Sure thing; we thought the secret entrance to your compound behind the waterfall was a nice touch. As for us, we are Katsu Entertainment, an indie game studio made of Anthony Marinello and Stephane Imbert. We have worked together for over two decades, first on sports titles at Electronic Arts, and now on our own indie games. We are lucky as an indie studio to be able to call upon coworkers and friends from our past lives to help out on the games. This is exactly what we did for Dogfight: make a game we love, with people we love to work with.

My favorite games ever would have to be the Guacamelee series, and Stephane is currently busy getting to 100% completion on One Piece Pirates Warriors 3, 4, and Odyssey, so that will take him a while.

Anthony Marinello of Katsu Entertainment

Anthony Marinello

Co-Optimus: Ooh, I love Guacamelee as well! Well then, Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story is a side-scrolling shoot ‘em up. What are some classic shmups that impressed you, and have you played any noteworthy modern ones?

Anthony: One of the main inspirations for Dogfight was Thunder Force IV (AKA Lightening Force) on the Sega Genesis. We love the tight gameplay, exciting bosses, and that oh so memorable soundtrack. There’s just something deeply satisfying about playing through the game end-to-end in one sitting: no grinding, just pure gameplay. We aimed to recapture some of that old school excitement with Dogfight. We are particularly thrilled about the awesome soundtrack that Dale North created for us and how much energy it adds to each level.

Modern shmups are a little trickier, as most tend to fall in the bullet hell genre which we deliberately steered away from. We did enjoy the simplicity of Andro Dunos 2 and the fun universe of B.Ark. Steredenn, while in a slightly different genre, was also interesting for their visuals and polished presentation. The Darius series is both classic and modern, and clearly we got inspiration there for some of the boss intros.

Thunder Force IV

Thunder Force IV

Co-Optimus: Those are cool inspirations! Now let’s set our sights on Dogfight, Katsu Entertainment’s first non-mobile game. Dogfight is a sequel to Sausage Bomber, I take it?

Anthony: That’s right. The gameplay is completely different from the original game, which was more of a physics puzzler. This time around we wanted to make a fun shoot ‘em up like the kind we grew up with in the 16-bit era. It was natural for us to go back to the Sausage Bomber world because of all the planes, and because it’s just a fun place that makes us laugh. Hopefully, people will have a good time with Dogfight and then decide to check out the original Sausage Bomber game as well for some on-the-go fun.

Sausage Bomber

Sausage Bomber (mobile)

Co-Optimus: I’m hoping you can clear up a little confusion about the game’s title. On Steam, Switch, and PlayStation, it’s simply listed as Dogfight, but Xbox and the actual soundtrack call the game Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story. Why the different titles? It seems like the shorter name might lead to mix-ups with other games like DogFight (a Steam VR game) or Dogfight, an unrelated mobile game.

Anthony: That is an excellent question. The full name of the game is Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story, and in an ideal world, this is how we’d refer to the game everywhere. Unfortunately due to the different requirements on the store fronts, fitting this much text everywhere was a challenge, and we sometimes had to choose between the longer and shorter version of the name. We realize this can lead to some confusion, but let’s be honest, we’re the only game out there with sausage weaponry, we should *clearly* be the ones with priority on the name (hot)Dogfight.

Dogfight Vega Nation Concept Art

Dogfight - Vega Nation Concept Art

Co-Optimus: Fascinating! The game itself takes place in a world that’s populated by humans, but places are named after food items, and players’ aircraft fire sausage bombs (in addition to regular artillery). Can you tell us about the food theme and how it came about?

Anthony: Sausage Bomber was originally just a funny game title that someone came up with while we were out at dinner. It made us laugh so much, we figured we had to make a game around the concept. I love that there's this one preposterous conceit, that a desperate nation turns to sausage bomb weaponry to turn the tide of a losing war, and everybody in the world takes it so seriously. Like, sure, that makes sense. There are scientists and engineers drawing up blueprints of sausages, and the entire population gets behind the effort. It may also be a commentary on the absurdity of war in general.