If you’re curious about even more information about River City Girls 2 and what lies ahead for the sequel and the team at WayForward, you’ve come to the right place!
Nintendo Life: Can you tell us a bit about your roles in River City Girls 2 and your history at WayForward?
Bannon Rudis: I directed River City Girls 2 and helped with animation, level design and a bunch of other stuff. I started there about six years ago, just as I was finishing my first game outside of the company. My first WayForward game was The Mummy Demastered. There I shadowed the director of that game and learned the tricks of the trade.
Adam Tierney: I oversee bizdev and publishing at WayForward. For River City Girls 2, I rewrote the dialogue script and helped plan the movie.
Was a River City Girls sequel something you thought about before the first game was released? Were there ideas for the story and gameplay years ago?
Adam: We definitely withheld some things from the first game for RCG2, namely the inclusion of villains Ken, Sabu, Ryuji, and Ryuichi. We didn’t want to use up all the main character debuts in the first game. And, of course, RCG2’s plot is a fairly direct follow-up to the events of the first game (and of River City Girls Zero, the Super Famicom game that inspired ours).
bannon: The stuff I wanted to bring was a more open world and four players for the sequel.
We definitely withheld some things from the first game… We didn’t want to use up all the big character debuts.
Can you tell us about the new character crossovers in River City 2? (eg Marian from Double Dragon) How did you choose these specific characters? And are there any plans for other new characters in the future?
bannon: Marian had been the damsel in distress in the Double Dragon series for about four decades. She had enough of that role and molded herself into a tough boxer who uses grappling moves. The second new character is from my first game I ever released called River City Ransom underground. She is based on my real life friend of the same name. Her sassy attitude is based on my boyfriend, but my girlfriend doesn’t have sweet dance fighting moves like her video game counterpart.
How exactly did you expand the combat in the original game?
bannon: I tried to make sure players could be as creative as possible with their combos. I found myself constantly making new combos while testing the battle. Whatever worked in the first game, I strengthened it even more. If something wasn’t working optimally, I made sure to fix it and make it an integral part of the player’s arsenal.
Can you tell us a bit more about the new online co-op mode?
bannon: This was quite a challenge as we had to redo the entire engine to make the game work online. What really stands out among other online brawlers is the fact that the levels are quite large, both vertically and horizontally. This was intended to allow players to split off and not have to share the same camera. Both players can go into their own corner to fight their own group of enemies instead of everyone coming together.
The composer of the first game, Megan McDuffee, is back. Can you tell us a bit about her approach to the sequel’s soundtrack and how WayForward played a part in this process?
bannon: I worked directly with Megan on what kind of music I wanted. I gave her notes and samples, but it was still all Megan making this music herself. She’s a genius at this kind of thing and I could definitely count on her knowing how to make catchy music. However, the main focus with the lyrical songs was to convey the feelings and motivations of the bosses of that particular area in which they reside.
Adam: We were lucky enough to connect with Megan for the music in the series, and she has worked on all three RCG games so far. As incredible as her soundtrack was for the first game, I think players will be surprised at how much more varied and complex this second soundtrack is in comparison.
Who helped with the cutscenes this time?
Adam: On the first game, we worked with Eric Huang to storyboard our movies and Studio Yotta to animate them. On River City Girls Zero the intro was done by David Liu and his studio emptycel. With RCG2, our intro was storyboarded by Future Club’s Mariel Cartwright, but this time animated in-house at WayForward (directed by Kay Yu, who is also the pixel animation lead on the RCG games). And all the manga cutscenes in all three games are illustrated by Rem, who has been our lead illustrator and character designer from the start.
Are there any plans for post-release updates or DLC? Could we see a third River City Girls game in the future?
bannon: Way too early to say. I have ideas, but nothing is official yet. Hopefully players are interested in us expanding this further, because I personally would love to.
Adam: We would have loved to produce some DLC for the first game, but at that point it made sense to go straight to the sequel. Hopefully we can add a few more features to the game this time through DLC, though that will all depend on how well the game itself does in terms of early sales.
We would have loved to produce some DLC for the first game, but at that point it made sense to go straight to the sequel. Hopefully we can add a few more features to the game this time through DLC
River City Girls 2 Limited Run Games physical release is completely sold out, any chance of a restock?
Adam: I know Limited Run will sometimes have convention and event exclusive versions of their physical releases, and we’ve even illustrated a brand new RCG2 cover for that potential release. So hopefully that’s in sight. However, any addition beyond that possibility would be up to LRG.
What’s next for WayForward?
Adam: There are many great games in development right now, including some based on established movie and game brands, although most of them are still secret at this point. We launch LUNARKour cinematic pixel platformer developed by Canari Games, early 2023. Check out that game when it releases on PC and consoles, and look out for some big titles coming from WayForward in 2023 and 2024 in the coming months!
Any final words to the Nintendo Life community on River City Girls 2?
bannon: Watch the game. There is so much to find in it. It will keep you and your friends busy for a while with all the little hidden secrets scattered around. Good luck!
Adam: One of the great benefits of working with this brand was the fact that it is set in a specific city that we were able to expand and develop with each new game. I’m so excited about how River City has grown and evolved since the first game, and can’t wait to see player reaction to our latest additions.
Thanks to Bannon and Adam for taking the time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions. Nintendo Life wishes WayForward all the best for the coming year!
Have you tried River City Girls 2 on the Switch yet? Excited about what’s next for WayForward? Leave your comment below.