Fire Tonight Developer Interview

We recently had the pleasure to sit down with Simon Paquette of Reptoid Games and have a chat about their upcoming musical title Fire Tonight. Below is what he had to say about the 1990s musical journey.

Console Monster: First off, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with me today! Let’s start off with some of the basics; Can you tell us what your role in the game is?

Simon Paquette: Happy to be here! My role is Game Director and in this case I was mostly responsible for the game design, writing and visual style of Fire Tonight.

CM: You’re based in Toronto, correct? How would you describe the company, and has your location influenced your games in any way?

SP: Reptoid Games is small indie studio, and here in Toronto we are lucky to have a really vibrant and diverse community of indie developers. The game development process has a lot of moving parts and can often be a real challenge for small teams like ours, but being able to lean on our friends and fellow indies here in Toronto has been absolutely amazing.

CM: Fire Tonight seems to focus on music and relationships. Can you tell us a little more about the title?

SP: The game is named after the song “Fire Tonight” from Information Society‘s 1990 album, Hack. The lyrics of the song tell the story of two people that are separated and wondering if the other is ok during a fire in the city. This felt like a really compelling start to a story and throughout the game we include a lot of references to the band and little “Easter eggs” related to the year 1990 and other musical influences of the time.

CM: Has the music itself inspired levels/aspects of the game or is it the other way around?

SP: Yes, the music has provided direct inspiration for the level designs, characters and story through the whole game. One example is the level select screen, we designed it to look like a hand-written cassette insert, and the name of each level is a lyric from the song.

CM: Have any of your previous games influenced Fire Tonight?

SP: I don’t think there have been any direct influences, but I think you can see some similarities in the character designs and environments when you compare with our last game Fossil Hunters. I think this mostly comes from using similar production processes, and of course we are always aiming to improve on what we did last time.

CM: What are some of your favorite features or moments in the game? And is there anything that you had to leave out that you wish had made the final release?

SP: I’m really glad we go to incorporate some frame-by-frame animation in the cutscenes. Before Reptoid I had done a lot of work in the TV Animation industry and it was great to bring some of that feel into Fire Tonight. Originally the plan was to incorporate more interactivity or puzzles into these cutscenes, but in the end we ran into a few technical hurdles that led us to keep it focused mainly on the visual storytelling.

CM: Fire Tonight is currently slated for a Steam and Switch release, correct? Are there any plans for an Xbox/Ps4/5 release?

SP: Yes! The game launches on August 12 for both Steam (PC and Mac) and Switch. We don’t currently have any plans for other consoles, but we are always keeping our eye out for opportunities to share Fire Tonight with new audiences.

CM: Other than music, has the team drawn inspirations from any other sources? Film, books, etc.

SP: Very early on we were inspired by elements of some mobile games like Monument Valley and Florence, both for visual design as well as an overall vibe of chill low pressure gameplay.

CM: What does the future hold for yourself and your team?

SP: Up until this last month we have been full-steam ahead on Fire Tonight, but we’ve already got a few new ideas for original games that we are starting to work on. Nothing to announce quite yet, but if you follow us on twitter @reptoidgames that’s the best place to see the latest news about us!

CM: Speaking of other games, what are some of the current favorites of the team?

SP: I was just playing “When the Past was Around” which is a really sweet indie game, with some beautiful artwork, and “The Big Con” is a great 90’s themed game, by another Toronto team, coming out at the end of August.

Huge thanks to Simon for taking the time to talk to us. We can’t wait to check out Fire Tonight when it hits Switch and Steam this Thursday!

Justin Ortiz

Introduced to video games when he was only five, after dying somewhere around four thousand times while playing Star Tropics, he never looked back. Some of his favorites range from titles like Shenmue and Metal Gear Solid 3 to Half-Life 2, Manhunt, and the Dark Souls series. Justin has a passion for vinyl records, and loves to collect video game memorabilia. If he had one wish, it would be to travel back to 1984 Miami.

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