Dave Oshry on Fallen Aces, More Console Ports, Steam Early Access, the Handheld PC Boom, Working With HEALTH, and More – TouchArcade

New Blood Interactive has been one of my favorite developers and publishers for many years. Ever since discovering DUSK and eventually playing through everything New Blood on Steam and when applicable on consoles, I’ve been a huge fan. Most known for DUSK and boomer shooters, New Blood has gone on to release a few games, but each one of them is notable and high quality. Back when I wrote about the best boomer shooters on Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, New Blood Interactive and Andrew Hulshult were two of the most mentioned names. If you’ve played recent shooters you likely know both names as well.

Before they went to PAX East, I had a chance to talk to Dave Oshry of New Blood Interactive about a plethora of topics including New Blood’s games, console ports, why they do everything internally, coffee, working with HEALTH, Andrew’s music, and a lot more. This interview was conducted on a call. It was then transcribed and edited for brevity in the case of some portions. This interview was done before PAX East, and is quite a bit different in its structure to the normal interviews I do. This one was more casual than usual, but it is also quite a bit longer than expected, so strap in and grab a coffee.

TouchArcade (TA): For those unaware, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you formed New Blood Interactive.

Dave Oshry (DO): Well my name is Dave Oshry and I started New Blood with my friends back in 2014. We originally wanted to make a VR boxing game and that never really materialized. Eventually we kind of turned into an indie publisher before finding success with games like DUSK and AMID EVIL, and then we ended up bringing more people in and eventually we turned into a full-on game studio and now we develop, publish, market, port, QA, and do everything ourselves. So we’re a full game studio now and we’ve been around for 10 years.

TA: I’m glad you brought up the QA part and the porting stuff because I remember in another interview you mentioned how it was important for you to maintain the quality of all your stuff and you now have your whole QA team internally right? You also do all your console porting and everything yourself from scratch with the dev kits.

DO: Everything. We do it all ourselves, that’s why it takes so long.

TA: I wanted to know what the importance was to you on getting everything done internally. Is it because you all have full control on every single step of the thing instead of getting a console port outsourced to someone else?

DO: Yeah well it’s because if we outsource things we’re not learning anything. You know we can’t learn how to do it ourself if we can outsource things and they get done but, then the next time we need to do a port we have to outsource it again, and we haven’t learned how to do anything ourselves. So it took us a really long time to do DUSK on Switch, but we learned the entire process and did essentially you know a perfect port of that game. I think Digital Foundry said it was like the best Unity port they’d ever seen and now we can do Switch ports like easy peasy. We can develop from the ground up for Switch because we learned how to do that. Part of the fun of game development is doing the work. If you just have somebody else do the work for you you’re not learning anything and you’re not gaining anything. Plus obviously we get to keep all the revenue because we did it ourselves. We don’t have to share the revenue with having somebody else do the work for us so it’s rewarding because you get to do all the work and you get all the reward. When you go to the next one you’ve learned those skills you know it’s like any other job. I don’t know any other job where you can outsource a part of the job, like if you work on a construction site and you really don’t like building stairs you don’t say okay well we’re gonna have this other company build the stairs. You have to learn how to build the f***ing stairs. I think it’s the best practice for most studios to learn how to do everything themselves because then you’re not relying on other people to do things for you, and it’ll be better for you in the long run. The only downside is obviously it takes longer.

TA: When you did DUSK on Switch, obviously it got a physical release through Limited Run Games. For the PlayStation 4 version, you’re selling that on your own store right?

DO: Yeah, it was also because we want to do more things ourself. You know Limited Run, they do great stuff for collector’s editions and stuff obviously, but they’ve had lots of problems with the timelines and you know there’s stuff I ordered from Limited Run I still haven’t gotten it I think it was years ago. You know they’re just too busy for their own good. They make really good stuff, but I mean if it’s going to take two three years to get the thing I paid for, that’s too long. Plus we want to just keep it more in-house, especially for like smaller releases. For collector’s editions, we want to work with a bigger company like a Limited Run, but for just getting physicals out I think it’s better if we can get the discs and the carts and the boxes made, and sell it ourself. It’s the same thing as before. There’s no reason for us as we’re growing as a company not to be able to do all these things ourself. I mean if we want stay in business, I think it makes sense to know how to do all these things yourself.

TA: Before getting to the console stuff, I wanted to bring up something which I’ve noticed when I talk to my friends about New Blood’s games. After I did that boomer shooter article, I spoke to a lot of people who said they didn’t know New Blood had a VR game. I bought AMID EVIL VR without even owning or planning to get a VR headset. I know there’s this big group of New Blood fans who will buy just about anything you release regardless of price. Some even wait for games to go back to full price rather than getting them on sale. Labor of love is something I hear a lot when discussing New Blood Interactive. You update a lot of games consistently for free. Player feedback is obviously important. Early access is a big part of how you operate. Has there been any instance where something players said during early access helped a lot in shaping a game.

DO: All of our games really. I mean the reason we do early access is to build better games. We do early access and we come out with enough content to give the players what we think is a good amount of content for the price and see. Then we see how they like it and what they don’t like. We know what we want to do in terms of building the rest of the game, but when it comes to the balance and the features and the way things are implemented, we listen to all the feedback, and that’s how you know we build the rest of the game. It also helps us to know what we should focus on next, like when we did Gloomwood in early access, people wanted the different difficulties, and they didn’t want specific enemy behaviors and stuff. They wanted blood moon difficulty. We can do that before getting to work on the new content. I mean they really wanted new content, but there were smaller things that we found that players really wanted.

I can give you a good example. When AMID EVIL originally came out soul mode was automatic. Once you got enough souls it would automatically activate and I was telling Leon (Zawada) that people aren’t going to like that because a lot of the time you’re already finished with the fight when soul mode activates. Then you have soul mode and there’s nobody to kill. I’m telling you people are gonna complain and then people are gonna have to change it so you can activate soul mode when it’s ready right. Lo and behold we put it out in early access and a lot of people complained. We went and changed it so now you have to activate soul mode. We also have I think classic mode we call it in the menu where you can have it automatically activate.

Another thing with quick saves. When Gloomwood came out in early access we thought that the phonograph saving was enough because it’s a survival horror game like Resident Evil but people were like “No f*** you. We want quick saves, and they complained. We got a lot of negative reviews so we added quick saves. You could have your quick saves. That won’t get you the achievements and stuff on blood moon difficulty so there’s a caveat there.

But yeah, we listen. I have a rule that you give the people what they want to an extent, not everything. If a few people complain, it’s probably not an issue. If everybody complains just f***ing fix it.

TA: Have you followed Dragon’s Dogma 2’s marketing and interviews where they’ve been talking about the fast travel stuff?

DO: Not really. I didn’t play the first game. The second one looks good. I’ve heard a lot of good things. I’m not a big Capcom guy. I don’t play Monster Hunter and stuff like that. I don’t play Resident Evil but I’ve heard good things about Dragon’s Dogma. I do like big RPGs so I might see how that goes when it comes out. What am I missing?

TA: The reason I brought that up is because a lot of the interviews which I’ve read from the director shows that they are sticking to their vision regardless of whether people expect modern features or not. They’ve been talking about how the first game was restricted by the hardware it came out on, but now they get to make the game they want. I’ve seen negative reactions to the fast travel stuff in an open world game, and it reminded me of the player feedback aspect you brought up. How do you balance when there’s a feature or accessibility mode people want versus what you as a director want in your game.

DO: For me it’s just the options. Just give people options. So I don’t like fast travel personally. When I play Skyrim for instance, I play on survival mode and I like the fact that you actually have to use the carts and walk places and use your horse, and it takes a lot longer to play the game but I find it a lot more rewarding and you could bake these in world fast travel options into the game. However, survival mode’s an option so you could turn it on and off if you want fast travel. I gave a talk about this last year one of my slides was just options. Nobody got mad at the game with too many options. If you don’t want to have fast travel but a ton of people saying f*** you we want fast travel I mean. Listen, Capcom can do whatever they want. An indie game is different. With an indie game if people really don’t like what you’re doing, and you get a bunch of negative reviews, your sales can hurt. Nothing that Capcom does, is going to hurt the sales of Dragon’s Dogma 2. It’s still going to sell millions of copies. But if they want to please everybody, and you shouldn’t have to please everybody they can just have options. An option to turn fast travel off. Have a hardcore mode with no fast travel stuff. My answer to that question is always more options. You know ULTRAKILL is probably one of the most difficult and complex shooters there’s ever going to be and you could play it in total baby mode if you want. You could literally turn all the damage off. You could do anything. You could tweak the game as much as you want. I’m a big fan of that.

TA: Back in October Pao Yumol at Game Informer had this really nice article on the rise of boomer shooters. I did my own boomer shooter articles a bit before well. When I was doing research on the genre, the biggest and most popular boomer shooter related channel or anything is civvy on YouTube. (Dave says Civvy is the best). It got me thinking about how not not a lot of traditional media cover the genre. So I wanted to know how you’ve been handling getting the word out around your games besides obviously the active Discord/community stuff and attending events.

DO: We like it that way. I don’t want to be mainstream. Like IGN and GameSpot never cover our games. I don’t care. I don’t want to be talked about in the mainstream. We like to keep it very punk rock and very DIY. It’s really like an “if you know, you know” type of thing. New Blood wouldn’t be cool if they were talking about us on Kinda Funny every week or whatever right next to other big indie hits. We don’t make games like that and I’m not trying to get that mainstream press, because those aren’t the people who are going to play New Blood games. Maybe one day they will, but I’m trying to speak to the people that already play our games. For years I just yelled and screamed at the top of my lungs to get people to play our games whether it’s on social or whatever, and now you know because we’ve built a big enough of a community or big enough of a brand or now enough people know about New Blood, and it’s we’ve had I think five top 10 top selling hits in a row. We’ve earned a reputation.

We don’t do very much PR anything anymore. I don’t really send out games for review. I don’t do a lot of PR or press releases. We kind of, like a lot of the big companies these days, go straight to consumers. The first thing we do is make the announcements on Steam or on social media, and then if people like PC Gamer or whatever want to pick that up and people like you want to do interviews and stuff like that, then I’m happy to do it. I think gone are the days where I’m chasing the media. Now it’s like you know what we’ve got. You can come to us if you want to talk about it. We’re focused on making the best games we can. Back in the day you used to put the marketing before the game. It was marketing, marketing, marketing, and then you hope the game backs it up. Now, all I care about is making the best games we can and then we think about the marketing later. At the end of the day a good game is really what’s important.

TA: When DUSK came out on PlayStation, I bought it and was playing it. People saw me playing it and asked if I got a review key or something. I said I just bought it the moment it went up on PSN. They were asking me who they should contact for review code. I was curious how you handled it.

DO: I’m happy to give out review codes and stuff. When people email me and they’re like they want to review DUSK on PS4. I sent out a bunch because a bunch of people emailed me from different PlayStation outlets and stuff. I have a document with a lot of keys in it. I just send them to people. Listen, I love getting good reviews and stuff like that. I’m always happy to read them. I like when people actually play the games and care. You could tell they actually know what they’re talking about. We love that kind of stuff but, for the most part it’s just part of the process.

TA: Before getting into a few other games New Blood has published, how was it working with HEALTH on ULTRAKILL?

DO: They’re kind of friends of ours. Johnny’s a buddy and I’m trying to think who reached out to who, but we just wanted to put some of their music in ULTRAKILL. Should we put you know one of your songs in and they were like “we’re working on a new album we can put the first single out in ULTRAKILL.” So they sent us a couple of options and it was cool because me and Hakita actually got to pick the first song that was released off the new album and that ended up being HATEFUL. I think Johnny sent us like three different songs, and we picked HATEFUL because we thought it was the one that would go best with the Cyber Grind and then they wanted to do that silly music video. We put in the game and that video got a ton of press. That got written up on a lot of sites like Kerrang and NME and a lot of big music outlets. Stuff like that’s really fun.

That’s the kind of stuff that I like to do. Doing collaborations with bands. You know, the more money we make and stuff, and “we hate money” and all that stuff. That’s the kind of shit I want to do. I don’t want to hire more people and make bigger games. I want to have concerts. I’d like to do ULTRAKILL live. If we get all the bands that have music in the game and throw a concert in LA during f***ing E3 or some shit like that. That’s the kind of shit that makes me happy or makes me excited. I’m not interested in making AAA games or anything stupid like that. I’m interested in doing fun stuff with our friends. Doing more music. Doing more crossovers with bands and other games. Doing more merch and silly stuff. Everybody loves our body pillows. We’re doing all kinds of stuff now. Not just shirts. We’re doing candles and we are starting to finally do vinyl, tapes, CDs, plushies, and toys.

TA: Speaking of cassettes and merchandise, I wanted to discuss the posters and branding for New Blood Interactive games. I love the posters used on Steam, I think you sell them as well on the merch store.

DO: Yeah, we do. I forget when the first one was, but doing the Grindhouse-style movie posters. We did the first one and we were like this should just be our thing. We’re not supposed to do that on Steam. You’re not supposed to have borders and stuff around your art, but like we don’t give a shit. They don’t make us take it down. You know when you see clear consistent branding. I have a marketing background and I’m like if you see a red and black thing on Steam, you know it’s a New Blood game. You know that’s one of our games and if you’ve played our games before, you know it’s going to be good, you might want to check it out, and it’s consistent. You could see one of our games from a mile away, and that’s the point. The posters, again they’re just fun to make. It’s fun to design these posters. All of our art is done by a few artists that we work with that are friends. Some of it is in-house. We just love coming up with this stuff. Every time we do one we’re like oh you know that looks so sick. Even stuff like DUSK 82 which is just such a lo-fi game. I’m looking at all our posters right now. The FAITH one was fan art. Fallen Aces is original. The guy that did the Gloomwood one, he had done a bunch of fan art for Thief stuff. Even back to Super Galaxy Squadron. That poster was done by the art director at Firaxis who I contacted. He used to make box art for games that looked like that in like the late 80s. I come from a time when the box art looked cooler than the game. I still think like that. The box art should be as sick as possible, and even if the game doesn’t look anything like that, everybody loves having a cool poster on their wall. We like doing that stuff. We make the stuff that we want. I have all my posters. All merch that we make is just shit that I want. If I was just a fan of this stuff, I would still have this stuff. My office is just filled with New Blood stuff. It’s like my own shit.

TA: Speaking of music, how was it working with Andrew Hulshult over the years?

DO: I mean Andrew’s great. He’s a close friend of mine at this point, and we’ve been working together since Rise of the Triad (2013). I’ve just watched him grow. I remember when we started out on ROTT, I used to give him critiques and stuff on his music. Now there’s nothing there’s nothing to critique. He’s gotten so good at this shit He’s a beast. He’s bigger than New Blood at this point, let’s be real. HE works with the big boys. It’s been great watching his career you know take off at the same time as New Blood. He’s obviously been a big part of that. I’m always happy to work with Andrew. I always tell people we work with our friends. That’s the secret of new blood. We’re friends and we work with our friends so when you get to work with your friends and make cool shit that’s about as good as life gets.

TA: When I think of boomer shooters, I think of New Blood and Andrew Hulshult so what is your favorite Andrew Hulshult soundtrack and your favorite soundtrack he’s done for New Blood?

DO: DUSK is obviously very near and dear to my heart so it probably would also again be DUSK. I liked what he did for DUSK 82. That was really cool. He pulled that out of his ass at the last minute. He’s like fine I’ll do chiptune versions of the stuff. Obviously the AMID EVIL stuff and The Black Labyrinth stuff is really cool. I think they are very under-appreciated because everybody knows him for the hard rock and metal stuff. I really liked what he did for Ancient Gods (DOOM Eternal DLC). I love Blood Swamps and shit. I listen to that at the gym all the time. The stuff he did for DOOM. He did that really fast. It was like “Hey we need you and David to do the soundtrack for this DOOM DLC in like four months or something” and they got it done. I’d say DUSK.

TA: How was it working on Rise of the Triad’s 2013 version and then the new Ludicrous Edition?

DO: That was the first game that any of us ever really worked on, ROTT 2013. We didn’t know what we were doing back then. The fact that the game came out at all and sold copies was a miracle. It’s our janky baby. It gets a lot of credit these days because if it wasn’t for that game there wouldn’t be any New Blood Interactive. So coming back 10 years later and working on you know Ludicrous Edition with
Night Dive Studios and Apogee felt like a very full circle moment. It was really cool.I always loved Rise of the Triad. IT was cool to work on it originally and getting to meet like Tom Hall and talk to him a lot and having him come back to do silly videos and stuff. The fact that Rise of the Triad finally got the recognition that I always felt it deserved, that was a real feel-good moment for me for sure.

TA: DUSK was the game that told me what New Blood Interactive was, but I’ve since been going through the full catalog. I ended up really liking Super Galaxy Squadron. Are there any plans to bring that to console?

DO: We’ve been trying forever. It’s just that it’s so low priority. We updated it actually, not recently, the issue is we had to port it from GameMaker to GameMaker 2. We want to put it on console just to say we did. I think it’d be a really fun game to have on switch and Xbox and PlayStation. We’ve talked about doing a new update for it like Super Galaxy Squadron Super Special Edition. I haven’t talked to Nick, the kid that made it, he’s not a kid anymore, he’s probably almost 30, in almost a million years I still sell and send them royalties every once in a while. We’ll get there. We’re just so busy with so much stuff. Yes, I would love to put Super Galaxy Squadron on console.

TA: Despite shmups usually playing best on PC or PlayStation when it comes to input lag and stuff, the Switch has a nice library of games in the genre with collectors who buy physicals and import games from Japan. I thought it would be a good fit for the platform.

DO: The problem with shmups is they don’t sell. Nobody buys them. There’s like no market for them really. We will do it when we’re less busy but you know it’s one of those things.

TA: AMID Evil The Black Labyrinth was amazing. I didn’t get much time to play it at launch, but I made sure to buy it. I really like the soundtrack and it has this more personal feel from Andrew. I was going to ask you about vinyl soundtracks from before.

DO: We’ve been working with Laced Records for DUSK and we will probably work with them for AMID EVIL. We just signed a contract with Fangamer to do FAITH so they’ll be doing all the FAITH merchandise and vinyl and tapes and CDs and stuff like that. ULTRAKILL obviously we’re still working on, Gloomwood, Fallen Aces. We take our music very seriously so we really want to make sure that once we start finally selling physical and stuff like that, we’re doing it the right way and working with quality partners.

TA: I have no complaints with Laced Records and Fangamer over the years.

TA: This isn’t something that bothers me much because there are so many games releasing, but how do you deal with the response when you have to delay early access releases or when people keep asking you about things like Fallen Aces which was supposed to be last year.

DO: We’re used to it at this point. Listen if the worst thing you can say about New Blood is our games take a long time, then that’s whatever. What’s the famous Miyamoto quote? Games can take a long time but if they’re bad they suck, f*** you, I don’t know, I forget how it goes. We’re used to it. They’re done when they’re done. That’s why we don’t usually have release dates and when we do it’s usually pretty close. For early access, we just try to keep a good cadence of releasing our content. When people complain, we just say “listen have we let you down yet? We have yet to f*** up. We haven’t let you down yet. We won’t let you down. Please trust in us. I think we’ve gotten a lot better at getting stuff done. The Black Labyrinth took a long time. It was busy. There was a pandemic. People have been waiting for the DUSK SDK and DUSK HD and we got all that stuff done, and DUSK on PS4, and AMID EVIL VR and like all these things that we’ve been promising, we’ve been getting them done. ULTRAKILL is getting finished. We’re getting close to the end there. Gloomwood’s almost halfway done. We’re putting Fallen Aces out in early access. We’re trucking along. We’re really busy, but we’re doing really well so listen there’s nothing to complain. If f people want to complain that stuff takes too long, there’s lots of other games to play. It’s what I always tell. The amount of games where I think it looks cool. Subnautica was in early access for like seven years or something and it’s one of the best games of all time. I don’t know shut up.

TA: You mentioned obviously like the ASUS ROG Ally and Steam Deck before. We have so many handhelds now. Have you noticed any uptick in your games on these devices specifically in the last few years?

DO: I don’t really look at the data. We’re really bad at that because like again, we don’t care “we hate money” As long as we’re profitable, we’re happy right. I don’t look at where the installs are and stuff like that, but i think so. Shooters you know in general aren’t as popular on handhelds obviously because it’s not the best way to play, especially for people who are used to PC, and our games tend to be pretty fast. You know we’ve been working with ASUS and stuff. We did a lot of promotion with AMID EVIL and The Black Labyrinth. That I think is a game that plays really well on handheld because it’s a bit slower and heavier than something like DUSK or ULTRAKILL. People play ULTRAKILL on Steam Deck, I have no idea how. Fallen Aces I think that’s another one. Gloomwood I think will be really good when we finally add controller support but there’s a lot of buttons in Gloomwood. People forget how many actions you can do in some of our games and there’s only so many buttons on a goddamn controller. It’s not as easy as people think. Listen, the fact that there’s been this handheld PC boom has been awesome. I love it. I’m a big fan of my ROG Ally. I take it with me everywhere, and I’m not just saying that because they send me free ones. It’s definitely been good for our games. There’s no downside really. I think it’s going to continue to, you know, be a big chunk of the market. A lot of games like a lot of indie games especially are selling more on PC because there are PC handhelds. These are games that used to sell more on consoles. Games like Dredge which was made by friends of mine. It sold a ton of copies. Most of their copies were sold on PC and a lot of those were because of the Steam Deck. That’s a great game to play on the go and like PC was the best version. So you could have it on the go, and have the best version. There’s no handheld Xbox, there’s no handheld PlayStation, and the Switch is not that powerful. That’s the way to go until you know until the Switch 2 or whatever unless they make a Sony or Xbox handheld. I think Xbox is leaning more into PC Game Pass and stuff. I mean the ROG Ally is basically an Xbox handheld at this point.

TA: I’ve stopped buying a lot of indie games on switch for the same reason. I can just play them on my Steam Deck OLED and have the best experience like Ultros at 90fps. Why wait for a Switch port?

DO: I think they’ve probably taken a big hit out of the Switch. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I turned on my Switch. It’s probably collecting dust. It’s sitting in the dock. I’ve got the OLED. That’s the only thing about the Switch and the OLED. It’s really light and the screen’s really nice. You know the Steam Deck and the ROG Ally are pretty big and heavy and the battery life kind of sucks especially on the ROG Ally. Hopefully they come out with a new one soon. I haven’t used my Switch in I don’t even know how long. I used to bring my Switch and my ROG Ally with me when I went on trips and now I just bring the Ally.

TA: I was just thinking about that because for boomer shooters, everything’s available on Steam and you don’t need to wait for a console port. You can just try everything through stuff like Steam Next Fest demos, Realms Deep, sales, and things like that. Speaking of console ports, is there anything you can say for DUSK on Xbox or PS5 specifically?

DO: Working on it. So DUSK on PS5, I mean we did it on PS4 obviously. For PS5, it’d be really cool to do DUSK HD on consoles, but DUSK HD is literally an entirely separate game to DUSK so it would take a significant amount of work. We’re working on it. For Xbox, I’d really like to bring the whole trilogy to Game Pass at once, but obviously we can’t do that until ULTRAKILL is finished. We’ve gotten dev kits and we’ve got DUSK and AMID EVIL running on Xbox, but it hasn’t been a priority. Right now we’re working on you know Fallen Aces early access, Gloomwood, ULTRAKILL, and we are doing the FAITH Switch port right now, and we’re also bringing FAITH to Japan. We’re going to be doing a Japanese localization and publishing it physically in Japan as well. FAITH has a big Japanese fanbase. They love their horror games over there. Plus it’s just an excuse to go hang out in Japan. That’s the kind of shit that we like to do. We do stuff because it’s fun not because it makes us money.

TA: I wanted to bring up how Steam has obviously been very important for your games. Most of them are specifically only on PC. There’s this Tweet from yours from a few years ago which stood out to me more than ever before about how the Epic Games Store is a marketing black hole.

DO: (he laughs) Yeah, that one. People at Epic don’t talk to me anymore after that one f***. I think I single-handedly tanked the f***ing Epic Games Store. It was funny. That wasn’t even me that said that. It was one of our discord moderators who came up with that. It’s so true. It’s literally a marketing black hole. If there’s a game that you hear about for the first time, and you’re like why did I never hear about this? Oh I didn’t realize that came out, 90 percent of the time it’s because it was on Epic. It’s not like they don’t have the money to market their games. The only time you hear about a game on Epic is when it’s free.

TA: Or when it’s announced as Epic Games Store exclusive.

DO: And everybody cries. I’ve known a lot of people at Epic who have tried to work there and make the store better and it hasn’t happened. Their focus is Fortnite and making Fortnite into the game to have all games. It is a platform now. I still have a lot of friends at Epic. We use Unreal Engine. It’s my preferred engine when I tinker around with stuff which isn’t that often. EGS was a bust and they had that they had the chance. But the problem is, they didn’t build a better store. If you want to beat Steam, you have to build a better store than Steam. They built a store that was worse in pretty much every way, and like sure Steam’s percentage sucks. 30% is a lot but it’s a great platform to ship games and sell games. You could still make a lot of money. Do I wish that they didn’t take as much of a cut? Sure, but what the f*** am I gonna do about it.

TA: When I was putting together the boomer shooter articles, I think I didn’t see a single one on EGS, and I don’t know if the search sucks or because there aren’t any on the store.

TA: I wanted to ask you which boomer shooters you’ve been enjoying in the last year and what you’re currently playing.

DO: I mean obviously the Night Dive stuff. I don’t know if they count because they’re just remasters. The Last Exterminator got a really cool demo that’s really fun. Warhammer 40K Boltgun obviously. It was awesome because who doesn’t love Warhammer? Warhammer boomer shooter? Come on. That was sick. One that’s not technically a boomer shooter but another immersive sim, Blood West. That one’s really cool. They also did Postal Brain Damaged. Finally someone made a good Postal game. It’s like you’re not allowed to make a good Postal game. The whole point of Postal games is they kind of suck. Wizordum is one from our buddies at Apogee and then Turbo Overkill is another really good one. I know Sam who made that. He’s a buddy of mine. Beyond Sunset’s really cool. Selaco is going to be big. They’ve got tons of wishlists. That’s probably the most technologically advanced GZDoom game that’s ever been made. Those guys are really talented. HROT obviously even though a couple of years old at this point. There’s just so many now that I could not name them all.

People ask me what games I’m playing. I mostly just play our games for testing. I haven’t had time to play a lot of stuff. I play the big stuff. I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. I played Yakuza. I played the Mafia Remake. I’ve been playing a lot of boring AAA stuff on my PS5 because somebody has to use my PS5 so it stops collecting dust.

TA: Did you finish Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth?

DO: I finished Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. The one that came out before Infinite Wealth. I kind of got burnt out on Yakuza from that. I played the demo for Infinite Wealth because I loved Seven (Yakuza: Like a Dragon). I love that it was a turn-based, you know JRPG. I think it is such a great move. It’s so funny that Final Fantasy is an action game now and Yakuza is a turn-based JRPG. But I think when I get back I’ll finally play Infinite Wealth, you know Yakuza 8, but I played Like a Dragon Gaiden. I played a lot of that. I think I was like 35 hours into that and I loved that. It was great. I did every single side quest, every sub story, you know everything and I got like 88 percent of the achievements or something even though I f***ing hate achievements. We’re programmed to like go get those achievements. So I haven’t played Infinite Wealth yet, but I’m sure I’ll play and love it because I love Ichiban and that whole crew.

TA: I ask because it is my Game of the Year so far.

DO: I think Yakuza: Like a Dragon was probably my game of the year when that was released. Was that 2018, 2019, or 2020? That was probably my Game of the Year for that year. I loved it.

TA: What does a day in your life look like besides like when you have to travel for PAX and stuff?

DO: A day in my life? I wake up uh when my dog wakes me up to feed him at like seven in the morning. Then I feed him and then I open the door so he can go out, and then I get back into bed and I sleep for a few more hours. I get up and I make myself coffee and some toast. Then I take my phone off do not disturb, and I look at my 500 messages that I have from all over the internet, and I start going through them slowly. Then I sit down and look at my email. I’m very good at keeping my inbox down. If I have meetings, phone calls. and stuff. I work from home. I sit down at my desk. I have one of those sitting/standing desks so I stand at my desk and I talk to the devs and get through the emails, and you know whatever we’re working on like right now. We’re obviously really focused on getting Fallen Aces ready for PAX and then Fallen Aces early access. Pretty much every conversation I’m having for the last couple of weeks is just Fallen Aces, Fallen Aces, PAX, PAX.Then also you know going back and forth with Fangamer and Laced, and the lawyers, and paying bills. I pay a lot of bills. I have a lot of developers and they all gotta get paid, and I pay a lot of invoices. Going back and forth with our studio manager and the merch store and our QA lead and our dev support lead and making sure everybody’s working on their (shit). We have a weekly Gloomwood meeting and then a weekly meeting where everybody hangs out and we just show what we’ve been working on. A lot of Discord and a lot of Gmail and that’s my life. Then I’ll go to the gym and then I’ll make myself dinner and play Final Fantasy and start over again.

TA: Did you play Final Fantasy XVI?

DO: I started it because I finally got a PS5 and I downloaded it. I think I got distracted with something, and now I’m playing Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and I’m like 30 hours into it, and i’m kind of burnt out on it a little bit, so I’m gonna wait till i get back to jump back in. I made it to the most important part. I got to Tifa in a bathing suit, and I’d say that’s probably just where the game peaks so I might just quit while I’m ahead.

TA: I haven’t gotten that far yet, I’m in the beginning of chapter two and I put it on hold because there are too many games coming out.

DO: It’s very open. It’s got all that open world stuff, but it doesn’t get boring or anything like that. It’s really good and it’s really fun to see how they’ve reimagined all these things that you remember from your childhood. I was 14 when Final Fantasy 7 came out and I remember it like it was yesterday. I’ve replayed it a couple times over the years. So far so good. I don’t know what happens. I don’t know if f*** it up and Aerith lives or something like that. We’re gonna see. I’m not there yet, I don’t want any spoilers. We’ll see what happens.

TA: How do you like your coffee?

DO: Flat white. For those of you who don’t know what a flat white is, it is two shots of espresso and foamed milk which is the proper way to drink a cup of coffee. Anything else is nonsense.

TA: Do you have a message for your fans reading this?

DO: Yeah! We love you, and we hate money. You know what I’m gonna say. Thanks for playing our stupid games.

I mentioned the Steam sale at that point and we discussed how the sales on Steam used to be a lot better before with daily deals and flash sales where you could vote.

DO: The flash deals, and you could vote on them. We got ROTT 2013 in one of those flash sales, and that paid for my house.

TA: Besides Fallen Aces early access and PAX, what should we expect from New Blood in 2024 because the 2023 recap and 10 years of New Blood videos were amazing.

DO: We worked hard on that. My buddy Aaron, the co-founder with me, did that video. He wanted to because he hasn’t worked with us in a while. We are always trying to do less, because as you can tell, we do a lot. We do something at least once every month. Obviously PAX is coming up, and then Fallen Aces early access. Gloomwood’s getting a big update with the underport, another big district with new weapons and stuff. It’s a massive district, actually, bigger than the marketplace. ULTRAKILL is getting an update with a new secret level and I think a new weapon variant or something like that. The way we do ULTRAKILL updates where we have a new layer and then we’ll do the secret level, so we’re on to you know new you know 7s i think is what we’re working on next and then A bunch of new features and stuff like that.

Then FAITH on Switch, and then FAITH’s physical release obviously, Fangamer is doing all that. We’re going to Japan for BitSummit and we are taking FAITH with us so that will be fun. I haven’t really thought about it beyond that. That gets us to like July. Obviously June will be like E3 time. Maybe we’ll do some fun stuff for the PC Gaming Show, but again we don’t have anything really, we don’t have any big things coming up anymore. A lot of the stuff that we teased at the you know the PC GAming Show was like Gloomwood, and now Gloomwood’s in early access.

People always ask me about the car game or the rpg and stuff. We’re working on them in our spare time on the side. I don’t want to like tease stuff. Every once in a while I’ll tweet out something, but like those games are not going to be done for years if they ever get done. We’re always having fun with prototypes and stuff. More updates for ULTRAKILL, more updates for Gloomwood, more updates for Fallen Aces, more console ports, and that’s it.

TA: What about bringing FAITH to mobile?

DO: Maybe. I don’t play mobile games. I have zero mobile games on my phone. The last mobile game i think i had on my phone was jetpack joyride and that was a long time ago. i’m sure it could. i mean it’s GameMaker, so I don’t I don’t know how well GameMaker Studio 2 works on mobile, but I mean mobile’s like a big bucket of worms. it’s scary. i remember what that was like having to do TestFlight apps and stuff on ios. I’m a pixel guy. i have a pixel 8. I’m in the Google ecosystem, so like I don’t even know how to use an iPhone. We could bring it to mobile I guess. We tend to do what our players ask for. When they said they wanted FAITH on switch or DUSK on switch or AMID EVIL on PlayStation, that’s what we do. Again, we hate money right? Like we don’t actually hate money, but we don’t go doing things because we think they could make us a lot of money.

I’m sure maybe FAITH could make a ton of money on mobile. A FAITH mobile tap type game where every time you mortis you have to pay five cents like i don’t f***ing know. Why would we do that? Maybe it could do really well on mobile but at the same time we don’t play mobile games so why would we do that? If a ton of people asked for it or if a company came to us and was like hey we want to put faith on mobile, and we’ll pay you a million dollars, we’d be sure that sounds cool. For the most part, if it doesn’t come up in our discussions, then it’s probably not something we’re thinking about.

TA: If you had unlimited budget, and you wanted to get any other brand or IP as a crossover in one of your games, what would it be?

DO: Splatterhouse. I’ve talked about that one a lot. I miss Splatterhouse. Hopefully Namco does something with that someday. You know I’d love to get like slayer, iron maiden, judas priest, like that kind of stuff. I’d love to get some of the big metal bands in our games with licensed music. Andrew is friends with Herman from Dragonforce. It would always be cool to do like a Dragonforce crossover. That kind of silly stuff, but that’s all music. For crossovers, we did Metal Hellsinger. That was really fun. I was talking to Nigel from Devolver Digital not that long ago. We were always talking about how New Blood and Devolver have never done a proper crossover. I think the last thing we did together was we had Lo Wang and ROTT 2013, and that wasn’t even a New Blood game. We’ve talked about stuff. It just has to be the right thing at the right time. I talked to the people over at team17 and stuff. I’m sure we could do something fun with Dredge, but we’re just really busy making the games. I’d love to do more fun crossover collaborative stuff, but we’ll see what happens. David’s busy with Markiplier. Maybe we’ll get Markiplier to show up in one of our games? who knows.

It used to be when we weren’t so popular, that we had to go and pitch ourselves to people and say it would be really cool if we could have your music in our game and now people come to us. They are like I represent this band and they’re really big New Blood fans and they want to know if they could be in one of your games. It’s completely flipped so that’s really cool. It’s cool when people think you’re cool. It’s been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t change anything.

I’d like to thank Dave Oshry for his time here.

You can keep up with all our interviews here including our recent ones with Digital Extremes for Warframe mobile, Team NINJA, Sonic Dream Team, Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, and more. As usual, thanks for reading.

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