Intervju med Michael “Kayin” O’Reilly har intervjuat mannen bakom det hatade, älskade och ökända I Wanna be the Guy: The Movie: The Game.

Spelet har, sedan det släpptes fått sanslöst mycket uppmärksamhet för sin svårighetsgrad, men har också prisats av just den anledningen. Därutöver har det berömts för sitt kreativa användande av sprites från diverse gamla klassiker och för dess kluriga bandesign.

Man kan utan tvekan påstå att man inte är en sann hardcore-spelare om man inte klarat det minst en gång.

Recensionen av spelet finner ni här.

I think everyone who has ever played IWBTG are wondering who the maniacal sadist behind this game is. Care to enlighten us?
I’m Mike “Kayin” O’Reilly, 26 year old graphic designer (bet you couldn’t tell that one!) and indy game developer. While generally considered a pretty nice guy, I obviously have a little cruelty streak going…

Having played this game a lot lately, I have to ask: what the fuck is wrong with you?

A lot and yet so little! I’m very happy, have good relationships with my family, have excellent friends and general do pretty well for my self. I’m also twisted and perverted. I look at pornography that would make the eyes weep, and play video games that would do much the same. I have a pretty sick ‘dead puppy’ sense of humor as well.

I was never beaten or neglected or anything, so I guess this lack of excuse makes me an extra bad human being.

How did you first get the idea for what would eventually become IWBTG?
I was playing the Flash game Owata and thought “Man, this could be done better”. I also was showing my friend how simple it is to make basic character sprites. I whipped the kid up in like 5 minutes and then decided “Hey, I should take this kid and try and make a game better than Owata! It’ll be good game making practice and should be pretty easy!”

I was pretty spot on, besides for the part about it being easy.

Tell us a bit about the development of this game. What tools did you use, what difficulties did you face, how long did it take, etc?
I used Multimedia Fusion 2. Let me just say this: I HATE MULTIMEDIA FUSION 2. As far as I can tell, there are only 3 people who have done anything worth playing in MMF2, and I’m one of them. The other two are Nifflas (Knytt, Within a Deep Forest), and Konjak(Noitu Love 1 and 2). I might be missing someone, but still. Nifflas now pays people with his excessive donation money to make plugins for MMF2 (so he can actually DO SOMETHING with it) and Konjak pretty much said fuck it and jumped to Scirra’s Construct (It’s free!), like I have.

MMF2 is horrible bloatware garbage, but the interface is pretty intuitive so it can trick people into using it. It has tons of crap in it though that get in the way of a good game. You can only have, for example, 24 global variables. Can you get around this? Yes. But why would you have such a limitation? Oh right because you want every variable to be a letter of the alphabet. As opposed to Construct which allows infinite, named variables. How it handles slowdowns is buggy (see: The Kid falling through platforms), it crashes a lot and just MAN. It’s jsut bad. Did you know IWBTG supports joypads and reconfigurable keys?

Sure it does, but it’s in one of MMF2s stupid menus, gamepads can’t be remapped (WHAT) and keys you change don’t save.

All my major difficulties came from growing pains related to MMF2. As the game got bigger I realized more and more how weak the system was. I also had to contend with a computer meltdown that took out 3 harddrives. For some odd reason I had backed the file up a day earlier on someone elses computer. I was half a step away from ruination. The game was probably more than half way done at the time so if I lost it, it would have been gone forever. No redoing that much work.

As for time, I sent 6 months about making the game.

 The way I understand it, this game is, from beginning to end, a tribute to all of the classics of the 8 and 16 bit era, and not primarily an attempt at making the hardest, most frustrating game ever. What were your intentions with this game?
The intentions is to make a game that SEEMED like the hardest game ever. So much so that the Guinness Book of World Records considered me for a record (before the fact that there is no real way to measure difficulty came up :P)! It’s a farce, as even bad players can force themselves through the game with time.

The game is also meant to be funny. I think thats what sets it apart from it’s imitators and why the Japanese have taken to it (Owata and Syobon Action definitely have the same humor as me).

The Retro love was actually not my original intention. It just happened. Originally video game jokes were just going to be ‘sometimes thing’, but then I got more and more into it. The next IWBTG game will definitely embrace this even more.


What has the feedback from the gaming community been?

The feedback is that ‘there is a lot of it’. Some people love me, some people hate me, but everyone knows me. People cringe when the game is mentioned, even if they haven’t played it. It’s pretty incredible to google it and just read what people say. Some people were arguing it had artistic significants (?!?!?). It’s an endless source of entertainment for me.


I’m guessing you’ve received a lot of angry e-mails and such from annoyed people frustrated by your game. Which is, to date, the funniest thing a hater has written to you?
It’s been so long since I got hatemail that I don’t remember anymore. The fanmail has way outpaced the hate. No, what I have fun with is just ripping people apart. I debate, A LOT. I test all of my opinions in arguments. So by the time someone comes along and email’s me ‘u dun no wat level design is, u just make traps!”, I am sufficantly prepared to rip any of their arguments to shreds. This just makes me giddy inside.

Any death threats?
No serious ones. I mean, obviously no one is ACTUALLY going to kill me, but everyone I got was threatening my life in obvious jest.

The game contains a lot of music and graphics from other games. Has any pissed off game developers sent their lawyers after you?
So it turns out if you’re discrete, on one really cares. But if you make a game called “I WANNA BE THE SUPER MARIO BROS”, Nintendo will jump up and sue your pants off. The reason is that these companies don’t care if you use their sprites or not. I mean, I’m sure they care, but generally not enough to sue over. But if you use their branding, you can weaken their brand image. This is also why none of my merchandise has any referenced material on it.

So no, no C&D letters.


Are you working on any other games at the moment? A frustrating, super-hard sequel to IWBTG, perhaps?
Oh yes, with new mechanics and everything. Sadly I’m held up right now by a few bugs in Construct. Construct is better than MMF2 by a ton, but it’s still beta level software. But it’s free and open source which means thing swill clear up eventually.

Theres also Brave Earth, my long term project. I post about it on my blog occasionally. Don’t expect anything about that anytime soon though. Theres a lot of work involved in that project and I’ve done like, a fraction of it.

There are quite a few bugs in the game and a lot of people are suspecting you left them in and/or intentionally created them, just to menace gamers. What’s the truth to the matter?
As a general rule, if a bug is beneficial, I kept it. The kraidgief bug was also modified once someone found it. I took the bug and I turned it into a feature because, ironically, the bug also happened with Kraid in Super Metroid.

It’s tempting to go back and patch some of the invulnerability bugs or teleporting tricks, but at the same time, no. As long as the player doesn’t experience it randomly, the availability of bugs adds to the ‘lore’ of a game, sort of like the old NES days. The Debug keys are a total accident. I missed a few of them because there is no easy way to search through code in MMF2.

Have you ever beaten the game yourself?

Of course. Check my youtube account for a playthrough with commentery. I also have like, 70+ Wins playing Spelunky and won one of those Bayonetta shirts from Penny Arcade. I do not hide from hard games!

I presume you’ve watched Cloud8745′s famous playthrough of this game. He seems to lose his sanity from time to time, mutters death threats and screams like a retard on fire. Do you think anyone has ever gone permanently insane from being whipped bloody by IWBTG’s extreme difficulty level, and if so, would you consider selling it as an instrument of torture to the various regimes around the world who haven’t ratified the Geneva Convention and accepted the UN’s bill of human rights?
I think IWBTG is terrible for torture. The reason is that it’s very rewarding. Every gain makes you feel like a king. Instead, they should just play Action 52.

I think LPers have it the worst though because they HAVE to finish it. Pride is on the line. I think thats what drove Cloud and UltraJMan to tears. I would also talk to both of them while their LPs were in progress. I haven’t spoken to Cloud for awhile, but I talk to JMan semi regularly. All three of us were on surprisingly friendly terms, even after Cloud punched a hole in his wall.

What is the thing you’re most proud of in IWBTG?
It’s the fact that it said ‘Mike, you really can make a game that is successful. You’re not an all talk chump anymore!’ Really what else is there? I just intensely value it as a package. It’s one of the things in my life that I am most proud of.

I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone from where you’ve gotten the inspiration for IWBTG, so I’m going to go ahead and ask the unavoidable question; which are your favorite games of all time?
This comes up on my forums all the time and the regulars always answer the first one for me. “Super Metroid”. Every indy game maker wants to make Super Metroid
. The Metroidvania is the Noblest Genre. But honestly I never played anything closer to a ‘perfect game’. That isn’t to say it is the best game ever, but it presents amazingly few flaws. It’s masterfully put together. When you look at all the maps for the new Castlevania games, you gotta stop and think….

 “Super Metroid did this with no teleporters and it was EASIER to get around”

Other than that? I have a love affair with Spelunky. I also play the crap out of Tetris. I’m also a big fan of competitive games, particularly fighters. For awhile I was a notable guy in the New York fighting game scene. I don’t do tournaments as much as I used to though so my skill has kinda waned. I recently picked up Bayonetta and I loved that…

But I think what you or other people want is more classics. As a kid, my favorite games on the NES were Bionic Commando, Blaster Master, Super Mario Bros 2 and 3, Mega Man 2, and of course Zelda. On the SNES, Super Metroid (obviously), A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy 6 (though I can no longer stomach RPGs), Metal Warriors and Yoshi’s Island.

IWBTG is a PC exclusive, but executable on Mac OS X and Linux using Darwine and Wine. I know you’re tired of people whining about ports, but would you reconsider if I gave you a lap-dance?
Well the problem here is that it’s Multimedia Fusion 2′s fault, not mine! They would need to make MMF2 compile for OSX and Linux. Same goes for Construct, so I can confirm that the next IWBTG will also lack Mac support. Brave Earth is a different story, because currently it’s being coded by someone with portability in mind.

That said someone on the forums is making a Mac version of IWBTG thats basically a single, packed executable. It really is just like running it in Darwine or something, but without having to mess with it too much.

Have you gotten any attention from any mainstream game developers since the release of IWBTG, like job offers and such?
I talk a lot with David Sirlin, who used to work for Capcom and is known for all the stuff he says on his blog. I also know a few other people in the industry here and there, but in general? Not really.

There’s a new game coming out for the NES, called “Battle Kid: The Fortress of Peril”. The packaging claims it’s inspired by IWBTG, and it really shows when you see the game’s contents (the main character is almost a blatant rip-off of The Kid). What are your impressions of this game? Were you in any way involved in making it? Have you had the chance to play it yet?
Shit, I just remembered, I need to send Sivak 5 bucks. Yeah, Sivak got my permission. I pretty much am open to people jacking my IWBTG stuff because it’s fair play as I see it. I jacked so much content I would be a jerk if I got pissy about it. Generally my only rule is people aren’t allowed to profit off of IWBTG, unless they’re me. Sivak gets a pass since he did not make an IWBTG Fan game, he just sorta put in a few references (the kid, falling lemons). He also gets a pass because what he’s doing is so cool.

He’s supposed to send me a free copy. the 5 I owe him is for shipping.

And that concludes the interview. Thank you for your time, and, of course, for the incredible IWBTG, a game which has the rare feature of being both awesome and a potential ticket to the insane asylum. The best of luck in all your future endeavors, from all of us here at!

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