Bloodstained Ritual of the Night bosses had to be flawlessly beaten with only a dagger to make it in the game

Famed developer Koji Igarashi had a harsh rule for the designers of the  Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night bosses: each boss designer had to beat their boss with only a dagger — and without taking a single hit. While it may seem tough, Igarashi said the rule helps to ensure the fairness of boss design.

In a Q&A with Gamasutra, Igarashi gave some insight into Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, detailing some of the team’s design philosophies. Regarding the dagger-only rule, Igarashi said making sure boss designs are fair helps encourage players to want to challenge bosses again with a different method upon failure.

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“Removing the ‘unfairness’ allows players to think about what they could have done to avoid a Game Over,” said Igarashi. “It makes them want to challenge the boss again using a different method. (Honestly, don’t ask us to complete this challenge more than once though…).”

He also said that that Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was designed to be “familiar” in order to give players returning to Igarashi’s trademark “Igavania” game style “a sense of relief,” so the designers focused on how the game felt rather than trying to bring forth challenging new ideas. As such, Igarashi said he took a very similar design approach to Bloodstained as he did to Symphony of the Night.

Igarashi also touched on other elements of the game’s development. When asked if he’d use Kickstarter to fund another game in the future, Igarashi said he saw upsides and downsides to the crowdfunding platform.

“Creating promises at such an early stage of development was much more difficult than I anticipated,” stated Igarashi, explaining that he’d use other funding for his next project if it’s available, but that Kickstarter is useful for getting community feedback. “Depending on how we use it, Kickstarter is a very powerful tool and there may be possibilities in the future after careful planning.”

But some versions of the game are not quite as fair as others. Publisher 505 Games recently announced a new Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Switch update, which will bring many changes to the Nintendo Switch version of the game. Unfortunately, players will have to wait longer before the Switch performance issues are solved.