I caught up with Noodletub Games’ Cat about Kickstarter success and how EarthBound and y2k inspired feel-good yuri visual novel Good Luck Baby!
“An adventure/mystery yuri visual novel about falling in love, saving the world, and finding your place within it.” That’s certainly a compelling enough premise, but add to that a Japan 2002 setting, gorgeous art by mpmrpjb, and the fact that Noodletub Games—the studio behind the wonderful Love Bakudan—is behind it? Well, Good Luck Baby! is definitely one to keep an eye on.
That’s clearly an opinion held by a few folks out there, with the game hitting its initial CAD $4,000 Kickstarter goal in under 24 hours. At the time of writing, the ongoing crowdfunding campaign has more than quadrupled that target, sitting at just over CAD $18,000 raised, with the extra money going towards various stretch goals like additional routes and special artwork. It’s the kind of success story you love to see, especially for a developer like Noodletub: a two-person outfit doing what they love and trying to put some joy into the world, and getting the support they need to bring those dreams to life.
I needed to know more about the ideas and inspirations behind Good Luck Baby!, so I got in touch with Cat, the writer the behind the game, to ask a few questions.
Shindig: How did you come up with the idea for Good Luck Baby?
Cat: Around the start of 2021, I finally got around to playing EarthBound for the very first time and totally fell in love with it. The game’s story and flavour really touched my heart with how cute it managed to be, whilst also still being funny and captivating in so many ways I hadn’t expected. I really loved the concept of a cute cast on a dangerous yet lighthearted adventure doing their best, and I felt like after I beat it, it made a huge impact on me. Around that same time, the mental image of a baby with a halo wouldn’t get out of my head as a concept for a story, so I couldn’t help but indulge my idea by thinking of it as a visual novel. The main characters of Good Luck Baby! (besides the baby, of course!) are all much older than the kids in EarthBound, but the influence of a lighthearted adventure to tug at your heartstrings with a few dark undertones to it is still very much there!
What are your biggest influences, and how do they feed into your work?
Well as the both of us were teenagers during the mid to late 2000’s, the y2k boom and media we ingested from that time has impacted us in big ways, even to this day. The look and feel of those times influenced the aesthetic Good Luck Baby! will be aiming to achieve in its visual flair, and was the reason we decided to set the story in the year 2002. For a more specific influence, the anime film Tokyo Godfathers has always been one of my favourite movies, and was also a huge inspiration for the concept of a ragtag group helping a little baby get back home.
What has been the most memorable part of working on the game so far?
I know it’s probably an expected answer, but honestly, the Kickstarter has been the most memorable part just from how crazy it’s been. We made the base funding in just 24 hours, and we’ve had tons of interest in this project that we could never have expected! Besides the Kickstarter though, I’d definitely have to say how exciting it was to get the art of our characters for the first time. There is just something so special about seeing your own creations have life breathed into them.
What do you hope people get out of their time with Good Luck Baby?
I would personally love it if this story helped people understand that family is not always quite so black and white as simply being related biologically. I don’t think it matters where you start out, but who you decide to surround yourself with in your life and where you end up as a result. For Kasumi and Hifumi, obviously they are very young and not intending to start a family at all! But they do their best by showing that even if you have absolutely no experience or very little by way of cash, if you are surrounded by love, sometimes that can be the greatest wealth of all. I think it would be fantastic if people came away from the game with a genuine heartwarming feeling of ‘hey, that was a really sweet game I won’t forget anytime soon’. There are many different types of families and love out there, and I’d love to depict that in an interesting and touching way.
If you could make or be involved with anything at all, blue skies, no limitations, what would it be—your dream project?
Oh, it would be absolutely incredible to achieve our dream of getting a full-blown remake of our first game, The Ghost of You! When we made that title we had zero budget, which is why it didn’t have any art to speak of and was a text-only adventure. If it was possible, we’d love to have it be a 3D horror game akin to something like the PS1 greats of survival horror – here’s looking at you, Silent Hill. It would definitely be a full-circle moment for us, so that would be amazing! (I’d love to see this, too! – Ed.)
Thanks Cat for taking the time to answer these questions! Good Luck Baby! is due out on PC (Steam and itch.io) later this year.