Metroid Released on the NES 30 years ago today, 15th of August, and with the E3 announcement that Metroid II would be remade as Metroid Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS we turned our attention towards Milton Guasti, the developer who spent about 10 years working on AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake). Shortly after releasing the remade game in 2016, he received a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) from Nintendo. We wondered how he felt about this and what he’s been doing since.
You worked on AM2R for a long time, how much time did you spend on it on a daily (or weekly) basis?
It depended a lot on my free time. Sometimes I worked entire afternoons on the project, other times months went by without progress. The last stretch, the 2 years leading to the release, were the most productive.
Shortly after release Nintendo filed a DMCA claim.*
Was there no contact from them before the release? Do you think they were at all aware of the project?
The first and only official contact was the DMCA claim. Sakamoto heard about AM2R, after they already had started development of MSR.
* Reggie Fils-Aimé said Nintendo considers AM2R to be a commercial product, even though it was released for free. They filed the DMCA to protect the intelectual property. – Source
Was there any communication between you and Nintendo after the DMCA claim?
Not at all.
They didn’t include Metroid:Confrontation in the DMCA. Do you think this means they were more trying to protect the story of Metroid 2 as a whole? *
After the E3 announcement of Samus Returns, that seems to be the case.
*Metroid: Confrontation is a small complete game, set in the Metroid universe. It started as a small tech demo, used to show the engine capabilities. It slowly evolved into what it is today: a small but action packed Metroid adventure, with 3 epic boss fights and many secrets.
(You can find more info and the Download: Here)
Now that Metroid: Samus Returns is announced their claim makes even more sense. How did you respond (feel about it) when you first heard the game’s announcement?
I’m really considering getting a 3DS just for that game. For what I’ve seen so far, the game looks like a very unique take on the original game.
Comparing the work of an experienced development team to my little game will be interesting.*
*To me it seems like Milton’s approach was more of a Remake while Nintendo’s Samus Returns is a fullblown Remaster with 3D polygon assets instead of 2D sprites. Though Milton also added a lot of content (an additional boss, a visible map.. to name a few)
Here’s some footage from AM2R:
And here’s footage from Metroid Samus Returns
Milton’s feedback on Twitter:
Project AM2R (@AM2Rgame) 13 juni 2017
Which official Metroid game is your favourite?
That’d be Super Metroid. The atmosphere and level design are excellent, and it holds up really well today.
What are some of your other favourite games?
A little bit of everything, including the newer metroidvanias. Axiom Verge, Guacamelee, Shadow Complex, Ori, and the occasional round of Rocket League.
Any particular games you’re looking forward to?
Metroid Samus Returns looks interesting. And the sequels to A Wolf Among Us and Life is Strange. I enjoy adventure games every once in a while.
So what’s next for Milton?
Even though the AM2R project was forced to stop, the invested time certainly don’t seem wasted. Milton has been contacted by Moon Studios, to join their team and work on Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
Here’s what he had to say on his blog:
Some time ago, the CEO of Moon Studios (creators of Ori and the Blind Forest) reached out with an offer. They needed a level designer for their upcoming sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and I was a potential candidate for the job.
I gladly accepted the offer. Ori is one of the many games I was able to enjoy lately. One can see the love and attention to detail that went into its design. I feel like I’ll be right at home working with this team.
It’s a pretty huge change in my life, since it’s a full time job. But dreams are there to be chased, my family supports this decision and it could be the beginning of a new career.
I want to thank you again, awesome people that kept AM2R alive with your motivating words, your lets plays and reviews. Without you, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post with a huge smile on my face.
So all is well that ends well 🙂
Once Ori and the Will of the Wisps nears completion we’ll talk to Milton again about his work on it.