For our latest feature, our staff member and podcast host Amanda looks back at her experience cosplaying Zero Suit Samus at PAX West 2019. She reminisces over her time wearing the costume at the convention, and the challenges she faced getting it together in a short space of time, which may resonate with other cosplayers out there. She also shares her thoughts on how she might approach the same cosplay in the future.
Over the past year, Retro Studios has been on a hiring spree, filling multiple positions from art director to director of development. Now, they are hiring for three product testing positions and seeking a storyboard artist, all contract. The testing jobs opened up on September 30, while the storyboard artist position was listed this past Monday.
What these listings tell us is that Metroid Prime 4 is now in a playable state. While it may not be ready for unveiling yet, it is getting closer. Perhaps Retro is now focusing development on cutscenes and ensuring that the game runs smoothly. We can’t wait to see the finished product.
Source: Nintendo Careers
As we get older, our perspectives shift on things we experienced or games we played as children, sometimes for the better or the worst. This month’s feature, courtesy of team member KomodoZero, touches on that. In this feature, Komodo discusses his experience with learning to appreciate Metroid Prime 2: Echoes as an adult. He makes a case for how it built on the original Metroid Prime, mitigated unpopular aspects such as backtracking, and experimented with a darker atmosphere. Whether Echoes is one of your favorite or least favorite Metroid games, this feature makes the argument for why the game is one of the franchise’s boldest entries. We hope you’ll give it a read!
Another new hire at Retro Studios has come to light. It has been reported that Jon Marcella, a veteran game designer from Santa Monica, has joined Retro Studios as an environment designer for Metroid Prime 4. Marcella came to Retro in July of 2020 according to his LinkedIn profile. His previous work includes level design, Lua and AI scripting, and puzzle design for God of War.
Marcella is one of several industry veterans hired by Retro Studios in recent times, including Dylan Jobe and others who were part of development on titles in the Battlefield, Halo, Call of Duty, Tomb Raider and Donkey Kong Country franchises.
We will keep you up to date on any new hires we hear about, as we await a full unveiling of Metroid Prime 4.
This month’s Community Spotlight features another talented musician from Harmony of a Hunter, Stephan Wells. Also known as Step, he created beautiful arrangements of classic Metroid tracks for Harmony of a Hunter: 101% Run, and served as the Assistant Director of Harmony of Heroes. Additionally, Step has been an asset to Shinesparkers in editing our content and podcast. We are incredibly proud to feature Step and hope you will take the time to read more about him by clicking below!
On a side note, we are always keen to feature talented Metroid focused projects in the community. If you are a cosplayer, speedrunner, artist, musician or someone that has a really cool and unique Metroid focused project that could do with a bit more attention, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our Facebook and Twitter social media pages, we would love to hear from you!
It has been brought to light that Dylan Jobe, a gaming industry veteran, has joined Retro Studios as its Director of Development. Having been hired earlier in 2020, Jobe has more than 25 years of experience. Among his credits are Warhawk (2007) on the PlayStation 3, for which he was the director, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, and DOOM and ReCore (both 2016), for which he was a designer.
According to a job description from Retro, Jobe will be responsible for handling the development schedule and scope of Metroid Prime 4, while also overseeing employee performance reviews. He is one of a number of industry veterans who have been hired during the development of Prime 4.
We wish Mr. Jobe well in his new role and hope to hear more about the game soon.
Today marks ten years since Shinesparkers was created. It’s incredible for me to think that our little community celebrating Metroid would still be around after all this time. Over the past decade, we have brought you interviews with the people that made our favourite games, highlighted the creative talents of the Metroid community by sharing their work with our Community Spotlight features, brought you opinion pieces written by our team, and created exclusive content to entertain you, such as our Metroid fan-arrangement albums like Harmony of a Hunter. To mark this occasion, I have shared my thoughts on ten years of Metroid, from how the community came to be, to the current and future ambitions of Shinesparkers.
We really love what we do, and we have enjoyed seeing our community grow and thrive. Whether you’ve been there from the beginning, or have just heard about us, thank you for engaging with us!
Today, Retro Studios shared a tweet promoting an open position for Lead Producer on Metroid Prime 4. The job has been open since May 11, 2020, so it seems they have not been able to find one. The job listing is below. Some of the requirements include experience with JIRA, Confluence and MS Office Suite, communication and organizational skills, and a minimum of ten years of production experience in game development.
It is important to remember that jobs are filled and reopened all the time in game development. There was staff turnover during the development of the first Metroid Prime, with some team members leaving after completing their work and some staying onboard. This is no different, and should not be taken to mean that Metroid Prime 4’s development process is stalled. To anyone who applies for this job, we wish you good luck, and we hope that everyone at Retro Studios and Nintendo is staying safe and healthy during these challenging times.
Whether you were a fan of the game, or felt it didn’t live up to expectations, it is clear that Metroid: Other M is a title that has caused controversy and division for almost a decade. Team member RoyboyX offers his thoughts in an attempt to redeem Samus, by exploring her past beyond the games we all know so well, and trying to assuage criticisms from those who held stronger views about the games’ direction. We want to thank RoyboyX for taking the time to share his thoughts with us.
For our eighth podcast, we are thrilled to be joined by Jessica Martin, who provided the voice of Samus in Metroid: Other M, to celebrate its tenth anniversary! In this feature-length podcast, we asked Jessica many questions, including why she became an actress, her dream roles, and her thoughts on Other M’s reception. The team also share their favourite scenes from Other M. Podcast also features host Amanda, and team members Darren and RoyboyX.
01:27 – Guest: Jessica Martin
1:17:12 – Topic: What are our favourite scenes from Metroid: Other M?
1:26:37 – Bloopers