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Young Horses played Pokemon Snap to explore Bugsnax's very early mechanics

The classic Pokemon photography game had a strong influence on the conceptual phase of Bugsnax.


Bugsnax is set to bring its peculiar adorableness to the PS5 and PC next month. Like many around the gaming space, we here at Shacknews have been fascinated by Bugsnax ever since its reveal during the PS5 showcase. We were lucky enough to sit down for a virtual interview with Phil Tibitoski, Young Horses co-founder and the creator of Bugsnax. In the interview, Tibitoski shared that the developers played a lot of Pokemon Snap when exploring Bugsnax’s mechanics early on. 

The full interview with Bugsnax creator and Young Horses co-founder Phil Tibitoski was conducted by our own CEO and Editor-In-Chief Asif Khan alongside Video Editor Greg Burke. The interview goes for over an hour and can be viewed in its entirety on the Shacknews YouTube channel.

“We initially played a lot of Pokemon Snap, to try and figure out how that might play into what the game is, and that was a part of the initial exploration of mechanics.” Tibitoski said, when speaking to how the Pokemon games influenced Bugsnax’s development. He also points to the Pokedex as a feature the devs referenced while working on Bugsnax. 

Tibitoski also spoke about the lessons they learned when playing through Pokemon Snap. “We realized that being on rails like that kind of sucks now.” In Pokemon Snap, players traverse levels through a strict and predetermined path, only able to rotate and move the camera, this is commonly referred to as “on-rails.” While it may have worked for the cult-classic Pokemon spinoff, Young Horses found that it wouldn’t be a good option for a modern take on the genre. 

If you enjoyed this snippet from our Bugsnax, consider watching the full video, where he also talks about the theory that Bugsnax is secretly a horror game. For more exclusive interviews, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews on YouTube.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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