Little Goody Two Shoes Interview: Card Captor Sakura's influence, the challenge of horror, and development timeline

Horror adventure Little Goody Two Shoes launches today and to celebrate, RPG Site was able to chat a bit with its developers at AstralShift. We learn how the project was originally planned as a short prequel to the original 2016 of Pocket Mirror, AstralShift's debut game that received a remake earlier this year with Pocket Mirror ~ GoldenerTraum. Plus, we learn some of the iconic shoujo anime series that influenced the gorgeous artstyle of Little Goody Two Shoes and much more.

António "Kira" Lopes, Patrícia "Ebee" Silva, and João Caetano from AstralShift spoke with us about their new title. We were provided a developer bio on each of them to give us a better understanding about their roles at the company.

Kira is part of the original AstralShift team behind Pocket Mirror. He is an experienced artist who has a keen technical understanding of both design and the more traditional art forms alike. Kira’s expressive and nostalgic art style is one of the driving forces Little Goody Two Shoes' charming character designs.

Patrícia is the lead writer at AstralShift, and part of the original AstralShift team behind Pocket Mirror. Coming from a linguistics background, she’s able to use the knowledge she’s gained to great use, and the quality of the writing in our titles speaks for itself.

One of the lead programmers at AstralShift, João’s experience in software development and knowledge of the innerworkings of game development has been key in creating and building out Little Goody Two Shoes’ most important mechanics and systems.

Please enjoy our interview with AstralShift, the developer of Little Goody Two Shoes that is launching today on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC (Steam).


RPG Site: Little Goody Two Shoes is coming out several months after your previous project, the Pocket Mirror ~ GoldenerTraum remake. When did the production of Little Goody Two Shoes begin and was it a project you originally wanted to pursue after the original 2016 release of Pocket Mirror?

Ebee: While Little Goody Two Shoes has officially been in production since 2021, the idea for the title has been around since before the original release of Pocket Mirror in 2016. It was initially envisioned as a very short prequel to Pocket Mirror where we would explore the story of Elise and give some closure to certain parts of the narrative.

Instead, our vision for the title ended up growing in scale over a long period of pre-production throughout 2019 and 2020, until we partnered up with Square Enix Collective at the end of 2021, which is when full-time production really kicked into gear.


RPG Site: At first glance, the thing about Little Goody Two Shoes that catches everyone’s attention is its striking 90’s anime-inspired visual art style. This is also something present in both prior releases of Pocket Mirror.

We’d love to know more about the process AstralShift undertakes in designing its characters. What specific inspirations do they turn to when conceptualizing them and what do you think are the most important aspects to pay attention to when attempting to capture the essence of 90’s anime art?

Kira: We drew a lot of inspiration from multiple sources for the visual direction of Little Goody Two Shoes, but the most marked influences were iconic shoujo series from the 90’s such as Revolutionary Girl Utena, Card Captor Sakura, and Magic Knight Rayearth, which were essential in shaping the dreamy atmosphere and style of our game.

As the lead character designer of Little Goody Two Shoes, I put a lot of emphasis on silhouettes and employing striking shapes to create a memorable and unique character design reminiscent of the 90’s. Some key characteristics include pointy mouths, fluffy hair, and bold colors – these basic principles can be found all across the most iconic retro anime shows, and contrast with the softer and more subtle designs that we have nowadays.

The main character Elise in particular is a homage to the female protagonists of this time period, not just design-wise but also in her strong and determined personality.


RPG Site: What were some of the lessons you took away from developing Pocket Mirror ~ GoldenerTraum as you developed Little Goody Two Shoes? Did the original concept or scope of the game evolve over time throughout the production process?

João: The main takeaway from developing Pocket Mirror was making sure the narrative was delivered in a more direct way and to provide the player with quality-of-life features (such as the skip option, for example) that would facilitate replayability from the get go, so that getting all the endings would feel fun and engaging.

This did affect the scope of the game seeing as we’ve always had replayability in mind which, along with time and budget constraints, meant simplifying some systems so that they became easier to understand and more fun to interact with.

For example, we initially had a riddle system in place for Elise’s “working” sections, but these were eventually swapped for fast-paced arcade-style minigames, which felt more engaging and fun to play over and over again!


RPG Site: Horror has continued to be a central element in-between all of AstralShift’s works so far. What aspects of the horror genre does the studio find compelling and what are the challenges in conveying horror when it comes to designing entire video games around it?

Ebee: We definitely have a sweet spot for horror – movies, games, novels, you name it! It’s always been a shared common interest of ours and we couldn’t help but want to incorporate it in our games. We find there’s beauty and mystique in the terrifying and bizarre, and that’s precisely what we aim to showcase in our titles through their visuals and narrative.

Our biggest challenge has always been striking the perfect balance between the delicate and the grotesque in our portrayal of horror. Not too gruesome, but not too dreamy either, which isn’t always easy to pull off.

While we don’t plan on exclusively developing horror games moving forward, these themes and ideas will always resonate with us and feature in our projects in some way or another.


RPG Site: Everyone recently got a chance to play its demo in the Steam Next Fest event. How has the response to that been?

Ebee: It’s been amazing! We couldn’t be happier with the reception and being able to finally share what we’ve been up to with everyone is incredibly rewarding!

We’re super curious to see what everyone’s response and experience will be after the release — how they’ll manage their time, how they navigate the dungeons, which love interest they’ll pick and what endings they will get, etc.

We can’t wait!