When the Past was Around: Interview with creator Brigitta Rena

Mojiken Studio
Mojiken Studio /

We talk to When the Past was Around creator Brigitta Rena about her game’s recent release on the Nintendo Switch and future plans.

I recently had the chance to review “When the Past was Around” for the Nintendo Switch. Needless to say, I enjoyed it immensely.  And even more recently I had a chance to talk to game creator Brigitta Rena and ask her a few questions about the game. And also a very silly question about bird anatomy. Here we go.

App Trigger Contributor, Eric Halliday:  When The Past was Around seems to be a very specific tale between two people as opposed to Coffee Talk'” focus on a multitude of individuals. What inspired this change in focus?

When the Past was Around Creator, Brigitta Rena: As for When The Past Was Around since it tells a story without any dialogue, we wanted to make the story as simple as possible so a lot of people could feel what Eda feels instead of trying to find the nature of a lot of different characters.

App Trigger: In the game, the protagonist, Eda, is in a relationship with a gentleman with an owl’s head. Is there a specific reason you made this choice?

Brigitta: I always love a girl and a beast combination, so it was a very easy decision to make for Eda to have a beast-headed man as her partner.

But I specifically wanted him to have an owl head because I needed a beast that represents the past, and apparently, Owl is not just a representation of the guardian of the past, but also wisdom and knowledge. It was somewhat perfect for Eda who needs all those things in the low state of her life.

App Trigger: I’ll be real. When I first found out about the game I imagined a million scenarios where the owl-headed gentleman turned his head completely around or turned his face upside down in the midst of an argument or a surprise. How did you resist doing this all the time because, as a writer, I don’t think I’d have the will power to not write that into almost every scene.

Brigitta: At first, we want to do that as well! Hahahaha. A more childish, funny owl that is also so interesting to draw.

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But at some point, we decided to portray him as a wise man for Eda, a perfect yet mysterious boyfriend, so we resisted to show the more comedic sides so it won’t break the experience.

As the creator though, I make some artworks that portray him in funny gestures just because I can.

App Trigger: So what kind of future plans do you folks have? Any plans for sequels? I know “When The Past was Around” is a pretty well-contained story but something like “Coffee Talk” definitely could have some more to explore.

Brigitta: Since a lot of us at Mojiken Studio are artists, we love making a good looking narrative game. Right now, we are working on our upcoming title, “A Space for the Unbound”, please check it out if you like!

As for When The Past Was Around, I always think it would be fun to capture Eda and Owl’s story from a different perspective, maybe capturing just the happy day of their life whether it is in the form of another game or maybe another media like an illustration series or such. But in the future, I would love to make another game with another story because there are so many things in life that need to be told, not just Eda’s story. But I will keep the spirit of When The Past Was Around when the time has come for us to make another project.