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‘To the Moon’ Director Talks About ‘A Bird Story’ – Part 2

To the Moon is one of my most treasured experiences over the last few years within the gaming industry. It told a beautiful story of a old man named Johnny, who wanted to experience the memory of going to the moon, hence the title. Despite the somewhat simple premise, what was presented here was a tale containing emotional twists, beautiful writing and majestic music. Needless to say my excitement for the upcoming follow-up, A Bird Story, is at fever pitch.

I recently had the pleasure of conducting a written interview with extremely talented Kan Gao, who is the director, composer designer and illustrator at Freebird Games. You can find the first half of the interview here, while during this second part we discuss the success of To the Moon, the development process and the possibility of A Bird Story coming to other platforms.


 AA: How excited were you to see such an overwhelming outpour of love for To the Moon?

Kan Gao: Over the moon! Honestly, I was kind of in denial; and there was a major case of the “imposter syndrome” going on, heheh. But I’m very grateful, and I think the most gratifying thing about it was that it felt like a connection when someone gets it, you know? It was a very personal project for me, and when it has an effect on someone, it felt like it bridge something on a human level.

 AA: What made you want to create A Bird Story? Was this a tale you felt needed to be shared with the world? Or was it more like a passion project for loyal fans who are excited for the release of episode 2?

Kan Gao: It was something that I just personally really wanted to make. It was entirely selfish in its origin, to be honest; as in I had only considered what I wanted to make and was passionate about making. But then, I guess so was To the Moon.

A Bird Story Screen 3

AA: How long as A Bird Story been in development? Was this something you started right after To the Moon’s conclusion?

Kan Gao: I was actually planning and writing out To the Moon’s follow-up / episode 2 for a while after its conclusion, but A Bird Story’s concept came about after a while and I moved on making that instead. It took about a couple of years to make A Bird Story, despite it’s only about 1 hour long. I actually had to make and remake various parts of it. It probably won’t seem like it, but it’s actually been a lot more difficult to make than To the Moon, and probably than episode 2 as well.

AA: With the ever increasing support Sony and Microsoft have showcased towards independent developers over the last few years, have you ever considered working with them to bring To the Moon or even A Bird Story to console?

Kan Gao: Perhaps, but to be honest that depends on how much time that’d involve. At this point, I’d really prefer to continue making more things than working with past titles, even if there’d more profit in additional porting. But I have to say, I’m very glad that folks from the community was able to port To the Moon (and in turn, A Bird Story) to Mac & Linux.

AA: To the Moon provided a beautiful and mature story, though it wasn’t afraid to provide some lighter moments throughout. Have these been key aspects your team has once again tried to balance throughout A Bird Story?

Kan Gao: Tried, definitely – we’ll see how it goes, though. I think the humour in A Bird Story is a lot more childlike and whimsical than To the Moon. That might be a good thing though, since the reception of the writing in To the Moon was actually somewhat polarized, heheh.

A Bird Story Screen 4

AA: I’ll definitely be playing A Bird Story when it is released November 7, but for those reading this interview, why should they play A Bird Story?

Kan Gao: Oh gee, I’m really not good with these types of questions, hahah. To be honest, I don’t want to shove the game in anyone’s faces – it’s just a simple game about some very foundational aspects of human nature. I don’t think it’ll be everyone’s cup of tea, but I do think that there will be some who it speaks to who will connect with it, much like To the Moon. It’s 1 hour long, and like anything else I made, there’s a no-question-asked refund policy if any purchasers doesn’t like it for any reason (even if it’s just not their cup of tea).

AA: For those excited for A Bird Story’s release, where can they follow you and your studio to find all the latest news?

Kan Gao: Twitter (@reives_freebird) and Facebook (facebook.com/FreebirdGames) for sure! I don’t post that much, but all the important updates will be there.


We hope you have enjoyed part one and part two of our interview with Kan Gao, and hope you stay tuned for our full review when A Bird Story releases November 7 on Steam and GOG for Windows, Mac and Linux.


Jamie Briggs manages Analog Addiction and you can like them on Facebook, follow his daily life on Twitter @JamieAA, and his videos on YouTube.

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