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Wii U Brasil recently had the opportunity to talk with Shin'en Multimedia, famous for franchises in Nintendo's virtual platforms, like Nano Assault, Jett Rocket, Art of Balance and FAST Racing League. The german developer have scheduled to 2014 two new games in these series, FAST Racing Neo and Art of Balance for the Wii U. We talked about those games, Shin'en's relationship with Nintendo and a little bit about Wii U. Shin'en's representative that talked to us couldn't get into much detail about the new games and answer all of our questions, so some of the answers ended up short. Without further delays, here's our interview:
Wii U Brasil: Something that always impress us is your technical expertise, specially considering the limitations of platforms like WiiWare. Shin'en games are among the best in that regard; FAST Racing League, for instance, seems to reach WiiWare's maximum. How difficult it is to reach that with a small team?
Shin'en: I think a key element is we have total ownership about our code, tools and artwork. So if we have an idea then we just try if it works, but being a small team also means we simply can't do certain things that are done by several hundred people in usual sized teams. So it means we have to find more efficient ways then big studios. This is difficult but also quite fun and motivates us.
Wii U Brasil: 2 - Nintendo noticeably changed for the better its virtual stores, specially when it comes to indie developers, but it still has a long way to go. In your perspective, what should be their priority?
Shin'en: I think Nintendo does already a quite good job with the eShop and should continue that way.
Wii U Brasil: About Wii U specifically, how is it like working with the hardware? How did the technical leap influence the new games in terms of new ideas and development challenges and how is Nintendo support to development?
Shin'en: The Wii U hardware is very easy to work with and we got really inspired by all the new possibilities. Nintendo is always very helpful when we come with questions or inquiries.
Wii U Brasil: How do you view the situation of Wii U right now?
Shin'en: We hope that games like Mario Kart 8 and other upcoming great titles will give the Wii U a new boost. In the end it's always software that sells hardware.
Wii U Brasil: Can you share some details about the single player campaign and/or online modes of FAST Racing Neo?
Shin'en: We already implemented some first online modes into FAST. We want to find a perfect balance between online, local multiplayer and single player content.
Wii U Brasil: FAST Racing League had a pretty unique mechanic for a racing game, that of course being the ability to change the phase of your ship. How do you plan to expand on that for the sequel?
Shin'en: We looked very closely on the game play mechanic of FRL. We think it worked pretty good but there were a few things that could have been improved. We currently test various ideas for FRN.
Wii U Brasil: Your other series are action-oriented, while Art of Balance is a puzzle game where you are supposed to take your time. How does it feel to work on a game like this after or while working on these other games?
Shin'en: We love to work on various games. We feel like it's much easier to get inspiration and motivation if you work on very different projects.
Wii U Brasil: Can we expect some GamePad-specific integration in FAST Racing Neo and Art of Balance?
Shin'en: Both games will be fully playable on the GamePad. For Art of Balance we also added Touch support. For FRN we also have special options for GamePad controls.
Wii U Brasil: How's the development coming along? Art of Balance was planned for a Q2 release, is that still the case? What about FAST Racing Neo?
Shin'en: We have quite a few good running titles in the eShop. This gives us the freedom to put the time we want into new titles. We think its better to have a great title then a rushed title.
Wii U Brasil: What are you plans for the future in general? Will Nintendo platforms still be the focus?
Shin'en: Nano Assault Neo for Wii U sold very good on the eShop. We have two big games coming for Wii U. So we will need to see how these are doing. For the future it's now much easier to support more platforms while still delivering perfect quality. So we actively look into that.
Wii U Brasil: PS: This is a curiosity I have: was the mechanic of phase switching in FAST Racing League actually inspired by Ikaruga?
Shin'en: We loved Ikaruga and perhaps it was a part of our inspiration. Hard to tell after so long time.
We at Wii U Brasil thank Shin'en for the time and cooperation to answer some of our questions. We hope all of you enjoy it and we also hope to have more of these kind of articles in the future.
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