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Image & Form on SteamWorld Heist success, Wii U surprise, more DLC, cross-buy

A portion of a Nintendo Life interview with Image & Form CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson...

NL: Earlier this year you stated it had been a sales success early on, can you talk a little about that?

BS: Well, we didn't have much to compare with, but it easily surpassed the last three games we've made (Anthill, SteamWorld Tower Defense, SteamWorld Dig) at launch. Obviously Heist is priced higher so we wouldn't have to sell a mountain of units, but we were still surprised at the volume during the first three weeks.

It's kept moving quite decently even though we haven't been heavily featured on the eShop since New Year's. I thought we'd see a drop off a cliff once our launch discount, shop feature and home menu theme went away, but the eShop isn't Steam or the App Store. People go to the eShop looking for quality, and they dig it out.

NL: Are there plans for more DLC to expand SteamWorld Heist in future?

BS: Yes...

NL: Do you have any news to share yet about the Wii U version of Heist, and will the DLC be available day one in that version?

BS: News: the Wii U version is coming, and you'll be happily surprised. Not in a way that should put you off getting it for 3DS - because you should! But... yeah. There's a pleasant surprise there.

DLC: Yes, The Outsider will be available day one on Wii U. Some people think day-one DLC is a nuisance, and that the content should have been included in the game - preferably at no cost. I don't agree. We've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (even pounds!) making The Outsider, and we obviously have to charge for our content, so that we can continue making new stuff. Including DLC content as part of the game and raising the price point is also a matter of taste. I think providing DLC outside the game gives players the choice whether they want to spend additional money on a game or not. It's pretty fair.

No names, but some friends of mine initially released DLC content for one of their games for free - and then started charging for it, since it made no financial sense. It turned out a bit nasty for them. I think it's better to be upfront about it. We make content. Content costs money.

NL: Are there any plans for cross-buy promotions for those that want the game on both Wii U and 3DS?

BS: Yep! We'll figure out a good way to let people who own the game on one platform benefit from getting it on the other.

Kimishima - NX the product of 'a new way of thinking', release date talk & Wii U production

The following info comes from Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima...

On what exactly the NX is:

“At this current stage, I’m not able to say. However, it’s not merely the successor to the handheld 3DS or stationary console Wii U. This will be hardware that’s been made with a new way of thinking. I’d like to announce more particulars regarding its specs and how it works another time this year.”

On Wii U production ending:

“Since we are making a big shift to the NX, there is that possibility (in the future).”

Kimishima also explained the decision to launch NX in March 2017 rather than the holiday season. This was done because Nintendo wants to make sure there were games ready for the NX launch.

Sega 3D Classics Collection - Developer Interview

A portion of a SEGA interview with various members of the dev team...

SEGA: What’s with this FM Sound Unit toggle button for the SEGA Mark III Version of ‘Fantasy Zone’ !?

Yosuke Okunari: Well, I’m sure Horii-san is bursting to talk about it, so let’s just get started about the biggest bonus feature for Fantasy Zone, the FM Sound Unit!

Naoki Horii: We have a story behind this as well. When we decided to put the MK3 version of Fantasy Zone in as a bonus, there was this one guy at the office who said, “Only adding stereoscopic 3D? Pfft, boring!” Seriously, that’s what I deal with here! As I’ve said before, even just that takes a ton of time, but then they say that’s boring… You gotta wonder what the guys are thinking! (laughs)

The FM synthesis version of the Fantasy Zone music was actually used in a different game called Fantasy Zone: The Maze*. So, we lightly discussed with (Manabu) Namiki, who is in charge of the sound, if we could bring the music from that. But Namiki said “Wait just a minute!”

He interjected by saying “The music for Fantasy Zone and Fantasy Zone: The Maze has a different tempo, and even if we brought it over, there’s no way we could turn that into a palatable dish for people.” He also mentioned the songs for the boss battles didn’t exist as well.

*Fantasy Zone: The Maze is a dot-eating genre game released at the end of 1987. It’s known as Opa-Opa in Japan.

….But for some reason, we ended up thinking about how nice it would be to have a FM Sound version. I’m not exactly sure how we ended up there. (laughs)

Full interview here

Zero Time Dilemma director details the story creation process

A portion of a Gamasutra interview with director Kotaro Uchikoshi...

GS: We talked when Virtue's Last Reward came out, and I asked you how you could design such an intricate story with so many paths. Now you've gone even further. It's non-linear and even more spread out. How do you design such an intricate story?

Kotaro Uchikoshi: With this title, we set out to solve all the lingering mysteries from VLR. That gave us the basic framework to work within. We needed to figure out how to explain away all the mysteries without contradicting any of the setups from the previous title.

If we only stuck to that, it would be kind of constricting, and it wouldn't be so much fun to create -- or for the player. So we decided to add extra side-stories to give the narrative a little extra punch.

Spoiler alert: As you know from the previous titles, certain characters have the ability to jump through time and space to different histories. Taking that gimmick into consideration also opens up more narrative possibilities.

Our team consisted of myself and two other writers. So we are able to kind of bounce ideas off each other and figure out the best way to make everything work.

Full interview here

YIIK dev promises the game will make sense

Coming from a Dtoid interview with co-director Andrew Allanson...

"There are very strange things that happen, and they have answers. Some are up to player interpretation, but YIIK is not so far up its own ass that it won't make any sense."

YIIK certainly does look like one of those games that will provide more questions than answers, but it's good to hear the dev team state that the game won't leave you hanging on every story element.

Sakurai looks back on Iwata, offers advice to game devs

The following comes from Sakurai's latest Famitsu column, as translated by the team at Source Gaming...

Mr. Iwata very rarely offered compliments or flattery. However, he excelled at conveying the true essence of something to other people in a simple, comprehensible way. Getting back to the main topic now, when you are making a game, having a strong grasp of what you want your finished product to look like is not easy. Mr. Iwata has worked hundreds, or maybe even thousands of game developers, so this is a statement that’s backed by his instincts, cultivated over his long work in the games industry.

Check out the full translation here

StarFox voice actors discuss their work on StarFox 64

The following comes from Mike West, voice actor for Fox McCloud...

“I read for various parts as the Nintendo folks directed and told me what they wanted the characters to sound like. The next thing I knew, we were recording. There wasn’t a tremendous amount of copy in those early games."

The following comes from Bill Johns, the voice actor for Falco...

"I’m pretty sure everything Falco said fit on a page and a half of script, in large font and double spaced. Indeed, the amount of voice work in the finished product is light, but nonetheless impactful."

Full interview here