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20140212
Our Chat With The Creator of Percy's Predicament!



We had the chance to speak with Monty Goulet From Maestro Interactive Games about the state of the Wii U, Percy's Predicament, and other various things so without further ado here is our interview!



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[WWW]:
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview we
really appreciate it!

[Maestro Interactive Games]:
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to talk to you as well. I'm Monty Goulet and I'm the creative lead of Maestro Interactive Games.

[WWW]:
First off how difficult was it to develop your game Percy's Predicament
for the Wii U eshop?

[MIG]:
There were certain aspects that were certainly difficult. For example, we built the game on an unfinished game engine which was missing some Wii U features we wanted in the game such as audio streaming to the gamepad and to the tv. This certainly caused us issues for this title. We had to develop a new audio system to run it, which is the basis for our upcoming titles like Acoustic Highway. Another issue that we came across was that there was a saving system built into the Wii U that the engine supported however we had to script it in a very unique way in order for the game to work.

There also were things that we wanted to put in at launch that we unfortunately couldn't that we are working on getting in now in the updates. There also were something's we were accustomed to as developers that the Wii U couldn't do in the fashion we knew so we had to improvise.

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[WWW]:
Would you consider your dealings with Nintendo as being positive?

[MIG]:
Yes they were positive, we have been asked to bring the title over to NoE even, so that's one hurdle we have to overcome in the coming weeks.

[WWW]:
What do you folks from Maestro Game Studios think of the Wii U?

[MIG]:
I think I'll let some of the developers that have worked on the hardware answer this for themselves.

Monty- I have two personal Wii U consoles so I hope that would give you the answer you need about how I feel about it. I personally really enjoy it. I have every system from Nintendo and they all still work. That's nearly 30 years of hardware that is still in great condition. I really like the GamePad and I think there are some great features yet to be explored by developers. I think that will come as we get more used to the hardware. It's harder in the beginning. But from working on this title, we were able to learn some things we are integrating into future titles.

Loren- I really enjoy it. I'm picking one up this week after having worked on the hardware for the past months.

Stephanie- I think it's a great system for kids to enjoy and adults too!

Lindsey- I have really enjoyed what I have seen from the system so far. I just finished Wind Waker again and I loved everything about it even more in HD!

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[WWW]:
Are you as surprised as we are that the Wii U is struggling?

[MIG]:
You know, this is a yes and no for me to be honest. On the one side, yes I am surprised. Nintendo has always tended to not follow the mainstream market in terms of the "hardcore" type audience and this has usually worked for them. Gamers know to expect high quality first party titles like Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong and others from Nintendo and that's what the gamer buys the console for. On the flip side, the casual consumer is faced with the challenge of "do I buy a 99 cent game for my phone or do I spend 300 on a console and then even more money on games?", the economy tends to influence buying decisions and that's hurt all the console makers. The blue ocean approach worked for Nintendo last generation but I think for the market they grabbed with the Wii, the consumers do not realize that the Wii U is a new system.

I think stores are also another reason for this. Product placement in a store sells a product. That's why the end caps are the most desirable locations. Even Best Buy puts the Wii and Wii U games on the same shelve by us, and that confuses the consumer. I think the branding name is what is hurting Nintendo this time around. It hurt them with the 3DS for awhile and it's hurting them for the Wii U. If you think about it, each system till this generation doesn't really have the name of it's predecessor unless it had a substantial reason to like the addition of color with the Game Boys. But I certainly believe they will turn it around, they always do. It's a great system.

[WWW]:
Back to the subject of Percy's Predicament, how many people were
involved with the development of the game?

[MIG]:
Three developers worked on it. The team has since grown massively so that we can deliver our future titles with a shorter time frame and ensure the higher quality gamers expect from games today which is something I'm looking forward to.

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[WWW]:
How long did it take your team to develop Percy's Predicament?

[MIG]:
So I think it took roughly 8 months of development to get it to a deliverable state that you see on the store today. We felt that since we have a lot of levels we wanted to bring to the title and some other additional features that we should release it as it stands with 80 levels and fix the issues we knew we wanted to fix as we pushed updates out with additional levels. There was certainly a lot of pre dev work that went into it as well that we will use in future titles. Creating new systems to work on the Wii U was certainly an undertaking but worth it.

[WWW]:
What can we expect from the free DLC that will be released in the
future?

[MGS]:
Well our first update that we are finishing up is going to be a significant one. We have new 2D Art for the level intros that one of the artists we hired after the game was complete has just finished designing. We have tilt controls that we are trying to finish implementing with a new camera scheme(more on that in the question below) and we have an additional 20 levels. After that, we have an additional 150 levels we hope to implement in the title. Be sure to pick up the game now while it's priced at $5.99 to get all the DLC for free!

[WWW]:
Was Percy's Predicament inspired by SEGA's Super Monkey Ball series?

[MIG]:
You know it's funny everyone says that it's a Super Monkey Ball inspired game but to this day the only one I've played was the one that came out for the 3DS near launch. I guess you could say it is cause I did find the idea of rolling a monkey in a ball to be quite appealing. And maybe subconsciously I put that in.

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[WWW]:
While reviewing the game we found the camera was too difficult to
control and it severely hurt the game's review score, will the camera be tweaked in a future update?

[MIG]:
So one of the issues we struggled with was how to control the camera. It's something every developer struggles with. Even AAA titles have challenges with the camera. In Percy's Predicament we really wanted you to be able to use the stylus on the gamepad screen to control the camera and refine the control sticks sensitivity which was an issue. The reason we didn't for launch was the engine didn't support it at the time. Now we are able to spend time and refine the camera scheme and make it much more user friendly so that will certainly be in update one.

[WWW]:
Are there any plans to develop other games for the Wii U or 3DS after
you release the DLC for Percy's Predicament?

[MIG]:
So the nice thing about releasing this title for us is that we were able to attract other developers to the company. We have an ex Nintendo developer, an ex Edge of Reality developer, an ex Junction Point developer, an ex BioWare developer, an ex Facebook developer, and an ex Zynga developer now working here so the caliber of the team has certainly increased.

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The original Percy team is going to work on the updates, while the rest work on our future projects, like Fade Into Darkness which we announced when we were approved developers, Acoustic Highway, an interactive audio racing game which is nearing it's polish stages, and two other titles we have in the early prototype stages that I'll be talking about on Twitter and Facebook as they get further along. All of those are Wii U titles. We are approved 3DS developers and that market is huge so we are trying to figure out a title to bring to it as well. We'd love to hear what gamers think the system needs.

[WWW]:
Thanks for answering our questions, I hope we will get the chance to
interview you again at some point!

[MIG]:
Absolutely, thanks again for having us chat with you.

Monty Goulet

So there you have it! It looks like we can expect more Wii U support from Maestro Interactive Games in the future! What did you think of our interview? Let us know in our comments!

You can view our review of Percy's Predicament here.

____________________________


My Pokemon Alpha Sapphire Adventure!



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Comments

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Your interview is beautiful @Rukiafan! I love you
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Ive updated the first pic in the feature.
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Interesting interview. I might download Percy's Predicament if the flawed camara control is fixed.
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