Nigoro Talks To Us About La-Mulana And Nintendo Platforms!
How long did it take your team to develop the WiiWare version of La-Mulana?
Nigoro: It took about six months to make plans and get machines for the development since we were proposed to remake La-Mulana. It took one and a half years since the development started. We spent the rest of the time making contracts and debugging.
Was there any content besides the DLC that had to be scrapped due to the 40MB WiiWare file limit?
Nigoro: La-Mulana has a lot of graphics and sounds. So, we had been making the game with taking care of the file limit since an early stage of development. I decreased the sampling rate of prepared sound source by half. When I calculated whole file size from one field map that I had made, I found out it would be more than twice as much as the limit.
Therefore, map resolution decreased by half, too. Other than that, we always tackled a matter of reducing file size and cut back unused functions. As a result, we could manage the whole file size slightly under 40MB. It means that WiiWare version has all kinds of compromises due to the file size limit.
What was the main reason why the WiiWare version of La-Mulana was delayed so many times?
Nigoro: Talking about Japanese version, the delay was caused by a shortage of development members and we underestimated the scale of the game. And then, when the game was almost completed, we added more effects and functions as we thought the game looked less attractive than other 3D games.
About English version, the delay was caused by our inexperienced English on communications and contracts and unclear specifications for integrating download contents. We knew there are some differences of rating and PAL systems in each country, so we could handle them smoothly, but lot checks were separated in North America and Europe. That caused confusion for us.
We heard that at one point DSiWare and 3DS versions of La-Mulana were considered, is this true?
Nigoro: It is our hope rather than a consideration. Both users and we are happy if we can port La-Mulana to more consoles, but we knew that it is impossible by ourselves from our experience of releasing WiiWare version. If we try to port La-Mulana to another console, we will take much more time again to make contracts and get development machines.
However, if someone were to offer us to do the porting, we would like to give them full cooperation.
What are your opinions about the Wii U and 3DS eshops?
Nigoro Regarding WiiU, I hope that users can buy and run WiiWare smoothly like DSiWare on eshop. But I guess it is difficult. I think the concept of eshop is different from other companies' online services. We developers expect it in that it is the Nintendo's download service. I hope Nintendo gets more users.
Are you currently developing any games for the Wii U or 3DS?
Nigoro: No, we are not. I always imagine what we can do on WiiU or 3DS. But I cannot help but say that it is very hard to develop games for a particular platform.
Do you believe that the Nintendo eshops "including the Wii Shop" are good platforms for indie developers to release their games on?
Nigoro: Those platforms are very attractive to us. However, compared to the platforms for smartphone or PC, which have mass appeal, I think there is a barrier against releasing games on eshop. All in all, indie game developers are short of funds. We think distributing for platforms that require contracts and development machines is almost the same as a gamble unless there is a guarantee of success.
I gave some candid advice, but we admire that our games are released for the consumer game console. In comparison with PC games, consumers are apt to get into the news.
Considering rating and an influence on first party, I guess it is inevitable that requirements are more severe than on PC or smartphone. But I hope eshops grow much greater service that we would really like to join.
What did you think about the questions and answers in our interview with Nigoro? Let us know in our comments!
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