- Nintendo Arena League
Seite 2: Interview mit Grashopper zu Contact
NintendoDS Artikel vom 19.05.2006
German | English
Contact - what's this? A roleplay game, but one of the special ones. We talked to Suda 51, leader of Grashopper Manufacture, and got some new information about the DS title. Enjoy reading!
PlanetDS.de: First of all can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about Grasshopper who is behind the project and what did you do till now?
Suda 51: Hi. My name is Suda 51. I lead Grasshopper Manufacture. We’re working on Contact in co-operation with Marvelous Interactive Inc, who are the publishers for the title in Japan.
PlanetDS.de: Parts of the development team worked on Killer 7 and the Shining Soul series. How hard was it for the team to concentrate on a completely different style of game and new system?
Suda 51: Not hard at all! We’re used to making distinctive games and we like to push ourselves with each title we develop. Contact is a great example of this as it’s a challenging project as well as being very original. As for the hardware, it is fairly familiar to us as the Nintendo DS is based on the GBA, which was easy to program for.
PlanetDS.de: For readers who didn’t make contact with Contact yet, can you tell us more about the story, game play, main characters, battle system, features, etc.?
Suda 51: Contact is basically an action RPG based around the search for pieces of a crystal, but that’s the simple explanation! On the surface, it’s about an alien professor who crash-lands on Earth. The crash also sucks in Terry, a young man who is recruited by the professor to help him find the crystal pieces of his spacecraft’s power source. The player controls Terry and has to explore a series of islands, gaining experience and improving his skills as he progresses. There are too many features to explain in a short interview, but Terry has a lot of statistics that affect his performance. All of these are updated in real time, so Terry will develop according to how the player uses him. There’s also a magic system based around a book of stickers. The player peels these stickers off the book and then places directly onto the game world in order to get certain things to happen.
PlanetDS.de: Some people mentioned to see graphical similarities to the game series Mother (Earthbound) on the top screen. Are these similarities on purpose and how does the little Professor with his pet on the top screen influence the game play?
Suda 51: The style of the top screen is down to it being part of the Professor’s alien spacecraft. We deliberately picked that style so it would contrast to the more natural-looking style of the main gameplay screen. The Professor plays an incredibly important role in the game. He provides Terry with advice, directions and even skills and magic. He will even talk directly to the player about various things, including observations on how Terry is doing! The pet, Nyan is also important. He can be summoned by Terry to help him in certain situations. The player can even play with Nyan when Terry is sleeping.
PlanetDS.de: The main character will gain new abilities via different costumes that create various simulation elements within the game like fishing, cooking, etc. How important are these aspects for the game and how are the specific features of the Nintendo DS (dual screen, touch screen, microphone) implemented within the game structure?
Suda 51: Well, certain puzzles and tasks in the quest will require particular costumes for the player to progress. Skills like fishing and cooking also help as Terry can make life easier for himself by cooking meals that heal him more efficiently, boost certain statistics etc …
The touch screen is used to interact with certain parts of the game world. For instance, there are fruit in some of the trees that can be knocked out by tapping on them with the stylus. The sticker system, which I briefly mentioned before, relies entirely on the touch screen.
PlanetDS.de: The game will include old-school type mini games, what can we await?
Suda 51: This is something we’d like to keep close to our chests at the moment but they will be fun and a pleasant distraction for the player.
PlanetDS.de: Contact belongs yet to a growing number of DS games using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online game play. Can you tell us more about the online features of Contact? How good is the support from Nintendo for developers, who intend to use online features?
Suda 51: The Wi-Fi aspect of Contact involves an island that players can visit together and co-operate on a special quest, as well as be free to fish, cook, explore and so on. We’ll keep a bit of mystery around the Wi-Fi mode for now, but we can assure readers that visiting the Wi-Fi island with friends will be beneficial in the single-player quest!
PlanetDS.de: What do you think about the new direction that Nintendo is heading to? Away from the ideal of just plain improvement of graphical power and closer to new opportunities to improve game play via innovative elements of control (Nintendo DS and Revolution). As a developer, do you feel to have more freedom to decide how to create a game, or is it like being forced to use control elements, that wouldn't be necessary on an “ordinary” system?
Suda 51: Our enthusiasm is for writing great, entertaining games and each new platform gives us the opportunity to build on those principles – there’s nothing forced about entertainment!
PlanetDS.de: If you would be stranded on a lonely island, what would be the one thing you would take with you?
Suda 51: A special solar-powered DS and a copy of Contact, of course!
PlanetDS.de: Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?
Suda 51: Contact will be a whole new world for Nintendo enthusiast and we are bringing a German edition to you!
Thanks to Suda 51 for supporting us.
The interview was held by Kevin Jensen [Iceman] for PlanetDS.de