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Seite 2: Interview mit THQ zu Ping Pals
NintendoDS Artikel vom 17.01.2005
Deutsch | English
PlanetDS.de: Could you shortly introduce yourself, company and position to our readers?
Peter Kennedy: My name is Peter Kennedy and I am the product manager for Ping Pals at THQ.
PlanetDS.de: You are currently developing "Ping Pals" for the Nintendo DS. Can you tell us what the game is all about?
Peter Kennedy: Ping Pals is all about trading items with your friends and playing mini games. At the start of the game, each Ping Pals player will select an avatar on-screen persona (either boy or girl). One of you goals of the game is to then customize your avatar to the best of your ability with the over 1,200 items that are available. When you start the game however, you will only have a couple of items unlocked for you. You will then need to unlock items in order to truly customize your avatar. Items can be unlocked by either shopping in our virtual mall or you can trade them with your friends. So if your friend has a mohawk that you really want, you can buy that item from him. We also have five mini games that you can play in order to earn Coins that you use to buy new items.
PlanetDS.de: Since Pico Chat is embedded into the system of the Nintendo DS why did you decide to create a new chat program? What makes Ping Pals so special?
Peter Kennedy: We really donít look at Ping Pals as a chat program. Sure, you can chat with your friends using our advanced interface, but the guts of the game is your ability to trade items with your friends, buy items from our real-time virtual store, and play our single player and multiplayer mini games.
In other words, Picto Chat is a chatting application. We utilize a similar application in order to facilitate trading between friends and playing the mini games.
PlanetDS.de: Do you know any details about the WIFI range of the Nintendo DS? In which situtations will standard players use Ping Pals? (during school breaks, neighbors, etc?)
Peter Kennedy: We have found that the range can go up to 100 feet if conditions are right.
Contrary to teachersí wishes, I think you will see a lot of kids playing Ping Pals in school. If too many kids get caught, Iím sure they will allow it only on the playground during school breaks.
PlanetDS.de: Can you tell us more about the mini games and specials that are available during the game. Will one be able to play these mini games against each other?
Peter Kennedy: Two of our mini games can be played with up to eight players and three of our mini games are single player. The goal for each game is to earn as many Coins as you can. However, itís not as easy as it sounds because some of the games require you to risk your existing Coins to earn more. All the games are completely addicting and tons of fun.
PlanetDS.de: Can you tell us the approximate extent/sum of mini games and features? How long will Ping Pals keep the players in front of the system, if he doesnít have many friends with a DS around? Is it fun to play the game alone?
Peter Kennedy: One of the great features of Ping Pals is game sharing. So, if I have Ping Pals and you donít, you can download a version of Ping Pals which will allow you to play the two multiplayer mini games. If you donít have any friends with a DS unit, donít worry, Ping Pals will keep you entertained for hours. Earning and collecting Coins is completely addicting and visiting the real-time store is always a new experience. In the Ping Pals Item Shop, new inventory shows up four times each day. Some items are only available for one minute each day, while other items are only available on your birthday. You will find yourself constantly checking the store to see whatís new.
PlanetDS.de: In how far will you use the various functions of the DS? Touch-Screen, Voice and Dualscreens?
Peter Kennedy: When we created Ping Pals, we had two main goals. The first was to create a fun, compelling DS launch title, and the second was to utilize all the special features of the Nintendo DS- namely wireless game share, wireless communication (both text and data), and touch screen utilizing the stylus. I believe we are the only DS launch title that uses all these special features simultaneously.
The only function Ping Pals does not use is the microphone. Though itís a cool feature, we werenít able to integrate it into the gameplay.
PlanetDS.de: Since Ping Pals is a multi boot game, allowing multiple players to download the program from an available system are there any limitations for chat users who donít have a cartridge in their Nintendo DS?
Peter Kennedy: We do allow players to download a version of Ping Pals from their friends. The downloaded version allows you to play the 2 multiplayer mini games, but does not allow you to buy items, trade items, customize your avatar, or play the three singleplayer mini games.
Sorry folks, if you want the full version, you have to buy it.
PlanetDS.de: What do you think about online gaming via DS? Will it be possible, what do you think about the private projects to tunnel the signal of the Nintendo DS to play games online against others?
Peter Kennedy: If I were a betting man, I would speculate that online gaming via the DS will probably become a reality in the future, but you should really ask the folks at Nintendo about this.
PlanetDS.de: Is there anything you would like to tell our readers in general or about the game?
Peter Kennedy: It rocks. Buy Ping Pals.
Thanks to Peter Kennedy for his support
This interview was held by Kevin Jensen for PlanetDS.de