How would you compare Deca Sports to Wii Sports?
A: Deca Sports takes the ground work that Wii Sports laid out, and really builds upon it. We're very impressed with how Wii Sports redefined a sports game, and how it took sports that we had already played numerous times and made it that much more fun by making it interactive with the Wii Remote. It clearly made an impact on the market, as I hear stories all the time of someone's mom playing a game for the first time, or grandkids playing with grandparents over the holidays, and those stories all stem from Wii Sports. That game gave people a taste of what a fun casual game can be. We're taking it to the next level. People want more, so we've compiled a great selection of sports, 10 in all, and bringing a greater level of depth as well.
Could you tell us how the Wii Remote will be used and how it varies game to game?
A: Each sport has a unique way to play, so it really comes down to what you would visualize the sport would play like if you can move about. So as you can imagine, for snowboarding, you'd hold the Wii Remote facing forward, like a snowboard, and as you tilt it side by side, your character responses to those movements similarly. With a sport like Beach Volleyball, just reacting to how you would bump, set and spike the ball in real life, translates to the actual moves in the game. It all seems very intuitive, though quite a bit of thought and testing went into designing the controls for the game. It was by far our biggest challenge, considering we had 10 full sports to define.
What will sports enthusiasts get out of this game and is it easy to learn for the casual gamer?
A: When we did some market research in this recently defined casual sports genre, we discovered that gamers were looking for two things. They wanted a game that was easy to pick up and play, and had much more depth. It may seem on the surface that these two things are rather contradictory, but actually compliment each other well. The key is to make the game easy to figure out. You just jump into a game, and within minutes you can get the hang of it and have fun. But the more you play, the more challenge you want, so we added in quite a number of modes into the game, team dynamics, as well as some advanced techniques that more skilled sports gamers can master. So in a sport like Badminton, a really skilled gamer can do drop shots, cross court shots, power slams, and place the birdie exactly where he wants to on the court.
If you had to pick one of the 10 included games, which do you find most unique?
A: What makes working on sports compilation game so interesting is that we finally get to hit upon some sports that just don't get as much love in the US. It's funny because the official badminton association and the official curling association, as well as some others have contacted us, and want to showcase our game at their events. Finally a game that showcases how cool these sports are! Personally, I'm surprised that curling and figure skating both have garnered so much attention. The gameplay of these two sports really work, and it's quite a bit of fun. I never realized just how much depth there is to curling, and how addictive it is!
What was one of the most memorable moments working with this title?
A: We started to use the game as a way to solve conflict :-) We had a couple people on staff who wanted to go to an event, but we couldn't send them all, so we had a face-off in Deca Sports. Winner got to go. It's also lots of fun to watch people who have never touched the Nintendo Wii play Deca Sports for the first time. Let's just say they require lots of room to fling their arms around, and shake their booty. Give them two glow sticks and you'd swear they were raving.
What expectations do you have for Deca Sports and do you fear that critics will be harder on the game as it is more a casual game and not necessarily aimed at "hardcore" gamers?
A: We're pretty excited by the market reaction to the game so far. Gamers across the board seem to appreciate the direction we've taken with the game. As for the critics, we'll see what they say once they get to review the game. So far they seem pleased. I will say that most gaming sites tends to write for their audience, and most gaming sites tend to lean towards the male hardcore gamer, which is understandable. We're just looking to appeal to those that simply want to have fun in a game, young and old, casual and hardcore, male and female.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: Time to start stretching. My shoulder is sore from swinging my arms around playing Badminton over the last week. That may just be me though, as I really get into the competition. That being said, I'm probably one of those guys who looks like they're at a rave dancing badly.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us!