The veteran Viennese developers at Bplus certainly appear switched on and want to make a name for themselves on the new WiiWare service. Let's see what they were able to tell us:
WiiWare World: As exclusive Nintendo developers will Bplus be primarily focused on developing for the upcoming WiiWare service or all Nintendo platforms?
Bernd Geiblinger: Currently, our focus lies completely on WiiWare as it is a fantastic opportunity for us to deliver our content directly to gamers for a really affordable price without having to worry about store space. We have also many projects in our idea box for the Nintendo DS and we will of course also support this intriguing platform with games in the future.
WW: What attracted you to develop Plättchen for WiiWare as opposed to XBLA or PSstore? Was it the Wii’s innovative motion sensing, or a combination of reasons?
BG: Wii gives developers the ability to deliver game experiences like no other console currently available on the market. It is not only the motion sensing capabilities, but the whole new approach on videogames Nintendo is going for with the console that intrigues us about it. On Wii, we have also the possibility to support innovative periphery like the DK Bongos or the Wii Zapper.
WW: We understand Plättchen to be the German word for ‘panel’ - Is there a concern that this might not be an attractive game title to non German speakers?
BG: “PLÄTTCHEN” has such a distinctive sound that we think exactly the opposite is the case. Using a German name for a game is really unusual and we feel that the name should really stand out, just like the game itself. So far we had only positive reactions regarding the name.
WW: As a puzzle/shooter game what other games have influenced the development of Plättchen?
BG: When I created the PLÄTTCHEN - twist 'n' paint game concept, I wanted to make a game where twisting the Wiimote would be the key feature. I think that our title isn't easily comparable with other games. The way that it plays is really different, just like the way you select a color with the color wheel just by a twist. I feel that all in all, every game we ever played has somehow influenced the development of PLÄTTCHEN - twist 'n' paint.
WW: How many players will this game support?
BG: The game will support up to twelve players simultaneously on one console. Four players use the Wiimote, four use the Nunchuck and four can control the evil black shadow Plättchen using the DK Bongos. Any of these different ways to interact with the game offers a completely unique experience. There is also cooperative gameplay available in CLASSIC-, COPYCAT-, and MISSION MODE.
WW: Is there any online play or WiiConnect24 connectivity planned? Online leaderboards seem to be the norm for this sort of game on XBLA, will you be doing something similar?
BG: Unfortunately, implementing online is a very time consuming task. As we are a really small developer, we decided not to implement online support and instead make the game even richer and deeper when playing together with your family and friends on one console.
WW: When do you expect Plättchen to be available in the USA and EU regions?
BG: We plan to make PLÄTTCHEN - twist ‘n’ paint available in both the Europe and the US right at the launch of the WiiWare service.
WW: What price point is this likely to retail at?
BG: With 300 levels and over 100 hours of gameplay PLÄTTCHEN - twist ‘n’ paint will be released at the very fair price of 1500 Wii Points.
WW: In addition to Wiimote and Nunchuk support we understand Plättchen will also support the Gamecube DK bongos! Can you tell us more about that?
BG: Using the DK-Bongos, players control the evil black shadow Plättchen and use their beats and claps in the rhythm to attack other players. This game mode is specially made for players that have not as much experience with PLÄTTCHEN or just want to join the multiplayer mayhem in an entertaining way that is instantly understandable.
WW: Can you tell us about any other WiiWare projects which you might have in development?
BG: Currently, we are fully focused on finishing PLÄTTCHEN - twist 'n' paint, but we will discuss our future projects for WiiWare really soon.
WW: Is Arnold Schwarzenegger a national hero of Austria or a bit of a joke?
BG: I think he is a little bit of both - Many Austrians are really proud of what he has achieved so far in both the film industry and politics. It is really funny to see that, though he is probably more American than Austrian, he hasn’t forgotten his roots entirely and even can’t get rid of this funny accent when he speaks.