Big Blue Bubble Interview - Home Sweet Home
Posted by Damien McFerran
Home decorating simulator Home Sweet Home is Big Blue Bubble's first title for Nintendo's WiiWare service. Keen to know a little more about this interesting title, we got in touch with the developer's CEO Damir Slogar, and asked him a few questions.
WiiWare World: Could you give us a brief history of your studio? What other notable projects have you been involved with?
Damir Slogar: Big Blue Bubble has been in business since 2004 and we develop over 30 games across 10 different platforms. Most of our games are based on big 3rd party brands, but last year we are focused more on our original IP’s. For our full portfolio, visit our website.
WW: You’ve never been afraid to refer to Home Sweet Home as a game that will appeal to ‘casual’ gamers, but do you think it will entertain those Wii owners that consider themselves to be a little more hardcore?
DS: I believe it will. Maybe not to typical teenager who would never admit that designing is in fact cool, but I believe that many players will have lot of fun with the game where you are basically creating the level you are about to play.
WW: “Home decorating” TV programs are massive here in the UK – do you think your game could tap into the same section of the market that finds these shows so appealing?
DS: I am quite certain that we already managed to capture large part of this market with our PC game and we are hoping for the same success on WiiWare.
WW: Do you think your game might be more appealing to female gamers than male ones?
DS: Probably. At least the design part. Second part of the game where you actually assemble the furniture should be equally appealing to both male and female gamers.
WW: How will the Wii remote be used in the game?
DS: We will use the Wii remote in a quite unique way. In order to simplify the control scheme, we don’t require the nunchuk. Player will move and select the furniture and control the workers with the Wii remote. On the top of that, when the workers need help, player will be able to speed up the building process by helping them hammering the nails or painting the walls.
WW: The visual style of Home Sweet Home is very eye-catching and reminds us a lot of Theme Hospital – was that game an inspiration in this regard?
DS: I never played Theme Hospital, but I can see where you are coming from. Bullfrog mastered the isometric view and I was the big fan of their games since the days of Populous and Syndicate. I always loved the isometric perspective in games (after I played Knight Lore and Alien 8 in early 80’s) and Home Sweet Home was a perfect game to use this perspective and style.
WW: Did you ever consider using a 3D viewpoint during development?
DS: Not really. We wanted our furniture to look good and show high level of details. Only way to achieve this level of details was through the pixel art.
WW: Is it true that you can only decorate one room in the house at a time?
DS: This is correct.
WW: What are the general aims of the game? How do you ‘succeed’ and ‘fail’ in the world of Home Sweet Home?
DS: You are free to decorate the room any way you want as long as you are following subtle guidelines given by your customers.
WW: Roughly speaking, how many items and pieces of furniture will be available to the player?
DS: There are over 400 pieces of furniture available to players.
WW: Will the game contain any ‘unlockable’ bonus elements that are made available as the player progresses, or is everything opened up from the very beginning?
DS: Almost every new level unlocks the new pieces of furniture or a new game feature.
WW: Roughly how many hours of gameplay will Home Sweet Home provide?
DS: It is really hard to say. I saw people spending hours just designing their own room. Theoretically, you can finish the game in a few hours, but keep in mind that you can also finish the Super Mario Bros in 5 minutes!
WW: Will the game have any online features?
WW: When do you expect to release Home Sweet Home?
DS: We expect the game to be released in July in North America and shortly after in Europe and Australia.
WW: How many Wii points do you expect it to retail for?
DS: Unfortunately, Nintendo won’t allow us to disclose this information at the time.
WW: Do you have any other WiiWare projects you can tell us about?
DS: We have another WiiWare project in production and more details will be available after the launch of Home Sweet Home.