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High Voltage Interview - Animales de la Muerte

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Update: Animales is NOT coming to WiiWare now!

We've been keeping a keen eye trained on Animales de la Muerte for some time now; this gloriously bloodthursty comic shooter certainly has what it takes to catch the eye, but what's the story behind its development?

We demanded answers, and we got them. The awesomely named Chad Kent - Executive Producer for High Voltage Software - is the guy who supplied us with the information we so desired. Read on...

WiiWare World: How long has Animales da la Muerte been in development?

Chad Kent: The concept has been in our library for quite some time, it is the brain child of our creative crew here at HVS. Actual work began on it a little over a year ago and we did some behind closed doors viewings at GDC.

WW: We've read that Animales de la Muerte makes use of a modified version of the Quantum3 engine that's being used in The Conduit. How does the engine used in Animales de la Muerte differ from the one used in The Conduit?

CK: Essentially it doesn’t, the same core engine is powering Animales that is behind the Conduit. Some of the early work on Animales was done prior to our recently announced technology push on the Wii, but really the core engine for both projects is identical.

WW: As far as developing games, what are some of the advantages the Quantum3 engine brings to the table from a development standpoint?

CK: By far its greatest advantage is versatility of use and uniformity of development pipeline for our developers. Quantum 3 has evolved over time into an engine that allows us to very quickly implement new art, content, and game play ideas. This in turn lets our developers iterate several times through out the course of a project to get the best possible results in the end product.

WW: Are you anticipating any uproar from the usual anti-violence groups due to the high level of violent content the game contains? Do you think this will actually help or hurt the game's overall success?

CK: I can assume we will hear the usual buzz but that is to be expected. I don’t know if that particular type of press really helps or hurts in any huge way. The violence in this product is clearly aimed at being over the top and comedic so I expect that our customer will be well aware of that and not find it offensive taking it in the vein in which it was intended. Then again I grew up on the ‘uncensored” Bugs Bunny cartoons so I have probably been tainted for life. :D

WW: Where in the world did the idea for a Mexican-themed shooter set inside of a zoo originate?

CK: In the sick and twisted…sorry I mean in the radically creative minds of our creative crew. A lot of us are zombie movie junkies around office but I don’t think any of us were really prepared for it when the creative staff hit us with Animales. The combination of comedy and solid game mechanics was great and we became determined to bring this hilarious and slightly twisted vision to life.

WW: Even from the title Animales do la Muerte you can tell that the game obviously has a great sense of humor to it. Was the humor aspect something you tried to place a lot of focus on during development?

CK: Definitely it was the hook for all of us at the office at the start, the comedy was the frosting on the cake. It is what makes it more than just a zombie shooter.

WW: What are some of the unique aspects of Animales do la Muerte that set it apart from other typical run-n-gun shooters out there?

CK: Well as soon as the creative team’s dirty little secret was out there in the open we had an “intervention”, otherwise known as design brainstorming meeting. The guys really wanted to focus on fast paced game play, a wide assortment of weapons and enemies, and tie it all together with the comedic setting and storyline. This created a face paced, challenging, visually attractive shooter, that you need to try to keep up with while giggling you’re a$$ off. :-p

WW: What are some of the challenges you've faced as a developer in having to deal with the file size limitations of the WiiWare service?

CK: Economy of content is an issue with the file size limitations, we just need to focus our mindset on the “bigger is not necessarily better” approach. This is not a problem exclusive to downloadable games, no matter what platform we always want to put more in than we have space for. Hazard of the creative nature I guess, so we are used to having to solve that kind of problem.

WW: Will there be any online play support in Animales de la Muerte or possibly some additional content made available for download?

CK: It is hard to say at this point, but demand certainly controls supply in the downloadable game space. So I suppose I’m saying “if they come, we will build it”. :D

WW: There's a consensus that the Wiimote might just be the best controller ever made for shooter-style games. Are you impressed with what the Wiimote offers up in terms of playability in the shooter genre?

CK: Extremely, it is the perfect set of tools for shooter developers and players. Wii controls added to shooters could very easily lead to the bridging of the gap between casual gamers and shooter games, especially FPS’s.

WW: What are some of the key advantages for you as a developer in creating games for the WiiWare service as opposed to creating an actual retail release?

CK: Well cost is lower and we have a bit more creative and business control than most of our work for hire games. However we are then bearing a bigger brunt of the risk as well. I have to say I have been a surprised reading some of the reviews and feedback posted about downloadable titles recently. It kind of makes me cringe when I hear things like, “that game isn’t worth $7.00”, or “a bit pricy at $7.00”, I don’t know about these folks but I can’t get out of Starbucks for less than $7.00, and I used to drop $5.00 in quarters in the local arcade in about an hour (and that was in 1980) :-p

WW: Has there been a release date or price point finalized for Animales de la Muerte?

CK: Not at present, stay tuned though as soon as the decisions are made one of us will blab about it.

WW: Gyrostarr seems to have been a big hit with the WiiWare community. What feedback have you received Gyrostarr from your customers?

CK: Overall the feedback has been really positive, the biggest complaint we have heard is that it is a bit on the easy side. The feedback we get is great for us, especially on downloadable titles. Here is the up side of the rant I started a few questions ago, the great thing about downloadable games is that they are cheaper and faster to make, if they sell well you can expect to see a sequel, expansion, or improvement hit the market much faster than other console titles. Also the online community has been great for us; believe it or not we are listening so keep buying downloadable games and keep telling us how you think we can improve on them.

WW: Many people seemed pleasantly surprised that the game was priced at only 700 Wii Points. What was the thinking behind pricing the game at such a low price point?

CK: We feel that $7 is great price, even if you don’t fall in love with a game it is a pretty safe bet that you will get $7 worth of entertainment out of it. :-p

Also we would love to see downloadable games take off on the Wii, we enjoy making them, so I guess the logic was keep them affordable and enjoyable and we will get to make more of them.

WW: If you were creating the perfect sequel to Gyrostarr, what would you change or add to the game?

CK: Ahh see this is where you got bunked by getting the executive producer rather than the lead designer. There are far more talented designers here than me, but since they are not here at the moment…”hey look over there, it’s the Goodyear Blimp!”

Didn’t work did it?…sorry.

WW: Do you have any other WiiWare projects in the works which you can tell us about?

CK: Actually we have a couple more currently in the works but those are still pretty hush hush, but don’t worry we will keep you posted.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk to you guys and for your interest in what we are doing here at HVS, certainly hope you all enjoy it!

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User Comments (37)

neuzd

#2

neuzd said:

AAAGH, the controls Corbie, you didn't ask how the controls are!
That will define if this game is a hit or will be a flop!
Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Geometry Wars, there's only one way to play this kind of shooter: me wants double analog!

Stratos

#4

Stratos said:

I think Nintendo will only act if there is enough of a public outcry. Plus the upset about Beer Pong was about the teen rating not being age appropriate for a game about drinking. So this will probably be a bit less upsetting because it will be rated M and that is appropriate.

SmaMan

#5

SmaMan said:

@Zaphod Beeblebrox
Yeah, or make all the animals sweat to death like in Mortal Kombat so many years ago. C'mon Nintendo, grow up! You have parental controls on your console now so there's no need to worry about this content falling into the impresiionable minds of the youth of today.

lockelocke

#6

lockelocke said:

Nice to hear someone speak out against the usual cries of "7 DOLLARS!? TOO EXPENSIVE!!"
I never have understood the harsh way that people tend to evaluate the worth of these VC and WiiWare games based on price (which has never exceeded 15 dollars!) I can spend 7 dollars at Taco Bell, no problem

ACK

#8

ACK said:

Good interview. I couldn't agree more about the complaints about price. Many gamers have a twisted sense of value, if you ask me. I guess it's easy to ignore how much work and resources go into game development when you merely play them on a whim...

Deep4t

#10

Deep4t said:

You know, most Wiiware games look great at first.
Then it ends up a stinker. So, i think it looks good.. but, not getting my hopes up.

Ricardo91

#11

Ricardo91 said:

I'd buy this game even if it was 1500 points. A game about Mexican kids shooting up undead zoo animals sounds like a must-have to me! Nice to get some real info on it. :)

DazzaAdmin

#12

Dazza said:

@Neuzd - Animales uses the nunchuk to control the player's character and the Wiimote to aim and shoot. Sounds like a good alternative to the Robotron style controls found in so many XBLA games.

Shiryu

#13

Shiryu said:

Definetly one to watch out for. In fact, anything by High voltage gets High Priority in my lists. Hopefully, Gyrostarr will be out in Europe soon.

Shiryu

#14

Shiryu said:

@Dazza - Hope it supports GC and Classic addon, I still play Geometry Wars Galaxies with the Classic dual analogue combination.

DarkLloyd

#15

DarkLloyd said:

hello this game good bye my pokemon ranch your gonna have to WAIT dun dun dunn you come near my wii now i will shoot you for trespassing only this shooter can enter my wii before you lol

SmaMan

#16

SmaMan said:

Well said BlackFira! Those Mexican kids can cap those
pokemon if they even get close!

Yatesy

#17

Yatesy said:

XBLA has a wealth of great dual-stick controlled games- it's a tried and trusted control scheme that has been proven to work well. It could be a bit of a gamble from High Voltage to be mixing things up with waggle-based aiming, which I can see perhaps not being as fluid as the likes of XBLA's Geometry Wars and Assault Heroes, although I do like the vibrant look of it all and the copious amounts of blood strewn all over the place! The game just looks fun.

AlexSays

#18

AlexSays said:

I might be the only one...
but I don't see this game living up to the hype.
I wouldn't even put this game in my list of "must-haves", which is a pretty short list for WiiWare anyway.

DazzaAdmin

#19

Dazza said:

Guys, it seems this does support classic and GCN controllers also so it appears you can play like Robotron if the wiimote pointing thing isn't for you. I will try and clear up exactly how this works with HVS soon :p

strade32

#20

strade32 said:

nice, GCN controllers support. i use that whenever possible. best controller ever made(not including motion controlled).

ECM

#21

ECM said:

Thank God it supports the Cube and Classic controllers: using the 'mote to aim in Alien Syndrome and Heavenly Guardian hasn't exactly been ideal in those cases.

Objection

#22

Objection said:

How many players can play at once? 4? I mean, that's pretty good, but with a combo of GCN and Wii controllers, you could do 8! That would be so sweet. This is one of my most-wated upcoming Wiiware titles, alongside Strongbad and World of Goo.

strade32

#23

strade32 said:

i don't know why you would need 8 players in this. also, i don't know how anybody can get 8 without online.

Objection

#27

Objection said:

@strade "I dont know how anybody can get 8 without online"
not to be rude but I just said "with a combo of GCN and Wii controllers, you could do 8" 4 slots for GCN, up to 4 Wiimotes to connect at once...4+4=8.

strade32

#28

strade32 said:

i know, i just said i don't know how anybody can get 8 without online. this does not have online, so it would be kind of hard. sorry if i sounded disrespectful or something, i wasn't trying to be.

Virus

#30

Virus said:

I may not have any of their titles currently, but I'm loving HVS. They look like they're producing good titles and exclusive ones at that. I'm glad there are companies like this.

neuzd

#31

neuzd said:

: (
I do really hope they implement alternative controls then (why not, evey game should have multiple or even customizable control configurations)

The problem is that in a game like this, if I have to use the wiimote, I would experience heavy motion sickness because of rapidly and continuosly moving my eyes between multiple targets and the character.
In Geometry Wars with wiimote controls I need to watch at every target, while if I play with the classic controller I just need to see where it is, it needs less concentration from my eyes/brain.

I hope they do the wisest thing and provide the game with alternative controller options.
[EDIT]
I didn't notice the other Dazza's message, nice then if I can hope in a double analog configuration.
I do really love the graphics and crazy setting of this game.

DazzaAdmin

#32

Dazza said:

HVS are going to give us more details about the control schemes on offer early next week. Watch this space, we should be able to clear it up once and for all soon! :-)

Roboto

#33

Roboto said:

little kids killing animals with shotguns wow grate publicity for my country....

any mexicans involved in this games??

Quimby

#34

Quimby said:

Hey Dazza, while you're there, do you mind asking HVS about the storyline? Or rather, asking if it even has one :-) This looks pretty sweet though either way.

CorbsAdmin

#35

Corbs said:

I went with these questions because many of the others had already been answered in previous interviews and in the very thorough IGN Animales de la Muerte preview . If you want game play and storyline information, check it out. I read through it just before I wrote up the questions for the interview.

nintendo87

#36

nintendo87 said:

i herd this game might be retail it might be too big for the wii!! i hope thats not true!

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