News Article

First Details Of Riverman Media's Next Game

Posted by Darren Calvert

Remember Riverman Media? Of course you do, they brought the fiendish falling block puzzler, MadStone to WiiWare back in October.

We enjoyed the strategic gameplay and awarded it a respectable 7/10. If you haven’t yet checked it out, why not do so today?

The guys at Riverman have revealed some exclusive new details about their next game, which thankfully isn’t another puzzler. We’re thinking it sounds like original Mario Bros arcade game, with the addition of being able to control a Star Wars-like force power with the Wii Remote pointer. Check out the untitled game's synopsis for yourselves to draw your own conclusions:

RiverMan Media's next WiiWare project is an arena-based 2D platform game in which a family of telekinetic siblings defend their hometown against monsters. Standard platform mechanics are enhanced by allowing the player to control their telekinetic powers using the Wii Remote's pointer. Players can throw objects, build defensive walls, trap enemies, levitate themselves, flip switches, and grab items, all by using the power of their minds! The game features fast, cooperative, four-player action, a variety of game modes, and lots of unlockable content. The game will use RiverMan's new proprietary animation system, DMorph, for limitlessly smooth 2D animation, and Box2D, the physics system used in Crayon Physics.

This concept has been approved by Nintendo and development is well underway. Expect to see some screenshots soon when they are ready for public consumption.

In other Riverman news, the guys have just done fascinating a post-mortem with Gamasutra about the journey of developing and publishing MadStone. It is a long feature, but well worth a read. On page 3 WiiWare World even gets a namecheck, mostly due to the demented ramblings of regular comment board contributor AlexSays.

Do let us know what you think about the revelation of Riverman’s next WiiWare game and the MadStone post-mortem. No doubt Jacob will answer any questions you might have.

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User Comments (40)

CorbsAdmin

#1

Corbs said:

Bring it on! I really enjoyed Madstone and this sounds even better. I look forward to more WiiWare titles from Riverman Media.

Terra

#2

Terra said:

Should be interesting. I do like the sound of this. I tried waiting to comment so Wiiloveit could get the first post. Oh well. I like the sound of this.

"If you haven’t yet checked it out, why not do so today?"
Hmm... Maybe because Europe don't have it yet for some reason. It's hard to understand how titles so small could take so long to localize for European regions

Trucker

#4

Trucker said:

Yeah boy, the Trucker enjoyed MadStone. It's a crying shame that it didn't seem to reach the audience it deserved to, mainly because of IGN's unfair assessment I suppose.

The idea of a Mario Bros style arena game were you can throw stuff around with the Wiimote sounds great. I can't wait.

Nintendork

#5

Nintendork said:

This sounds like a neat concept. :) Oh, and if Ign gives this game a bad review too, I'm gonna overflow their E-mail address with hate-mail. :D

GabboStaff

#6

Gabbo said:

Interesting interview. However this quote makes me sad: "Choosing to make a falling block puzzle game was a serious mistake."

Setting yourself apart from the crowd is good, but a game doesn't have to be different just for the sake of being different. If you're good at making puzzle games and this is your first attempt at a Wiiware game then, darn it, make a puzzle game!

bwaybuddy26

#8

bwaybuddy26 said:

Glad to see that indie developers aren't giving up on their dreams of making games. While I haven't played MadStone, it looks polished and fun and I look forward to Riverman Media's next title.

Popyman

#9

Popyman said:

Sounds awesome! I've always had a thing with psychic powers. I hope this is as good as EarthBound and Psychonauts! _

Gitaroo_Dude

#10

Gitaroo_Dude said:

I really enjoyed Madstone; the multiplayer mode was especially satisfying.

This sounds a lot more interesting though based on the initial concept. Definitely going to get this too unless it gets universally panned.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#11

Philip_J_Reed said:

The look of this game isn't really appealing to me, but it sounds very interesting. I'll definitely keep an eye on this one.

BulbasaurusRex

#12

BulbasaurusRex said:

This sounds like a very interesting game. However, it will most likely sink or swim with the quality of the telekinetic gameplay. If the telekinetic gameplay is implemented and controls well, the game will be a hit, otherwise it will be a flop.

Dante

#13

Dante said:

Actually this game sounds quite original, it should be quite good fun I think.

A question to Riverman if they are viewing this page: Is the aim of the game to survive the monsters on a timer, or dispatch of a set number of them?

Also when do you predict this game will be available? Do you expect it to be this fall?

Riverman_Jacob

#16

Riverman_Jacob said:

Hi everyone! Thanks for your support. I think our next game is going to be fun and interesting, but we certainly have a long road ahead of us getting the telekinetic gameplay fun and satisfying.

@Dante
One thing we learned from MadStone is that players want to mix things up with different modes. So there will be modes based on a timer, number of monsters, etc.

I don't know exactly when the game will be available. Fall would be a good guess though.

Thanks!
Jacob

Objection

#17

Objection said:

"On page 3 WiiWare World even gets a namecheck, mostly due to the demented ramblings of regular comment board contributor AlexSays." LMAO. It's so true, despite that they are fairly intelligent comments.
@WWW, if it's okay with Riverman, we should have a "NAME THE GAME" article where we can submit name ideas for them! :)

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#18

Philip_J_Reed said:

@ Gabbo:

Whoops...that's what I get for not clicking links to read the other articles. My fault!

Thanks for the correction. :-)

bwaybuddy26

#19

bwaybuddy26 said:

Riverman Jacob - Can we see screenshots soon? I am eager to see the graphics, I like your art style from Madstone.

Stuffgamer1

#21

Stuffgamer1 said:

Sorry to say (and no offense to Riverman Jacob), I didn't really care for Madstone and wish I hadn't bought it. That said, this new game sounds pretty good, and I am quite willing to judge it on its own merits instead of ignoring the company like a butthole.

Twilight_Crow

#22

Twilight_Crow said:

This new game sounds good, I believe the guys at Riverman media must get all those imaginative ideas and fearlessly try to implement them.

@Riverman Jacob
Those many modes for the game sound cool ;).

Kaeobais

#23

Kaeobais said:

I agree, I like having lots of modes, just don't do the tetris party thing and tell us we're getting, like, 9 modes and we're really getting 6 just 3 of them are with balance board ...

@Riverman Jacob: Darren wrote "We’re thinking it sounds like original Mario Bros arcade game ..." Is it like the original Mario Bros. arcade game, or is it a sidescroller?

Also (just a thought) you should have a mode where the objective is to box enemies in, and when you do, it will defeat the enemy. In other words, the only way to defeat the enemies is to box them in a circle (or square) of blocks, and attacking them by usual means (whatever that may be) will be rendered useless.

Can't wait for this game, sounds fun. I wasn't going to buy World of Goo because it was 1500 (I have the demo of it on PC, and I just don't think it'll be as good on WiiWare) but I don't care how expensive this one is, I'm probably going to buy it! Well, if the review is good that is. No offense Riverman, but there is always a chance a game won't turn out as good as you hoped, and I've made the mistake (twice, actually) of buying a game on impulse (the games in question were Destroy all humans and Battalion Wars 2) and I don't plan on making that mistake again. That said, this sounds amazing.

Omega

#24

Omega said:

This is not another puzzle game? And it has not the retro-style graphics, made with no effort at all? Yes, might perhaps be interesting. - But what do they mean with Arena-based? No real levels like in Super Mario? Only one screen per Level and no scrolling? Multiplayer only? I sense something bad. But I would rather say nothing. (Why am I always so negative?) Let's wait and see...

Hyperfludd

#25

Hyperfludd said:

Wow, I really loved that post mortem, it was a fantastic read. That being said, I honestly had no general interest in Madstone due to the same reasons listed in the article. However, this new game seems very interesting and I cannot wait for some more details on it, especially screens. (I want to see the art!) Good luck to Riverman Media!

Starwolf_UK

#26

Starwolf_UK said:

Hmm... Maybe because Europe don't have it yet for some reason. It's hard to understand how titles so small could take so long to localize for European regions
My view on this is that European publishers (basically person who sorts out the PEGI rating, translation and NoE) are probably not particularly interested due to lackluster reviews and sales. Translations can be costly (and yes they must be done...which is bizarre given that publishers can punlish DS and Wii games in English only...) and the PEGI rating is probably like the ESRB rating (you have to pay) and at the end of the day will the sales even cover this let alone make a profit?

It is a shame Nintendo decided to region lock the shop (region locked? I thought this was the internet...I was sold to the idea that Digital distribution meant everyone around the world paid the same price and could buy the games...neither of which have happened).

Ramblings aside it is nice to hear the Riverman Media are continueing to work on WiiWare and have learned from their present experiances.

EdEN

#27

EdEN said:

I just read the post-mortem on Madstone that Gamasutra posted and it prompted me to give Madstone a chance. I'll be downloading it during the weekend.

Riverman Jacob, any chance you could give us a ballpark figure of the sales of Madstone (over 5,000 or something like that)?

Best of luck to Riverman Media on their next Wiiware project.

Riverman_Jacob

#28

Riverman_Jacob said:

Hi Everyone,
On the topic of screenshots for our new project: They're coming soon, I promise! Right now the game is mostly bouncing rectangles and circles and lines, as we haven't put much real art in.

@Eden
Sorry, we aren't able to talk about specific numbers. Suffice to say, I'd appreciate if more people gave it a shot! :)

Jacob

Wiiloveit

#29

Wiiloveit said:

I tried waiting to comment so Wiiloveit could get the first post. Oh well.
Oops.

@Starwolf_UK: The reasons games don't always come out in Europe are as follows:

  • PEGI ratings supposedly cost a lot, although I believe USK and OFLC ratings don't cost a penny
  • The translating is awkward and needs to be done to the correct standard - which is particularly a pain for voice acting (hence, no Strong Bad multi-language support)
  • All the different countries have different tastes, making it harder to create something they'll all like
  • It is easier to keep it NA only since the extra costs (translating / rating) aren't as bad, and it's easier to market it to everyone
    There may be more reasons - but methinks those are the main ones

@Riverman Jacob: So... will there be a European release soon?

Cthuloops

#30

Cthuloops said:

@Riverman Jacob
What were your inspirations on this game? You said for MadStone that you were inspired by 16-bit gaming in general. That's why you said the game sounded somewhat retro. Reading the description it sounds like a mix of Mario Bros. arcade and Smash T.V.

Ricardo91

#31

Ricardo91 said:

"On page 3, Wiiware World even gets a name check, mostly due to the demented ramblings of regular comment board contributor Alexsays."

Oh Alex, what would these sites do without ya? :D

I have yet to try Madstone, and admittedly I wasn't really interested in doing so, since I always thought it was just another WW puzzler. But I'll give it a spin sometime since I've heard so many good things about it.

So far the new project sounds good. Mario Bros. with telekinesis? I'm in!

btw, is that contest still going on?

Riverman_Jacob

#32

Riverman_Jacob said:

The contest is absolutely still going! There's some discussion on the leaderboards right now about how to defeat the notoriously difficult final boss. Only a few people have pulled it off.

http://www.rivermanmedia.com/component/content/article/31

As far as a European release of MadStone: We're still very much planning to release the game in Europe. The fact is, it's very difficult for us to afford right now though. Normally, my brother and I develop games "for free" and then split the money we earn. Unfortunately, we don't have the skills to localize our game ourselves, so we'd have to hire an external company, which is quite expensive. The bottom line is, we'll release it once MadStone (or our other projects) makes enough money to pay for it! :)

Jacob

PALgamer

#34

PALgamer said:

I don't know why Nintendo doesn't help small developers bring their games globally. Didn't they want to attract WiiWare to them? They should help them with these kind of hurdles. I guess they do enough by helping them regionally (they do, no?).

PS: Concerning translations, less than half needs to be done (German and Italian) since both French and Spanish should be included in the American version.

ACK

#35

ACK said:

Sounds ace. I admit I haven't downloaded Madstone yet, but that's only due to a lack of funds and backlog of great games. Eitherway, this new game has undeniable potential and because of that I'll give it a shot regardless of it's initial reception.

XCWarrior

#36

XCWarrior said:

I like the sound of the game. Definitely brings something new to the WiiWare selection. Can't wait to see some screens when they arrive.

So many good WiiWare games, so little money and space.

Wiiloveit

#38

Wiiloveit said:

We don't have the skills to localize our game ourselves
You do now! Trust me, it works - it's helped me with many a French homework in the past :D

AlexSays

#39

AlexSays said:

Oh wow, I didn't even see this. lol

Nice to see people actually read my comments! :)

cyko

#40

cyko said:

YES! I just beat savant mode. That was really hard but I'm glad I made it. Hope I will get my wii points soon.:)

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