With the upcoming July 24th release of Exkee's first WiiWare offering ColorZ, we thought it might be a good time to get in touch with the developers in order to find out a bit more about the game.
Romain Streichemberger, Production Director at Exkee, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer some of our questions. You can find out what he had to say to Nintendo Life in the interview below.
Nintendo Life: Can you tell us a bit about your company to start with?
Romain Streichemberger: Exkee was created in 2003 and now is based in Marseille, France. We first began with the mobile phone industry, we did some porting like Tomb Raider: Legend and Age of Empire. Then last year we released a PC Game called I-Fluid. It's available as a retail release and also on downloadable websites like Steam, Nexway, etc… Then we decided to move to the console platform. Wii is our best target for now.
NL: How long has ColorZ been in development?
RS: The development of ColorZ took approximately 1 year.
NL: How did you come up with the idea for ColorZ in the first place?
RS: First, our goal with Colorz was to do a very innovative game and also we really wanted to take advantage of the WiiMote capacities. It came to my mind the idea of controlling multiple entities for a single player and the idea of using color properties.
NL: Can you tell us a bit more about the actual gameplay in the game?
RS: The story is simple - a new virus polluted the universe and you have to clear all the microbes. The main property is that you can eat a microbe if it is of the same color as yours. The complexity is based on the fact that you can drive up to 3 UFO’s and you can do fusion! For example if you have to eat Yellow microbes then you have to make fusion between the red one and the green one. It’s the light color addition rule.
NL: We've heard the game compared to Ikaruga in terms of the color-switching game play feature. Did Ikaruga or any other games have any direct influence on ColorZ?
RS: Yeah absolutely! I am a huge fan of shoot’em ups. Cave and Treasure are for me the best 2 developers for shmups. Ikaruga inspired me with the idea of eating bullets depending on the color of your ship. But ColorZ is very different from Ikaruga. Your UFOs can be Red, Green or Blue and you can also do the fusion to get more colors. You can also drive multiple UFO’s at the same time AND you cannot shoot! So ColorZ is a shoot’em up, but you cannot shoot!! LOL
NL: What controllers are supported in the game?
RS: In Solo Mode you have to play with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, but in Multiplayer mode you can play with the Wii Remote only.
NL: ColorZ has a very vibrant visual style? Was there a concerted effort to make the game visually dynamic?
RS: The game is based on the colors, so we really wanted a vibrant style. Simple but efficient!
NL: What makes ColorZ stand out from many of the other WiiWare releases we've seen so far?
RS: ColorZ gameplay is really unique; you have a feeling when driving multiple UFOs that is totally new. Solo mode will be a tough challenge and the multiplayer is REALLY great. The cooperation in multiplayer is absolutely amazing. You have to talk to each player like “Hey Red Player come with me! We have to make fusion in order to pass these yellow microbes!!” It’s very funny!!
NL: Do you know when we can expect a release of ColorZ in the various regions?
RS: In Europe, the game is approved by Nintendo, so we hope for a release really soon. As for North America, we are currently doing certification with Nintendo. As for Japan, we'd love to release it if a publisher is interested.
NL: Has a price point been set yet?
RS: No, the price has not been set yet, but it is going to be a low price. We want the maximum number of players to live the ColorZ experience! ^^ (The price has since been confirmed to be 700 Nintendo Points)
NL: Did you find it challenging to stay within the 40MB file size limitation of the WiiWare service?
RS: Yes, it is very challenging. Our game uses 2d animation, so it’s very consuming in terms of storage. The music and sound FX are also consuming. But I think the size limitation is a challenge, not a real problem. Your creativity is not proportional to a size limit
NL: Are there any WiiWare titles that have really impressed you?
RS: There are great games on WiiWare like Lost Winds or World of Goo. But I want to salute Icarian : Kindred Spirit. It has some great gameplay and is great looking. I am sure the young Spanish development team behind it will do more brilliant games. Salute to Roberto.
NL: Do you currently have any other projects in development?
RS: Yes, we are currently working on a new Wiiware project…
NL: Is there anything you'd like to say to our readers in closing?
RS: Thank you for reading me!
NL: We thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
RS: It’s my pleasure!
Again we here at Nintendo Life would like to take the time to thank Romain for taking the time to do the interview with us. You can also check out the official gameplay trailer below for a taste of what the game has to offer.