With the recent release of Chronos Twins on both the DSiWare and WiiWare services, we thought it might be a good time to try to get some more information out of EnjoyUp Games about the titles they've created during their years in the gaming industry.
Julio Moruno, Lead Game Designer on Chronos Twins, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to take part in an interview with us. You can find out what he had to tell us in the full Nintendo Life interview below.
Nintendo Life: How did you guys come up with the idea for Chronos Twins in the first place?
Julio Moruno: Once upon a time, my partner Jorge came up with a game idea, which used two screens and one single character. At first we felt like it was a quite a strange concept, so we decided to first make a prototype. Later on, Jorge showed the demo for GameBoy Advance and we instantly saw that it was quite funny and we agreed that a great deal of players would surely enjoy this Dual Gameplay.
NL: Was it difficult to develop a game that required gameplay in two completely different time frames?
JM: Indeed! Having two parallel worlds was a game design challenge, and problems to adjust the gameplay multiplied. As an example, the ‘Split’ system that’s used to stop a single time (either past or present) so the player can move objects, was an extremely difficult challenge because many bugs sprung up from it, but in the end, we were able to make it work.
NL: Why was the original Chronos Twins DS retail title never released in North America and was that a factor in deciding to bring the game to the download services?
JM: Chronos Twins for DS was ready for its launch in America, but unluckily that never happened due to issues we can’t control. It’s hard for new games in a physical format to succeed without a great marketing campaign. Later on, when Nintendo announced the WiiWare and DSiWare platforms, we realized that we had a real possibility to deliver Chronos Twins for American players.
NL: Why the decision to port Chronos Twins over to the WiiWare service despite it originally being a DS release?
JM: Well, it was a concept that worked and we had already designed it entirely, so we thought it was a good start making Chronos Twins the first game by EnjoyUp Games as an independent publisher. We also wanted to offer Chronos Twins for WiiWare with great improvements technical-wise and with some adjustments in the difficulty, maybe the aspect that generated more controversy.
NL: Was it difficult to squeeze the entire Chronos Twins game into the set file size limits of DSiWare and WiiWare?
JM: Making the DSiWare version wasn’t much of a problem as we had a very optimized product already. For WiiWare it was quite a challenge instead, as the game uncompressed is 70MB and the limit for WiiWare is 40MB, so we are proud to have made the whole game work in only 40 MB.
NL: Are there plans to release Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ on the North American DSiWare service and if so, any time frame for when this might happen?
JM: There are no plans at the moment to release it in the USA, as for this market it isn't yet possible to buy the game in physical format. We still contemplate the possibility of distributing it for DSiWare in the USA sometime in the future.
NL: Enjoyup Games has already brought over several DS retail releases to the DSiWare and WiiWare services? Why the decision to re-release these DS titles rather than create original IPs for the service?
JM: We thought that starting as a new publisher this was the best option as it’s our only IP, but from here on we’ll develop new IPs, that’s for sure. The problem with new IPs is that players would need to be more receptive when it comes to trying out new game concepts. Even though Chronos Twins is a new IP for many people, it still has many things to show.
NL: What do you think are some of the advantages/disadvantages to releasing games on the download services versus retail?
JM: Advantages using download services are great. It means less intermediators and a direct publication in the USA and Europe. In retail you depend on a publisher, distribution channels for each country and finally the consumers. For small teams, retail is a hard choice unless you have a good publisher that helps you on those things, but unluckily there are few publishers that give you enough guarantees.
NL: Other than your own products, has there been any DSiWare or WiiWare release that's really impressed you?
JM: Yes, many of them. For example Dark Void for DSiWare and Megaman 9 for WiiWare. Also Bit.Trip is a good product for WiiWare. As far as games we are waiting for, I would have to say Cave Story.
NL: Are you currently working on any other products for the Nintendo systems that you could let us in on?
JM: Yes, we are currently working on EnjoyUp Soccer (provisional name) for WiiWare. We hope to show you soon the first screenshots and some surprises related to this title. When we unveil this ‘surprise’, we believe many people will say “Ohhhh, that’s exactly what we've all been waiting years for”.
NL: Is there anything you'd like to tell our readers in closing?
JM: First of all, we would like to say thank you for your support. We are very happy about the good reception of Chronos Twins amongst players and press. We’d also like to say to anybody that doesn’t know Chronos Twins yet to give it a try as they will surely enjoy such a novel, funny and well-shaped product.
Thanks to everybody, especially to Corbie, Darren and all of the Nintendo Life team.
Once again we'd like to thank Julio for taking the time to take part in this interview. Our staff and our readers very much appreciate it.