Interviews: Studio Zan

We get ready for the European Overturn release with this Q & A!

With Overturn: Mecha Wars finally on its way to European shores, we took the time to catch up with Studio Zan's CEO, Makoto Sunaga, and fire off some questions about the robot battling title.

Nintendo Life: First of all, could you give us a brief introduction to Studio Zan?
Sunaga-san: The company was established in 2004 by the core members of the Cool Boarders team from UEP Systems. We specialize in DS, PSP and Wii games, previous games included Dungeon Explorer on the PSP

What has the reaction to Overturn been like since its release last year?
Sunaga-san: From the feedback we’ve had it seems the users are really pleased with the game, especially as a WiiWare game. They’re also really good at it! Members of the development team often go on-line to challenge the players and I’m afraid to say that we don’t always win.

What difficulties, if any, did you encounter during its production?
Sunaga-san: The tuning of the weight on the balance board caused us some headaches, which delayed the release of the game in Europe, but apart from that it went pretty smooth.

Have you got any plans to revisit Overturn?
Sunaga-san: Like most developers, we’d like to, but there are no concrete plans at the moment. Maybe if we get lots of requests from players!

What is it about WiiWare that appeals to you as developers?
Sunaga-san: It allows small developers like ourselves to release games such as Overturn that probably would never have been possible otherwise. It also gives developers more control over their own destiny. Gamebridge helped us release the game in Europe, but we developed and published the game ourselves in Japan and North America. This wouldn’t have been possible if it was a packaged game.

Do you currently have any other titles in development for WiiWare you can talk about?
Sunaga-san: In Japan we just released “Jan-ken-Party” (Rock, Paper Scissor Party) . At the moment I don’t know if this will be released outside of Japan. If there is a demand for a party game collection based on the Japanese game of “Rock-Paper-Scissors” then we may bring this to Europe.

Does DSiWare interest you at all? Do you have any ideas that would fit the handheld?
Sunaga-san: Like WiiWare, it opens up new opportunities for us so we are interested, but I don’t know if we will do anything for DSiWare yet.

Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Sunaga-san: Overturn is a pretty unique game for WiiWare. It’s a frantic one-on-one robot action game that is enhanced with the Wiimote and the Wii Balance Board. The online battles via Wi-Fi are lots of fun and I hope to see many European players online soon.

Our thanks go to Sunaga-san and Gamebridge for organising and translating our interview questions. If this has upped your thirst for robot destruction, check out our Overturn game page for videos, screenshots and our review.