Nintendo Life: Firstly tell us a bit about your company Sabarasa Inc. and anything you've done previously that our readers might be aware of.
Javier Otaegui, CEO and founder of Sabarasa: Sabarasa is a game developer based on Argentina and Mexico. We’ve been developing games for well over a decade now, but we have recently focused our attention on digital distribution markets such as DSiWare and WiiWare.
Some of our previous games include Mazes of Fate for both GBA and Nintendo DS (a first-person RPG) and Prothotea for WiiWare (a port for Ubisoft that we made alongside Digital Builders). Mazes of Fate was a bit of a coming of age project for us. It was quite a large project and we learned a lot in the process, we are very proud of it even if it did not reach a larger audience.
NL: What kind of game is Save the Turtles?
JO: Save the Turtles is a cute and quirky puzzler, mixing both match-3 and time management mechanics under an ecological theme. The game asks players to help tiny sea turtles hatch and get to the sea, avoiding predators, litter and weather. It features four game modes, including a 32 level long campaign and a survival mode we called “Turtles Forever”.
NL: There are already a number of quality puzzle games on DSiWare - how do you feel Save the Turtles stands out from the crowd?
JO: We felt combining both types of games will produce a pretty unique experience, since the game ends up being more about synchronization and choreography than just matching colors under time limits. While there are amazing games currently available on DSiWare, we think that some fell short on both polish and content, so we went the extra mile and gave our game some more cooking time so that it would be very competitive on the platform.
NL: Your game shares the name of a prominent wildlife charity - is there any connection between the two?
JO: We wanted to highlight these amazing reptiles and the dash for life they face at birth, but our first concern was to develop a fun and engaging experience. While we fully support organizations engaged with the protection of wildlife, we have not worked with any of them for this title. However, we do recommend that anybody that may be interested in the protection of sea turtles get in touch with any of these: Project Tamar In Brazil and Seaturtle.org that features a very cool Sea Turtle adoption program.
NL: You seem to have a focus on Nintendo platforms - what draws you to the Wii/DS and what do you see as the challenges/opportunities they present?
JO: We are all very much lifelong Nintendo lovers here, but as developers Nintendo offers opportunities that are very much unique to their platforms. Both the Nintendo DS and Wii are wildly exciting systems designed only with games in mind. We value fun over graphic exuberance, and Nintendo platforms allow us to explore more than any other system currently available.
NL: Some developers have indicated they think Nintendo could be doing more to support their downloadable services - do you feel you're getting the support you need, especially since you are doing the publishing yourself?
JO: While we would also love to see DSiWare and WiiWare grow both in features and support (a better shopping experience would be great), we found that Nintendo was the only platform holder that was willing to open its doors to Latin American developers. In that regard, they are the only truly global console company and it’s a great opportunity for newcomers like us, especially considering they have the largest installed base.
NL: Have release dates and pricing for Save the Turtles been determined yet?
JO: The game is already done, but the final release details such as date and price point have not been determined yet. We hope to be able to launch in a few weeks for a competitive price, but we will let you know as soon as its set!
NL: Your studios are based in North and South America - are there plans to publish Save the Turtles in Europe or Japan presently?
JO: We plan to launch in North America, Europe and Australia very soon. We are still looking for a publishing partner to be able to release this and other games on Japan, since it’s very complicated for a foreign company to operate over there.
NL: Finally, are there any other projects you are working on that you can discuss? There is mention of a Lucha Libre game coming to the Wii, something that seems long overdue on consoles generally - anything you can tease us with?
JO: Yes, we are working with Slang on a Lucha Libre game for Wii which is coming along great, since Lucha Libre is so crazy and fun. Details will be announced very soon. We are also developing two DSiWare and two WiiWare titles. These last two in particular are looking very cool and we aim to bring experiences that have not been explored on WiiWare so far.
NL: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions - we'll be looking forward to getting a chance to "Save the Turtles!"
JO: Thank you! Hope you enjoy the game!