Interviews: Farbs and Christophe Kohler - Fishie Fishie
Posted by Brad Long
We chat with the original creator and WiiWare developer about the recently released title
Not too long ago we had the chance to have a chat with Farbs, original creator of Fishie Fishie, and Christophe Kohler, the developer who picked the title up and made adjustments for its WiiWare release. We asked them a few questions about the title and they were more than happy to answer anything we had to ask, so read on, our friends.
Nintendo Life: For our readers who didn't read your last interview with us, can you tell us a bit about DK games?
Christophe: “DK Games” is the commercial name behind my work. I’m an experienced independent video game developer and I share my time between building and developing my own games and working as a consultant for other studios. For my DK Games productions, I hire additional staff to enable me to complete a project. Usually I have an overall “team” of around 10 staff covering everything from programming to translating.
Nintendo Life: How did the idea of Fishie Fishie come into fruition?
Farbs: I saw a contest for single button games - I think it may have been run by OneSwitch. This got me thinking about fun interactions you could create with a single button, so that night I put together a tiny prototype with pygame. Unfortunately I missed the contest deadline by about three years! Though I found the prototype really fun, and although I played around with lots of other control systems the single button mechanic felt the most satisfying.
Nintendo Life: Originally the game came out on PC as a free download, how did it get picked up for WiiWare?
Christophe: I first read about "Fishie Fishie" on an independant developer forum. The game was looking nice so I tried it out. I really enjoyed the concept, and the way you control the fish felt natural, and was unique in the way you only need the one button. So I wrote to Farbs and that's how we started talking about a WiiWare version.
Farbs: It was very simple! I posted on a game developer forum asking if anyone wanted to use my game for something. Christophe replied, asking to make a WiiWare version.
Nintendo Life: Wow, that was really simple! But why fish? Do you have an attraction to them, do you own any yourself?
Farbs: (Laughs) No! I used fish because that's what the game's alternating left/right movement system looks like. It would hardly make sense to play like this as a hippopotamus. I don't fish, own fish, or have anything to do with fish that doesn't involve a fork.
Nintendo Life: So what involvement did Farbs have with the WiiWare version?
Farbs: I had almost nothing to do with the WiiWare version of Fishie Fishie. I figured it'd be best for Christophe to work freely, remaking and adding to the game without me tromping about in the background demanding he stay in line with my original vision. I think as a result he came up with something pretty cool, and very different to what I would have thought to make.
Christophe: I sent documents and playable versions to Farbs and he made comments on them. It was very important for me that he like the new features and arts I've added in the game. He sent me good criticisms and that helped me go in the right direction. He has done well not to be intrusive at all. He let me develop my own vision of the game, and I really appreciate it.
Nintendo Life: What extra modes have you put into the game?
Christophe: The original "Fishie Fishie" is a solo game with one mode (the "story" mode, eat all fishes in around 60 levels). We first worked on the multiplayer side of the game. I wanted a game that could be fully played from 1 to 4 players. I then added team modes based on some popular multiplayer games: Soccer and Capture the flag. Each can be played in 9 different "arenas" with funny shapes. Though I added these modes, and as fun as they were, it was still missing something. I decided to add one new game mode ("Skill run", eat 10 "checkpoint" fishes before time is over), and a full championship system (for soccer and Capture the star). The championship can be played with one human team (then the team has to win 3, 6 or 9 matches) or up to 4 human teams (played in 3 successive rounds). The last feature I added is the "speed run". You can finish the whole game in a very short time. You can also save time if you manage to get 5 or 8 (soccer/CTS) more points than your opponent. That way, the best players can finish the game in about one hour instead of four. My goal was to encourage the best players to make the shortest time and then share it with their friends.
I needed to remove one feature, however, as Nintendo did not allow it. We had it so at the end of the game, a code was displayed under your final time. That code was supposed to be sent to the DK-Games website so that I could make a list of best scores and offer gifts to ranked players. Though I had to remove it, people can still send me their best scores, I'll publish them on the Fishie Fishie website.
Nintendo Life: It's just been released in North America, how are you finding the reception to the game so far?
Christophe: I've read some good reviews and comments about the game. WiiWare is a good place to propose new ways of playing original concepts. People buying WiiWare games opens them up to new experiences, and if they like Fishie Fishie, then my goal has been reached!
Nintendo Life: Do you have any future plans for WiiWare at all?
Christophe: I've got many WiiWare and DsiWare projects in the works. My only concern at the moment is to find in which order I should fund and release them. The next game I will release is a DsiWare version of "Fizz" (a puzzle game). I released it on NDS (box version) two years ago, but it was sadly only released in Italy. This is a nice and addictive game that will fit perfectly on DsiWare, and we're hoping it will be released at 200 points. The game itself has been improved and I added a complete tutorial in it, which the original did not have.
We would like to thank Christophe and Farbs for taking their time out to answer our questions, you can read our review of Fishie Fishie here, Sean thought it was a very decent effort and well worth the 500 points.