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Interview: Object Vision Software - Aya and the Cubes of Light

Posted by Zach Kaplan

We talk to the B2B software house turned game studio about its debut release

For over a decade, if you knew about Object Vision Software, it was likely because your business needed custom, or bespoke, software or consultation. Now the B2B firm has stepped into the world of video game development with the innovative WiiWare puzzler Aya and the Cubes of Light, which we awarded an impressive 7/10 in our review. The game just released in North America yesterday, so we decided to sit down with CEO Jacob Rosendorfer to discuss the title, the evolution from B2B firm to game studio and how Nintendo can continue to improve its downloadable platforms in the future.

Nintendo Life: Can you give a brief description of Aya and the Cubes of Light for the uninitiated?

Jacob Rosendorfer: Aya and the Cubes of Light is primarily a puzzle game where players have to find their way through a labyrinth on a 3D cube. The special feature is the gravity on the cube – Aya always walks upright, even when she’s upside down, which makes the routes both unusual and surprising. Of course, an array of devices and obstacles have been placed on the cubes which the player has to use imaginatively or negotiate carefully, so we also have incorporated the jump 'n run aspect.

The puzzles become more difficult as you go from cube to cube. It can also become really difficult if a player wants to collect all the bonus items on one cube, and certain bonus items have been cleverly concealed.

NL: What was the inspiration behind the title's unique gameplay?

"When the Wii was launched on the market we wanted to publish a title for that device merely because we were amazed by the totally new control concept"

JR: When the Wii was launched on the market we wanted to publish a title for that device merely because we were amazed by the totally new control concept, and the WiiWare distribution channel provided the opportunity to publish a title. We then systematically compiled a number of ideas and decided on the implementation of the cube puzzle, which seemed the most appealing and innovative concept to us.

NL: What accomplishments are you most proud of in the development of Aya and the Cubes of Light?

JR: We spent a lot of time on the various puzzles and involved many different people during the design process, and I think we created some brilliant and astonishing puzzles. I was particularly pleased that Andreas Fabritius was involved, because he provided some incredible game sound and perfect music!

NL: Could you tell us a bit about Object Vision Software?

JR: Our core business is the development of bespoke software systems and consultancy on software projects. We have been in the market for almost 14 years now.

NL: If we're not mistaken, game development and publishing is a relatively new venture for Object Vision. Why make the leap from creating B2B focused software to this?

JR: Software developers have a great affinity with computer games, and it is standard procedure at Object Vision to evaluate new software architectures and development methods in reference conditions; that brought us to the idea of looking more closely at game consoles.

NL: What made you want to choose the WiiWare platform for Aya and the Cubes of Light?

JR: This game is aimed at casual gamers who are more interested in game content than sophisticated and spectacular graphics. I think we have the biggest overlap here with the Wii platform.

NL: Nintendo has pledged to improve its online stores, currently with the 3DS and in the future with the Wii U. What do you think the company’s most important focus should be?

JR: Sure, there are a couple of things Nintendo should think about. E.g. the Wii-Shop-Channel: the ability to convey an game impression is very limited. I suppose people mostly visit the Nintendo web pages and may follow the links to the game homepages if any to obtain sufficient game info. But how many players here use the Wii Internet Channel would be worthwhile to know.

The Nintendo Channel should be slightly revised too. The features are arranged confusingly and sometimes carelessly made. At least, the gameplay video snippet of our game at the NoE weekly downloads trailer was a disaster. Last of all I would like to have direct control over setting the game price. Other platforms allow publishers change prices directly e.g. to react on seasonal effects or to support promotion activities.

NL: Do you have any plans to develop more WiiWare titles in the future?

JR: Sure! The story actually has an open ending, and we can envisage a sequel to Aya where Cseom is captured. From a technical development point of view we have not only published a title, but have also devised some specific tools and processes that we would like to use again. For example, we programmed our own editor to create the labyrinths. Of course we also want to use our title to generally knock on the doors of publishers as a development studio.

NL: What about Nintendo's other platforms, like DSiWare and the 3DS eShop, or Wii U?

JR: We haven’t explored all the possibilities of the Wii U console in great detail yet, but the concepts look really interesting. We don’t have anything definite in the pipeline at the moment; unfortunately the other platforms don’t have enough computing power for our underlying 3D engine.

NL: Is there anything you'd like to tell our readers in closing?

JR: Just download Aya and have fun playing the game!

We thank Jacob for taking the time to answer our queries.

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User Comments (13)

Link79

#2

Link79 said:

I'm still debating buying this. It looks decent enough.
Still not sure though. Anyone here got it yet?

Oregano

#3

Oregano said:

Huh? Does the game do something special that means it wouldn't be possible on the 3DS?

TheGreenSpiny

#6

TheGreenSpiny said:

I was going to buy this till I heard there was only waggle for jumping. It was a poor idea the first time it was done on Wii and developers should have learned that this late in the game. No buy from me.

WiiAboutU

#7

WiiAboutU said:

Wow, you guys must not be true fans of the niche puzzler genre. If your going to base the entire outcome of a purchase on one little waggle discrepancy, then you don't deserve to experience this awesome title in the first place. Haaa!

WiiAboutU

#8

WiiAboutU said:

This title is an awesome puzzler, but it's not for the easily discouraged. And the waggle operates smoothly and is fairly responsive fellows. (<:

Omega

#9

Omega said:

I'm interested in this game but I will not buy as long as there is a lack of coverage on GameFAQs. Sorrry Object Vision but a game like this without a complete walkthrough is a no-go for me.

WiiAboutU

#10

WiiAboutU said:

Well @Omega, you must not be a true fan of the genre. What's the point of a puzzler if there's no puzzling involved? It's suppose to put your mind to work, where's the sense of achievement if someone else has already done all of the thinking for you? There is a helpful hint option in the setup menu, that can be turned on or off if your wrecking your brain too much. These complaints are unfair and unjustifiable. With such a reception, it's no wonder the WiiShop service has done so poorly in the past. )<:

Omega

#11

Omega said:

I like puzzle games and I usually try to solve the levels on my own. But it's nice to have a walkthrough if one is needed.

WiiAboutU wrote:

With such a reception, it's no wonder the WiiShop service has done so poorly in the past. )<

Hey, wait. I have bought 24 WiiWare games and I'm still looking for new ones. So if WiiWare has done poorly in the past it's not my fault, I think. :-P

WiiAboutU

#12

WiiAboutU said:

I didn't mean your completely responsible @Omega. What I ment by that is, complaints like your's and the others have probably been detouring potential buyers from purchasing such titles. And like I mentioned above, there is a hint function available. (<:

LeasTwanteD

#13

LeasTwanteD said:

I'm also uncertain about getting the game because of the waggle controls. I mean i could tolerate them in De Blob so maybe they won't feel too bad for me. So yes, it would have been great if they had been asked about their motivation to use ‘em.
I neither understand why the engine wouldn’t run on the 3DS. I hope it’s not because these guys think you have to use the 3D effect in every game.
And finally, here’s my answer to “JR”’s question about the Wii Internet Channel.
I don’t use it to get infos on games because I couldn’t play gameplay videos whenever I tried. I do watch whatever I can on the Nintendo Channel, the eShop and the Nintendo web pages and download demos whenever they are available. For all further infos on games I use this site, metacritic and search for gameplay videos. And i only visit the Wii Shop Channel when I already know I’ll be downloading something, not for any window-shopping.

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