Developer Interview: Rex Rocket Creator On Bringing Pixel-Heavy Action To The 3DS And Wii U
Posted by Damien McFerran
"3DS and the Wii U are two of the best platforms we could hope to get on"
We recently reported on the Kickstarter campaign for Rex Rocket and the chances of the game making its way to the 3DS and Wii U eShops. Creator Rob Maher got in touch with us to talk a little more about the project, as well as future ideas for Nintendo systems.
Nintendo Life: What are your key inspirations for Rex Rocket?
Robert Maher: Our inspirations come, primarily, from the old school days of gaming. Rex Rocket is mainly inspired by three games — Mega Man, Metroid, and Cave Story. We want the shoot'n'scoot gameplay of Mega Man and Cave Story, mashed with the exploration and item upgrades found in Metroid and Cave Story.
NL: What's your background as a gamer? What systems did you grow up playing?
RM: I was raised on the NES as a kid. When the Genesis and Super Nintendo came out my parents got my brother and I a Genesis. While the Genesis was awesome, the Super Nintendo always held a position of awe in my 8-year-old mind. Only playable at friend's houses on the weekends, the SNES titles kept me thinking of them because I couldn't have them. Out of all the consoles I've played, past and present, I think the SNES had the greatest impact on me.
NL: You're targeting both Wii U and 3DS — will the two versions be identical, or are you looking to explore ways of using each console's exclusive features?
RM: Absolutely! Introducing touch and motion, as well as the extra screens, will open up a whole new world of gameplay mechanics that are just aren't possible with traditional input like a keyboard or controller. We fully intend to put to work these awesome new ways of interacting with the game into Rex Rocket for the Wii U and 3DS. We currently are working with an iOS developer to bring Rex to iPhones and iPads, so we have already begun exploring all the intricacies that come with adding in touch to the game.
NL: Your Kickstarter goal of $6,000 is pretty low — given that we're now seeing campaigns with targets of $250,000 or more, what makes you think you can pull this off with such a modest amount of cash?
RM: We'll pull it off with hard work and dedication! We're a very small indie studio with what I like to call the "Triforce" of game development: Programming, Visuals, and Audio! With our goal of 6k met, we'll be able to devote 100% of all our free time (for some of us full time) into getting a highly polished game out the door this winter.
NL: What are your thoughts on Nintendo's hardware, from a developer's perspective?
RM: I can sum my thoughts up in one word: Amazing. The 3DS and the Wii U, in our opinions, are two of the best platforms we could hope to get on. The tech specs for both of the devices are highly impressive, and when you throw in motion, touch, and some extra screens, you come out with something totally unique that you can't find anywhere else. Nintendo has really impressed our entire team in he past year. Opening up and lifting unfriendly indie restrictions, Nintendo has really changed our mind about their attitudes towards indie devs. Being a life-long Nintendo fan, bringing Rex Rocket to anything with a 'Nintendo' seal on it would be a dream come true.
NL: Have you had any contact with Nintendo yet?
RM: So far we've only been doing our homework on bringing Rex Rocket to Nintendo, such researching the sign up process and conversing with other indie developers on their experience. Once we've published our PC version of Rex Rocket, all focus will shift into bringing our game to as many platforms as we can — with Nintendo being a first priority.
NL: Do you have any other ideas for Wii U or 3DS titles?
RM: Absolutely! Depending on the success of Rex Rocket, we have big plans to bring a previous title that I had been working on called Blossom Tales, a Zelda-like game that I think stems from my inner kid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past being one of the unobtainable games of my youth. Set in the world of Blossom, the game follows a young and newly initiated Knight of the Rose, Lily. After King Orchid is double-crossed and cursed to sleep by the Wizard Crocus, it's up to Lily to find ingredients to concoct a potion that will restore the King.
NL: How serious are you about bringing Blossom Tale to Nintendo platforms?
RM: Deadly serious! We are hoping to pave the way with Rex Rocket onto Nintendo and follow it up with Blossom Tales — depending on the success of Rex Rocket, we may develop a sequel first. Nintendo is the primary goal for us, 100%.
Thanks to Rob for taking the time to speak with us!