Tiny Metal sure looks a lot like Advance Wars, and that's no bad thing when you consider how beloved that particular series is. If Nintendo and Intelligent Systems aren't going to give us a new entry, then we should perhaps be thankful that newcomer Area35 is doing it instead; formed by Hiroaki Yura, this fledging studio's first project has captured the attention of the gaming world (sometimes not for all the right reasons) and it looks set to scratch that Advance Wars itch perfectly.
Ahead of the game's launch this week we were lucky enough to catch up with Yura for a chat about its development.
Nintendo Life: Can you give us a little background on your studio and past projects you've been involved with?
Hiroaki Yura: We almost have no background to our studio as this is our first game. Our company was established in August 2016, so it’s a fairly new company and currently comprised of six full time devs. As I’ve mentioned above, our company has never been involved in any other work, besides Tiny Metal.
Where did the inspiration for Tiny Metal come from? Is it fair to say that Advance Wars was a key influence?
Hiroaki Yura: Yes, Advance Wars was one of the key influences to Tiny Metal. We love turn-based tactical war-games; many of the devs also play a lot of Warhammer 40,000.
What makes Tiny Metal unique when compared to other games in this genre?
Hiroaki Yura: We have our own set of features, like the “Focus Fire” and “Assault” mechanisms, as well as 3D “cute” graphics. It’s hard to compare our own game to other wonderful games of the genre, as we’ve received so much inspiration from many of them.
What elements of the game are you most proud of?
Hiroaki Yura: That we worked hard under very limited resources. I’m not sure if you can call it an "element", but I’m just very proud of all the devs who have been a part of this project. Simply wonderful, skilled and crafty people!
You're bringing the game to the Nintendo Switch, which is a platform that lots of indies seem to have fallen in love with. What is your opinion of the machine?
Hiroaki Yura: It’s a fantastic machine, we all love it.
Did you have to make any concessions in order to get the game running on Switch, or is it largely the same as the Steam version?
Hiroaki Yura: For the most part, it’s basically the same as the Steam version.
Taro Yoko - Director of Nier: Automata - recently tried out the game and was full of praise. How important was it to get that positive reaction prior to launch?
Hiroaki Yura: I’m not sure if it was important to get a positive reaction; I’m also not sure if that was a positive reaction, haha! It was just wonderful to get a comment from him; he’s a wonderful guy and I respect him for the work he’s done.
Have you had any contact with any of the original Advance Wars team regarding Tiny Metal?
Hiroaki Yura: No, I wish!
Do you plan to support Tiny Metal with DLC?
Hiroaki Yura: Yes, that is the plan. What next? Well, we can say we’re planning free DLC for the Multiplayer, then afterwards, we’ve got two or three major updates planned, but we’ll be announcing that when we’re ready.
What's next for you after Tiny Metal launches?
Hiroaki Yura: Well, launching isn’t everything these days. We’ll be taking care of Tiny Metal and making iterations based on community feedback for a while. Once it’s established that it’s a success, we’ll start thinking about what to do next.