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.
I can say I'm genuinely excited for this. Like was said, if Nintendo Can't give us what we want then I will gladly play this in its place.
I downloaded it this morning. Haven't played it yet
Hope it’s good, I’ ll be watching.
Sami, where are you
That price is painful but I have to have it. I'll pick up a eshop card tomorrow.
At that price, I'll wait for reviews and user impressions.
Still, if it scratches that AW itch, it'll be worth it.
To avoid funding criminals, I have now decided to not purchase this game.
I'll survive playing the outstanding Advance Wars games for years to come, knowing I did not give my money to thiefs.
Awfull framerate and performance issues at least in undocked mode. Disappointing.
@BornInNorway81 Umm, care to elaborate on that?
Thanks for the info. Waiting for update (hopefully coming).
@BornInNorway81 You don't need to wait years. Wargroove is a multiplatform AW clone coming to Switch.
Think I will need to download this today before leaving for my fiancé's parents' house for the holiday break. Advance Wars is one of my all-time favourite game series and if Nintendo refuses to offer us a new entry in the series, then I'll happily play this. I do think Nintendo should take a bit of a break from Fire Emblem though, they've really been oversaturating that series. Take a couple years off and give us a new Advance Wars in the meanwhile.
What's the deal with this interview? This guy is usually way more talkative.
@Dang69 Did those backers not get a refund or something? I get that the Kickstarter failed but, what's wrong with using project A to fund project B? (or vice versa in this case)
Personally, I think Tiny Metal looks really good. I am DYING for a new Advance Wars. I'm kinda sick of Fire Emblem now.
@Spoony_Tech It seems like a sub-industry of Nintendo-likes have blossomed in recent years. If Nintendo abandoned a classic series or gameplay style, you can be sure someone is out there creating an indie version of it to appeal to fans.
Advance Wars (the original especially) has always been one of my all time favorite games. There is just something about the gameplay that I have always loved almost exclusively in the strategy genre. This game was a must have, and I feel like it came out of nowhere.
@EVIL-C I was under the impression that when a kickstarter fails nobody gets charged, since you can only get charged if it meets it's goals.
@EVIL-C No refund - game is still technically going to be made. I think people feel like he stole most the money and then used a small part of it to make another game. Seems unlikely to be honest.
@JayJ Exactly. So how is Hiroaki a thief?
@BornInNorway81 makes an outlandish claim, yet provides no reason or evidence to back it up. Is he serious or just trolling? I'm genuinely curious.
@Dang69 Ohhhhh. As I never heard of the original project before, I had no idea. Okay.... I can see why some people may think that. On the other hand, we have Tiny Metal completed, released, and getting good reviews. So at least that portrays him in a better light, at least to me.
@EVIL-C I looked it up because of that person's comment - never heard of this before either.
@EVIL-C I heard enough about this to read the story, from what I have read is just seems like it's a messy situation with a former disgruntled employee.
Wow, this is their first game and they only have 6 guys working on it? Must be nerve wrecking for them! Planning on getting this game after work today.
I wouldn't buy this game in order to help the devs make Project Phoenix, but I would buy/judge this game on its own merits — I am just not into this kind of game.
@JayJ Problem is: The kickstarter didn't fail. It met its goals, so people gave money for the development of Dead Phoenix, yet the money was apparently instead used to work on Tiny Metal. So people funded game A bit instead got game B, which indeed is quite the scam.
@Masurao Not true in this case. Backers complaining after a backed game fails to get completed are one thing. But in this case it appears like the team never really meant to use the money for the game they promised and instead used it on another project, which is most certainly against the kickstarter rules.
@KeeperBvK From what I have read that is incorrect and was just a part of some disgruntled employee's attack on the company after they were fired for sexual harassment.
@Masurao You weren't far off since KeeperBvK seems to be operating off slander. The developer is apparently still working on the Kickstarter game and financed Tinymetal independently, and are apparently using the money they get for Tinymetal to help fuel further development of their Kickstarter game.
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