By Spencer . August 17, 2007 . 7:33pm
Since I was wondering what’s going on with Blast Works post-E3 I sent an e-mail to Budcat Creations who is handling the project. They kindly agreed to an interview and we have some more information about the game. While Blast Works is based on Tumiki Fighters, it was built from the ground up with a new engine from Budcat. Since they have a working shmup engine on the Wii I wonder if they will use it for other games if Blast Works sels well.
Blast Works seemed to come out of left field in a great way. How did the idea of bringing Tumiki Fighters to the Wii come about?
Back in the fall of 2005, we came across Kenta Cho’s ABA Games website and instantly fell in love with the unique shooter mechanics of Tumiki Fighters. We originally pitched the idea to Microsoft as an XBLA title but soon after Majesco talked to us about it for PSP, then later for the Wii. It was during those talks with Majesco that we all decided to create a full new game based off of the Tumiki art style and mechanics, instead of doing a straight port.
How did you get in contact with Kenta Cho, the original creator?
When we were evaluating it for XBLA, we contacted Cho over email and asked if he would have any concerns with us using his source code and assets for a commercial port. His response indicated that he welcomed the idea. When Majesco picked up the project, they also contacted him for permission to proceed with the concept.
Have you heard of any plans to bring Blast Works semi-retroactively to Japan? I remember Mr. Cho expressed interest in this.
Majesco evaluates international partnerships regularly so this is certainly a possibility.
The E3 demo was Tumiki Fighters but Blast Works is going to have new stuff right?
The E3 build included the “Tumiki Fighters Remix”, which is a port of the original game with new features including 4 player co-op, instant replay and Marathon mode. It also included an early version of the game’s most significant new addition—the multiple game editors that essentially let you build your own game. Our work has been split between our editors, which are extremely powerful (we use them in-house), and creating the new levels.
This may sound surprising for what appears to be a simple game, but the engine driving Blast Works was written by Budcat from scratch; we’ve only taken some ideas from Cho’s original Tumiki source code. We were required to write a new engine to support the myriad features found in the game editors. However, the bonus material that includes Tumiki is a 1:1 port.
Can you tell us about the new levels Budcat is working on? Do they have new ships to fight? Any new locations?
Blast Works will include 15 brand new levels, with never before seen ships, enemies, bosses and attack patterns. There are some additions to the core game play mechanics that we believe fans of Tumiki will really enjoy.
We’ve also pulled the game’s camera out a bit to show more of what’s going on, which was especially necessary for our Co-op modes. We’re evaluating pulling the camera back even further during those intense battles where you’ve glommed on a screen full of Tumikis.
About the ship creation mode… is there a limit to how big/small your ship can be? And can you move the hit box around?
We’re still tweaking the constraints within our various editors, but there will be a limit to the size and barrage (bullet pattern) that users can attach to their ship. As of now, the hit box (what we term the ship’s Core) is fixed in size at the center of the ship. Users will have complete freedom to design around their ship’s Core.
I remember playing with the ship creator back at E3 and noticed a few new bullet patterns like the sunburst shot. How many different patterns will be available in the ship creation mode?
We have a fully functional “bullet composer” editor, that will allow users to create entirely new bullet patterns based off of existing ones. We’re excited about the idea of folks creating their own “bullet hell” experiences, potentially topping the ones that we provide in the game.
One of the neato features about making your own ship in Blast Works is you can trade them with friends via Nintendo Wi-Fi. Does Majesco plan to make a mini community with this showcasing the most popular downloads?
This is a feature we’re currently working to implement but it’s important the base game gets the polish it needs to deliver a terrific gameplay experience. That said, we’re looking at what’s possible within the remaining development schedule.
Back at E3 a member of Budcat revealed they are going to pack in other games from Kenta Cho into Blast Works like rRootage as unlockables. What other games are going to be part of the package?
We are definitely evaluating some of Cho’s other games for inclusion as bonus material but I can’t provide specifics at this point. We’ll be sharing those details closer to launch.
Everyone is wondering about is pricing. Does Majesco plan to release Blast Works as a full price Wii game ($50) or is it going to be significantly cheaper?
Blast Works will not be a full price game but Majesco will be sharing specifics closer to launch.