Maniac shooter masters, Cave, just put EspGaluda II on the iPhone app store. Really, an actual port of EspGaluda II! We spoke with Yukihiro Masaki, Mobile Manager, about developing the iPhone version and Cave’s future plans for the iPhone platform.
Why did Cave pick the iPhone platform for EspGaluda II?
Yukihiro Masaki, Cave Mobile Manager: iPhone/iPod touch games are already a very active market, and we wanted to give people outside of Japan a chance to know and play our games. Another motivation was EspGaluda II Black Label for the Xbox 360 going on sale, which led us to develop the iPhone/iPod touch version.
How did development of the iPhone version start?
Last Fall we started development on iPhone applications purely for experimentation. Our first test product was a game we created called Mushihimesama BugPanic, which has been uploaded to Youtube and some
of your readers might be familiar with it. Incidentally, we also let the public have a go at Mushihimesama BugPanic at one of our CAVE Matsuri events last winter.
With that user feedback, we began to think about porting arcade versions to the platform. When you think CAVE, you think shooting game, so we decided to start with a pure port, which would feature additional features that take advantage of the iPhone’s functions.
Since there is no arcade stick or game controller for the iPhone/iPod touch, we need to find a new control method for the game. We tried out a variety of methods, deciding on a slide control method which replaces the arcade stick and buttons on the interface which allow you to change your shot.
We think that if you sit down with the game, you’ll find that it’s rather easy and fun to dodge through these detailed bullet patterns.
Did you have to adjust or rebalance the game’s difficulty for the iPhone?
Since we’re using the iPhone/iPod touch as a platform, players will be using one hand and navigating a small screen, and we made sure to give people three different screen sizes to choose from so both light users
and hardcore shooters can both enjoy the game.
iPhone mode takes advantage of the iPhone touch panel. By touching the screen, users can cancel incoming bullets and attack enemies.
You’ll have to play the game to see how, but this is also a key to scoring well so we think it’s pretty fun.
What was the toughest part about developing the port?
The hardest thing was displaying so many bullets. If we can’t do that, then it’s not CAVE shooting!
There were also some challenges in porting the game from the arcade given the iPhone/iPod touch specs.
But we did our best to preserve the quality of the arcade release so that our fans wouldn’t be disappointed.
Is Cave thinking about bringing more of their titles (Guwange, maybe?) to the iPhone platform?
We can’t let on about the title, but we can say that we are already working on porting another arcade game. We want to give you another game which takes advantage of the unique iPhone controls, so keep checking for our future developments!
Has Cave considered bringing their shooters to other handhelds, similar to Ketsui: Death Label?
At the moment we can’t say for sure, but if we have the chance we would like to.
While the Xbox 360 game is region free, does Cave plan on releasing the console version of EspGaluda II in North America?
Hopefully we will have the support from our fans to make that happen!
[Editor’s note: As of today, late 2009 iPod touch owners are not able to install the game. Cave is working on fixing the install error. EspGaluda II runs normally on iPhone 3GS phones. It is not compatible with older models.]