Cave is known for creating shooters like Deathsmiles 2X above and Dodonpachi Resurrection, which is available in Europe now. Instant Brain is a bit different from their usual projects. While there are Kinect enabled Cave games inside, Instant Brain is a visual novel style adventure game. In this interview, Cave’s game development manager Makoto Asada discusses developing Instant Brain and how the Xbox 360 could be successful in Japan.
How did you get Deathsmiles II released on Games on Demand?
Makoto Asada, Game Development Manager: Microsoft approached us with an offer where they wanted to take a Japanese Xbox 360 game and as an experiment put it on Games on Demand. Because our titles are shooting games, language is not that important, so we decided to try it along with Microsoft.
Did Deathsmiles II sell well?
As an experiment, it was pretty good for what we were expecting.
Do you think you will release another game this way then?
Yes, we do think we might do it again in the future.
This year, Cave also released a new IP, Nin2-Jump for Xbox Live Arcade. How did it perform in the marketplace?
With Nin2-Jump, we wanted to find a way to approach casual users on Xbox Live Arcade. As an experiment with that particular genre, we consider it a success.
Do you think you’re going to make more original IP for XBLA or perhaps PlayStation Network?
We don’t have any specific plans for XBLA or PSN at the moment, but the market is transitioning from packaged titles to digital titles. That’s something we’re going to keep in mind moving forward.
What other genres is Cave interested in experimenting with?
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with Kinect games. I think if you start off a game project with Kinect in mind from the very beginning while designing it, I think it can be very interesting. There are a few titles I’m considering to build from the ground up with Kinect.
While Cave isn’t known for adventure games you created Princess Debut and are working on Instant Brain now. Why did you want to move into this genre?
Cave has several different divisions, not just game development. We also have a mobile and online divisions. In terms of the game development division, we made the decision that just making arcade games wouldn’t let us expand as much as we want to.
There isn’t a whole lot of range for the shooting game genre. The game development division took on this issue and looked for a centerpiece of games to sell. We decided on adventure games since we had some experience with those. The goal with Instant Brain and other adventure games is we wanted to enhance the game development division with other titles.
Instant Brain is set in the near future. What can you tell us about this world?
It’s set in a futuristic world, virtual Japan, maybe 30-40 years in the future. It’s what we would imagine the entertainment industry would be like in that period.
The main character in Instant Brain uses his camera to take photos and deduce clues from his pictures. How does this system work?
Zenya uses his camera to see testimonies of the characters that appear in the game. Within their memories, he takes pictures and find clues related to the incident the story is centered on. This is how the game progresses.
Can you tell us more about Zenya’s special camera?
His camera is called the "exposer" and the power of this camera allows him to get scoops before other reporters. Zenya lost his memories and to find clues to his past he uses his camera. While he is working as a paparazzi, he’s using his camera to discover himself.
Instant Brain is centered around the idol industry, which the player sees through Zenya’s eyes. How close does the game parallel the real idol industry?
As game creators, we don’t know the actual celebrity world so it is not linked to reality. This is sort of what we speculate the celebrity world would be like and how we came up with the main characters for Instant Brain.
How long has Instant Brain been in your mind?
About a year and a half.
Cave has been one of the biggest supporters of the Xbox 360 in Japan. What do you think can make the console more popular here?
It’s important that more 360 exclusive titles arrive on the system. In the way I look at it, games and hardware have to be thought of together, so for hardware to be successful you have to develop games. While Xbox 360 is very popular internationally, it’s not as popular in Japan at the moment. I think things can change if there are more exclusive titles from Cave and other developers for the system.