Dotemu Head of Marketing Arnaud de Sousa recently had an interview where they talked about when development on Windjammers 2 started, and the challenges of making something that lives up to the legacy of a cult game. [Thanks, Comics InkCorporated!]
Here are the highlights:
CI: So when did you first start development for Windjammers 2?
Arnaud de Sousa, Head of Marketing: “That’s an interesting question. If we talk about the game Windjammers 2, I would say that the pre-production started more or less a year ago. But what’s interesting is that the project itself started way before that. When we reached out to the rights holders to do Windjammers on PS4 and PSVita, the idea of Windjammers 2 was already here and was part of the project. We went to them with the desire to make this sequel, and they accepted.
Even though we started the production of Windjammers 2 a year ago, all the work we did on the first game helped us a lot for the sequel. We spent a great amount of time retro engineering Windjammers in order to understand how the game works and what makes Windjammers, Windjammers, and that was essential for what we want to do for Windjammers 2.”
CI: Are there any new mechanics being added to the sequel?
Sousa: “Windjammers 2 is not a remake but truly a new game in the series, which means of course: new mechanics, new graphics (fully hand drawn with traditional animation), new characters, new game modes, and so on.
Because it’s a sequel, we want of course to keep that unique Windjammers feeling, but we also want to bring something new. We have tons of ideas and we’re still experimenting, so I can’t say what will be in the final game, but to give you an example, I can talk to you about the EX Move, a new mechanic that we showed at PAX West. The EX Move works basically like a super in a fighting game: you have an EX bar that fills up during the match, and when it’s full, you can press a button and release a super move unique to each character.
CI: Windjammers is a pretty beloved cult classic, so were there any challenges that stood out to the team while making a sequel over 2 decades later?
Sousa: “Since it’s a new game in the Windjammers series, it is essential for us that the “Windjammers feeling” is here. When you take the controller and start playing Windjammers 2, you have to feel that you’re playing a Windjammers game and not a “Windjammers-like” game. So like I said previously, we spent months retro engineering the first episode in order to understand how it works and to learn everything about it. It’s because of that that we could reproduce this unique feeling in Windjammers 2.
Our other main challenge is to bring something new while keeping that feeling of authenticity. Keeping the original Windjammers experience is really important, but the idea with Windjammers 2 is to go further and do more than a “Windjammers Remake.” Because it’s a completely new episode, we’re working a lot on that, and it’s really exciting.”
You can read the full interview here.
Windjammers 2 is release for Nintendo Switch and PC in 2019.