Now that our Deca Sports interview with Mike Pepe, Brand Manager at Hudson Entertainment, is complete I should have asked one more question. It would have made a snappier headline.
On the plus side, I covered quite a bit in this Q&A session like how basketball works, their partnership with Adidas and how the teams function. Hudson sounds enthusiastic about their motion control sports game and possible “future iterations”.
Back at GDC, I remember a certain curling organization was thrilled that curling was part of Deca Sports. What inspired Hudson to add curling into Deca Sports?
Curling is very fun! Not ever had played the real thing before, Deca Sports really opens your eyes to the many sports that are available outside of the mainstream offerings. Imagine shuffleboard on ice, with a dash of bowling, and you get a very fun sport. Hard to imagine from someone from California huh?
What you will find in the game are 10 sports that range from five summer Olympic, three winter Olympic, and two X-Game type events. We wanted a world compilation game that could reach people in any country. Curling made an excellent addition.
At GDC I saw there were multiple teams in Deca Sports. Which one is best for curling? Archery? Basketball?
Good question. It kind of depends on your strategy. Granted big guys are better at slam dunking and power hits in volleyball. But small guys can scramble and get up and down the court/field faster than the big guys. What really brings the issue to a head is the Deca League mode where you manage one team through all ten events against all eight teams. Some sports that require speed such as snowboard cross and kart racing are harder to win with bigger, slower players. In these cases it is best to have a diverse team that you can bench one player and bring a more appropriate player in to help.
Speaking of basketball, I haven't tried that game out yet. Can you tell us how it controls?
Every sport in Deca reflects what you would do in the real thing. So if you have ever played basketball you will do fine in Deca Sports. The controls for shooting a basket reflect the movements you do on the court – straight up with your shooting arm and pivoting your wrist forward to release the ball. They are two distinct motions that are also timed to your player's jump – just like the real thing. Blocking is throwing your arm in the air to stuff someone and stealing is waggling the Wii Remote in front of you as you would to try to take the ball from an opponent.
You have complete control over the movement of your players with the nunchuk. We felt the extra peripheral was necessary to coordinate the team dynamics between your players as you control their movements around the court.
How does badminton in Deca Sports differ from tennis in Wii Sports?
Well besides the fact that you are hitting a birdie instead of tennis ball, you have complete control over where your shot will land. There are nine different zones on the court that you can target with either spikes, drop shots, or lobs. It's always fun to watch your opponent scramble all over the court as you send them backwards and forwards with different combinations.
Out of the ten sporting events which one is your favorite?
We are asked this a lot. Personally I try not to play favorites, but I would have to say it's Beach Volleyball. I play the sport in real life and can tell you the same muscles are sore the next day after playing the game for a good hour or two.
Which sport do you wish you could add into Deca Sports to make it Hendeca sports?
I'd love to tell you, but some of the sports that did not make the cut in Deca Sports are being looked at in future iterations. In fact people are voting on the next version's events now on the Deca Sports forums at decasports.com.
Are there any differences between the Japanese release of Deca Sports and the North American build?
Only the language and the title.
Did Hudson hide any Easter Eggs like the bee mascot or say Bonk anywhere in Deca Sports?
All sports and modes come unlocked with the game. We wanted everything to be very accessible and have play started immediately. That said, there are unlockables. Can't say more than that right now.
I remember the original screenshots for Deca Sports had Adidas logos everywhere. Is it true that Deca Sports is partially sponsored by the striped athletic wear company?
Yes, Deca Sports and Adidas have a partnership that you can view within the game.
Images courtesy of Hudson Entertainment.