You probably already know about all the big games that are coming to the Wii U on day one. From Nintendo favourites such as New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land to the mature survival horror of ZombiU and big blockbusters like FIFA 13, these massive games have been covered in depth. But what about the smaller, independent gems that are coming to the Wii U eShop. In a new series of interviews, ONM speaks with the developers behind these games and we begin with Chasing Aurora, a beautiful eShop game that developer Broken Rules are hoping to release on day one.
ONM: Firstly, can you tell our readers about your game?
Martin Pichlmair: Chasing Aurora is a 2D aerial action game for multiple players. You fly a bird and compete in three disciplines with your friends. The focus is on asymmetric multiplayer made possible with the additional screen of the Wii U GamePad. There's also a single-player mode, which is a time challenge mode. A race, if you want to call it that way. The flight itself is very physical. And so is the world. The game takes place in the Alps, where avalanches and rockslides are commonplace.
How do you control the bird? How have you made use of the Wii U GamePad?
Martin Pichlmair: You control the bird in a very traditional but intuitive way. The stick steers your character and the press of a button flaps its wings. The Wii U GamePad provides an additional viewpoint. For example in the hide and seek mode, if you are the bird who is hiding, you get your own view on the game on the DRC.
ONM: It looks tricky to control but in a good way. Is mastering the physics-based flight key to success. Can it get frustrating but in a way that makes you want to go in for one more go?
Martin Pichlmair: We certainly hope so. We've spent over a year polishing the flight behaviour. There are physical forces at play like the wind and your wing flap and your weight. Even the animation system is partially physics based in order to make the bird look as organic as it behaves. The controls are actually quite tight and we've seen 9 year-olds pick up the controller and have fun. Yet to really master the controls requires timing and a little bit of forward thinking.
ONM: Is Chasing Aurora influenced by anything in particular. It reminds us a little bit of Lost Winds...
Martin Pichlmair: It's mostly influenced by real-world experiences and dreams rather than other games. We've watched birds fly, we've dreamt of flying, we've been to the mountains. Those are our key influences.
When it comes to gameplay details we do of course all have our favourite games that might have informed the one or the other decision subconsciously. Sometimes Ico was mentioned during the game design process, sometimes the original SSX series and sometimes Sword and Sworcery. Journey, Nights, and Lost Winds tend to come up when others talk about the game.