Yuji Naka Interview

On Ivy, future projects and yes - Dreamcast 2

Sega legend Yuji Naka recently passed through a cold and wet central London to pimp his new game, Ivy the Kiwi? for Wii and DS (read NGamer's review).

What's the Sonic creator been up to since leaving Sega in 2006 and starting his own studio? That's what we wanted to know.

So with the opportunity to spend little under an hour firing questions through his translator, we took it upon ourselves to ask about Ivy, his upcoming Xbox 360 and PS3 project and oh yes - Dreamcast 2.

Hit the link to read more about Ivy the Kiwi?


Could you explain for our readers what Ivy the Kiwi? is all about?

Ivy the Kiwi? Is a new type of action game. The main character is a little Kiwi bird who accidentally got separated from her mother. Her goal is to find her mother, but the little bird can't do much on her own. You as the player play as some kind of god or guardian and help the Kiwi bird reach her goal by drawing Ivy on the screen so she can run on it. You help the main character reach her goal by drawing the Ivy and help her to find her mother eventually.

What did you come up with first: the concept or the platform?

It was a concept first, the platform came second. Originally the game came from a young team. They wanted to do something with the Kiwi bird and after that they wanted to do something with the pointing device of the Wii. They made the concept of this game, dealing with the little Kiwi bird, and then afterwards they wanted to do something with the pointing device.

How have you approached working on DS and Wii? What are the differences between the two versions?

The game was originally for the Wii so the pointing device was used to manoeuvre the character. As you know the Wii's pointing device can be quite different from the touch screen for the DS so we had to tune the game a little bit to work on both platforms.

With the Wii it requires a lot of twisting but not actually that much moving around of the actual pointing device, where as the DS requires a lot more action so the team had to tune the game to work for both platforms.

Which version would you say is your favourite?

Personally, I prefer to play the game on the Wii with a big TV screen over the DS, but it really depends on the person. Within the proper team half of them prefer to play on the DS rather than the Wii and the other half prefer the Wii.


If the game becomes a success would you consider bringing it to other platforms?

At the moment I don't have any plans for trying other hardware for this game. As mentioned it was originally for Wii and then we thought we could do the same thing on the DS. The team hasn't thought about any other platforms.

Your new company, Prope, is relatively new. What have you learned from your first games, the Let's Tap titles?

As you mentioned Prope is quite a young team, this makes it easier for the team to try out something new. Let's Tap was a game where you didn't really need to control anything, you just tap to play the game. With Ivy the Kiwi? you can play the game with a quite simple pointing action. Under Prope it's much easier to try something new, it's a big difference compared to the Sega days.

You've mentioned in the past that you have another big action game in the works. How is that coming along?

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