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The Future of Bplus


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9th December 2009; By Billy White

 
When it comes to WiiWare, one of the most controversial developers is definitely Bplus. The team have so far developed and released mind-blowing puzzler PLÄTTCHEN Twist 'n' Paint, 2D-platformer Niki Rock 'n' Ball and retro romp Bit Boy!! on the service, each one of which was received with very mixed reviews, often deferring towards the more critical side of things.

    We, however, couldn't get enough of PLÄTTCHEN, and thought their other games were also being judged too harshly (from both a consumer's stance and from the reviewers themselves), so when we got wind that there is set to be another sequel in the works for one of their existing titles, you can imagine that we were surprised. We don't know which game it is, or when it will be released, and even upon analysing the situation for a little while, we still couldn't draw up any conclusions.

    The game could be a simplified version of Plattchen, ironing out a few of the kinks of the original (and, of course, the price point), which would make sense because it would mean Bplus' years of work on the game wouldn't go completely to waste. It could be a sequel to Niki Rock 'n' Ball, maybe with a more appealing graphical style, smoother difficulty curve, balance board controls or wi-fi score uploading. Or, it could be Bit Boy!!, with levels that offer slightly more fair play for the gamers, and offer a lot more length and depth than the original.

    Further trolling across the official developer's forums would suggest Bit Boy!! to be a likely candidate, as I quote Bernd Geiblinger, the team's art director, who states [whilst on the subject of soundtracks to their games]:

"I just fell in love with the Chip Tunes as said - but also as mentioned in another thread, if there will ever be a successor to Bit Boy we of course will include an evolutionary soundtrack too!"

Then again, either of their other titles might also have sequels in development. Another quote from the same developer on their official forums reveals:

"Future projects - we are working on several projects strongly. I will post news as they will develop."

Another intriguing factor here is that formats for their projects are not mentioned. The games will still likely be Nintendo-bound, but which console remains a mystery. They could opt to release improved versions of their existing titles as retail releases, giving their games a much wider market than that of WiiWare, they could release their games on DS, or as DSiWare (up until recently, the "projects" page of their website stated they were able to develop DS content), or they could just do what they did before, and hope that this time they manage to find their audience on WiiWare.

    The obvious thing to do would be to move to Wii retail, since it would be much easier to develop sequels or remakes of games that already exist on the platform, but one other thing that led us to think this way is due to a murmur we've uncovered suggesting that Bplus have found a "big publisher" to release games in this form, and gain funding for future development - something they'll likely need due to the disappointing sales of their existing titles.

    This partnership could just mean that Vektor Tank, the only game Bplus is working on at the moment that we have any solid details about, will finally be able to see the light of day, but another thing that caught our eye on the Bplus forums was the following quote about the game's graphical style from back in July:

"Many fans and older people really love the art style - and also people who love stylish games like it too! But the most people - and the most people like tanks I think - will not think in that way about the style used in Vektor Tank. So we will think about that once again."

Bernd also stated that he things a more realistic style will sell well, so, intrigued about this, we asked them what is going on with the game's aesthetics, to which we recieved this exclusive message:

"Vektor Tank is also progressing but instead of a complete redesign of the graphic style to make the game more attractive to the casual audience, we decided to keep the vectorised style as is but give the whole look a detailed lifting."

Bplus could not officially confirm any of the other details mentioned in our findings, but we would not start speculation without a good source.


Posted 8th December 2009
Feature by Billy White

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