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Exclusive Interview - Bit Boy!! ARCADE

Game Info
Bit Boy!! ARCADE

3DS | BPlus | 1 Player | Coming Soon | Price TBD

19th July 2012; By Patrick

Nintendo-focused developer Bplus is notable for having very split opinions for all three of their games. Shifting focus to Nintendo 3DS for the first time, they are currently preparing their fourth game,
Bit Boy!! ARCADE for a Nintendo eShop release this calendar year. We managed to get in touch with Bernd Geiblinger and ask him a few questions and get some exclusive gameplay footage to share with all of you.

Wiiloveit: Could you please start by telling us something about the new "digital controls" in Bit Boy!! ARCADE?

Bernd: For our new Bit Boy game we have something very special for Kubi. We wanted to emphasize the peculiarities of our pixel hero, and therefore he got a whole new way of getting around. Most characters need to accelerate when you press a key, then they move on to slow down again. Kubi can simply use its pixel kinetic forces to flash himself from one field to another in a blink of an eye. This means that no time is lost because Kubi is as fast as you press the buttons.

What exactly does that mean for the gameplay?

All monsters, weapons, and obstacles move smoothly and "analog-like" as they do in other games. If you can mash buttons quickly, you can walk behind a monster before it arrives at the next field or overtakes a rocket. In other words, unlike in other modern games, there is absolutely no movement of time.

Can you talk about the different control schemes that will be in the game?

As in our previous games, in Bit Boy!! ARCADE we will offer several control options to ensure that every player has the right control scheme. In the standard scheme you move Kubi using the D-Pad or the Circle Pad. You can adjust the move rate for the Circle Pad in the options. You can use the face buttons to use Kubi's pixel kinetic abilities to push rocks or crates in various directions. With the shoulder buttons, Kubi can use his well-known pixel twist attack once he has collected a ZeLeLi. In this game, Kubi will lose ZeLeLi after an attack. However, it will appear in the next phase of the level, waiting for Kubi to pick it up.

For lefties or people that are quicker with their right thumb, you can mirror the controls to use the face buttons for Kubi's movement and use the Circle Pad or D-Pad to move the blocks. For those who want to play with only one hand, switch the pixel kinetic forces to Touch Mode. Using this, Kubi can lift up a box when you move in its direction, and then you can press in the direction Kubi should put down the object. Gamers who prefer to lay down their Nintendo 3DS and play with the stylus can use the virtual D-Pad on the bottom screen which also feels very comfortable.

What kind of weapons or items will we see in
Bit Boy!! ARCADE?

Bit Boy!! ARCADE is not a brutal game, but if Kubi must fight back, he finds ways and means.
First, Kubi can collect the small but bright ZeLeLi gearwheel to transform himself for a moment into a mini tornado to shoot evil monsters up in the air with his pixel-twist attack. To get additional attacks, Kubi can find the ZeLeLi again in the next phase. In order to cause more damage, there are bomb and rocket blocks our pixel hero can take advantage of. These not only terminate monsters but also destroy boxes and rocks to open up new paths through the mazes.

To let a bomb fall down from the sky, you just need to place Kubi on the bomb block. Be careful though, because it will explode within 10 seconds. Use Kubi's pixel kinetic forces to move the bomb to places within the region. A rocket block has a button on its back side. Push it to shoot the rocket straight ahead. It is reloaded automatically.

Be aware, bombs and rockets may also harm Kubi's friends. If one gets lost, you have to replay the level's phase. The most destruction occurs when Kubi has rescued all his rainbow colored friends and brings them to the portal. They fly around Kubi as a digital shield allowing Kubi to run straight through the monsters. It provides a great feeling of revenge and satisfaction to see all of the bad guys exploding with a big bang!

What can you tell us about monsters and some playing tactics?

Due to Kubi's nearly infinite speed the main focus is not on survival, except for when fighting bosses... But that's another story. ;-)

To achieve the highest possible score as quick as possible for each level and for each phase you need to employ well-thought tactics. Fast reactions and precision are the keywords that you should keep in mind while you whizz through the levels with Kubi. There are now different kinds of monsters, and some are smarter than others. To keep the action quick and to make the gameplay as smooth as possible, you can easily recognize what kind of monster is facing you and where it will move next, so you can coordinate the timing perfectly. But beware, because one monster could ruin your carefully-laid plan. If a hunter takes focus on you, he will chase you until it reaches a bitter end. Run Kubi, run! [ahem] Or rather: Flash Kubi, flash!

What can you tell us about the interactions between you and Kubi?

There is really a lot of communication between me, the game designer, and my game hero Kubi because it is a big part of the game and it is important to tell the story this way. But do not worry, if you want you can turn off the voice at any time. Kubi finds out that he is just a part of a game and you may understand, he's not too happy to learn that. He needs some time to realize it for himself and has a lot of questions about his life and the reason on his existence.

What topics are discussed between you and Kubi?

So let's see... it is all about game development; what it is and how it works, design ideas, modelling, texturing, level design, about good and evil, game tactics, weak points of bosses, time traveling, ZeLeLi, the previous Bit Boy!! game, and about the Matrix. So you may see, the relationship between Kubi and his creator grows during the game and is put to the test.

Of all of your previous games, why is this your first direct sequel to Bit Boy!!?

We have game concepts for sequels to all of our released games and a bunch of ideas for new IPs. Last year we released screenshots of three games and asked some outlets, including Wiiloveit, to make a poll. The results showed us that our first Nintendo 3DS release should be an action title, so that eliminated a chance for a
PLÄTTCHEN sequel. Most people loved the abstract style of the Niki Dream concept even if there was nothing else revealed about it. That showed us that we have to make a game with style. We looked at Niki and Kubi, and to be honest, Kubi has a lot more style (sorry Niki!). Kubi traveled through the history of video games, so he needs a lot of variation in graphics as he knows it. We think Bit Boy is perfect for presenting itself with many different art styles, and to take a clear focus on action, we called it ARCADE.

Where did the idea of having yourself interact with the character Kubi come from?

Friends and people who know me better know that I really love my games, especially their heroes. I always received positive feedback about how I talk about Kubi, Niki and ZeLeLi as if they were real. That means that they do have a lot of personality with a global history that connects the characters in one universe. In my games I try to give the players a better understanding about the characters and the world they live in. That is why I decided that a question/answer system needs to be focused on, and who has better questions to ask the heroes than their creators themselves? That's where I came into the game.

You mentioned voices. Does that mean you yourself will be speaking?

Yes, it is true. I will speak for myself and give my voice to Kubi too! There will also be some other voices, but don't worry: you can disable the speech if you go crazy about that Austrian accent. While playing I will also guide Kubi via voice so the player and Kubi learn how to play the game. The player will receive hints about how to reach the goals of the game, while Kubi himself always wants more Monsters and a harder level of difficulty. The story will be driven by what is happening within the game and some interesting things will be revealed too.

About how long do you think it will take players to experience all the game has to offer?

I am not sure because the game is not finished yet, but I think with all achievements it will be quite a long time.

Will there be multiple difficulty settings for newcomers and veterans?

We have plans to include a higher difficulty setting after the player reached the end of the game.

What is your personal favourite part of the game?

It's hard to say right now because it is still in development. For now I love to flash around the stages and run through the monsters with the rainbow shield. It's like a firework of justice! ;-)

If you would like to keep up to date with Bplus and their development, the best place would be their forums. You can look forward to a full review of Bit Boy!! ARCADE very close to launch.

To learn more about Bplus, head over to their website.

Interview by Patrick