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Interview - Joju Games

Game Info
Mart Racer

WiiWare | Joju Games | 1-4 Players Versus / Online | Out Now (North America) | 800 Wii Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote
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18th November 2009; By KnucklesSonic8

A while ago we got in touch with the guys over at Joju Games to find out a little more about their WiiWare title Mart Racer, a game based on the Supermarket themed reality shows with the objective of finding items around a store before your competitors. As part of our Q&A, we found out how the idea came about, what issues they had during development, and touched upon what the team are doing now and in the near future.

Hello there! Kindly state your role at Joju Games along with a brief statement about yourself.
Hi there! My name is Juan Gril and I'm the Studio Manager at Joju Games. We develop casual games across diferent platforms (Web, PC Downloadable Games, WiiWare).

How did the concept of Mart Racer first take root?

We like to play multiplayer games, however at the same time, we don't have much time (we are getting old and have family and kids :) ), so we wanted to create a simple game that we can have fun playing each other.

When you first began developing Mart Racer for this platform WiiWare was just getting a foundation. Did you learn anything since then with regards to the type of market you're catering towards?

Yeah, I think it changed a lot. We were hoping WiiWare would come to be a channel for family and casual oriented games, and in some ways it is, but it's also a very experimental channel too. It's great for me as I'm always looking for new ideas to play in games, but I don't think it's working well for a lot of people.

The game has a very wacky and whimsical nature that's virtual unseen on this platform. Did you evaluate this and other risks during development? Specifically, who was your target audience?

Thanks! Our target audience was people who wanted to play a non-violent, casual arcade game against their family and/or friends.

What kinds of expectations did you have with regards to sales and reception? Who do you expect will appreciate the game the most?
It was interesting seeing the reviews. I feel that some reviewers were expecting a game with a lot more depth than what we thought we should make, and we understand this. On the other hand there were reviewers who loved the simple mechanic, so we think there are people out there who like to play a simple multiplayer game and have fun with it.

What motivated you to incorporate the use of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection? Do you think you would use it again in the future?

Tough to answer. The problem with WiiWare is that because of the fact that there are no free demo's it's very hard to create a community [at the time of receiving Joju's answers, the WiiWare demo trial hadn't yet been launched]. With free to play games you can have a great community of people playing your game for free, and have a few who really like the game to pay you to customize it. 
    On the other hand, we spent such a really long time getting the multiplayer part to work well that we ran out of time to be able to add more stuff to the game.

How did you find the quality assurance and development processes during the course of the project? Did you guys have some trouble along the way that led to the prolonged release?
Yeah; Wi-Fi Connection issues mostly. We learned a lot, and it has been a great learning experience for us.

When can we expect the game to hit Europe?

Soon, I hope! We are submitting it to the ratings organizations in Europe and then we will submit it to Nintendo Europe for review.

What are your overall thoughts on some of the other games on the WiiWare service?
I love Swords and Soldiers and Bit.Trip.Beat!

What are your plans for future titles on this platform? Would you like to do another racing title?
Tough to answer, too. I think many Wii owners are not aware of WiiWare, so the number of people downloading WiiWare games is small compared to the number of Wii owners.

Have you given any thought to developing for the DSiWare platform?

We'd like to develop a game for a handheld platform, but of all the platforms out there we feel the iPhone/iPod Touch is the better platform out there.

In conclusion, is there anything you'd like to convey to our readers?
Thank you very much to all of you who have checked out Mart Racer, and I hope to find you online!

Thanks to Joju for taking time out of their busy schedule to answer our questions on their game. Be sure to check out our full Mart Racer review no online! We look forward to hearing about further innovative projects from the team in future.
Mart Racer
Review | Interview | Screenshot gallery | Trailer | Preview | Feature
Juan Gril was talking to KnucklesSonic8

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