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WiiWare | RedLynx | 1-4 Players (local multiplayer) | 
Nintendo Wi-fi Connection Pay & Play DLC | 
Out Now | 1,500 Nintendo Points
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17th May 2011; By KnucklesSonic8

I'm extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to interview the team behind upcoming racer, MotoHeroz. The fact is, I've been eagerly following the game since it was announced last year. I honestly feel this game is the quality racer WiiWare fans have been waiting for. And to help convince you, we've brought four members of the RedLynx team together to answer our many questions! If you haven't already put this game on your list of WiiWare games to watch, we're confident this Q&A will provide good reason as to why you should do so right away.

Wiiloveit: Greetings, RedLynx team! Thanks so much for taking the time out to join us. Would you care to introduce yourselves to our readers? 

Mikko: I'm Mikko Sarvela, lead programmer.
Konsta: And I am Konsta Kontunen, lead level designer.
Juhana: My name is Juhana Myllys, concept artist.
Antti Ilvessuo: I am Antti.

Thanks guys! So, without further ado, let's start by posing a few questions to Mikko!

Mikko Sarvela, Lead Programmer 

Mikko, can you start off by telling us why you guys feel MotoHeroz is a perfect fit for WiiWare platform?

Being a huge Nintendo fan personally, coming up with the game came pretty naturally. After the very first prototype, it was already quite clear that WiiWare was our best channel for this game, given the size, the look and feel, and the game mechanics we were going for.

The graphics in the trailer look very smooth. How does the frame rate hold up in multiplayer?

We aimed for a steady 60 frames per second at all times and that's what we have now, so we're very happy with it.

Can you tell us about the controls in the game?

The controls are simple to learn but hard to master. You hold the WiiMote horizontally, and use the 1 and 2 buttons to accelerate and break/reverse. You use the directional pad to control your rider's leaning, which helps guide your vehicles movement in the air and on slopes. Finally, you use the 'A' Button to activate the Power-Ups.

So it's very simple. We don't use motion control, with the exception of the flip. If your Buggy gets turned over, simply flick the WiiMote and you will be right back on your wheels. It's a simple, intuitive motion; most people do it automatically without even being told.

Personally-speaking, what’s your favorite part of the game?

No doubt it’s the Party Rally. We have a weekly championship here at work, but that being too infrequent, we had to arrange a daily cup. I’m not usually the winner, but still playing like a maniac.

How would you define your overall experience with WiiWare development (or just Wii in general)?

Everything worked as expected. There were absolutely no difficulties using the platform, so we could fully concentrate on the game itself.

And finally, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring programmers?

Well, if you have an idea, don’t over-complicate it by thinking too much. Just try it, and see if it works!

Alright, thanks Mikko! Next, we'll have Konsta answer a couple questions for us. 

Konsta Kontunen, Lead Level Designer

How many tracks in total were planned from the get-go, and what challenges did you run into along the way?

The aim was to have as many tracks as possible in the game. The tracks were originally pretty simple but as the game got further into development, the levels became more and more detailed. This of course meant that more time had to be invested in every track, so reaching the planned number of tracks proved to be quite a challenge.

Could you delve deeper into what sort of “thrills” the average player will experience in the game’s Story Mode?

The player will race through six different environments, which all have their own look and feel. The levels vary from fast-paced race tracks to interesting puzzles. And to spice things up, there are also power-ups such as speed boosts and jetpacks.

What is it like getting paid to create levels in games?

I can’t complain. I get to use my imagination and be creative, plus I get to play video games. What is there not to like?

Besides the jungle and desert environments, what other themed stages can we expect?

There is also an Arctic environment and a lunar landscape. We also have secret sub-levels where you are driving underwater or soaring through the sky. It's just a great range of environments, all very colorful and fun to explore.

Have you learned anything from developing Trials HD that has benefited you greatly in the development of this game?

MotoHeroz and Trials have a lot of similarities, so working on Trials has definitely helped. The controls are similar, but not all the things that worked in Trials work in MotoHeroz and vice versa, so it still took some time to adapt to the MotoHeroz way of making tracks.  

Thanks for sharing, Konsta! And now we come to Juhana...

Juhana Myllys, Concept Artist

So Juhana, could you describe the brief you were given when you began working on this project?

Visually we wanted to create a game that had a strong "Nintendo" feel in to it. Our goal was also to make a game that would have a strong personality while being easily approachable.

What’s the transition like coming on board to a console project after working with mobile platforms?

The transition was actually quite easy. My previous mobile projects were all focused on high-end mobile devices, so the leap from mobile to consoles wasn’t that huge. Maybe the biggest change was that now I had to do concepts and sketches for 3D models, while in mobile game projects, I did all graphic assets from start to finish by myself. This was more of a team effort!

In what other ways did you assist in the game’s development?

The way we work, everybody has a chance to contribute to the design and direction of the game. Some of the things I suggested were just basic ideas on how levels could be made. Not just visually but also from gameplay point of view. Also I helped tuning vehicle properties so their attributes would match with their visual look.

What would you say is the most important skill set to have in creating concept artwork for a new game?

All and all, having a creative mind is the most important thing. Of course it‘s important to have the ability to create drafts on a deadline, but there is not much to create if you don't have any good ideas.

Do you think those who have a creative mindset could do what you do, even if they may not be that artistically talented?

I believe that anyone can learn how to draw, but it’s hard to make someone creative if their mindset just isn't creative. So my advice is: Just keep the pencil moving and good things will happen!

Thanks for those encouraging words. Now I'd like to open up the floor to Antti for one last batch of questions! 

Antti Ilvessuo, Creative Director of RedLynx

What sorts of power-ups will be present in the game? What goals do you have with including an item system, and how much will it impact gameplay?

Some of the power-ups we are planning to include are the Nitro Burst, Spring Jump, Jet Pack and Sticky Wheels, to name a few. These are fun items that affect your vehicle's movement, and since the game is all about driving your vehicle, they impact gameplay a lot!

Is there a Shop of some sort for unlocking content?

You heard correctly! During the game you collect Coins, which are used to purchase new vehicles in the Garage. The newly purchased vehicles can be used in Party Rally mode, and there are fourteen in all.

What sort of special secrets will players be able to discover as they progress through the game?

It wouldn't be a secret if I told! But there are definitely many things to discover and goodies to collect.

Besides the “racing meets platforming” concept, in what other ways is MotoHeroz a unique experience?

One thing we are trying is the Online Runs, where you get a new challenge every day. Each day, a different set of levels from our Level Bank are open to all players. You get a chance to record your best time on each track, and see the results on the Leader Boards. The points you earn each day also count towards your place on the Global Leader Board.

Many gamers, including myself, have commented on the lack of quality racing titles on the service. Have you observed this yourself and if so, do you think the issue lies more with developers or the marketplace?

There might not be just one correct answer for this. Some developers may find the racing genre difficult to tackle if they are trying to create a GT-type of game, and that may scare a lot of people away. But any type of game can be made to fit to any platform if you have the right angle.

How do you feel about the 3DS’ presence in the industry? Can we look forward to seeing your work on this platform?

The 3DS is an exciting piece of technology, and Nintendo always takes great care to build hardware that helps showcase high quality games. So the 3DS could make a lot of sense for us, but we haven't announced anything like that.

Can you give us an idea of what to expect from the game's soundtrack? 

The music is absolutely beautiful and totally fits the MotoHeroz world. We teamed up with an award-winning, professionally trained composer, Petri Alanko, to create the soundtrack for the MotoHeroz, and he has delivered. His tunes are deliberately inspired by a classic videogames, but of course with a modern feel and a full, rich sound. 

Petri Alanko was selected as one of the final five nominees for best videogame music of 2010 for his work on the Alan Wake soundtrack. So he's definitely a quality composer who has created music that we think fits the game perfectly.

We've included the song for you and your readers as an MP3 and also a ringtone.

Thank you! What price point are you guys gunning for and when can we look forward to a release?

We haven't finalized that with Nintendo yet, but we think it will be a good number for all of this content. Look for MotoHeroz early this summer!

Do you see yourselves pursuing WiiWare development again in the future?

We definitely love Wii and we're enjoying working with Nintendo, so yes it's quite possible. But let's see how well gamers like MotoHeroz first!

Thank you guys so much for such an action-packed interview. We're sure our readers will appreciate it. We can't wait to try out MotoHeroz for ourselves but in the meantime, spread the word wherever and to whomever you can. You can also enjoy these music downloads courtesy of the RedLynx team. Thanks again, guys!


Mikko, Konsta, Juhana, and Antii were talking to KnucklesSonic8
For more information on this title or the developers, click here.

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