Vektor Tank 3D+
3DS | BPlus | 1 Player | Coming Soon | Price TBD
30th July 2010; By Patrick
Wiiloveit: Vektor Tank 3D+ has been recently announced to release on the 3DS. From a developer’s point of view, what is it like working with this new platform?
Bernd: We have many crazy ideas which simply weren't feasible on any platform until now. A new Nintendo system always means new possibilities
new ways to play and we all know that it is fun to play. We are hyper-excited over the Nintendo 3DS!
Does this mean Vektor Tank won't be coming to Wii? Or will be getting two games?
The Nintendo 3DS is the perfect system for Vektor Tank – the new user control interface is great and the 3D experience works perfect with the flat-shaded look of the game. We took the whole project with all its work and development time we spent on the Wii game and brought it to Nintendo 3DS, with a lot more development time being invested to deliver a high quality action fun game!
You said the launch window for Vektor Tank 3D+ will be in Q2 2011. When you said that, were you being safe since nobody knows the release date of the 3DS yet, or were you merely thinking about the development cycle?
I guess I have to disappoint you when think of this as a hint when the Nintendo 3DS will be released. Nintendo loves secrets – we do not know an exact release date of the new handheld right now. We chose Q2 2011 as a target date because we have the right budget to take enough time to create a high quality title that will deliver many hours of pure fun. If we think the title is not ready then, we will have to move it to a later date, but for now Spring 2011 sounds good to us.
What can you tell us about the controls?
- Look around the room with the Nintendo 3DS: Look around in the virtual world and lock on enemies.
- SlidePad – left/right: steer the Vektor Tank smoothly around the virtual world.
- SlidePad – up/down: speed up or activate a boost with up; break and stand still with holding down.
- +Pad up/down, X-Button: switch the cannon 180° forward/backward.
- +Pad left/right, Select Button: center/reset the 3D+ camera.
- L/R-Button hold: hover to the left/right – L/R Double-trigger: dashing left/right / 90° turn in free-mode.
- L+R-Buttons together: time-shield
- B/Y-Button: Shoot
Keep in mind this list is incomplete. Players will also be able to customise controls as they wish or switch between different predefined control schemes.
ZeLeLi have so far at least made a cameo appearance in all of your games. Can you tell us how they’ll be incorporated into Vektor Tank 3D+?
Of course ZeLeLi will appear again in our newest title. It is part of the story and, as you can see on the screenshots, there are gearwheel shaped Z-Gates. Going through them grant you more time and if you manage to move through six (Z-e-L-e-L-i) coloured gates, you activate the most powerful weapon in Vektor Tank 3D+ : The Vektor Bomb. Once shot it blows up every building, blasts every enemy and destroys the environment with a huge detonation – it's an enormous 3D explosion festival that absolutely must be experienced on a 3D screen!
While working on a game that lives of its great 3D experience, we felt that a 2-dimensional presentation simply wasn't enough, so we thought about ways to enrich the way screenshots are displayed.
You know, on Nintendo 3DS each eye gets its own picture, one for the left and one for the right eye. When you turn off 3D using the 3D slider on the 3DS, the camera is centred as usual in 2D games. We put all these different images together, giving the player the ability to slide the viewport all the way between the left and the right eye. This way we hope to give players a sense of 3D.
CrossView and ParallelView are more regular methods to see a picture in 3D on a 2D screen – because most people are only able to handle one of these viewing methods, we implemented both in our Interactive 3D-Screenshot Tool.
Now, on July 7th, you said you were switching focus away from WiiWare to the Nintendo 3DS. Does this mean there’s no chance left of seeing Bit Man!! get a NA and EU release?
For now, all our resources are focused on Nintendo’s upcoming handheld system. There are currently no plans for a release of Bit Man!!, or as it is internally called 'Bit Boy!! 1.5', on the WiiWare service in North America or Europe.
What was it like working with Marvelous Entertainment to bring Bit Man!! to Japan?
Localizing the game was hard because we have very limited skills regarding the Japanese language. We cannot read Japanese characters; it is really strange when you play your own game but have no idea what the text on screen means – that was a little bit tricky. But with the great team of Marvelous we managed all that in no time and we had a lot of fun too! The new WorldGameParade Team was extremely nice and it was a pleasure to work with them.
What's your personal favourite generation in Bit Boy!!?
In Bit Man!! it is clearly the 128-BIT Generation because of its great variety, the "Mario Galaxy"-style graphics and of course because of the robots. In Bit Boy!!, however, it is hard to decide – the 32-BIT levels play great but the graphics are as pixellated as on a PSone. The 16-BIT generation is very hard and very colourful. I think that is my favourite Bit Generation in Bit Boy!!.
Kubi was originally in Plättchen twist ‘n’ paint as a Fantasy-Me. Why did you decide to give him his own game?
We have many characters and concepts that exist long time before they appear in their own game. Meanwhile, they get the chance to be part of another game, like the robot that existed in PLÄTTCHEN - twist 'n' paint, then appeared in Bit Man!! and of course will be in Vektor Tank, which for sure won't be the last game it plays a role in.
How about seeing existing properties revived on 3DS?
Yes, absolutely. As stated before, we want to continue to explore the rich universes of our existing IPs. Right now we are working on 3 different projects for the Nintendo 3DS.
Do you have any other new IP's in the works?
Our main IPs, the all-mighty, gearwheel-shaped ZeLeLi, the Alien Boy Niki and our one-pixel hero Kubi, are still very new and people do not really know where they are coming from,
where they are living, and what they are doing all the time – what do they like? Which shapes will Niki transform into next, will the lad ever get back his human form, what do the planet and other life forms over there in his home world look like? Will Kubi ever meet the 4-BIT Monster again, how will Kubi be able to travel through time again and could a pixel like him steer a tank? Where exactly do the evil black Shadow Plättchen come from, why do they hate ZeLeLi so much and do they also have something to do with Kubi?
There are a lot of open questions and we want to answer all of them, whether asked or not, when the time is right. We created rich worlds full of characters, so besides our main IPs you will learn more about their friends too!
You’ve recently relaunched your company, so to speak, with a brand new logo and website. What prompted this change?
The move to a new platform also made us re-think our style, so we completely changed the look of our logo and reworked our website from the ground. With the new website design, we take an approach away from the serious look targeted at companies to a colorful and funny design aimed directly at players with loads of content and background information for fans still to come.
What are your thoughts on Nintendo’s online policy?
Do you see yourself including online features in future titles?
We played Mario Kart, Smash Bros. Brawl and Animal Crossing online with friends around the world and all that for no charge. We think that's a great deal! Personally however, I prefer playing together with friends in the same room because it is a much stronger experience with a lot more fun.
There are tons of fantastic games on the WiiWare and DSiWare online services which I think is amazing. If Nintendo creates a more comfortable shop and speeds up the online servers I think they are on the right track.
When things develop as planned, we will be capable and happy to add some online features to our upcoming games. We know that online high score lists are very popular, so I think that will be the first online functionality we try to implement.
Thanks so much for answering our questions, Bernd! We truly are thrilled over Vektor Tank 3D+ and can't wait to see what other surprises you guys have planned. We'd also like to congratulate the BPlus team for reaching their 7th year of development. Keep up the good work, guys! So, readers? What do you guys think?