Thursday, December 09, 2004

Intuitive Stroke Interview

An interview with two of the minds behind this excellent Japanese launch title: Hiroshi Sato (Nintendo Project Development Department, Acting Section Chief) and Satoshi Yoshinaga (a member of the same department, so I suppose Sato is his boss).

Famitsu
Please tell us how you came to make this game.

Sato
The game Intuitive Stroke was thought up by a company called Mitchell.
Yoshinaga
They mostly make puzzle games for the service industry.
Sato
When we first asked them if they would consider making a game for a portable console, they said that puzzle games can't be made until you come up with a good concept They said they would try but they didn't know how long it would take. But they thought that they might have some ideas that they had rejected making themselves, but that might be suitable for a console like ours. However, when we looked at those, we turned all of them down! (laughs) We first saw Intuitive Stroke in its original form about six months after asking Mitchell for an idea.

Famitsu
There was a lot of impact in having the screen purely made up of black and white.

Sato
We felt it worked with black and white, and made that our objective. We thought if we had added Nintendo characters or created new ones, the game kind of lost its impact.

Famitsu
When you come to play it, it's very addictive, and you could just keep on going continuously, don't you think?

Sato
I think the thing people find most interesting at first is the Checkmate Mode, don't you think? [Note: This mode has static puzzles with no time limit, that you must solve in one stroke. The main game is "live" like Tetris, with pieces falling down the screen, and the game is over if the upper screen fills up to the top.] There are a hundred puzzles to solve, and you can make your own very easily too.

Famitsu
What else about the game do you think is appealing?

Yoshinaga
You can send a trial version of the game [using the DS Wireless functionality] to people who don't have it. It contains the tutorial mode in full and ten Checkmate puzzles, so you can play it for quite a while.

Famitsu
People who own it will become like salesmen for the game, won't they?

Yoshinaga
Yes, we want them to spread the game gradually [throughout the community].

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