Q: Was the huge success of Just Dance a surprise for Ubisoft?
A: For Ubisoft it was no surprise in the sense that we playtested internally very early in the process. The creative director and team worked on some early prototypes and people just started dancing, men, women, hardcore gamers and casual alike.
I think in terms of its mass appeal the dev team strongly believed that this game was a perfect party starter and that we had something different and special.
The game, although it looks simple has still a great deal of depth. Girls love it for the dance, young adults love it for the fun, mature people love it for the music, kids love it because for the first time they are allowed to jump and dance all around and of course family and friends love it because it is extremely social.
Q: How your consumers influence your vision for the next Just Dance title?
A: They want more moves, more dancing, more music and DLC. We work a lot with our Just Dancers and with JD2 we want to give them a few more surprises. From a pure gameplay perspective, we learnt about how they react and dance together so we will push this even further.
We have taken a lot of care in making the game much richer and deeper, as this year competition will be fierce. We wanted to enlarge the experience of having fun in group by adding new game modes and improving detection and feedback.
Duet Mode: Created for more interaction and role playing between players. We want them not just to follow what is happening on screen but also being aware of what is happening around. We want the people to actually dance together!
Dance Battle Mode: This mode will let you play up to 8 players. This is to reinforce team spirit. Individual scores will be responsible for the overall result of the team. Thanks to this mode everyone will need to dance for the entire Just Dance party and support their team.
Party Mode: The Just for fun mode! For dance fans, it’s as simple as that, you just enter how much non-stop music you want!
Just Sweat Mode: Exercise with pleasure. Many people were actually using it to get fit, from young mums to Grandparents. So now we added Just Sweat Meter for measuring the efficiency of the energy you put in dancing and the ability to define daily and weekly objectives of dancing sessions.
Q: Are you afraid of me-too products? Did you do anything to anticipate them?
A: There are always me-too products of successful games. On Just Dance it would be quite an honor to see that we inspire people, we just have to keep offering our players more, music was created for dance so let’s get everyone dancing!
Q: Was the budget for Just Dance 2 development greater than Just Dance and how did that effect the game development?
A: Sorry I can’t discuss that with you.
Q: Will Just Dance 2 ever come to Xbox 360, PS3 or PC?
A: We are very happy to be one of the very rare 3rd party teams that have created a new successful IP on the Wii and we love what Nintendo have inspired with their controllers and creativity, so we will definitely remain dedicated to it on Just Dance 2.
Q: Will Ubisoft release other titles than JD2 in the Just Dance brand? Do you plan Just Dance title focusing on a specific type of music? On a specific artist?
A: You never know; our focus at the moment is to do Just Dance 2 and get everyone to Just Dance!
Q: What are the key improvements for Just Dance 2?
A: We have added new game modes, new tracks, more tracks and of course new dances. We have also pushed the iconic silhouettes of our dancers and visual feedback for the player.
One major improvement is detection, we have really worked on giving an accessible and balanced experience so great dancers with rhythm are rewarded for their moves, and people with 2 left feet can still have a chance if they move their thang!
Q: Is the movement recognition more accurate than in JD1? How did you improve it?
A: Yes definitely. It takes into account a lot more types and ways of moving, dancing, handling the Wii Remotes. More precision in the detection frames. It’s seamless for the consumer but there is a lot of work and know how on technical side to enable the proper detection through Wii Remote only.
Q: Why doesn’t Just Dance 2 support WiiMotionPlus?
A: This is for everyone, we have been working with the Wii since the very beginning, and we have managed to optimize dance detection with just Wiimote.
Q: How did you pick the songs for Just Dance 2?
A: Even if it seems simple this is one of the hardest tasks: to compose a good play list. There are lot of ingredients and criteria to build a strong playlist and also lot of complications to get it done. Our objective is that at the end our players feel as they always knew these songs somewhere or somehow.
When the tracklist was created, the creative director really wanted to give players a wide variety of music,: choose hits from every music genres; add a big share of fun; make sure rhythm is dynamic; find the right balance between energy and melody, between songs with “must have” iconic moves and songs that just make you want to jump all around; pick hits from today’s top of the charts but never forget to add some good old classics… All these ingredients mixed together gave something for everyone...
Music was created to dance too!
Q: Will Just Dance 2 offer a left hand mode?
A: No. the mirror and detection is done based on the player holding the controller in their right hand. Our game is about dancing and there is no difference for left or right-handed people in dance the only thing is you have to hold the controller in a specific hand!
Q: Will Just Dance 2 offer a career mode with unlockable content?
A: No. This is not the Just Dance philosophy of fun we are not making you a star, you already are.
Q: Will Just Dance 2 offer various levels of difficulty?
A: Every track has its own difficulty and moves, so you will need to build up to some of the more energetic tracks or more complex choreographies.
Not really as in classical games, but our play list is composed in this light. We kept the short and long version option so you could warm up a little ;-)
Q: On Just Dance 1 we could only dance on 32 songs, will there be a greater number of songs in Just Dance 2?
A: Yes. There will be 40 + songs and downloadable content.
Q: Can you tell us more about downloading additional songs?
A: There will be an access on the Just Dance 2 menu to the Wii shop where players will be able to buy and download new maps for the game.
Q: Who are the choreographers for Just Dance 2? Why don’t you partner with any of the actual artists/choreographers?
A: One of the secrets of Just Dance is our choreography creation method. We are building our choreographies with lots of professional dancers, but there are few other key persons and methods that make our dances uniques.
Q: The lyrics are still scrolling on the screen; will the game support a microphone or video camera?
A: Not in Just Dance 2, we couldn’t call it Just Dance ;-).
Q: Do you plan to launch a version including the JD1 and the JD2 songs?
A: We plan to propose the Top JD1 songs through DLC.
Q: Is the dancing game with MJ announced during the E3 press conference part of the Just Dance brand? Why?
A: There are some common approaches, and after all he was the king of pop and an incredible dancer, so JD was in some ways inspired by the impact he had on the world of music and dance.