VideoGamer.com: In terms of other FPS games, what were the major influences on The Conduit?
EN: We had influences both direct and indirect. We certainly explored everything and we’re first-person shooter fans ourselves, so really we’re all drinking from the same water. So it’s nearly impossible not to get inspired by the things you like as gamers. But to answer your question, some of the games that we get compared with a lot are Perfect Dark, which is good company to be in, GoldenEye and Resistance: Fall of Man. There’s also been a fair amount of comparison with Halo. I can see some of the parallels but if I had to pick just one, I sure like being compared to Perfect Dark!
VideoGamer.com: I haven’t played Perfect Dark in ages, but it certainly feels similar at times…
EN: If we live up to your nostalgia, I’ll be very happy!
VideoGamer.com: Well, that makes two of us! To change topic… I’ve just had a chance to check out MotionPlus for the first time. What are you feelings about the new add-on, and did you consider supporting it with The Conduit?
EN: Absolutely. I actually went out on a limb and said that we were going to support MotionPlus early on, and I had to do a bit of back-pedalling. We had every intention of supporting it and Nintendo had graciously supplied us with early prototypes, but the time we got them we were very far down the road in the game development. Once we implemented it we were quick to discover that it really didn’t give much benefit to ranged combat, which we were primarily focused on. It was very good for short experiences and melee experiences – we even went so far as to prototype up some melee weapons. However what we found was that we just didn’t have enough time left in the schedule to properly implement them. Our mantra all along has been “quality first” and if we couldn’t do it to a high quality standard, it didn’t belong in this version of the game.
VideoGamer.com: Do you think MotionPlus will ultimately change Wii game development?
EN: I think that it’s a wonderful device. I don’t know that I would say that it’s going to completely change the Wii, because I think the Wii is quite nice just by itself, but I think it’s very novel and I think it affords some new and interesting types of games. And that’s what I love about the Nintendo system in general. Whether it’s just the Wii remote and the nunchuck or the balance board or MotionPlus, each device has a unique methodology of interfacing with the console. Nintendo is not afraid to take risks, and you have to commend them for that. For every Virtual Boy that might not come out so strong, they come out with a whole lot of systems like the Wii that are fantastic.
VideoGamer.com: Do you think MotionPlus will become a mandatory thing for Wii developers to support, or will it remain optional?
EN: I think it will probably be optional. It’s really on a game by game scenario. It’s not going to make sense on every type of game, nor is it going to make sense for every type of publisher and what they’re trying to do with their products. Some types of games you want to have as many options as possible for the core gamers. But on a really super-casual type of game the more peripherals you need to support… that can actually backfire and cause you to have a smaller audience.
VideoGamer.com: Clearly at the moment The Conduit is a Wii-only game. Would you ever consider bringing to the other consoles?
EN: No, not a chance.
VideoGamer.com: Why not?
EN: Because we made it for the Wii. The Wii needs quality games, it needs games that are specifically for it. I’m not joking when I said that we made it for this kind of controller. Yeah, we could probably get better graphical fidelity with high definition output and a hard drive – great! But I am of the mindset that gameplay is king. I love playing first-person shooters now with a Wii remote and a nunchuck. I think that’s a really very elegant and intuitive methodology of interfacing with a first-person shooter. And they’ve got plenty already! Let us have a couple.
VideoGamer.com: Online multiplayer is a big part of The Conduit. Do you think the Wii can develop the same kind of thriving communities that you see with games like Halo 3 and Killzone 2 on the Xbox 360 and PS3?
EN: I would sure love to believe that much like Halo was one of the first games to get consumers to play first-person shooters on console, and really trained them to play shooters with dual analogue sticks, I’d like to think that we’re the first game that trains people to properly play a first-person shooter with a Wii Remote and a Nunchuck. But that wish aside, I would like to think that we’ll pull in a new type of gamer. One of the most exciting things for us has been when we’ve some of these trade shows and comic book shows, consumers will come up and play the game, and you’d see people that had never played any kind of first-person shooter before, and within a few minutes they could pick it up and start playing it. That was very exciting to me, the idea that you could expand the first-person shooter market. Right now there is a wonderful core of first-person shooter fans, but it does become sort of incestuous in its growth. Everyone’s trying to one-up each other in the same ways and selling graphics cards and new hardware. I know we’re all guilty of doing that in our shop, but I would love to see our game be something that starts pulling in a new type of first person shooter fan, a new breed. That would be good. It would be healthy!
The Conduit will be released on June 26, exclusively on Wii.