Shin’en talks about its history, FAST Racing Neo, supporting Nintendo platforms
Posted on October 15, 2016 by Brian(@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News, Wii U eShop
Nintendo recently posted a video interview with Shin’en on its German YouTube page. Martin Sauter, the studio’s art director, took on some community questions. Sauter talked about the history of Shin’en, FAST Racing Neo in depth (making it easier for beginners, length of development, not trying to create an F-Zero spiritual successor), interest in the continued support of Nintendo platforms, and more.
The interview hasn’t been made available in other languages officially, but we did take the time to translate the whole thing in English. Head past the break to read it in full.
Q: How long has Shin’en Games been around? What was the first project?
A: Shin’en has been around since 1998. Initially, they were developing a sound engine for consoles which allowed you to play music – at the time, this was quite an advanced piece of technology. Shin’en was also composing music for around 200 games, including big titles such as Tomb Raider. Later on, Shin’en started developing games themselves, starting with games for Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance such as Iridion 3D and Maya the Bee, Nano Assault for 3DS, Art of Balance and now FAST Racing Neo for Wii U.
Q: What’s your favorite racing track in FAST Racing Neo?
A: Well, I designed almost all of them myself so I love them all in their own way, but my favorite track is Kamagori City, which is the track with the giant spider that runs around and tries to trample you.
Q: Can you clear the most difficult cups in the game with no problems?
A: Yes we can, but it’s quite the struggle sometimes, especially on Hyper Sonic difficulty. Even we occasionally have trouble there, but it’s doable.
Q: Would it be possible to make the game easier for beginners?
A: We’ve heard that question quite often. We’ll take these comments to heart and see what we’ll be able to do in the future.
Q: How long was the development time for the game?
A: Around 2 years, which makes it the biggest project we ever did, but it was worth it.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration for the tracks? Are you looking at other games or real landscapes and environments?
A: An excellent question that basically already included the answer. We’re looking at photos of landscapes online and science fiction movies and ask ourselves “Hey, couldn’t we include this in our game?”. It could be anything from landscapes to scenes in movies or other games – “Hey, this looks cool, let’s do that too!”
Q: Why did you choose the Wii U as the platform for FAST Racing Neo?
A: We’ve been Nintendo developers for so long, we’re obviously Nintendo fanboys, we’ve grown up with these consoles, and we’ve got a great relationship with Nintendo. We believe that Nintendo games are so well designed – it’s an inspiration for ourselves to try to live up to and achieve that standard of quality with our games. The market situation also works out for us – our games work well on Nintendo consoles. We’re glad to be developing for Nintendo games and we hope to continue to do so in the future.
Q: Was it your goal to create a spiritual successor to F-Zero with FAST Racing Neo?
A: No, we didn’t want to create a spiritual successor to F-Zero. We wanted to create a futuristic racing game and appeal to the people who love games like that. Everyone who’s played the game knows that it’s not the same as F-Zero. The core gameplay, however, is similar – it’s about driving along a race track as fast as possible. If you like F-Zero, you’ll hopefully like our game as well so in a way we obviously wanted to appeal to these people, but we didn’t set out to create an F-Zero game.
Q: What was your goal with this game and did you achieve it?
A: First of all, our goal was to create a good game, which we did! [laughs]
Next, we wanted people to like our game and to play our game – the best game in the world is useless if no one buys it and if no one – neither press nor customers – talks about it. We achieved that, the game was received well so we’re 100% happy with it. There’s always room for improvement, but we’re happy with where we are right now. We also hope that people will enjoy the new DLC pack and the retail version.
Q: You’ve done shoot’em ups, platformers, puzzles games and racing games – what genre will you tackle next?
A: I can’t answer that question at the moment. We actually don’t know that yet ourselves. We’re always working on prototypes from different kinds of genres. We just did a racing game, so it’s definitely possible that we’ll go into a different with our next game.
Q: Will you continue to focus on Nintendo platforms in the future?
A: Yes. We’re proud to be working with Nintendo and that they’ve supported us with the new Nintendo Selects program. It benefits us and we hope that it benefits Nintendo as well. We’re happy to be working with Nintendo and to have the opportunity to make great games.
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