Dive: The Medes Island Secret Interview
Howdy howdy everyone. Today we’ve had the chance to talk with Jose Giacomelli from Cosmosnaut Games about their upcoming WiiWare title Dive: The Medes Island Secret. Along with the interview they’ve sent along some exclusive new screenshots for you to view. I want to thank Jose for joining us today to talk about the game.
Thank you all ! My name is Jose A. Giacomelli. I am 40 years old and have been playing videogames since I was 8. I have managed video game projects since 2001. I have developed arcade and slot machines and published PC games. In 2009 we created Cosmonaut Games and developed our first videogame for the mass market, 5 Spots Party. It was a low cost development that would let us know not only Nintendo but the Wii Market better. Nowadays I work as Producer and Game Designer.
What can you tell us about the game?
That it´s cool : ) It is a 2D platformer where you lead main character John Sanders through 10 different locations all around the world in search of lost treasures and secrets. We have large, non-linear levels with plenty of caves, passageways and hidden enemies behind the rocks. There is a different mystery in each level and players might find them all as well as achieving the game’s secondary objective; to discover The Medes Islands Secret. The game has an economic system included where you may be able to upgrade equipment in order to complete every stage successfully. It also has an achievement system that will let the player keep playing beyond the end of the game.
Based on the trailer that you’ve shown the game looks to be similar to something like Endless Ocean for the exploration aspects, or even Undertow on XBLA. There didn’t appear to be a lot, if any, combat in the trailer. How close is that assumption?
I don´t know. I have only seen an Endless Ocean game play video. I think it´s a great game, however, in my opinion there´s only one thing in common with Endless Ocean and that is the ocean. The enemies constitute a continuous menace all throughout the game as they persecute you and make things really difficult at times. John Sanders has actually a speargun and he´ll use it very often to achieve his objective in every level.
Can you tell us a little bit about how we’ll be controlling the characters in the game?
Of course. The player will control both the action and the character with the Wii Remote. Thanks to the pointer we can direct John as well as aim and shoot the enemies. Holding the B Button allows the character to swim. Pressing two times will give him an extra impulse. The A button is used to shoot tranquillizer darts and the Control Pad let’s see the map and activate the torch (flashlight).
There is only one gameplay mode with three different levels of difficulty. However, we wanted the game to be long enough for a WiiWare game and I can assure that you´ll need 5 hours to complete the game and a few hours more to explore and discover all the treasures.
Will there be any multiplayer aspect to the game, or online components?
No, there is no way to play online. It´s a pity! Certain Game Consultants proposed very good ideas, but we´ve not put them into practice because of time and space problems.
I’ve heard that you’re using the same engine as another WiiWare game, NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits, how was the engine changed to accomodate under water areas as opposed to the desert environments of that game?
Over the Top are great people; good friends and professionals. When we started this project we needed a graphics engine and we thought that they could license us theirs. After all, we both use 2D lateral vista and their engine has very high graphical quality as we´ve seen with NyxQuest. They´ve helped us quite a lot throughout our project and without them the game wouldn’t be the same. They added new functionalities to the engine to show movement and water caustics better.
I live in Barcelona, Spain. We are by the Mediterranean Sea and there are wonderful locations a few hundred kilometers northwards. The Medes Islands and Creus Cape are located in Costa Brava. We got the idea there and a few institutions facilitated us with some pictures, historical information, and diving equipment information. Thanks to all of them we added the secret plot, based on a monastery collapse in 1552 after an earthquake in La Meda Gran. We looked for some data about Santorini, Cayman, Bimini, Azores, Bermuda and Tortuga (the other locations of the game) on different web sites to use their own legends as basis for the different histories you can find in each level.
This project is quite a bit different from your first WiiWare project, 5 Spots Party. Was there anything you learned doing that game for WiiWare that you’ve been able to bring over into Dive?
5 Spots Party is a fun casual game, and we are really happy with how it has worked on WiiWare. However, 5 Spots Party was a port from a low cost casual PC game that we invested in during the past. We wanted to see how the sales would evolve on WiiWare without taking too many economic risks and 5 Spots Party has been number one on the lists of the PC casual market. It was a very good option for our beginnings!! EnjoyUp dealt with the port in an excellent way and that is the reason why we have had to start from scratch with Dive’s technology. Nevertheless we definitely knew WiiWare’s potential and that is why we have bet hard on this development.
How much stuff did you have to cut from the game that you would have liked to have included? Can you tell us about some of it and might some of those ideas come back if there is enough interest for a sequel?
We rejected some ideas on the way, online connection to play with friends, a fishtank containing all the eliminated enemies, the Expedition Book, and a few islands too. For now we cannot talk about sequels, but we think we have a great game and you know what? “Dive: The Mystery of Pasqua” would be a great sequel to Dive.
How close is Dive ready to be released? Can you tell us when we might see the game show up on the WiiWare service and have you settled on a point cost for the game?
We are testing it. The game is totally finished but I don´t know when is it going to be available through the WiiWare Service. We have a prize going round and round in our minds, but we cannot reveal it before Nintendo confirms the launch date. I will keep you informed!! No one is more interested than me to see the game on the Wii Shop Channel.
You are welcome, Tony. It has been my pleasure. And I´d like to thank Nintendo Okie as they´ve given me the chance to explain a bit better how the game works. I really hope you all enjoy playing it as much we´ve enjoyed creating it.