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An interview with Collin van Ginkel, Lead Designer on Rubik’s Puzzle Galaxy: RUSH

An interview with Collin van Ginkel, Creative Director at Two Tribes, Lead Designer on RUSH


In the competitive world of videogaming do you see WiiWare as a poor mans platform and what does it offer developers like yourself

I think you have to look at what a platform can do for you, instead of only looking at the biggest market share. For us, WiiWare is a platform on which we call the shots for our own products. You get to make your own mistakes and when you triumph, it is because you did well yourself.

It's true that the revenue is typically less for a WiiWare title, but you can also make something with a much lower budget and still have a high quality title. So this fits a smaller studio such as ours really well!

Continuing on from the last question - why Wiiware over PSN and Xboxlive and is there a chance this game could go onto those formats if successful!?

The reason to start off with WiiWare is a combination of the low barrier of entry, the nature of the Wii Remote and the fact that you can self-publish with a lower budget.

It would be hard to port RUSH game to the other platforms because the control scheme is geared towards the pointer input, which is missing from other controllers. Having said that, we're keeping our options open, and it's a series of games so we can have different entries on different platforms.


The competition for WiiWare success is very strong so do you feel that a puzzle game is enticing enough to capture the attention of gamers and what gives you or the game an edge?

We have taken great care to ensure RUSH is a complete and highly polished game. We hope to have properly handled both the game design and the marketing so that casual players will like what they see and experienced gamers will not instantly draw the shovelware conclusion. It is a game with a license, but with a concept that can stand on its own!


Rush draws inspiration from Rubik's cube - can you tell us how the team came up with the idea and how it was fleshed out and the process taken?

We decided early on that just making a virtual cube, or variations on it, would not provide a full game experience. So we decided to take a look at what makes it so compelling. The conclusion was that there are several elements to the cube that make it interesting to play with and we tried to integrate those into RUSH.

When playing, you are sometimes baffled by just looking at the levels, you need a good insight into three dimensional objects, you will have to plan ahead to solve the puzzles and you will feel really good when you finally solve them. All these things are present when trying to solve a Rubik's Cube as well.


Tell us more about some of the clever tricks and puzzle elements that go into making the game and how it changes as you progress.

The game is played by placing signs for the cubes to roll over. Each sign has a different effect on the direction or speed of the cubes. The most devious one is the split sign. This sign alternates between sending a cube to the left and to the right. You can imagine that it can be really complex to predict the outcome in your mind, especially when combined with speed-signs, directional signs and also the warps that can be found on the levels.

What we do with the levels in RUSH is that we introduce a new trick or combination of signs, and then that trick becomes standard practice for later levels. So while it becomes more and more complex, sometimes it is just a case of remembering what you did before and applying it to a different situation.


How does the games scoring system work as well as competing again another player?

The RUSH levels don't feature scoring or multiplayer. The Rubik's Cube modes can be played with two players and your scores can be submitted to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection leaderboards.

Other entries into the series will have more leaderboards, but for RUSH it did not make sense to add a scoring component, since there is usually one correct way of solving the puzzles.


Is speed a major part of succeeding and how are the controls to play the game manipulated?

The player will first put down the signs on the level surface, and can then press the start button to see what the outcome is. So while it can become really complex at later levels, you never need lightning-quick reflexes. You just need to use your brain!

Image copyrighted www.jorisvanegmond.com 

Rasher | 9th December, 2009

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