Cubed3's Adam Riley: It has been four years since Two Memories was released on DS. What lessons did you learn from feedback people gave you and how did this help you with the creation of Another Code: R?
Takuya MIYAGAWA, Producer at Cing: We had a strong feeling that the combination of adventure and puzzles in the gameplay was favoured by a large amount of players. With that in mind, and considering the unique control system of the Wii, I believed we could invent a new kind of fun that differed from the DS version. In addition, the 3D graphical expression meant we were able to expand players' imaginations about Ashley more than ever before.
AR: Sales figures from Media Create showed that Another Code on Wii struggled to sell, despite the DS game doing so well. Why do you think it was not as widely accepted, and are you disappointed with sales so far?
Satoshi KIRA, Co-Producer at Nintendo: On this Wii title we believe we have realised new puzzle-solving and control methods using the Wii Remote and 3D graphics that are simply not possible to recreate on the Nintendo DS. On the other hand, its game style is somewhat similar to reading a novel alone, and that could be why it might not have been as welcomed by current Wii user base as expected.
However, it has to be stressed that we are not disappointed in its sales results at all. We do hope that it will get a long-term endorsement, not only from adventure fans, but also from new gamers who are currently playing games such as "Wii Fit" or "Wii Sports" and are looking for their next step into the gaming world.
AR: The range of puzzles in the DS game is extremely impressive and people wondered how such fantastic ideas could be translated to Wii. However, your team has created so many clever puzzles for Another Code: R! How did you manage to get so many uses out of the Wii Remote without making the experience too much like a mini-game title?
Taisuke KANASAKI, Character Design and Art Director at Cing: When devising new puzzles, we always try to consider their relationship with the actual storyline first. "What if we could invent an amazing puzzle idea that has no point and bears absolutely no relationship to the main story?" This has been one of the main mottos of CiNG titles in the past and was most certainly a key phrase we kept in mind for "Another Code: R".
AR: The difference between the personality of a 14-year old and a 16-year-old girl can be quite large. How did you decide to reflect this in Ashley's personality? Did anybody in the team monitor their own daughters for inspiration?
Rika SUZUKI, Game Design and Scenario at Cing: We were really quite worried about how we should let Ashley grow up and how her expressions should change between when people saw her at age 14 and later at age 16. We had already established a fundamental image in the first Another Code, but we have since built her personality further, attempting to estimate how and what she had specifically experienced or in what way she had been moved around during the two-year period not covered by either game's story.
We did not have a specific method of monitoring somebody. But yes, we did have one member of the team that has a teenage daughter and we asked her to play the through the section of the game where there is a long, awkward conversation between Ashley and her father, Dr. Richard Robbins, at the camping spot, in order to gather her opinions about the distance we were aiming to achieve between a girl of her age and her 'out-of-touch' father.
AR: There has been no news of Another Code: R being released in the US yet. Would you be disappointed if fans of 'Trace Memory' were unable to play your latest game?
KIRA: I believe that CiNG's text-based adventure games are the sort that can be welcomed in by any country. It has become evident, though, that Another Code: Two Memories and Hotel Dusk: Room 215 were both welcomed more by the European market, rather than the Japanese or North American populace. This is, of course, one of the reasons why we have delivered this title to the European market before the US.
It should be said that even though we have a strong feeling that all customers all over the world should be able to enjoy this title, it has not yet been decided if it will indeed be released in North America at this present moment. So for now, please let me refrain from commenting further on this matter...
AR: The conclusion to Matt's story about his missing father seemed very rushed and unfulfilling. Was his story concluded so briefly at the end due to time constraints during development? Or will we learn more about Matt and his father in a future Another Code game?
SUZUKI: The story of Matt is not complete at this moment. Matt has now established a close friendship with Ashley, just as D did in the original Another Code. However, there is a huge difference between D and Matt in that D is already dead and all he has is his past. Matt, on the other hand, has a grand future ahead of him from which to use as source material. In terms of the potential for Matt's story in the future, we are definitely going to express his entire storyline through the world of Another Code, including how his friendship develops with Ashley and more on the story of his father, Michael.
AR: When the game is completed, what incentive is there for players to re-load the save file and play the game for a second time? Are there any new puzzles or a different ending included?
Shigeru KOMINE, Director at Cing: When playing Another Code: R for a second time the puzzles become slightly more difficult than before. Also, Richard Robbins sends messages to Ashley that are named the "Lake Juliet Report", which tell more of the story behind Lake Juliet itself. Additionally, in a specific spot the player will be able to discover the secret creature hidden in the lake, so please do try to play the game a second time round!
AR: Were there any specific changes made from the initial stages of the development process through to the final stages?
KOMINE: In the early stages of development we were going to use both the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. We also produced puzzle ideas utilising the Nunchuck. During the mid-point of the development process, though, we decided to reach the goal of developing a game where you can play whilst even lying down on the couch, so we abandoned the Nunchuck. However, the user interface did not have to be totally changed as we had been focusing on reducing the players' burden. We have, though, designed a totally new interface from scratch for Wii, rather than sticking with the one found in the DS.
AR: Will you be considering making a new Another Code for DS again, or is Wii the direction you want to take the series in now?
MIYAGAWA: We are not planning on sticking to any one specific platform. We still have plenty of new ideas that we would like to explore on both Wii and Nintendo DS, so we are keeping our options open where possible.
AR: There are several references to Hotel Dusk found in Another Code: R, such as photographs showing characters from the game, and Bob Fox being the son of two characters from Hotel Dusk. Does this mean that Kyle Hyde and Ashley Robbins may possibly meet in a future game?
SUZUKI: Exactly! The story of Ashley and that of Kyle Hyde have some aspects that are indeed in common and they must definitely be linked, as you mention. Personally, I'd like to see an older Kyle Hyde, all sobered up and acting cool, have an encounter with a grown-up Ashley who is much more positive than when she is just a young girl.
AR: Finally: In 2007, when talking about Kyle Hyde, Mr. Takuya Miyagawa told Cubed3 "you may have the chance to see him again in the near future." He also said "I believe we will be able to provide an unprecedented adventure if Another Code and Hotel Dusk are realised on Wii." Therefore, now that Another Code has arrived on Wii is Hotel Dusk already being made as well?
MIYAGAWA: We have nothing concrete that we can currently comment on right at this moment. However, considering there is such a high level of expectation around this idea, as well as all the new ideas that are unique and fun related to the Wii system itself, I believe there would definitely be a possibility of this happening. All I can say is that we are definitely going to challenge various kinds of possibilities in the future! *smiles*
AR: Finally, can you tell us anything about your DS game for Tecmo, 'Again: Eye of Providence'?
MIYAGAWA: Unfortunately we at CiNG cannot announce anything specific about the game at the moment, including news of its release date. However, please look forward to hearing some news from TECMO, the publisher of the title, in the near future!