Interview | Zordix Talks Aqua Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS

By Jorge Ba-oh 11.07.2013

Take to the waves with the Aqua Moto Racing 3D for the Nintendo 3DS eShop. We spoke to the CEO of developer Zordix, Matti Larsson, on all things racing, 3DS and Wii U development.

Read the Cubed3 review for Aqua Moto Racing 3D

Image for Interview | Zordix Talks Aqua Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3: Please introduce the team at Zordix for our readers.
Matti Larsson: Zordix is a publisher and development studio in the North of Sweden that is focusing on downloadable games for the Nintendo platforms. We a bunch of people that love racing games, RPGs and making up new fun innovative concepts with new types of game mechanics.
Cubed3: Please tell us a bit more about the Aqua Moto Racing 3D concept.
Matti Larsson: It is a watercraft racing game for the 3DS set in exotic locations where you race the waves and make break-neck stunts to charge your boost and go faster. There are over 12 major championships to compete in and over 12 different watercraft vehicles to unlock with price money. You can advance your career further by beating medal times and there are lots of fun achievements.

Image for Interview | Zordix Talks Aqua Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3: Why the decision to venture onto the seas with the new Nintendo 3DS game?
Matti Larsson: Water is in many ways the optimal element to experience; both in real life and in a computer game. Just think about how many big budget games that try to squeze water into their trailer films, for the nice effects. We wanted to make a game where you really get to experience water.
Cubed3: What different envionments will be available to race through in Aqua Moto Racing 3D?
We've chosen nice summer feel settings where you'd love to go on vacation, such as the Tropics, Greece and Egypt, all with their own temples and special characteristics. Then we've made a lot of varied racing tracks ranging from high sea to canals with smaller waves.
Cubed3: Please tell us about the stunts system and how that comes into the gameplay.
There are several stunts that can be performed whenever hitting a jump. By performing one or several stunts at different difficulty levels, you can charge your boost and apply more speed into the race. While you're in the air, you can simply touch on the lower screen to choose a stunt, but you have to judge your speed and time in the air properly so that you have time to land safely.

Image for Interview | Zordix Talks Aqua Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3: Will the environment, say the rain shown in the work-in progress footage, affect the gameplay?
Perhaps not the rain so much, but the wild waves of the "Storm Mode" are quite challenging but at the same time a lot of fun; especially if you take a match with friends in Download Play or local multiplayer mode.
Cubed3: What hurdles have you had making Aqua Moto Racing 3D for 3DS? I'm guessing dynamic water would be a challenge!
Water simulation is something we're really good at! I wrote an article about water simulation for Game Developer magazine in 2006; and since 2008 we've had over 13 million downloads of the first iteration of our Moto Racing series of games which all use a lot of physics. The local Unitersiy of Umeå, rather big with over 30,000 students, has a Computer Science department with researchers in the field who are also very helpful.

Image for Interview | Zordix Talks Aqua Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3: Aqua Moto Racing 3DS looks smooth on the Nintendo 3DS. How does stereoscopic 3D add to the game?
You get to see the stunts rather close up in 3D which is nice, and how the waves come towards you. Personally I enjoy very much to play the game in 3D as it adds to the immersion of being there.
Cubed3: Has the concept been inspired by other water racing games like Nintendo's own Wave Race?
It is impossible not to be influenced by such an iconic game as Wave Race. On the 3DS we come very close to the same enjoyable experience, although some things are of course different, and I am certain fans of Wave Race game will like Aqua Moto Racing 3D a lot.
Since there aren't that many great water racing games around apart from our own I think we've found a golden niche where we can fill the need to race fast, splash, jump, do tricks and have fun in water.

Image for Interview | Zordix Talks Aqua Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3: The Wii U is crying out for a water sports/racing game like Aqua Moto Racing 3D. Is there any chance to bring the concept to the Wii U?
I agree that it would be perfect! Nintendo has chosen to put water jet ski racing into Wii Sports Resort where you race with Mii characters. That means the door is open on the Wii U for a skilled gamer's game in the genre, with a high graphical profile and online tournaments.
Just like with the Nintendo 3DS, a lot of dedicated skilled gamers have bought the Wii U and I think we can make a lot of people happy with a full HD extreme water racing game. Not that I'm promising anything just yet, but I agree that it's a very nice idea. I promise to let you know if we go ahead with it.
Cubed3: What are your thoughts on the Nintendo 3DS as a development system?
From many aspects it is the perfect little mobile gaming machine that you can bring with you everywhere. The main design with double screen, analogue controls, stylus and 3D is ingenious.
It is not as powerful processor-wise as we first thought, but as we learn more it is possible to tweak the system into great experiences. A game is first and last about gameplay and fun mechanics; and the system lets you have very special experiences, which makes it interesting to design for.

Image for Interview | Zordix Talks Aqua Moto Racing 3D for Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3: Out of all the projects you have worked on for Nintendo systems so far, what was your favourite experience?
I think my favourite magic moment is when Aqua Moto Racing 3D came alive with physics working so that you could move around in the waves on the Nintendo 3DS. Then we all knew we got something special. At the Nordic Game conference recently in May, our team members had to pull the 3DS out of the hands of the Nintendo staff that were playing the game for far too long, in order to get to the next meeting in time. I think they might have felt that same type of magic.
Cubed3: What game designers/studios do you admire in the development world?
I admire game developers on three different levels and for different reasons; individuals such as Niflas (or Notch) that can create innovative indie games on their own that challenges the mind, small studios (like RedLynx, now owned by UbiSoft) that start up by making ground-breaking niche games like Trials HD that manage to keep high quality time after time, and lastly the big studios that push their big franchices with big budgets. Within the big studios I tend to love teams that makes games like Fire Emblem which just gets better and better for each iteration.


Cubed3: What has it been like working with Nintendo and their approaches to indie development?
Right now it is Nintendo that I think are the easiest to work with for indie developers. This Spring Nintendo has been opening up more in America and Europe for indie developers, relaxing some of their requirements, and it is probably a smart move.
Offering the Unity engine for free with the Wii U DevKit, beeing very swift and excellent in communication, and keeping a high level of order are things I appreciate with the Nintendo of today. On the downside it can sometimes take time to get a completed game through the final test stage for hardware compatibility, but at the same time you know you will get great products out the door if they are properly tested and tuned.

Box art for Aqua Moto Racing 3D
Also known as

AquaMoto Racing 3D









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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