Back in November, we coordinated an interview with the talented folks over at Shin’en Multimedia — the Munich, Germany-based video game developers responsible for bringing Nintendo fans the FAST Racing series, Nano Assault series, Jett Rocket series, and many other top-notch gameplay experiences. With the holidays now behind us, we’ve reached down and grabbed the next gear. Today, we’re here to hit the pedal to deliver our first-ever interview for the website. And we couldn’t have asked for a better company to kick things off.
Here we go!
I’d like to start off by saying thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak with you today. It feels great to be back from the busy holiday season and we are very much looking forward to what Shin’en Multimedia brings to Nintendo’s consoles in 2014. Additionally, I’d like to express my thanks and gratitude for continuing to provide Nintendo fans with high-quality software. Let’s get started, shall we?
Nintendo News: Your newest upcoming title for Wii U is called FAST Racing Neo. Not too much is currently known about the title, but we’re hoping you can shed some additional light on the game and bring some new details to the surface for fans. What’s the inspiration and story behind the title?
Shin’en Multimedia: We had quite some success with FAST Racing League on WiiWare. We were very happy with the gameplay and overall look and feel of the game. I think for WiiWare we reached a limit with it. Since working on the new Wii U hardware we felt the itch for a FAST sequel because now so much more would be possible. Over the past years we got a lot of requests for a new game and also very valuable feedback. We think the fans of the original game will be more then happy with our new development. On the other side we hope to get many new players drawn into FAST Racing Neo because we think its quite a unique experience, on many different levels.
NN: Flexible controller support options seem to be a pretty big deal among Wii U fans. Does FAST Racing Neo support the Wii U Pro Controller? What other control options will the software support?
SM: Perfect controls are very important to us. We support the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii Wheel, the Wii Remote/Nunchuk and of course the Wii U GamePad.
NN: Leaderboards. Everyone loves them! I can see the headlines now. “FAST Racing Neo Shifts Into High Gear With Online Leaderboards!” Being able to compete with friends and other folks around the world via leaderboards is just undeniably fun. It also drastically enhances replay value for games. Will FAST Racing Neo feature leaderboards? If so, how will they be incorporated into the gameplay?
SM: FRN will support a wide array of online options. We see them as an important part of the game. We will reveal more on them in the near future.
NN: FAST Racing Neo is a futuristic racing game. There’s usually some pretty catchy music scores associated with many titles that fall into this category. Who is the composer of FAST Racing Neo?
SM: We work since many years with veteran composer Martin Schioeler, who has its origins (like us) in the 90ties Amiga Demo Scene. He already did the great music for FAST Racing League and does compose also the score for FRN.
NN: We’re assuming that FAST Racing Neo will be a Wii U eShop exclusive title. Is that the case, or will it also be headed to the 3DS eShop?
SM: We currently fully concentrate on the Wii U version. However, we are open for other platforms as well. Nothing has been decided so far on that topic.
NN: Game demos are a great way for fans to sample software before committing to purchase content. Can consumers expect to see a FAST Racing Neo demo in the near future?
SM: We released demos for most of our games, but the games themselves are our top priority.
NN: As someone who’s not a game developer, it’s hard to imagine how much work goes into the games that Shin’en produces. What’s the development cycle like for a title such as FAST Racing Neo? How many people worked on the title, and how long did it take?
SM: We are working with 5 people on FRN, which is a very small team, when taking the quality and sheer amount of assets into consideration. Still our goal is simply to provide the perfect futuristic racing game and we are very proud of what we already achieved with the game so far.
NN: There are a lot of heavy hitters coming to Nintendo consoles in 2014. If you don’t mind giving us a rough time frame, when can fans expect to see FAST Racing Neo speed to the eShop?
SM: We don’t have a release date yet but our internal schedule is on track.
NN: Additionally, I’d like to ask a few other questions, unrelated to FAST Racing Neo. I, along with a huge number of fans, have a strong interest in the company and only see bigger and brighter prospects associated with the brand. The F-Zero series, as you know, is one that hasn’t had a title since 2004 with games F-Zero: GP Legend and F-Zero: Climax, for the Game Boy Advance. What are you thoughts on an F-Zero title? Have Nintendo contacted you at all about a future F-Zero installment? If not, how would the company react if they did?
SM: We would love to see a new F-Zero title but I’m afraid the futuristic racing genre is perhaps a too small niche for Nintendo today. In general, developing a title for Nintendo would be a great honor but currently we are quite happy to be independent.
NN: In mid-December, Shin’en mentioned that another title in addition to FAST Racing Neo. Can you give us any information about that project?
SM: We will reveal first information very soon. It’s a very beautiful game and fits perfectly on Wii U.
NN: Thank you again for providing us with the opportunity to speak with you today. Ourselves and fans can’t wait to hear more info on your new upcoming titles.
It’s worth noting that we did ask Shin’en about FAST Racing Neo‘s Miiverse integration, to include any special message composition multimedia (Miiverse Stamps, for example), and developer challenges but they were unable to answer at this time. They were also unable to answer any questions related to the game’s online multiplayer capabilities. Personally, we feel good about what Shin’en Multimedia has to offer us with that sort of thing.
Stay tuned for more information on Shin’en’s upcoming titles. We will deliver more details as soon as we receive them.