Nindie developer Turtle Cream is bringing their first Nintendo game, 6180 the moon, to the Wii U eShop next week. Ahead of the game’s release, we caught up with the studio to ask a few questions.
Original responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Can you please tell me your name and title?
My name is Sun Park. I’m a creative director at Turtle Cream.
How many people are involved with the development of 6180 the moon? Where is Turtle Cream located?
We’re based in Seoul, South Korea. We’re a two-man dev team for now. For the previous GameMaker version of 6180 the moon, there were a total of five people — the current team plus a programmer and two music composers. Currently, we’re working with a new artist for our next project, so we’ll officially be a three-man team soon.
The story in 6180 the moon seems simple enough: Play as a moon in search of a missing sun. I could easily see a sequel to this story where players take the role of a sun in search of a missing moon. Would something like that be possible in the future?
Unfortunately not. Including the first version, we spent over three years making this game. We’ve improved the Steam, Xbox One, and Wii U versions. Now I hate moon (laughs). We recently started a new project and it isn’t related to 6180 the moon. It’s a brand-new game, but it’s also kind of weird and unique like 6180 the moon.
“When we arrived, we made the prototype in one hour and forty-three minutes, or 6,180 total seconds.”
How did your studio come up with the name “6180 the moon”? Did any games inspire its creation?
The number “6180” was a codename for the first prototype. We visited our friend’s game dev studio’s internal game jam. When we arrived, we made the prototype in one hour and forty-three minutes, or 6,180 total seconds. After making the main story theme, I added “the moon.”
I can’t think of any game we’ve been inspired by. Our first game was a really good lesson, I think. 6180 the moon is our second commercial game. The first one was called Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory, and it didn’t go so well. I tried to avoid the same mistakes for the next game.
Also, I was totally inspired by Japanese musician Rei Harakami. We used his music called “Pone” in our first prototype. And the “Space” music was used for the main theme for 6180 the moon. Sound was one of the most important things in our game. Our game’s graphics style is really simple, so we tried to make a unique gameplay experience with sounds.
Why is the title styled in lowercase letters? Is that intentional?
It’s really simple. We think using only lowercase letters is prettier than using a mix of upper and lowercase letters (laughs). In the English version of the game, there are only a few uppercase letters. But other language translators said using only lowercase letters would be a bit awkward.
How does development for 6180 the moon on Wii U differ from development on PC, Mac, and Xbox One? Were there any hurdles involved when developing for Wii U?
We think the most unique and attractive thing about Wii U is its second screen, the Wii U GamePad. In 6180 the moon, the screen never ends, so we decided to integrate the TV and Wii U GamePad screens for a seamless experience. We know it’s not a popular way to use the Wii U GamePad, but we wanted to experiment with it. As a result, we made whole levels only for Wii U.
Making a game with two screens was really weird and fun. The first Wii U version was super complicated. The Moon can jump extremely high and it can even move through the screens! We expected that most players would get really frustrated from using both screens connected, so we tried to make puzzles more fun. But because of the two connected screens, puzzles are already more difficult. I’m not sure if we did a good job with this, so it’s time to wait for players’ feedback.
For Wii U, will there be online leaderboards? If so, will it track points, levels completed, or the time it takes players to complete levels?
No, sorry. But there is an achievement system in the game where players can check their progress.
“I’m not sure if we can launch in the Asian region — Wii U hasn’t even launched here in South Korea yet!”
We recently learned that 6180 the moon passed Nintendo of America’s lotcheck. Congratulations on that! Do you have a release date yet?
Thanks. The launch date is February 25 in North America, Europe, and Australia. I’m not sure if we can launch in the Asian region — Wii U hasn’t even launched here in South Korea yet!
What about a price? How much will the Wii U version cost?
It will cost the same as the other platform versions: $3.99. Super cheap, isn’t it? Grab it!
How would you describe your working relationship with Nintendo?
It was great. We first met former Nintendo executive Dan Adelman at E3 2013. After that meeting, we started porting our game to Wii U; we changed the development software from GameMaker to Unity3D. That’s why we made improved versions for other platforms. In South Korea, we were one of the only teams to make games for Wii U, so Nintendo of South Korea helped us out with many things. Thanks to all the Nintendo folks in the world!
Will your studio be interested in developing for Nintendo’s upcoming video game console, codenamed NX?
Yes, of course! Basically we are not worried about the platform at the early stages of development. When we make a great prototype, and if any platform would be perfect for it, we choose that platform. If we make a perfect idea, especially for NX, we’d love to make it.
Does Turtle Cream develop games for mobile devices for Android or iOS as well?
Currently we’re preparing an iOS version of 6180 the moon. It would be our studio’s first mobile game. We’re also thinking about a mobile version for our next project, but versions for PC and console would still be our main platforms of choice.
Finally, I’ve been waiting to ask you one last question. Do you like turtles?
Frankly speaking, our former artist’s nickname was “Turtle.” Turtle Cream is a mix of our team members’ nicknames. (One of our former members was nicknamed “cream hedgehog.”) Anyway, I think I should love turtles for now (laughs).
Thanks to Sun Park for taking the time to share detailed responses with us. For more information about 6180 the moon, feel free to visit the official Turtle Cream website. Lastly, the game’s Wii U launch trailer, released yesterday, can be previewed below.