It is now time for another special interview on Nintendo Chronicle but this time we’re talking to Neko Entertainment!! I would like to thank Neko Entertainment for taking the time to do this interview with us.
Question 1 - What gave you the idea start making games and your own company?
“Passion for the video game is obviously the reason why we created Neko Entertainment. With our last game “Puddle” we want to prove it is still possible to innovate !”
Question 2 – Where did you get the idea for the company name?
“We decided first of our logo, who was a cat. Then we looked for the best name to fit with this cat. The cat in Japan (the birthplace of video games) and generally in Asia, is a synonym of luck and brings something really positive. That’s why we choose Neko (meaning “cat” in Japanese) Entertainment.”
Question 3 – How many people are on Neko Entertainment team?
“It depends of the projects, but basically the main team includes between 10 and 15 persons.”
Question 4 – Can you tell me a little bit about the Neko Entertainment team and what each person does?
“At the very beginning of each project a Creative Director, is working on new ideas, new features depending on what we expect, and what platform we are working on… Then one or two Game Designers are developing these ideas, explaining mechanics, creating the Game Design who will be the main document to help Level Designers, programmers to create the game (this Game Design will change along the project, if needed). Some graphists will design all the assets used in the game leaded by the Art Director. As soon as we got a first playable, I test it, check if everything has been implemented correctly and of course if there are no bugs in the game. This is the main team, but we got a lot of others colleagues who are working with us, like the Business Dev.Manager, who’s looking for new opportunities, and deals, the Technical Director, the IT Manager and of course the Managing Director.”
Question 5 – What was your inspiration to create Puddle for the Nintendo Wii U ?
“Puddle began as a project by six students of the video game school ENJMIN. It won a Student Showcase prize at the Independent Gaming Festival at GDC 2010, and was later picked up by Neko Entertainment. There, those same six students were able to turn it into a full-fledged game.
They were inspired at first by Rube Goldberg machines, these incredibly complex constructions that nearly do nothing useful but are quite fascinating to watch. They tried to combine with our primary goal of playing with fluids, they struggled between a pure puzzle game and a racing game. In the end, they tried to keep some key elements from both these gameplay without imposing too much of the hassle that could go with the dynamic nature of fluids.”
Question 6 – How many months did it take to create Puddle?
“The main version of the game released on XBLA/PSN tooks about one year to develop.”
Question 7 – What other games have you created and worked on before in the past?
“We worked on so many games, I cannot list them all here. But the most popular are “DodoGo!” trilogie (DodoGo!/DodoGo Challenge/DodoGo Robot), Alexandra Ledermann 3DS, and of course the Cocoto sequel.”
Question 8 – What was your inspiration to start working on and creating games for Nintendo platforms?
“It is not an inspiration but an evidence : today Nintendo’s platforms are essentials, and recently with the Wii U : the development was quite enjoyable !”
Question 9 – Are you currently working on any other games at the moment?
“Yes, we are working on several games on many platforms. The Nintendo Wii U will be one of these platforms ! But I cannot tell you more at the moment !”
Question 10 – How much did it cost to create Puddle?
“Lot of money, time and investment since years now! And it still continues: our teams are continuously doing great job to promote Puddle!”
Question 11 – What would you tell other beginning developers that would like to create their own game?
“Take your time to finalize your game ! Most of the time the development are always too short and the QA is the first thing we decide to shorten, and that’s definitely the biggest mistake you could do. Test your game, make playtests often to get the best feedbacks (when you work on a game, you are used to every side of the game (tutorials, dangers/hitting zones, menus…)) and change the details that could improve your game !”
“And of course, keep passion and pleasure to develop your games. Very often, when you are working hard, you are tired, things don’t work as you expected, you should never forget how lucky you are to mix work and pleasure/passion !”
We hope you enjoyed yet another one of our great interviews!