Interview – Jett Rocket Development
Jett Rocket is a fantastic platforming adventure Wii Ware title developed by Shin’en, which you can download now for only 1,000 Wii Points. Recently I had a chance to discuss the title’s development with Manfred Linzner who works as Project Manager at the studio. We discuss everything from motion controls, multiplayer and even Jett Rocket 2! Enjoy the interview and of course if you have yet to do so, take a look at our Video Tour on the game!
Jett Rocket features motion controls for dashing into enemies and re-fueling your jet pack, both of which feel very natural and fun to perform. There were however a few area in the game where motion controls seemed obvious, but instead use traditional analog controls. The Jett Boat race for example has players steering with the analog instead of tilting the controllers. Was there a certain reason for this decision?
We tested various motion control schemes. Using the Wiimote sideways worked perfect but this was not possible because the Nunchuk was connected with the Wiimote. The other possibility was to hold the Wiimote upside but this is very inaccurate, at least for the high speed controls we needed. So we finally used Nunchuk control because it gave the best gameplay.
Shin’en has developed several very fun multiplayer games on Wii Ware such as Art of Balance and Fun! Fun! Mini Golf. Was there ever any talk about a multiplayer experience in Jett Rocket or was it always meant as a single player experience?
We were very happy with the multiplayer mode in Art of Balance. We think playing it multiplayer makes it to one of the most enjoyable games on Wii Ware. Anyway, it is very hard to do a good multiplayer mode in a jump’n’run. Of course there is the possibility to use the 2nd player as a ‘helper’ like in SMG but that didn’t fit with the gameplay. So instead making a mediocre multiplayer mode we concentrated on a great single player experience.
Many people have mentioned they would love to see a full retail title on Wii from Shin’en. You’re a studio which really seems to have a great grasp on how to get the best out of your game on the Wii platform. Does Shin’en have any future plans on branching out into developing full retail games on Wii, or are you confortable with keeping to Wii Ware?
We did only retail games in our past. We enjoy now very much todo download games. I’m pretty sure you will see us in the future doing both.
Were there any games that inspired the development of Jett Rocket?
We all are big fans from Mario 64. It was the first great 3d game for us. It did so many things right. Even today many games struggle to get on pair with this classic. So i think that was a great inspiration for us in general.
After completing Jett Rocket players are shown a screen during the credits which mentions Jett Rocket 2. Is there anything you can possibly tell us about the game’s sequel at this time?
Jett Rocket come back. And maybe in a different way then expected. Thats all i can say right now
Many Wii Ware developers have found success with releasing several chapters of their games. Is this a direction we might see the Jett Rocket series go in as well?
We don’t like to have our customers paying twice or triple for a similiar experience. So i doubt we will ever do something like that.
In closing this interview is there anything you and the team would like to say to fans of Jett Rocket as well as any other Shin’en games?
Thanks for taking Jett Rocket to the top of the Wii Ware charts! And be assured the best is yet to come from Shin’en.
Huge thanks from TheBitBlock to Mr. Linzner and everybody at Shin’en for their time!