– Hi Martin and thanks for giving us the opportunity to make this interview. First of all, who are you, Broken Rules, and what is Chasing Aurora?
Broken Rules is a small indie developer based in Vienna, Austria. The story of Broken Rules began 5 years ago with the start of the development of And Yet It Moves. Chasing Aurora is actually only our second game. It’s a launch title for the Nintendo Wii U. The game is a local multiplayer action-game about flying.
– We’ve seen some footage of Chasing Aurora and it is beautiful. But, what’s the main purpose in the game? How is the gameplay and what are your objectives once you are flying?
There are four game modes in Chasing Aurora and each of them is quite different. The multiplayer modes are based on folk games. One is Freeze Tag, where you have to freeze other players or flee from the ice bird, depending on the role you play. Another game mode is Hide & Seek. Then there’s Chase Mode, which is a game of catch. Grab the glowing gem and fly as fast as you can. The single player mode is a time challenge where you race through a level following a path of gates. If you rack up enough points you unlock the next track.
– Seeing the art direction, one can only think that the visuals and style are important for you. Do you think that games are more than just entertainment? Art, for instance.
Games can definitely be art, just like books, music and movies. But for Chasing Aurora we did not intend to make an art piece. We wanted to make something entertaining and worthwhile. Something personal, too. And, yes, we are always aiming for making something that sticks out.
– Correct me if I’m wrong, but the game setting is based on the Alps. What is the importance of the nature in this game?
When we thought about a setting we realised that there is a huge and impressive scenery all around us. And we thought: Why should every game play in remote locations? Why not make a game that takes place right around the corner instead? So we went for it. Chasing Aurora takes place at a time outside our history and the pure and untouched nature did in fact play a more significant role during the development than just presenting a nice backdrop.
– The game looks very relaxing, judging by the images we’ve seen. If a player just want to chill and disconnect a bit from everything else, should he play it just for the pleasure of flying and watching these gorgeous views?
You’re referring to our Mood Teaser which was released over a year ago. The game has changed a lot since then. Back in those days we planned to make a singleplayer game as well as a small multiplayer sequel/addition. The story-based singleplayer game grew enormously big and we soon realised that we would not be able to have it ready at the launch of the Wii U. So we postponed the singleplayer game and went for the multiplayer first. That means, no, you can’t play it to relax. But you can play it with friends until the singleplayer comes out. There’s no official announcement regarding the date for that yet, though.
– Nintendo Wii was a perfect console for local multiplayer. We can think that Wii U is probably following the trend, due to the new asymmetric gameplay. How are you taking advantage of the features of the console?
We’re doing exactly that. We use the GamePad for asymmetric gameplay. In Freeze Tag, one player, the ice bird, plays against the team, so he gets the GamePad. In Hide & Seek, one player has to hide from the team, so he’s the one playing on the GamePad. Also, the singleplayer racing mode can be played on the GamePad alone as well as on the TV.
– You have already released And Yet It Moves in WiiWare, so you are coming back to a Nintendo console. What has changed since AYIM? Do you feel that Nintendo now knows better what smaller studios want?
Nintendo is very supportive to small developers and more so with the eShop than ever before. The online features are a huge step forward for Nintendo and we’re really looking forward to what game developers will do with them.
– Chasing Aurora is a Wii U launch digital game. How long have you been developing it? When did you decide to make this game and why did you choose Wii U? How was the development?
We chose the Wii U because we wanted to do a local multiplayer game and a console – especially one from Nintendo – is the perfect platform for that. We’ve worked on the whole project for nearly two years now, but only the last 8 months were spent working solely on Chasing Aurora. The rest was dedicated to getting our game engine up to speed and developing the as-of-yet unnamed story-based singleplayer game.
– Now let’s speak a bit about the future. What can we expect from Broken Rules in the near future? Any new games on the horizon?
This is the point where I can tell a bit more about our planned singleplayer game that we’re already working on. Yet all I can do is tease a little bit. We’ve got a few hours of gameplay ready. It’s playing in the same world but it is much more relaxed than Chasing Aurora. It’s all about exploring the world.
– And finally, what is your favorite game this year?
Mine, personally: Dark Souls, just like last year. But Dishonored is also quite good and so is FTL, Super Hexagon and Hotline Miami. I’ve only played Little Inferno on the Wii U and that is hot
– Thanks again for the interview and hope the game becomes a huge success. Looking forward to playing it on 30/11!
Thank you for taking the time to interview me.