06.23.06

Elebits: intro and interview

Posted in Japanese, News at 11:35 am by yuka

Elebits character

From this article, courtesy of +D Games.

Konami’s Wii game, Elebits is one of the talked about games that appeared briefly at E3 this year. The developers say it wouldn’t have been made were it not for Wii and it’s innovative controller mechanism.

First off, let’s explain how the game’s played. It’s set in our normal world, not some far flung fantasy realm. The only difference is, that we can see Elebits (fairies of electricity). They are the only entities that power our machines, and so no petrol, gas or the like exists in this world. The object of the game is to capture these beings (how much time you’ve left and how many watts you’ve captured so far is displayed). Simple, huh? Depending on how many watts you have, you can switch on the light, use the microwave, and so on.

The player can move with the nunchaku control stick, stretch with the C button, duck with the Z button. By moving the Wii remote, you can scan the area, and with either the A or B buttons, you can release a beam with which to capture these pesky critters. This beam can also be used to lift things (even your next door neighbour’s house), turn taps, open drawers, open doors… you get the idea. (There are many picture books in-game that tells the story of Elebits and humans, apparently.)

The producer says that because of the Wii remote, they came up with this idea for a game in the first place. “Normal controllers just can’t do these subtle moves that this game requires.”
How did they come up with the name? – “Electronics + bits = Elebits. We also asked about 50 people to come up with designs for them, and we then winnowed it down from about a 100.”
Concept of characters? – “We wanted anyone to be able to play this game (in line with Nintendo policy), even women, so we made these characters cute in a slightly cheeky way. They also each have certain personalities and behaviour patterns. For example, the blue ones are ‘normal’, but the red ones are shy and will run quickly unless captured. They sing, they cry, they chat to each other… we feel it’s important to not lose focus on these subtle things.”
Story? – There is a story, and a purpose. There are stages too, but at this point, we are still fine-tuning things, so…
Simultaneous release as Wii? – “We would like to think that by autumn, this game will be available for play. Wii’s a machine that makes you want to play just by looking at it, so in that spirit, we would like to do that.”

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