This series of articles will take a look at the development of Nintendo-published software. These Q&A sessions conducted by Nintendo Online Magazine, and transcribed to English exclusively by N-Sider staff member Anthony JC, come directly from the developers so as to give you a first-hand look at the amount of sweat and blood that goes into Nintendo's most celebrated releases.
Nintendo Co., Ltd - Brownie Brown
Animation & Character Design
Nintendo Co., Ltd - Brownie Brown
Q: Magical Vacation was the first game made by Brownie Brown. Why was the Game Boy Advance chosen as the platform?
Shin-ichi Kameoka: When the idea of a studio was discussed on paper with a friend, I was just working on the outline of my proposed company. I ended up approaching Nintendo about my idea, and they pretty much took care of everything as far as facilitating the studio. Although my original plan was to go independent, I was very pleased with the freedom and opportunity Nintendo has given us as a direct software house. From there we decided to start out on the Game Boy Advance.
Q: What did you enjoy about working with the Game Boy Advance?
Kameoka: Although it became a matter of individual liking, I hold a soft sport in my heart for 2D. With all the new technology, everyone seems to be making the transition to 3D and forgetting all about traditional mechanics.
Q: Why did you start out with an RPG?
Kameoka: Well. Our staff is most experienced in the field of role playing games. Considering the fact most of our experience was on the Super Famicom making 2D RPGs, continuing that role was a very comfortable one.
Q: How was the world of Magical Vacation created?
Nobuyuki Inoue: We tried to add a lot to the clich world of spirits and fictitious monsters all existing in the same plane as the heroes. We also made the setting a jungle, because it was much more exotic.
Q: In ordinary RPGs, during your jouney, new party members pop out of the blue and increase in number rapidly. But in the case of Magical Vacation, all the party members are introduced right at the beginning. That is pretty unique no?
Inoue: Yeah it can be a little unreasonable sometimes. With our game, the focus is about a group classmates who become friends and take on the adventure together. So you are with the same group of people from the very beginning and watch them develop together.
Q: The characters each have distinct personalities?
Kameoka: Mr. Inoue spent a lot of time identifying them. He wanted them to be very likeable and at the same time genuine.
Q: There are also several female characters.
Inoue: Although it was man-and-woman half-and-half in fact, the female characters seem to stand out the most.
Q: One of the female characters also becomes quite the authoritative figure.
Kameoka: Yes. It is very rare to see such a young school girl be so aggressive and strong. She is one of my favorite characters (laughs)
Q: How long would you say the Magical Vacation is?
Kameoka: Your first play through should easily take you about 30 hours.
Q: From now on, does the company plan to enlarge?
Kameoka: We currently only have one team. Although Nintendo owns the studio, we both decided we wanted to remain compact. In fact, our office will make sure we don't change our mind as the space is very narrow incase of larger staffs. However, there is a good chance we will expand to two or three teams, but we are not going to rush it.
Q: Will you exclusively focus on RPGs?
Kameoka: Well we do want to do other genres. Perhaps sometime in the future, however right now most of our ideas are all more or less RPGs which we had in the planning stages. We do want to develop them on the Game Boy Advance and other hardware formats in the future.
Q: Do you plan to ever develop 3D games?
Kameoka: Yes, well. I don't think we ever limited ourselves to just do 2D or 3D.