Learning New Moves: AiLive's Wei Yen Teaches Wii New Tricks
November 20, 2006 Page 3 of 4
GS: This seems like it’s aimed at independent developers, is that what Nintendo’s trying to do?
WY: This isn’t the question you’re asking, but I want to answer something else, if you don’t mind.
GS: Fair enough!
WY: My question is this: why did we take such detour to make this? Because LiveMove is really a detour for AiLive. We basically just did it because of my relationship with Nintendo, and we like the Wii remote and believe in it. So that’s why we took a detour to do this. The question is, why did we want to make this tool for developers?
Basically, big studios have lots of money, but they also don’t take many risks, do they keep developing the same genres they’re familiar with. Usually they don’t venture into new genres. So there are two goals we want to accomplish. One is, we want people to venture into new genres. In order to do that, to create a new genre with some originality, you do need to give people the ability to do quick prototyping. The second goal is, we also believe there’s a lot of creativity – I mean I’ve been in small companies and big companies – I’ve founded five companies so far, and every one succeeded. The difference between the big and small companies is that small companies can take risks. But, small companies don’t have enough resources.
So how so you unleash the creativity of these small companies, and let them get into the game quickly? The problem is how to unleash a lot of these small developers, and how to also let both big and small companies get into new genres. In the big studios today, in the graphics world specifically, it’s a tough job. People want originality, but on the other hand, originality means it will become a blockbuster, or it will fail miserably.
So big studios are trying to walk a fine line, developing sequels. So while on the one hand they’re looking for originality, on the other hand they’re really afraid of doing anything original. So if we can get some individuals, or newcomers, the undiscovered creators, to have the ability to quick prototype, even in the big studios, we might get some small groups of people saying ‘hey, we have this idea – we want to do this.’
So the idea was to create new genres, and to unleash the smaller developers, and the – I hate to use this word – but the secondary development teams in bigger studios.
GS: How will these independent developers apply for LiveMove, do be able to develop for Wii? Is it part of Nintendo’s approval process, or is it something someone can buy and work on on their own?
WY: You can do both. Right now, through Nintendo we already gave out several hundreds of them. But if you’re asking about people who aren’t Nintendo-authorized developers, I don’t see why not, but I don’t see why they would want to do that either.
GS: Well, they might be able to develop something on their own, and submit it to Nintendo to see if they like it.
WY: I don’t think Nintendo is so harsh in terms of approval and licensees anymore. I think the situation you’re talking about is the situation of the old days, I think now, all three companies, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are much more liberal in terms of approving licensees.
GS: Well, maybe in some ways. So is this meant for big games mostly, or also smaller Virtual Console-like games?
WY: I personally really want to see many, many little games come out. Wii is the perfect system for casual games, and I also feel that because the Wii remote unleashed not just one dimension, but multiple dimensions. So there’s the possibility of many many new games coming out. Many of them will be casual games. If you’ve seen the demo we did on our website, what you see there, we made in a half hour. We used LiveMove and created a game in a half hour. I think if we put that game on the net for people to play, it would be an excellent game.
But I think there are millions of that kind of casual game people can do. I’d personally like to see lots of those, not only big games, through electronic download, so developers don’t have to put up the inventory money. It makes the threshold much lower for publishing your own game.
GS: Do you know if Nintendo will be using this product themselves?
WY: They already did! Nintendo is actually the first user.
GS: What games did they use it on?
WY: (laughs) I can’t say.
GS: Of course not – I thought I’d ask anyway.
WY: Keep trying!
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