Discover Pearl Harbor Trilogy for WiiWare with our developer interview
When Legendo Entertainment set out to create a flight simulation for Wii, there was plenty to take into consideration. From implementing immersive controls to balancing arcade action and historical accuracy, the Swedish developer was aiming high from the outset.
Now the fruits of their labour are ripe and almost ready for the picking in the shape of Pearl Harbor Trilogy – a series of three downloadable WiiWare games that put players in the cockpit of faithfully recreated fighter planes from the Pacific War era.
We spoke with CEO and Executive Producer at Legendo Entertainment, Bjorn Larsson, to get the inside track on the process of taking Pearl Harbor Trilogy from a drawing board dream to a fully realised reality.
When creating the games in the Pearl Harbor Trilogy, did you start out by looking at ways to bring fresh and original ideas to the flight simulation genre? If so, what were some of the specific areas you thought could be improved upon from other flight simulation games?
We’ve noticed that in other flight games, controlling and manoeuvring the plane is often unnecessarily complex. We believe this prevents many players from taking to the skies. So with that in mind, we set out to create a fun and fluid, pick up and play motion-controlled air-combat action game that was emphasising historical accuracy but would in no way be mistaken for a simulator.
Also, one of the main drives behind Pearl Harbor Trilogy was to reinvent the magic from the arcades and classic console games, and we believe that paying homage to the arcade roots that the games industry rests upon is a noble cause for any console game.
Pearl Harbor Trilogy certainly looks spectacular and you’ve clearly worked very hard to bring the game world to life. What are some of the other ways you help transport players to the historical period the games depict?
Visually speaking, we have dressed up the game’s presentation with an aged comic book style to give it a bit of a historical feel but in a fun, arcade-like manner. We have also made sure that the various American and Japanese plane types and the mission locations are historically accurate, and of course that the campaign missions are unlocked in an appropriate order that follows the timeline of the Pacific War.
As the “trilogy” of the game title suggests, there are going to be three separate Pearl Harbor downloads coming to WiiWare. Can you share with us a bit about how those differ, and the benefits of playing all three parts?
Each game in the trilogy focuses on a different time-period of the Pacific War, with the first title, 1941: Red Sun Rising, including the aircraft and missions of the early years. Subsequent parts will include additional plane types and more historical missions from later in the war, and we are of course also planning on including a few surprises in terms of additional play mechanics and manoeuvring features to make sure each part of the trilogy is relevant while also offering something new.
How have you utilised the unique features of Wii and what do the Wii-specific elements you’ve focused on add to the overall gameplay experience in Pearl Harbor Trilogy?
Wii has enabled us to pay special attention to the game’s use of motion controls, which really enhances the flight experience. We believe that motion controls make 3D gaming much more accessible, and this is especially true for flight games. It just feels more natural to move the controller in a 3D space than to try to do the same with a controller with sticks.
Why does WiiWare appeal to you as a platform for the trilogy?
WiiWare has allowed us to create an instantly enjoyable trilogy of air-combat action games and offer each part to customers for an attractive price. It costs us less time and money to make each title which means we can pass savings onto players, while also being able to take feedback into consideration between each instalment. And unlike other console download services, WiiWare does not require that we bloat our titles with unnecessary features or content, which enables us to concentrate on making the game itself.
The first game in the Pearl Harbor Trilogy, Pearl Harbor Trilogy - 1941: Red Sun Rising, will be available to download via WiiWare from 16 July, with the second and third instalments following soon after.