Interview With Soon Shine Developer Dahku Creations
Soon Shine to shine soon on Nintendo Wii U
Mii-gamer continues its mission to support the Indie developers that provide us with fun and enjoyable experiences on the Wii U and 3DS eShop. Last week, Dahku Creations announced a peculiar title that caught my eye – Soon Shine for the Nintendo Wii U. Soon Shine is an action-puzzle game that puts the player in control of the Sun and Moon to defeat ravenous spirits greedy for energy.
In my opinion, Soon Shine’s simple facade could in fact mask a deceptively fun and addictive experience. To learn more about Soon Shine – we caught with the developer behind the game – Dahku Creations to discuss Soon Shine in further detail.
Without further ado, let’s start the interview!
Mii-gamer: For anyone that may be unfamiliar with your company, can you tell us more about Dahku Creations? Who you guys? What you do? What are your inspirations and aspirations?
Dahku Creations: We’re Paul and Toby, two brothers with a love for Nintendo that reaches back to the NES days. As artists we have varying levels of interest and proficiency in graphic arts, music, writing, etc. with games having always been a major source of inspiration to us on all these fronts. We enjoy making video games because it allows us to combine all those different artistic mediums into one, along with fun gameplay concepts and player interaction.
That said, we’re just starting out, and we’re sort of in a trial period at the moment. We’re releasing modestly sized titles that the two of us can see to completion in a reasonable amount of time. If things go well and it looks feasible to continue, we have many far more ambitious projects we would love to introduce down the road.
Mii-gamer: A few days ago – you proudly announced that Soon Shine will be launching on the Wii U eShop. Can you explain the premise of Soon Shine? What was the inspiration behind the game?
Dahku Creations: Soon Shine puts players in control of the sun and moon’s power to fight off little spirits that are hungry for energy. It sounds incredibly simple, but some spirits are drawn to the sun’s energy, and others to the moon’s, and choosing when to switch between the two and which spirits to squash when makes the whole thing very dynamic.
As for the inspiration, Soon Shine was born of two concepts. Toby had long been interested in the concept of an action game that could keep players addictively going and going in the same way a great puzzle game does. When Paul designed the sun and moon characters and envisioned them in a game where fingers flew frantically around a touch screen, we were able to work the concept into a game that unexpectedly became exactly the type of game Toby had wanted to make. It really isn’t right to call Soon Shine an action game or a puzzle game, but it is an action-puzzle game.
Dahku Creations: It’s played on the GamePad’s touch screen (stylus recommended). The gameplay has a lot of depth, but is very simple to get into- you simply swipe at the screen from either direction to reverse day and night, and tap at the incoming spirits to send them packing.
Mii-gamer: Is Soon Shine played entirely on the GamePad screen?
Dahku Creations: 100%. We considered adding in some optional buttons such as pause and a swipe-shortcut, but ultimately we felt the game really just works best using only the touch screen and not worrying about other buttons cluttering the experience.
Mii-gamer: Since Soon Shine has a heavy focus on score-racking, can fans expect online leaderboards?
Dahku Creations: Implementing online leaderboard functionality for Wii U is more difficult and time consuming than one might expect, so not in the initial release. However, if the game is successful enough to warrant it, then that would definitely be our priority update. In the meantime, the high scores for all the game’s modes are displayed together on one screen, and we hope players will enjoy sharing screen caps of their scores to Miiverse.
Dahku Creations: The “Standard” mode has no limitations and includes item usage, but there’s also a “Purist” mode for playing without items and a 3-minute “Timed” mode that shakes up how you need to play and is good for really quick sessions.
Mii-gamer: Reading through your websites blog, it appears you are listening to the feedback regarding your first Wii U game, Chubbins. What feedback have you taken into consideration while developing Soon Shine?
Dahku Creations: We have a deep fondness for the games and consoles we grew up on, but some of the values of those early days hurt us considerably with Chubbins. The whole “gameplay over graphics” philosophy hasn’t held up very well, and the gameplay itself has been perceived as far too difficult.
Soon Shine is a very different type of game. Aside from the overall knowledge that comes from a first time doing anything, it’s difficult to directly apply what we learned from Chubbins, but we did put extra effort into making graphics that we hope will be better received.
Dahku Creations: It’s a unique concept that needs a touch screen to get the level of speed and precision required, which makes it perfectly suited to the Wii U’s GamePad.
Mii-gamer: Being a two man development, has Nintendo been helpful and accommodating during the development of Soon Shine? How has your experience been like working with Nintendo?
Dahku Creations: We haven’t gotten any special assistance or anything, but Nintendo has been awesome to work with and their support is wonderful, be it with development or the distribution process.
Mii-gamer: What is your opinion on the Wii U hardware? Is the hardware easy to develop for?
Dahku Creations: We work in Unity, which admittedly makes a lot of development aspects easier to deal with. There were still plenty of hurdles with our first game, Chubbins, as we got used to console development. Things went a lot smoother with Soon Shine thanks to our prior experience, so all in all Wii U seems easy enough to develop for. And we do like the hardware, and its various control schemes open up a lot of possibilities.
Dahku Creations: As soon as possible, pending Nintendo’s approval. At this point we’re hoping for a mid-August release.
Mii-gamer: In a few sentences, can you tell us why Wii U fans should be excited for Soon Shine?
Dahku Creations: There’s more to Soon Shine than meets the eye, and by that we don’t mean that there’s a whole bunch of hidden things and surprises to discover. What we do mean is that you can’t truly appreciate how fun the gameplay is by simply watching the trailer; you have to play it yourself. That’s why we’re pricing Soon Shine at just $1.99, so that the cost isn’t a hurdle for those interested, and we hope people will find it to be a very robust title for such a low price.
I would like to thank Toby and Paul of Dahku Creations for taking the time out of their busy schedule to answer our questions. If you want to learn more about Soon Shine, and stay updated with the latest news -then please visit Dahku Creations Official Website and follow them through Twitter. Also, please check out Chubbins on the Wii U eShop!