We've heard a lot of positive reactions to the Wii U version of the Nintendo eShop from many developers, including Toki Tori 2 developers Two Tribes Games. I got to ask Collin van Ginkel, one of the company's founders, about Toki Tori 2. His answers may surprise you (but probably won't).
BRG: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. First up, could you introduce yourself/ves and your company?
CVG: The name's Collin van Ginkel and I am one of the founders of Two Tribes. We've been making games for over ten years, and now we're working hard on getting Toki Tori 2 to a finished state for Wii U.
BRG: Toki Tori 2 is a sequel to the Game Boy Colour hit Toki Tori, which is still popular amongst fans some eleven years later. How did you come up with the idea of Toki Tori, and how is the story in Toki Tori 2 different to the original?
CVG: Toki Tori 1 sort of just came to be. There was never a pre-determined design or anything of the sort. So it's a happy accident that worked out really well for us.
For Toki Tori 2, we've thrown away anything story / world related from the original. As you mention, the game is eleven years old already, so it made sense to start fresh. What we kept were the core concepts behind what made Toki Tori fun, the rest is all new!
BRG: The Wii U and the console’s Nintendo eShop service are already generating some attention from developers including Frozenbyte, Renegade Kid and, of course, Two Tribes. What is it like developing for the Wii U’s eShop, being a brand new platform?
CVG: There are always some growing pains when you deal with a new platform, such as missing documentation or features that aren't yet implemented fully, but overall it's been a smooth ride. The eShop is off to a great start and we feel obligated to deliver a stellar game, if we are to stand proudly next to games like Trine 2 and Mighty Switch Force HD.
BRG: How did your company Two Tribes form and what is it like to run/work for an indie video game developer?
CVG: Once we managed to sell Toki Tori 1's publishing rights to Capcom in 2001, we decided it was time to take a stab at making it into a business. It's been hard at times, and we've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. Now we are in a place where we've wanted to be for a decade; developing our own games without compromising to keep publishers or investors happy.
BRG: You’ve said in the past that “a lot is riding on the success of Toki Tori 2”; is it a smart idea business wise to be developing a title so important to your company’s success on the Wii U eShop?
CVG: One of the lessons we've learned in the past is that it pays off to be available close to the launch of a new service or device. Even if a platform or service doesn't do well later in its lifetime, there are enough people interested in trying something new when it's launched, which is perfect for us.
We think the Wii U eShop has the makings of a really solid digital store, and we get the feeling Nintendo will be taking an active role in ensuring it evolves over time into something even better.
BRG: We understand that you are working on a Steam version of the game. Is there anything else you have in store for the Wii U eShop in the future?
CVG: We are planning on bringing EDGE and RUSH to it too. They will be based on the Steam versions of these games, and will make use of the Gamepad's additional features.
BRG: Is there anything else you would like to add?
CVG: We love Miiverse, and anyone interested in us is invited to follow 'TwoTribes' or myself, 'ColloU'. See you in Miiverse!