With the release of Kung Fu Rabbit on PS Vita, we decided to sit down with Benjamic Cestac from Neko Entertainment to discuss all things Kung Fu Rabbit, the indie landscape and all things next gen.
Kung Fu Rabbit was originally a mobile game. What is the reason that you decided to port it to other platforms?
First, we loved the game made by Ctools, Cazap and Bulkypix and we wanted to release it on consoles to be enjoyed by even more people! But we also knew real controls would suit the game better and allow us to be more precise than only touch screen controls.
You have released Puddle and Kung Fu Rabbit on Wii U when not many other developers were releasing on the console. What has made the team so inspired to release on Wii U over other home consoles?
We maintain a good relationship with Nintendo, plus the Wii U is a fresh new console, so the catalogue of games is not big for the moment. For any game it is easier to exist on a smaller market. For an indie game, that can’t make advertising like bigger games, the main problem is to be seen by potential players. So Wii U seemed a good solution for a first console release.
You are now releasing the game on Vita. How is this version different from the Wii U or other mobile versions?
The main difference remains in the controls. You can play on the Vita with 3 different controls, with the stick to move and the buttons to jump, as you would play on the Wii U gamepad, with the stick and the touch screen or the stick and the rear touch pad. As the game has a simple gameplay, based on precision of jumps, we made sure the player feels comfortable with the controls.
It’s clear that team Neko love releasing on platforms with touch screens. In what ways do you think that a touch screen improves gameplay?
Well, it surely brings the notion of sensibility, smoothness to controls. Nevertheless, it’s not really the touch screen that interested us in this project, as Kung Fu Rabbit was originally a mobile game entirely controlled by touch screen. The PS Vita kept the original of playing everywhere but with enhanced controls.
Now that both the Xbox One and PS4 have been fully revealed, which are you more excited to work on?
Tough one. I would have say PS4 but we saw that Microsoft rewind on some announcements. I think we won’t rush on the next-gen consoles and wait to see what are the final features are.
Do motion controls such as Kinect or Playstation Move interest team Neko at all?
Well why not? It depends more of the project I think, for example we found interesting to adapt Puddle for Leap Motion.
How excited are you to get your hands on the new Dualshock 4 and see what you can do with that new Touchpad?
We love discovering new ways of playing but, again, we’ll wait and once we have it in hand we’ll see what’s really possible.
What can we expect to see in the near future from Team Neko? Does the team have aspirations to work on a full fledged retail release?
Neko is ambivalent. We do co-production with other indie studios, helping them reaching different platforms (recently Storm on Steam from Eko Software), and we have more projects like this coming up (Poöf Vs The Cursed Kitty from ex-Arkedo team for example).But we also have a development team that is working on the Mysterious Cities of Gold, a game adapted from the animated show and edited by Bigben that will be released on different platforms in retail. And Puddle will finally be out on iOS soon!
Kung Fu Rabbit is available on Vita now in Australia/Europe and on the 16th of July in America. The Wii U version is available worldwide.