Kickin’ it with Ynnis Interactive – Mysterious Cities of Gold
Time for a new Kickin’ it with! This time we’re talking to Fleur Marty from Ynnis Interactive, a game studio that is working on Mysterious Cities of Gold for Wii U, 3DS, PC and iOS. Read on to learn more about this project.
4cr: Welcome! Can you tell our readers who you are and what you do?
Hello everyone ! I’m Fleur Marty, the executive producer for the Mysterious Cities of Gold video game, which basically means that I oversee the production and make sure that we are making a quality game while always keeping in mind our biggest goal: stay absolutely faithful to the animated series (I was a big time fan myself!).
4cr: What do we need to know about the Mysterious Cities of Gold animated series?
Originally, the Mysterious Cities of Gold was a very popular French-Japanese animated series from early 1980’s. It told the story of three children (Esteban, Tao and Zia), and their quest to find one of the seven cities of gold in the 16th century South America. They traveled with a Spanish navigator, Mendoza, flying the Golden Condor, a solar powered mechanical bird, and uncovering many mysteries.
In France, the Mysterious Cities of Gold really left a mark on a whole generation of children and in the past few years, those fans have made a lot of noise asking for a rebirth of the show. They were finally heard and a new season has been produced, involving one of the creator of the series, Jean Chalopin. This new season takes place in China, where the children travel to find the second city of gold.
4cr: The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Path is a game based on the animated series. You’re turning to Kickstarter to fund a PC release of the game, as well as full localization of voice acting and text into English and localization with subtitles-only for other languages. Why turn to Kickstarter for this goal with an almost finished game?
Well, the thing is, when we started developing the game, we planned to release it only to French speaking countries, because we genuinely thought that it was there that the vast majority of the animated series fans were. Also, we chose to develop for Nintendo platforms and iOS because we are making a family-oriented game that children and parents can play together, so those platforms seemed a very natural choice.
But then news of the game being in development got picked up by international media and suddenly we were flooded with messages from all over the world asking us if we were going to localize the game, and urging us to develop a PC version too. As we were, from the start, on a tight development budget, Kickstarter was a logical way to fund this while retaining creative control. We want to satisfy fans and creators of the show first and foremost, and who’s to say if the interests of big commercial publisher would align with theirs? There sure were other ways to go at this, but since most of us here come from an indie background, Kickstarter just felt the most compelling to us and we decided to go down that route with our fingers crossed. We certainly don’t regret it so far; the reception from the community has been incredible. The show really has a vibrant international fan-base, in many countries, and they’re putting their money where their mouth is too
4cr: Once the Kickstarter campaign is funded Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Path will be released on Wii U, 3DS, iOS, and PC in English. What are the main differences between each version? Will the 3DS version make use of the auto-stereoscopic 3D feature, or will you forego that option to improve the performance of the game?
We are working really hard on making sure that all of the versions are on par. The only key difference is that the iOS version won’t sport the cinematic cut-scenes, because it would make the file size of the game way too heavy for this platform. They are replaced with still-shots (coming directly from the animated series, just like the cinematics) and text. Digital comic style. But we are working on adding them as an optional pack that users could download if they want too, and if the space on their mobile device allows it.
For the 3DS, unfortunately, we lacked both time and money to take advantage of the 3D features in a meaningful way and we chose to focus on performance and to making all of the Wii U version features fit into the 3DS one (The Wii U is our lead development platform) .
4cr: Do you have any stretch goals for the campaign should you exceed the $30,000 main goal?
Yes we do ! As we said at the Kickstarter campaign launch, our first stretch goal would be adding subtitles for additional languages, like German, Italian or Portuguese (Spanish subtitles are already included in the initial funding goal).
Also, we have received numerous demands for Linux and Mac OS ports, so they should be our next stretch goals, if things go really well with the funding.
4cr: One of the rewards available for backers is a digital art book. What will be included inside, and how big will it be?
It will include both original artwork from the new season of the series and work material from the game itself, with comments about the whole process of adapting the assets from the series and transforming them into in-game elements. It contains 30 pages of material.
4cr: Once the game is released, will all the languages funded by the campaign be included in every version worldwide, or will the availability of languages be limited for each region’s version?
It depends which platform we are talking about.
On Nintendo platforms, the version released in America will contain US English, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian and French, while the version released in Europe, Australia and New Zealand will contain UK English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and French. This is tied to the Nintendo way of processing games.
On iOS and PC, all the languages will be included in every version worldwide.
4cr: Do you want to add anything else to conclude this interview?
I just want to thank each and every one of the people who are supporting this project and backing it. Each day that has gone by since we launched our Kickstarter, I have been more and more amazed by the support and the feedback we get from all over the world. I can’t begin to tell you how much that means, to me of course, but also to the whole team who has been pouring all their energy (and then some) into this project, for almost one year now. Backers, I have to say it : You are the true Children of the Sun
We want to thank Fleur Marty for taking the time to join us for this feature, and we look forward to reviewing The Mysterious Cities of Gold soon!