[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There have been plenty of fun puzzle games throughout the years that let players guide balls through traps and obstacles, such as Marble Madness and the Super Monkey Ball series, and now we’ve got a new addition to the genre with Percy’s Predicament on the Wii U.
Monty Goulet, CEO and Audio Director of Maestro Interactive Games, not only agrees with that comparison but he’s proud of it.To help spread the word Monty was kind enough to sit down with us and shed some some insight on Percy, bringing his company’s launch title exclusively to Nintendo’s platform, and what fans can look forward to in the future.
A big thanks to Monty and don’t forget to check out our review for Percy’s Predicament right HERE!
Congratulations on the release of Percy’s Predicament, Maestro’s first release, which recently debuted exclusively on the Wii U.
Thanks. We appreciate it.
How did the idea of the game come about, and why develop it for Nintendo’s home console?
We wanted to put together a casual title for gamers to enjoy on the platform. There are so many gamers out there using iPads, iPhones, Android devices, etc for pick up and play enjoyment on the go that we felt there should be some more of those games in the house. When we looked at the gamepad, we thought that a casual title would be perfect for the controller for both us to learn the hardware and for gamers to have fun with.
After playing the game, it reminds me a lot of Sega’s Super Monkey Ball, a series that’s always been closely associated with Nintendo consoles. Was this game at all an inspiration?
You know I have been asked this question a lot since the release, and surprisingly I have only played Super Monkey Ball 3D the title for the Nintendo 3DS. I think the main draw to me in that game was simply that it was a new take on the marble madness puzzle genre. I think the concept sort of crept in the game somewhere, (monkey in a ball…penguin in a ball… anyone?)
I was surprised to learn that you used to work for Retro Studios, specifically on the game Donkey Kong County Returns. What made you decide to break away and form your own studio?
As an audio designer, you are sort of put into the category of contractor. As a result when a project is over, your job is sort of up in the air. I really enjoyed my time at Retro Studios. I think the team there is fantastic and I am glad I got to work on a reboot of a franchise I grew up on as a kid. The issue with larger studios is that there tends to be a hierarchy of development and what I mean by that is, publishers follow the path that earns them the most revenue. Makes perfect sense right? This works for them but in my mind, I simply didn’t want to end up working on variations of the same games at different studios. I wanted to create new experiences.
Given your background in sound engineering I wasn’t surprised to learn that you formed Maestro as a studio that would produce games with “audio as a main focal point.”
How does audio impact the overall gameplay in Percy’s Predicament?
So, the audio is the main focal point as you will see in some of our upcoming titles. What Percy’s Predicament allowed us to do in terms of audio was create the entire audio system we needed integrated into the Wii U and other consoles. In terms of audio, development in the engine is sort of limiting, which ultimately would cause problems for us down the line. As a result, Maestro Interactive Games developed its own audio scripting system which is used inside Percy’s Predicament as well as our upcoming titles. So it’s not something you would hear as a gamer playing this game but it is something really substantial from an engineering standpoint. In terms of our future titles, the player will certainly be able to tell.
Will we be seeing Percy on any other platform, either mobile or perhaps another home console?
This is a Wii U exclusive title so the answer to that question is a no sadly. Could you see similar games on the other platforms by us? I wouldn’t rule it out, but in terms of Percy, he set up his igloo on Wii U.
I know Maestro has another title in the works, Acoustic Highway, that’s slated to hit all the next-gen platforms, which I assume refers to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, as well as the Wii U.
Could you tell us a little about the game and what players can expect?
Acoustic Highway is an interactive racing game and was actually started before Percy’s Predicament. We had to put it on hold due to the audio system I mentioned earlier. In this title, players choose one of five racers, with their own musical themes. Whichever racer is in first place, will dictate the soundtrack for the race, until another racer overtakes them that is. It features numerous race courses each with their own styles, from modern, to cartoon, to steampunk, to horror, to Tron-esque and even some video game inspired courses as well.
Beyond that, is there anything else lined up for Maestro Studios that fans should be on the lookout for?
So we announced Fade Into Darkness first, which is sort of an audio exploration game similar in style to Myst. We put this game on hold in the pre-production phase simply because the scope was far too large for a small team of three to do when I started the company. Now that the team is growing, we are looking at it again as we think it’s a really unique title to bring to gamers. We also have three prototypes we will be tweeting links to pretty soon, and whichever ones get the most interest we will pursue as well. There is one that I am really hoping gamers want as I think its something that all these next gen platforms are currently missing.