The Lost Candiosity-Filled Pocket Paradise Interview Questions
Stop. Hammertime. Before you continue on with this Feature, go and read MundoRare's transcript of the Pocket Paradise interview. This Feature will not make sense without it.
Read it? Good. As you've probably at least heard, various fansites that have covered the Viva Piñata were invited to the second chat Rare has had with its fans, the first being the chat with Gregg Mayles over Nuts & Bolts. For Rare to conduct an interview with the fans over a new version of a nearly 2 year-old game was certainly an interesting prospect, as fans had to make an effort to ask new questions without getting the obligatory "We don't comment on rumo(u)rs, speculation, or we're just not telling you. Buy the damn game" comments from the interviewee.
Originally, while DKU wasn't initially invited due to a little mix-up, the DKU was nonetheless invited to ask questions to Paul Machacek. (Un)fortunately, Mother Nature decided to see otherwise, and as the only one of the three webmasters that were invited (Chad, Slush, and myself) who's been paying attention to this game since Comic-Con 2007, I was effectively screwed over by Mother Nature herself.
While Mother Nature may have screwed over my invite by forcefully not being able to attend, Rare has shown once again that they care for their fans. Thanks to the efforts of both George Kelion and Paul Machacek himself, here's an oxymoron in itself: a DKU exclusive of the questions that I ultimately had the opportunity to ask. Feel free to mentally sort them wherever you please in the order of the MundoRare transcript.
Mark: Ken Lobb mentioned that there were two DS games in development in
2004. The recent fansites interview had you [Machacek] stating that it
wasn't the idea from the beginning to bring Viva Piñata to the DS. So
my questions to you are: did the sales of the Xbox 360 version at
first merit the DS team to make Pocket Paradise the next DS title?
Paul Machacek: I can't answer for what Ken was reported to have said, however, during the course of DKR DS production we started to think what to do next. VP1 was still in production and the more I looked at it the more I loved it and could see possibilities for it working well on DS. In mid-late DKR development we had a lot of meetings about the next project and VP kept coming back into the discussions. I remember well sitting in Simon Farmer's office one day, looking at an early build of VP1 and we both looked at each other at the same time and said that it would work well with a touch screen. We eventually decided it was a really good fit and we really wanted to support this great new product and build a solid franchise. We were never influenced by sales as VP1 wasn't even released when we made the decision. However, harking back to previous questions about making VP a handheld title, it was originally supposed to be a handheld title (on a PDA or phone), so I guess we got there in the end :)
Mark: Furthermore, if Ken Lobb's claims still stood after DKR DS' release in
2007, were any plans that the DS team had before Pocket Paradise's
development put on hold, or canceled indefinitely?
Paul Machacek:: No, I think my previous answer covers this. We discussed several options for a couple of months, but VP kept coming back and it eventually made too much sense. I can't believe, looking at what my team eventually produced, that it was ever in any doubt that we would do this.
Mark: Lastly, would a sequel to Pocket Paradise a la Trouble in Paradise
ever be considered, or does the team consider Pocket Paradise to be
the ultimate Viva Pinata experience on the DS?
Paul Machacek: Microsoft does not comment on rumour and speculation...
...however, this is Rare so; We want to build a solid franchise, we'll see what happens to VP:PP and VP2 when they release. Clearly, if we sell a gazillion of them then we would find it hard not to consider what to do next. If you like what we've already done in VP1, love what we're now doing with VP2 and VP:PP and want to see more then please support us and buy our games. It's that simple.
You heard the man, non-Xbox 360 owners. If you want portable continuations without shilling for an Xbox 360, you know what you have to buy come this September.
Hopefully these questions helped expand the already-finished interview of the most anticipated DS title of 2008. Until next time, long live portable Piñatas!
The DKU once again sends thanks towards George Kelion, Paul Machacek, and all of Rare. Not only for making a dangerously addictive game on the 360, but for giving fans a chance at another interview and giving this particular fan a second chance.
Mark has 37 Dragonache fantasies per second trimester.