At PAX West 2019, OnlySP had the opportunity to speak with Stephane Perez, creative director at Dotemu, to discuss Windjammers 2. We were excited to talk about what the studio learned from releasing the first Windjammers, how the team wanted to build on the previous game and the importance of physical media.
OnlySP: So one of the things you spoke about in previous interviews was that you re-engineered the first Windjammers game in order to understand how the game works. What was the most interesting thing you learned about how the game worked when you were in that process?
Perez: We learned a lot! The most important thing is that the game seems to be very simple to play at first. When we did the re-engineering, we discovered lots of tiny little things and settings that were absolutely astounding. The game was deep, really deep. The game is easy to play but very hard to master, so we learned why it was like this.
OnlySP: Is there anything about the first Windjammers game that you didn’t necessarily like and would like to change or improve on in Windjammers 2?
Perez: It’s difficult to come up with something that wasn’t great in the first game. It was kind of perfect like this. We just wanted to bring in new mechanics and new characters to make a different game, a real sequel, not a reboot. I don’t think there was something that we wanted to change from the first game.
OnlySP: How do you feel about Windjammers having tournaments hosted at larger fighting game events seeing as Windjammers is more of a sports title than a fighting game?
Perez: Some people think it’s more like a fighting game instead of a sports game. Obviously, it’s a great game for competition.
OnlySP: What are some things you learned from bringing Windjammers to modern consoles that have helped you during the development of Windjammers 2?
Perez: Well, we’re still on the development of Windjammers 2, but a huge part of doing Windjammers 1 on the actual design was the online part because it was really difficult to change the original NeoGeo code to make the online work. However, I think we’re good now with this aspect so we’re quite confident about the online component for Windjammers 2
OnlySP: Can you tell us about some of the new characters or game modes in Windjammers 2?
Perez: We tried to introduce new countries. It was very important for us to have countries that we don’t see often in video games. Some of these include Canada, France, and Brazil. They will all be surprises and you will see in a few months!
OnlySP: So Windjammers was on PlayStation 4, Vita, and Nintendo Switch, as well as coming to Google Stadia. Windjammers 2 on the other hand, so far, is coming to Nintendo Switch and PC. Just curious, is there a PlayStation 4 version planned right now?
Perez: I can’t tell now, but if all things go right, there probably will be!
OnlySP: So I got the first Windjammers game through Limited Run Games! Are there any plans for a physical release at all for Windjammers 2?
Perez: It’d be great a physical version for Windjammers 2. We like to play retro video games and it’s very important to have a physical box. I do try to collect games I used to play when I was a kid. If I don’t have the device to play the game, I like to have the box at home as decoration. It’s kind of weird but I like to touch the box! It’s important for us to have this kind of luxury, so it makes a lot of sense for us to have a physical box for Windjammers 2.
Windjammers 2 will release on Nintendo Switch and PC later in 2019.