Nintendo Enthusiast revealed a week ago that Teku Studios was bringing their debut game, Candle, to the Wii U eShop. The game is a beautiful hand-painted graphic adventure and will easily be one of the stand-out titles to release on the eShop over the next twelve months. Excited? I was, too, and decided to ask lead programmer Mike Vallès and lead artist Jose A. Gutièrrez some questions to find out more about the game…
Candle is described as “a dynamic graphic adventure,” but what actually does this mean in terms of game play? Which games inspired you to make Candle?
MIKE: Candle’s game play is based on classic \’Point & Click\’ adventures, however it has much more modern and open controls. The whole game is about solving puzzles, but the player has complete freedom over the character and his actions (walking, running, jumping, climbing, activating things…).
That’s why we say that our game inherits the spirit of classic cinematic adventures like Out of This World or Flashback. Players can move Teku all over each level and do whatever they want (most puzzles can be solved in any order).
JOSE: We love games like Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, Flashback or Heart of Darkness. They were our biggest inspiration for Candle.
Sounds like quite an ambitious game for a debut, how long has it been in development, and what platforms do you intend to release on?
MIKE: As a studio, we\’ve been developing Candle for a year and a half. We made some early concepts and prototypes whilst as University some years ago.
Initially, on PC (Mac & Linux). We want to take Candle to other platforms like Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One, but that depends on reaching our stretch goals on Kickstarter. We will try to get the game to as many platforms as possible, whether we reach our goals or not.
Who are Teku Studios, and what would you say is your mission as a developer?
JOSE: Teku Studios is a small indie game development studio from Spain. We are a very young and passionate team and Candle is our first game ever.
We want to be a creative studio that has a very distinctive and unique feeling to their games. That’s why we are developing Candle with such a traditional style.
How many people work at Teku and are helping create Candle?
MIKE: We are currently a 7-people team.
- Miguel Vallés (Mike), a 22-year-old software engineer and classic Nintendo lover.
- Jose A. Gutiérrez, a 23-year-old artist and classic graphic adventure lover.
- Elena Benedí, who is also 23 and is the only girl in our team (and an artist too!).
- Gelo Fleisher, our international fella (writer).
- Juan Diego Alegre, the other programmer of the team and \”the Elder One\”.
- Iker Mateo, the last of our artists.
- Pascual Gallego, the composer, works freelance.
You can check out the Kickstarter campaign here!
You mentioned earlier that Candle was your University project, can you detail the process for our readers?
JOSE: Well, since every degree has to include a project at the end (here in Spain at least), we thought that it was perfect for us to work on Candle as our project. So Mike and I worked on it for months and after that, we founded Teku Studios and set to work full time to complete the game.
There are quite a few 2D platformers being created by indie developers at the moment, how are you going to ensure Candle stands out, and what one aspect makes the game entirely unique?
MIKE: Well, Candle is not an arcade platformer. It’s and adventure game first and foremost, we\’re just making sure that it’s not controlled through an archaic control scheme like the classic \”Point & Click\” interface. We love those kind of games, but we feel that it’s about time to bring some versatility to their game play.
JOSE: Its art style is sure one hell of a unique feature! We don\’t know a single studio out there who paint THE ENTIRE GAME physically, with watercolours. It’s an insane process!
How far into research and development of the Wii U version are you and have you considered the systems unique abilities such as Miiverse or asymmetric gameplay?
MIKE: Still designing. We don\’t want to make a direct port of Candle. Instead, we want to make sure that each platform has its own gameplay features. With Wii U, we are excited with what the Gamepad offers. Many of Candle’s puzzles will be transformed to be played there, and we are trying to include some unique features for it. Candle doesn\’t have multiplayer or online features at all, so we are only focusing on its story and control for now.
JOSE: Candle will be played through Wii U’s Gamepad only. We are designing many puzzles (and menus or inventory, of course) to work with it’s screen.
That sounds awesome, the game is absolutely stunning, but when do you currently see the Wii U version launching?
JOSE: We don\’t know for sure. Since it’s not a direct port it will take us some time to get used to Wii U’s SDK and implement the Gamepad features. Hopefully between 1-2 months after the PC release (currently scheduled for January 2014).
The Wii U has garnered a lot of negative press since it’s launch last year, why did you decide to bring Candle to the platform and do you think Nintendo are getting on the right track?
MIKE: Because as a creative studio we don\’t see any barriers that could prevent us from doing so. Instead, we look at Wii U’s Gamepad features and say “Hey! There’s a lot of stuff we can do with it”. I love Nintendo and it will be like a dream to finally able to bring Candle to their latest console.
As for the right track, I\’m not sure. I can\’t be impartial since I\’ve grown playing Nintendo consoles and their games. It just feels natural to me to bring some of my games to their platforms.
JOSE: They need to do better on the games perspective. They need some big blockbuster to make the people realize that their console is worth buying after all, no matter its “power”.
Once development is complete, what’s on the cards next for Teku Studios? Perhaps some additional content for Candle?
JOSE: Candle is a full experience and we want it to stay like that. However, we had to cut out quite a bit of content from the game. We may release some additional levels after the game’s released with a bunch of those ideas, but it is unclear if we would do that or not. If we did, it will be as a free “thank you” DLC.
MIKE: More games! We have already one idea or two growing inside our minds. But it’s too early to talk about that.
Could you see yourself developing more games for the Wii U or perhaps even the 3DS?
MIKE & JOSE: Why not? Who knows where the future may lead us.
Thanks for Mike & Jose for taking the time to answer our questions, and we wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your Kickstarter campaign. We\’re all eagerly awaiting playing Candle on our Wii U’s here at Nintendo Enthusiast!