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Pong Toss Pro Interview with JV Games

by Matthew Blundon - July 9, 2010, 11:27 pm PDT
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We talk to JV Games about their latest WiiWare release.

With the recent release of Pong Toss Pro: Frat Party Games on the WiiWare service, we managed to catch up with a representative from JV Games to dig a little deeper into the background of the game.

Nintendo World Report (NWR): What was your inspiration to create a frat party game for WiiWare?

JV Games (JV): The main goal for Frat Party Games is to create simple and fun games were a player doesn’t have to invest hours of game play.  We want to create games where if someone that is no good at video games or intimidated by them they can simply pick up a controller and be competitive with others. We were always talking about the college style games we used to play and how much fun we had with them.  A light just went off, those styles of games fit perfectly for the Wii because they are so competitive and simple.

NWR: Frat Party Games - Pong Toss was panned by reviewers when it was first released. How did you use that negativity when creating your other WiiWare games, specifically Pong Toss Pro - Frat Party Games?

JV: In a way we expected the negativity on Pong Toss.  Most reviewers belong to the hardcore crowd and they are typically pretty harsh to casual games.  Pong Toss & Pong Toss Pro is a casual game designed for a party environment.  In PTP, we did address most if not all of the reviewer’s complaints like better graphics & sound.  We changed the AI so easy mode isn’t so hard and redesigned our throwing system so it works like Dart Rage and is very accurate now.

NWR: Why did you decide to price Pong Toss Pro - Frat Party Games at 600 points as opposed to 800 like its predecessor?

JV: We priced PTP at 600 points because it seems to be a state of market.  The public has a general consensus that these styles of games should be priced about here.  We felt that it was very fair price point.

NWR: What new features does Pong Toss Pro - Frat Party Games boast that are absent from its predecessor?

JV: The game for the most part has been completely rewritten.  We have revamped all the graphics, completely rewrote the throwing engine so it’s much more accurate, got rid of the midi music and replaced it with rock themed MP3s and added an announcer.  There is now a tournament bracket system for both Pong Toss and Speed Pong.  This was one of the most requested features from our fans.  We also changed out a speed pong power-up to Flip Cup.  A lot of people didn’t get the invisibility from the old one.

NWR: There was some controversy surrounding the original name of Frat Party Games - Pong Toss in the US. Would you mind explaining that and how you went about to combat it?

JV: There was a lot of controversy about the game originally being called Beer Pong, which Pong Toss essentially is.  After discussing this with Nintendo and a couple of the involved parties, they felt that changing the name would change the fact that you’re not playing Beer Pong.  We felt it was really ridiculous but agreed; anyone just looking at the game knows that it’s Beer Pong.

NWR: What are the advantages of developing a game for WiiWare as opposed to other consoles?

JV: The development costs for WiiWare are much smaller as compared to XBLA and also less saturated.  We also have the advantage of using the Wii Remote which no other system has yet.

NWR: Do you have any other WiiWare games in the works? If so, when can we expect to play them?

JV: At this time we have no other WiiWare games in development.  We have a couple on the drawing board but nothing we’ve committed to.

NWR: Would you ever consider creating a game for the DSiWare service?

JV: We are throwing around some ideas and in the next couple of months we might get our feet wet.

NWR: You have developed four other games for the WiiWare service besides Pong Toss Pro - Frat Party Games. Which of those was the most enjoyable to work on and which is your favorite to play?

JV: That’s really a tough question, I really enjoyed working on all of them.  I love playing Incoming with my gamer friends because it’s so intense.  Just last night, I showed my friend Cathy Christmas Clix and got her addicted.  I play Dart Rage and PTP the most though.  I’m involved with a lot of parties and those are always playing.  I would have to say that Pong Toss Pro is my current favorite.

NWR: While all of your WiiWare games have been released on the North American WiiWare service, only one of them has been released in Europe. Have you ever considered releasing any more there?

JV: We are not too keen on releasing anymore in Europe.  Nintendo really dropped the ball there.  With the release costs being so much higher, the amount of installed units, the fact that very few people there even know about WiiWare and broadband issues in so many areas we feel that the risk vs. cost just isn’t worth it for us.

NWR: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

JV: Thank you for this opportunity and we greatly appreciate your support.  I hope you all give PTP a try, and I look forward to your emails.  Thanks again.

Thank you to JV Games for making this interview possible!

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