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Oops! Prank Party Interview with Yukihiro Kobayashi

by Neal Ronaghan - September 29, 2010, 4:39 pm PDT
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We talk about what makes the game special, how it stacks up to Mario Party and Wii Party, and the future of the series.

We had the chance to interview Producer Yoshihiro Kobayashi about Oops! Prank Party, Hudson's new party game, which is due out on October 5 for $19.99. Hudson, as most of you know, used to work on the Mario Party series with Nintendo, and Oops! Prank Party is the first time since the series ended that Hudson has worked on a party game of that type.

Nintendo World Report (NWR): What has the team behind Oops! Prank Party worked on previously?

Yukihiro Kobayashi (YK): The teams have worked on Mario Party as well as the Bomberman series, so there's quite a pedigree of party games!

NWR: What inspired Oops! Prank Party? Specifically, why is there such an emphasis on pranking?

YK: There are a lot of party games that concentrate on the multiplayer aspect, but not as many games focus on the aspect of winning and losing. The player's desire to advance above other opponents is the key factor that makes a party game truly fun! So, we brainstormed ways that would make the players not want to lose. The losing penalty, as well as the embarrassment of the way people's expressions change when they lose was what we wanted to recreate here. That's where the idea of dressing the competition in ridiculous outfits came from and it's been hilarious ever since!

NWR: Since it has been three years since the last Mario Party, why has it taken this long for Hudson to release a spiritual successor to it?

YK: To this day, Mario Party is doing very well, and in order to create a new party game, we thought we needed a very distinct game to come from that same party game vein.

NWR: Do you think that there is still more to be done in the realm of Wii party games, or is it time for a successor for the system to come out?

YK: I think that the users will buy games that interest them, and not necessarily depending on the platform. So in that sense, I believe that the Wii still has promise. I can also understand that if a unique game is introduced on a newer platform, then that's always a crowd pleaser! Now, I don’t have enough knowledge regarding new platforms, so all I can do is dream at this time...

NWR: What are your thoughts on Wii Party? What separates Oops! Prank Party from it?

YK: There are definitely a lot of fun factors in Wii Party, especially the way the game introduced yet another new way of using the Wii Remote. There are some similarities between Oops! Prank Party and Wii Party in that they are both party games using players' own avatars. But as I said before, there is a distinct difference when it comes to the major objective with Oops! Prank Party – that is, to have the players experience the sweet feel of victory as well as the embarrassment of defeat.

NWR: What separates Oops! Prank Party from the rest of the mini-game collection and party games out on Wii?

YK: First thing is that there are 100 party games in there, all playable at the start with up-to-four players. We tried to gather all sorts of games and players will be able to play all of them from the day they buy it. Another factor is the comical presentation, such as short skit-like events during the transition between the games in Master Mode. Finally, and I can't stress this enough, there is the embarrassment factor. Your avatar will go though some of the most over-the-top costumes and actions you've seen on Wii!

NWR: Members of the development team behind Wii Party recently said that they weren't allowed to do certain things to Miis. Is that part of the reason why Oops! Prank Party uses other avatars? Were there any other reasons for this?

YK: I do have to admit that what we wanted to do in Oops! Prank Party wasn't possible using the Miis, so we just decided to create our own Avatar system.

NWR: Do you believe that Oops! Prank Party could be the start of a new franchise?

YK: We went all out on this one without thinking about a sequel, so we really haven't had the mentality of thinking up anything to follow this up on. But we would like to consider the future of this title or franchise after we see gamers' reactions to it.

NWR: Do you think that the Deca Sports series could benefit from fusing with Oops! Prank Party?

YK: I'll be the first to admit that this title is more unconventional than Deca Sports. It's all up to the Deca Sports producer whether he'll allow that element to be incorporated into his series...

NWR: Lastly, do you have any final words for our readers? Why do you think they should pay attention to Oops! Prank Party?

YK: They will be able to create avatars that look exactly like themselves, friends and family, and get together and have one of the most hilarious times to be had on Wii!

Thanks to Jean Son, Kobayashi-san, Hudson, and FortySeven Communications!


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