If there’s one thing we can say about the surge in popularity of independently developed games, it’s that this has opened the doors to a lot of homages to games from the SNES and NES days. In this case, I’m talking about Pier Solar HD, a Sega Genesis game developed by the team at WaterMelon Co. As we wrote earlier, Pier Solar HD is the largest Sega Genesis game to date, featuring an original story, characters, and world.”
While the game got pushed back from its March release date, that didn’t stop us from reaching out to the team to answer some of our burning questions. Below, you’ll find out more about Pier Solar HD, how it came to be, and what the studio has planned next.
Wii U Daily: How did Pier Solar and Pier Solar HD start out?
WaterMelon Co.: It all started a long time ago at the online forum (message board) Tavern RPG, where Sega Genesis addicts (including Gwénael and I) used to get together and share their experiences and nostalgia about the classic 16-bit RPGs. Overtime we talked about our dream to make our very own RPG for the Genesis. Many gamers have that dream, but our group was driven to accomplish it. And that’s how it all started. Our first idea was to make an RPG where each character would be named after the Tavern members participating into the project. We’ve had the story and some drafts of concept characters made. Our goal was to produce enough cartridges for the Tavern members only. However, the story was spread, and suddenly more and more people started to ask about this potential “new Genesis RPG game”, and that’s when we decided to invest real time and money to make that game happen. Little by little the game story started to flow in different directions, and we came up with the first Pier Solar plot. After the success of Pier Solar, many players started to request the game for modern platforms. We chose to launch a Kickstarter campaign because it was the most effective way to work on a fundraising and have a fresh start for our project, free of any type of debts or whatsoever. The costs of creating the HD graphics are quite high for a project the size of Pier Solar and especially in the unique graphic configuration that we choose. Pier Solar HD Kickstarter campaign was very successful, and we were extremely happy with how it turned out. Pier Solar HD is that same game being transported to modern platforms (Wii U, Dreamcast, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, OUYA, PC, MAC, Linux, Android). The story tells about three best friends – Hoston, Alina, and Edessot. Hoston’s father is very sick and only one rare magic herb has the power to cure him. Hoston, with the help of Alina and Edessot, starting as mundane task they enter in an epic adventure that takes them to an incredible journey of discovery about their world and about themselves. The player will face many challenges, venture through many places, solve mazes and puzzles, fight many bosses and discover many things through this journey.
WUD: What made you choose to develop Pier Solar for the Sega Genesis as opposed to a more modern platform?
WC: It was because of genuine passion for retro games. When we first started to talk about developing a game for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive we had no intentions on turning it into a hit. When the group of developers and designers first gathered after talking on forums about retro games, we simply took the idea seriously and began to work. For us the idea of developing our own Sega Genesis game with all of the elements we care for and actually having the skills necessary to make it happen was our greatest motivation. It felt like being twelve years old and the boss of the arcade game room (and it still does). It couldn’t have been more exciting.
WUD: What goes into the process of making a director’s cut? And how do you avoid introducing said content without scorning the fans who purchased the original game?
WC: The Director’s Cut process in this case has a lot to do to unveiling and/or explaining multiple aspects of the story that are relevant to offer a better understanding of the plot to the player. We’ve added new elements to the game to explain the background of the main characters, and with that actions we also had to add new places to be explored and new interaction dialogs among the main characters. For those who have purchased the original game, they are completely aware of the essence of Pier Solar and the Great Architects.
WUD: Now that the game is done what’s next?
WC: At the moment we have been working in four projects, two of them are still confidential, but the other two – Project N and Project Y – are about to be finalized and launched this year, hopefully. Both projects follow the retro gaming segment. Project N is an Action-Adventure game for SNES, and Project Y is a great Beat’em Up with RPG elements for Mega Drive.
WUD: What do you most look forward to when the game is released?
WC: A few weeks of vacation! Lol! What we are really looking for would be the receptivity from 1) the fans that have been waiting for it for a long time, 2) from the fans that have already played Pier Solar before, 3) the reaction of the new clients that will experience our game for the very first time.
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TAGS: Nintendo, Pier Solar, pier solar hd, WaterMelon Co., wii u