[Quick Questions] Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic – Producer Joe McHale
Denkiphile: I noticed that the new Cooking Mama game doesn’t have a large focus on the 3D visuals? Can you give us some insight into why the team strayed away from that and more towards the use of the gyroscope instead?
Joe McHale: Since the player spends so much time focused on the bottom screen, we didn’t think it made sense to go overboard with too much 3D on the top screen. We know that 99% of the gameplay takes place on the bottom screen, the touch screen, so we thought it made more sense to utilize the top screen for these “surprise” 3D events or “happy accidents” in 3D. We try to lead the player’s eyes from the bottom screen to the top screen and surprise them with fun 3D events. It just felt more natural than forcing too much 3D for the sake of 3D.
The gyroscope has allowed us to bring some things that worked really well on the Wii Cooking Mama games onto the DS. Flipping frying pans, using a spatula & other handheld utensils that are a fun, integral part of cooking. So it is all the fun of the motion games but with the precise touch screen controls of the DS.
DP: What other 3DS features will the game incorporate other than the gyroscope?
JM: We had some discussions about using the pedometer to unlock coins for in-game purchases but I’m not certain if that feature will make it into the final game. It really depends on whether it adds to the experience and does not feel tacked on for no good reason.
DP: What about this new game do you feel will pull in old fans and at the same time attract newcomers?
JM: Cooking Mama 4 follows the core game play of the previous games so Mama fans should be able to jump right in and have fun. One of the new things that we hope they like in Cooking Mama 4 is that we encourage players to make mistakes, just to see what happens.
For players who are new to the franchise they are getting the best of Cooking Mama. After years of improving touch screen controls and with the addition of motion controls, we feel that the 3DS version of Cooking Mama brings it all to the table so hopefully everyone is happy.
DP: Out of all the new recipes in the new game, what would be your favorite, and perhaps most wacky?
JM: Homemade popsicles is my favorite because we did a lot of research and made a lot of really delicious homemade popsicles with my niece and nephew. It was a lot fun following recipes and also creating our own unique recipes. With the summer heat coming, I would definitely recommend that parents go online for recipes or pick up a recipe book for creating homemade popsicles. It is just such a fun and relatively simple thing for kids to whip up in the kitchen and even your failures are delicious.
DP: Do you have anything you want to say to Cooking Mama fans?
JM: Thank you all so very much! We hope that you enjoy playing Mama’s games because we have so much fun coming up with fun new ideas and making these games but we could not do this without your support. Thank you, thank you, thank you and we hope you enjoy Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic.
Kitchen Magic is certainly shaping up to be something that fans will appreciate. As always, the game’s wow factor will be determined by its recipes. Being the worst cook in my household, I can’t wait for this game and finally be able to out-cook my mom again.