Kenji Eno wants to make more Nintendo games
Long lost producer discusses return to consoles with Famitsu.com.
Kenji Eno made a sudden and unexpected return to gaming last week with Nintendo's release of Kimi to Boku to Rittai on WiiWare. Developed by Eno's studio fyto ("From Yellow to Orange"), this is the first console game from the formerly outspoken developer in nearly a decade.
Famitsu.com managed to catch up with Eno at last week's Game Developers Conference in San Franciso. Here's a bit of what Eno shared with the site.
Eno was first asked to explain why he decided to return to console games. The Wii's controller appears to have had something to do with the decision. Eno explained to the site that he watched the Wiimote's unveiling press conference via the internet in streaming form, and thought that he wanted to make something with the controller. He even made a paper version of the controller, although he noted that this is something doesn't normally do and probably won't ever do again.
While he'd had some ideas for making games following his last title, D2, they all came to an end early on. Different from other ideas, though, where he wants to make something in particular, with the Wiimote, he just felt like making something.
"It wasn't that I wanted to return to the game industry, or make a game, but that I wanted to make something for Wii," said Eno.
One problem was that he'd been away from the industry and didn't have any more contacts. He ended up using someone he knew to serve as a contact to Nintendo. The person on Nintendo's side, whom Eno referred to as being a good person, allowed Eno to do a number of tests. He didn't even have a design document when he first approached Nintendo.
All this took place immediately after the Wiimote's unveiling. However development on Boku to Kimi to Rittai didn't take place until a bit later. Speaking about how he came up with the idea, he cited having suddenly recalled a picture of someone hanging from the side of a cube. That lead to the game that was released last week. With a game plan in hand, he went back to Nintendo.
Development on Kimi to Boku to Rittai took about a year. Basic development took a long time and involved quite a bit of trial and error, part because the game was original and didn't have a point of reference.
Those looking for more from Eno may have to wait a bit. "I really have no plans at this point," said Eno when asked if his next title will come to Wii as well. On a positive note, though, he said that he does feel like making another game. He was originally worried that this may not end up being the case.
When asked if he would consider doing games for other platforms if he were asked to, he said with a laugh, "I don't think anyone will ask. But, I think I'd want to work with Nintendo again. I'm still in love (laughs). I've become close to the promotional staff and management. They're all good people. They loved Kimi to Boko to Rittai form their hearts."
So what exactly was Eno doing in that time between D2 on the Dreamcast and Newtonica on the iPhone? Famitsu asked this as well, and Eno responded that he was pretty busy, having worked on such things as making Coca Cola vending machines, development for DoCoMo, design of onsen travel lodges, and candy-related work of some form.
I haven't had a chance to try out Boku to Kimi to Rittai, but I have a feeling it will be better than Kenji Eno candy.