Always Nintendo Interviews • Nami Tentou Mushi

Nami Tentou Mushi Ping 1.5+

nami tentou

Always Nintendo recently got the chance to interview Game Developer, Nami Tentou Mushi! If you’re not familiar with them, check out this interview and you’ll be going crazy over their games in no time!


AN: Hey Nami! Thanks for taking the time out to interview Always Nintendo! Would you be able to introduce yourselves and tell us about the origin of your company?

Well I’m Christopher Arnold and I’m the founder of NAMI TENTOU MUSHI. I handle most of the work besides most SFX and all the music. The company was literally created to satisfy Nintendo’s need for a formed company, although we created it after we were accepted as Nintendo Wii U developers, so it’s obvious that isn’t a concrete requirement anymore. Prior to this, it was just me making some random Android apps. I decided that PING was popular enough in the Android store to consider doing this full time.

AN: You’ve mentioned on your site that Nami Tentou Mushi is a type ladybug. Why did choose it as the name of your company? Is there any meaning behind it?

When I was thinking of a name, I wanted it to be Japanese because most of the games that influence me are from Japan. Another requirement of mine was it to be a very unique name that would give us really high visibility in search engines. If you search now, NAMI TENTOU MUSHI will literally show us instead of the original ladybug now. The ladybug is actually the same specific breed that was brought to America for pest control. I thought it was appropriate since we are an America based company with game design influenced by eastern games.

Ping 1.5+

AN: Nami Tentou Mushi is known for their Ping game series. Would you be able to tell us a bit about the game(s)?

PING is basically a remix of PONG. PONG didn’t have much except the simple pong physics and bouncing back and forth with a paddle. We took that bouncing block idea and turned it into a puzzle style game. Some people have compared it to mini golf and I find that description pretty accurate. You had 1 shot to make the cube to the orange and you had to count your bounces too to make sure you didn’t bounce too many times on the way there. The graphics are extremely faithful to the Atari (minus the 8 bit orange) and it ran very well on all Android devices because it was such a low demanding game.

Ping 1.5+

AN: What are some improvements made in Ping 1.5+? Do you have a idea of when it might be released?

With PING 1.5+ we added the ability for more shots and raised the challenge more. The boss stages were added that weren’t in the original too. They are remixed stages of popular Atari classics. But we’ve made them unique enough to PING to not be just a copy. We made sure to be original with our content. The release date is before the end of May. Things are starting to wrap up with the game and we are in the final process with the last few stages. Don’t expect to have to wait much longer for it.

Ping 1.5+ WiiU

AN: How did your experience developing with Nintendo differ from developing with other consoles and devices?

It honestly was really easy to add Nintendo Wii U to our development cycle. We started using Unity to make it easier to port PING to iOS and Android. During the work on that we got accepted as a Wii U developer and started reading up on their API from them. It was really easy to work with it along with Unity. We are actually still reading through OUYA’s and having a bit more of a time with that than Wii U’s. So I wouldn’t say they are hard to develop for. They have done their duty to try to lower the barrier of development for indies. I was also able to have something running on it within the first hour of receiving the SDK. It was an exhilarating experience.

Ping 1.5+ WiiU

AN: What are some games that inspired you to go out and create Ping?

I wanted to try and make a game that would be simple enough for me to make on my first try and be fun on a mobile phone. The most popular game on mobile devices at the time was Angry Birds. It uses only touching for input, yet it was engaging enough to keep users’ attention for hours. I made sure to come up with a control scheme that used only touch and PONG with an aiming cursor is where I ended up landing with that idea. The Atari graphics came in because of my lack of art skills. Then I ended up finding it charming and skipped having an artist pretty up the game.

Nami Tentou Mushi Ping 1.5+

AN: Who are the developers that most inspired you to become a game developer?

Shigeru Miyamoto is one of the most obviously inspirational directors out there. I’ve always looked up to Hideo Kojima and Goichi Suda. They all create extremely unique games and the gameplay is always first. It’s important that the gameplay is fun, otherwise you can’t immerse yourself in the experience. Suda has always had a knack for creating unique, funny, and crazy games. Shadows of the Damned and No More Heroes have really stuck with me. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and manages to be overwhelmingly fun! Hideo Kojima is someone I admire for being very wide ranged in his abilities. His love of particular music and film making shows in his games and it’s a really unique experience that I haven’t seen elsewhere. I grew up along that same path, considering making films someday but it ended up turning to video game design for me.

AN: Do you have any titles in development that you would like to tell Nintendo fans about? If not, did you have any ideas for games you might bring to a Nintendo console in the future?

Sorry, nothing to reveal yet. Ideas are being thrown around though. We do want to bring more games to Nintendo Wii U.


AN: Can we expect to see a Miiverse community coming anytime soon for the Ping games?

The community will come closer to launch once we start initiating the lot check process with them. Then that ball will get rolling. We are looking forward to reading the community’s opinion on our game.

AN: Do you have any plans to integrate online multiplayer into your titles?

The only online multiplayer aspect that we’ve considered implementing is leaderboards, but we aren’t even sure of that yet. We have lots of features we want to put in, but we can’t justify working more than a few months on the game. Updates and sequels are useful for this purpose. For future games, we may include online multiplayer but only if it’s appropriate.

Nami Tentou Mushi Ping 1.5+

AN: Finally, what do you want to say to gamers that still aren’t sure about purchasing your games?

If you aren’t sure about purchasing the game, we’ll be offering demos of PING 1.5+ on both iOS and Android so you can try before you buy. Also, original PING is free on Android with ads. You’ll be able get a proper feel of the game before buying. We want to make sure you’ll enjoy the game before you make that plunge to buy it. Or you could just throw your money at us. That’s okay with us too.

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