Interview with Oceanhorn 2 Developers Cornfox & Brothers
Whenever we can, we reach out to the developers and ask if they would be interested in an interview; especially if they offer it. With Cornfox & Brothers' recent Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm announcement, we were given the opportunity to ask the developers some questions. Not just from Nintendo Dads, but from the community as well. The developers happily replied and they were great answers!
Welp, that's all ...
Just kidding! Of course we are going to share the Q&A. Enjoy!
Hello, there; thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! The following is a list of questions for the development team behind Oceanhorn 2; starting with, how long does it take to complete the main story?
Hi there, the main story is about 16-17 hours long on a typical run.
Are there side missions? If so, how long to complete everything?
Yes, there are Bloodstones to collect, Mysterious Daggers to dig up, heart containers to find, Power Shards to discover, and a few mini-bosses hiding around the map that the party will have to hunt down. The length of these side-quests varies, depending on how sure you are of where these items are. I'd say it will add several more hours to your run.
Which weapon was your favorite to develop?
That would be the Caster Gun. Not only it introduces a whole new third-person mechanic to the game, but all the different elemental bullets have different effects on the enemies and environment so that we could play around with that. Adding Shards to the Caster Gun also modifies its effect, making it quite a versatile weapon.
Was there any particular area or item in the game that gave you the most trouble in development?
The items that required more work is perhaps the diving helmet, as we implemented it last. We knew we needed to make underwater environments for that, and come up with first-person gameplay. If you think about it, not even Breath of the Wild has underwater gameplay - and the reason is that when you decide that players can dive, there's a whole world hiding just behind the surface of the water that you need to get into the game one way or the other.
What is the biggest difference between 1 & 2?
I think it's pretty self-evident: the game moved from a top-down perspective to a fully 3D world. That means 3rd person view, 360° combat, and verticality of movement and exploration. To achieve this, we not only had to reinvent the gameplay of the first title, but also switch engine: while Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas was developed on our engine, Oceanhorn 2 uses Unreal 4.
What kind of impact did covid-19 have on your development and release date?
Relatively small. We live in a country (Finland) where remote work has been a thing for over a decade. We did have some slow down mostly when it comes to accessing the most powerful computers in the studio, for example, to edit video footage. But overall most of the work could proceed as planned - of course, our colleagues with small kids had it a bit rougher when the schools were closed. At the moment of writing, the situation is almost back to normal.
If Nintendo gave you the opportunity to develop a game for them and the choice to use a current IP or to create a new one, which would you do? And why?
If we could pick, we'd like to try our hand at Metroid. That said, developing a new Nintendo-backed IP would be a dream come true - that would be super-exciting, and we already have some ideas on what that could be. Nintendo, are you listening?
The following are questions from the Nintendo Dads Community.
I liked a lot about Oceanhorn, but I found myself getting stuck quite a bit, which was a bit frustrating. How do you plan to balance challenges without making it too easy in Oceanhorn 2? - @BlockFortRetro
Oceanhorn 2 has now been out on Apple Devices for a while, and the Nintendo port will include all the updates. That also means that we already intervened wherever we felt the game needed more clarity or some tweaks. For details about specific game locations, collectibles, etc., our YouTube Channel or Facebook page are the right places to find resources and ask questions.
Oceanhorn 1 and Oceanhorn 2 have such different styles. You can tell by looking at both games that Zelda was a huge inspiration for this. What caused the shift in style? - @skarznomore
We've been influenced by plenty of games. Zelda is a big inspiration, but so are titles like Final Fantasy Mystic Quest or The Last Story. We've written a series of articles on all our inspirations on the Oceanhorn blog, find an example here.
Have you started development of another Oceanhorn game/ or have plans too? or are you looking to work on a new IP? - @Datfast
We have multiple projects in development, it won't be long before you hear of the next one. We can't wait to tell you more.
That concludes the Q&A section we had with the developers. Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm is coming to the Nintendo Switch this Fall.
Before we sign-off, here are a couple more interesting quotes and tidbits from the press release that we found interesting:
"Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm is a game made by Nintendo fans, for Nintendo fans," said Heikki Repo, Creative Director of Cornfox & Brothers. "We've been able to create something new from the strong background that we established with our previous game, Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas, and Oceanhorn 2 is our love letter to the games that we grew up with, combining that beloved nostalgia with exciting new mechanics to give it an original spin."
- Oceanhorn 2 is a prequel to Oceanhorn: Monsters of Uncharted Seas
- Control characters with contextual commands
- Solve puzzles and fight in tactical battles
- Strike down your enemies in hack n' slash combat
- Travers a Zelda-esque open-world landscape
- A 20-hour action-filled RPG
Stay tuned to the Nintendo Dads Podcasts, YouTube Videos, and Twitch/YouTube Streams for more info on Oceanhorn 2.