Electronic Arts has announced a new game for Nintendo’s Wii & DS, titled EA Playground, it is what it says it is. Developed by EA Canada it’ll be released in fall 2007. An interview with EA Playground’s executive producer, Dave McCarthy, gives some answers.
Question: What is EA Playground all about?
Answer: EA Playground is all about capturing the sheer fun of being a kid. We’ve designed a dream playground full of interesting characters, cool collectables, and most importantly, a mix of easy to pick up and incredibly fun playground games. There are some classic favorites in there along with some new twists. It’s all packaged together in a meaningful single player “campaign” to play your way through the schoolyard. In addition, there’s also an approachable and fun multiplayer party experience that will appeal to all ages.
Question: Can you tell us about some of the games in EA Playground and how they utilize the Wii/DS control schemes?
Answer: When we started designing the game we had a ton of good ideas to choose from. After all, kids are incredibly creative when it comes to having fun in a playground setting. We put together our short list based on fun factor, approachability, multiplayer appeal, and the opportunity for control innovation. The cool thing is that we were left with a mix of games representing a range of genres, so there’s always something different to try out in the playground.
On Wii, there’s a mix of games that cover frantic actions mapped to gestures (e.g. throwing and dodging in Dodge Ball) and others that take advantage of navigating the entire world (e.g. RC Car Racing). On DS it’s set in a similar universe, but there are exclusive game types that use stylus mechanics (e.g. Bug Hunt) and even microphone input (e.g. Spit Balls). I won’t get into all the games and mechanics quite yet, but I think it’s safe to say you’ll be entertained with the creative approaches our team has taken to playground games.
Question: What’s the multiplayer mode like?
Answer: I personally think that multiplayer parties are the ideal way to play EA Playground. Whether you do four-player local parties on the Wii or wireless sessions on the DS, you’ll find that all games are multiplayer supported and that frantic simultaneous play is the order of the day. The games are all easy to pick up and play (e.g. remote-only on Wii), along with easy game entry, so it’s the ideal game to crowd around with people of all ages. Just pick your games, specify your “rule set,” choose a character, and track scores in your party session. You’ll also find that as you progress through the single player “campaign” you’ll unlock more games, characters, and environments to play with.
Read the full interview at IGN.