May 1, 2007 - Electronic Arts will in the near future officially announce a brand new title for Nintendo's next-generation console. The game, tentatively titled EA Playground, is developed by EA Canada is set for release on both Wii and DS. Each version will take advantage of the unique attributes of the system to deliver players multiplayer-enhanced experiences inspired by such titles as Wii Sports. We recently chatted with EA Playground's executive producer, Dave McCarthy, to learn more. Here's what he had to say:
IGN Wii: What is EA Playground all about?
Dave McCarthy: 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.
IGN Wii: Can you tell us about some of the games in EA Playground and how they utilize the Wii/NDS control schemes?
Dave McCarthy: 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.
Tetherball is just one of the games featured in the tentatively titled EA 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). While set in a similar universe, there are game types exclusive to the NDS version 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.
IGN Wii: What's the multiplayer mode like?
Dave McCarthy: 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.
IGN Wii: Does EA Playground revolve around a storyline?
Dave McCarthy: Given that we've designed EA Playground for kids of all ages, we wanted to offer a twist to the traditional single-player campaign experience that kids could easily relate to. When I was a kid, I obsessed over my sticker collection and I see that same fascination in my own kids today. So what we've done is populated the game with a wide selection of cool looking stickers you can collect based on playing various games, completing special dare challenges, and exploring areas of the playground world. You can customize the look of your sticker book as you triumph through single and multiplayer games, and show it off to all of your friends