February 15, 2008 - Developer Ready at Dawn recently finished up work on its first Wii project, a port of Capcom's critically acclaimed adventure game, Okami. The developer recently answered a few questions about the porting process and clarified some details about the Wii incarnation of the project.
IGN: What has it been like working on a product from an original developer which no longer exists?
Ready at Dawn: 'Interesting' to say the least. There were a lot of times where we would have loved to be able to talk to these guys and find out why they did something this way or that way. It definitely made it tougher on us to even get the original PS2 code back up and running.
How big was the Ready at Dawn team which worked on Okami for Wii?
Ready at Dawn: Team 'Deux,' as the rest of the guys at Ready At Dawn have nicknamed us, was made of eight people at its peak. We even got separate offices from the other guys, mainly because we didn't have the space to fit both projects but also because we wanted to make sure we didn't distract each other with the two different games.
IGN: Tell us about the difficulties in attempting to port the game over to Nintendo's console.
Ready at Dawn: Well, first and foremost you have to learn the specificities of the console itself, learn what makes it tick. Then you have to get the code to even compile on the new platform, different processors and different compilers make this a fairly difficult task. Beyond that it was fairly easy to get the barebones of the game engine running and then just add more and more things to get all the game ported over.
IGN: Are there any actual content or story changes or additions from the PS2 release of the game?
Ready at Dawn: We would have loved to be able to but unfortunately we simply didn't have the time to even look into this. It was a very tight schedule just to port the game itself and so we focused on getting that right and decided not to attempt to modify anything with the content. At least we won't get crucified by the Okami purists for messing the game up.
IGN: How are you using the Wii remote and nunchuk with Okami?
Ready at Dawn: The Wiimote is used to control the Celestial Brush, of course, but we also used it to control Amaterasu's attacks and play some of the minigames like the fishing game. You can also use it for the Charge Glaive attack, you charge the Glaive by swinging the Wiimote up and down for example. The nunchuck is used to move around, using the analog stick, but also to perform Amaterasu's Fleetfoot move to avoid attacks. You swing the nunchuk in the desired direction in that case. It doesn't take long to get used to all the control and it's amazingly intuitive.
IGN: Does the game run in 480p and 16:9 widescreen modes on Wii?
Ready at Dawn: Absolutely. This was two of the things that were at the top of our list when we started the port. The game looks awesome as it runs at a higher resolution than the original PS2 game.
IGN: Has anything been sacrificed in the port to Wii? Audio quality, framerate fluidity, texture quality, etc.?
Ready at Dawn: There were a couple of effects that we simply couldn't reproduce exactly on the Wii because the rendering pipelines of both platforms are completely different. We adapted those to look as closely as possible like their PS2 counterparts but they're not exactly the same per say.
IGN: In your opinion, does the game play better or worse on Wii?
Ready at Dawn: I can't go back to playing with the PS2 pad now that I'm used to the Wiimote/nunchuk combination. It's just so much more fluid and intuitive on the Wii. Being able to skip the cutscenes on the Wii is a big plus for me personally too.
IGN: If gamers so desire, can they choose to play the title with a traditional controller – either the classic or the GameCube?
Ready at Dawn: No, as soon as we had the Wiimote working, we realized that there was no going back to the traditional controls.
IGN: Now that you've worked on Wii, would you like to make another game for the console? Perhaps from the ground up? Perhaps, even, an Okami sequel?
Ready at Dawn: As game players we all love the Wii at Ready At Dawn Studios so it's great to get a taste for what it's capable of with Okami, which we're also huge fans of to begin with. We have no plans for another Wii game at this point but never say never, who knows what the future holds.
IGN: What do you want fans to know about your involvement in bringing Okami to Wii?
Ready at Dawn: Okami was a passion project for us, just like any game that we decide to work on. Capcom have been absolutely incredible to work with because these guys are as passionate as we are and just care about the game. Take my word for it, it's very refreshing to see in this industry. We think that everyone will agree that we've done this game justice by porting it to the Wii and we can't wait to see new people discover it on a new platform.
IGN: Any final comment for Wii owners anticipating the project?
Ready at Dawn: You won't be disappointed.