Q: How will Defend Your Castle on WiiWare differ from the PC version? How would you convince someone sitting on the wall to buy this as opposed to playing the free Flash version?

Skye Boyes: By taking the game back to the drawing board, we were able to improve upon the original design as well as leverage the unique capabilities of the Nintendo Wii. A new unit type, 4 player cooperative multiplayer, more massive waves of invaders, and significant changes ‘under the hood’ to enhance and extend gameplay are just a few of the improvements over the original. Developing for the Nintendo Wii also allowed us to spawn more massive waves of invaders in later stages and include enhancements such as lighting and particle effects.

Q: Defend Your Castle was always a fantastic pick-up-and-play game whenever boredom gnawed away at the mind, is this still the case or will there be more incentives for replayability?

Skye Boyes: Defend your Castle is still a fantastic cure for brief spouts of boredom and will really appeal to new and old casual players. However, game play has been significantly extended, and Heroic mode presents considerable challenging for even the most hardcore players. Multiple difficulty modes, multiple save slots and, of course, multiplayer, add substantial replay value.

Q: The WiiWare version of Defend Your Castle has seen quite a radical (but very stylish) change in the form of the new graphics. What caused the change from the simplistic stick drawings seen in the Flash version?

Taylor Shchaerer: When Skye first approached me with the idea of doing an entirely new version of Defend Your Castle, we joked around about seeing the clouds dangling from strings. I thought it would be funny if our whole game looked like it was literally held together by string, tape, and bubblegum. All joking aside, however, we were actually kind of serious about taking the art style in that direction; on some level, we recognized that if the idea alone was that entertaining to us, then producing a game with that idea could have the potential to be just as entertaining for anyone else. Ultimately, we didn’t deliberate on the art style for this project; our first concept seemed to be a really natural fit for the game. I made a few mock-up screens to elaborate on the vision I had in my head and from then on we just rolled with it.

Working with a small development team also gave me a lot of freedom to explore the idea and to take it in whatever creative direction that I felt I needed to pursue. The majority of my inspiration for the graphics in this game came from my own personal childhood activities. As a kid I used to draw superheroes and video game characters constantly, and whenever I had the time to do so I was “inventing” my own semi-playable video game systems constructed out of cardboard, paper, wheels, a lot of tape, and sometimes more ambitiously using only the red and blue pencils in the pencil crayon pack and a pair of red-blue 3D glasses from the bottom of a cereal box. In tackling Defend Your Castle I wasn’t trying to re-create these old childhood projects, but I definitely made an effort to try to get into that headspace again. I think anyone can understand the appeal in having limited supplies to work with and yet with a bit of ingenuity finding that you are by no means limited in what you can do with them. It’s just a very liberating feeling to have such unrestrained imaginative control over your surroundings, and I think that as we get older we tend to lose that experience, so anything that can remind us of that feeling is something that will make people feel good. I hope that in some small way the art direction for Defend Your Castle can achieve that.

Finally, as an artist and a musician, it’s important to me that we constantly test boundaries and try to break new ground in whatever our respective fields may be. While there’s obviously a risk involved with deviating from the norm, I think it’s a risk that’s offset by a greater reward if successful. And even if it doesn’t work out there’s always the chance that what is considered a failure today may turn out to be the seed of a thought that germinates into something truly astounding and ground-breaking tomorrow. I’m just really passionate about pushing the limits, and that passion allowed me to jump headfirst into developing the unique visual aesthetic that we were trying to pursue with Defend Your Castle without any sort of reservation.