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GN Podcast #451
 

Kid focus testers have no idea what's going on in DuckTales Remastered, chances of Rescue Rangers remake

A potion of a Siliconera interview with Producer Rey Jimenez...

S: A show that perhaps we grew up with, but I don’t think many kids these days know who "Unca Scrooge" is.

RJ: They don’t. They absolute do not and that is no joke. We did focus tests when they played the game. They had no idea who the character was and didn’t know what Ducktales was.

S: What did kids say during the focus tests?

RJ: They go who is this "Grandpa Duck?" They didn’t have a real connection to him apart from him being part of the duck family in Ducktales.

S: Did they get the pogo stick mechanic or was that too old school for them?

RJ: It’s pretty old school for them. The kids we focus tested with are Disney fans. They appreciate Disney as it is. They find the barrier for entry is easy enough for them, so they enjoyed the game. But, the concept of a 2D platformer starring this person is very foreign to them.

We did a lot of tuning within it. There was some frustration among kids because they’re not used to playing a game like this, which can be hard if you’re not used to playing a platform game. Easy mode has a lot of tuning and features that were pulled out of these focus tests to make easy mode more accessible for players that aren’t as used to 2D platform games as older games are.

S: What about the secret passages? Ducktales is full of them. Did kids figure that out?

RJ: Kids nowadays do not think that way. That’s why we needed to have a cutscene in there to explain you have to look in the walls for a secret.

S: Are you considering to remaster other Capcom Disney games like Darkwing Duck or Chip ‘n Dales: Rescue Rangers?

RJ: We’re always thinking about the future, but right now what we want to do is make sure Ducktales is the biggest success it can be.

Full interview here

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51 total comments (View all)
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 00:35

I'm sure people born in the 90's didn't know what some characters were from the 70s/80s. For example, I sure as heck had no idea who HR Puffinstuff was. Never heard of him. I know it is a random example, but still.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 00:51

juniorfied24 wrote:this is what reality tv and call of duty does to kids. No chance to be innocent and play fun games instead of violent bloodshedding games :( ......Im actually about to have my first kid any day now and believe me, I'm making sure he has a fun childhood and to not grow up too soon

Congratulations! I just had a daughter last year, and I'm making sure of this myself. I actually just bought the Ducktales and Darkwing Duck DVD's a few weeks ago for her to watch. I also have an extra NES, SNES, N64, and Genesis set up in her room. I plan on starting her off with the NES and working up to modern systems. She's not going to be allowed to play stuff like Call of Duty, which shouldn't be hard since I don't buy stuff like that anyway. I have some more mature games like Ninja Gaiden 3 Razors Edge, but even my older son isn't allowed to play that. I never had any problem teaching him to play older games, maybe because he was so young when I started letting him play them, he does have a problem with skipping over the words though, and needing help later because he missed out on what he was supposed to do.

I do let my daughter watch some Disney channel in the morning, in the afternoon it's pretty bad sitcoms and stuff. Some of the shows aren't too bad for young childrens shows, like Octonauts. She watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and I can say I've never once seen Uncle Scrooge on there, now that I think of it I've never seen Huey Dewey or Louie on there either. There is an old duck that's a scientist or something, but it's not Uncle Scrooge. She really seems to like the older cartoons just as good if not better though, like TMNT or SMB Super Show, or old Hanna Barbera stuff on Boomerang.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 00:56

the_nintendo_screw wrote:Disney just needs to rebroadcast the show before they release the game. It's much better than most of the stuff they show now.



Quite frankly, they need to do this for a LOT of old shows.

Problem is, there's "no money" in re-playing old shows in prime slots or whatever. It's much better, from a soulless corporate mindset, to have some crappy new property made, so they market THAT. It's sad.....
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 01:27

I am proud to say that all of my kids know what DuckTales is and they are under the age of seven. They love the show and even know the words to the theme song! After they were exposed to the show, I picked up a copy of the NES game to play with them. It is a bit more difficult than the Mario games they are used to playing as it doesn't hold your hand at all. They are excited for the remake and are looking forward to playing it this summer.

It's not a bad thing to find ways to tweak your game design to appeal to a younger audience. It would definitely push my kids away if they couldn't figure out the controls right away. I understand that there will be an "easy pogo" control scheme to minimize button presses. The new game has reserved an unlockable difficulty that supports only the classic pogo mode for the die-hard fans. The design team is proud of the game they've made and want it to appeal to a wide audience while not scaring away the newcomers.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 01:30

Devil_Rising wrote:
the_nintendo_screw wrote:Disney just needs to rebroadcast the show before they release the game. It's much better than most of the stuff they show now.



Quite frankly, they need to do this for a LOT of old shows.

Problem is, there's "no money" in re-playing old shows in prime slots or whatever. It's much better, from a soulless corporate mindset, to have some crappy new property made, so they market THAT. It's sad.....

But there IS money in airing old stuff. Remember when Invader Zim came back on Nicktoons or the fact Boomerang has been around for so long? The new Disney is lazy and scared to try anything new.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 01:48

Paraphrased

"Kids these days are dumb. So we need to constantly hold their hand."
No Avatar
23 Apr 2013 01:53

Yeah, is likely that most of users who bought and play New Super Mario Bros and Donkey Country Returns are adults. When I play 2d platformers with kids I can't believe how dumb they are to play those kind of games, but still they love it.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 01:54

I call shenanigans.

Scrooge is in Mickey Christmas Carol & Once Upon a Christmas/Twice Upon a Christmas.

I understand them not seeing DuckTales (but now it is on DVD, so parents should be showing them), but you mean to tell me that the kids are "Disney fans" and haven't seen Mickey Christmas Carol or one of the other Disney Christmas specials? Bollocks. "Grandpa Duck"? There's simply no way a child hasn't seen that. It's on *every* year.

I ain't even mad, I just find it extremely hard to believe given how many times I've seen that on TV and it *stars* him.

As for the whole thing with kids not looking for secrets and clearly being inept, I don't know what to say. This is why games are getting worse and easier and don't realize they should focus on core gamers and then make the "you're an idiot" modes and controls for an "Easy Mode" like these guys are.

@Devil_Rising

You're implying that 90s Are All That, Boomerang, all the channels that play old sitcoms like Frasier and the spam of old shows and cartoons mixed in with new ones on The Hub are not things.

@cobaltorange

They should have. If they were sneaky enough to stay up and try watching Nickelodeon only to be confused when it wasn't cartoons, but was The Munsters and Happy Days instead.

But that's beside the point.
No Avatar
23 Apr 2013 02:15

Well, my mom is doing her part. She's a teacher of the first and second grade, and she's got my copy of the Ducktales movie at her school. Every time she watches a movie with her class they want to watch it. It's not much, but at least a handful of spoiled, rich asian kids get some exposure to quality cartoons and not the crap they watch now.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 02:38

GeneticRepoMan wrote:
J0RdAnN wrote:.....Those kids need to watch ducktales, darkwing duck, goof troop, talespin and rescue rangers.
TaleSpin was my favorite as a kid.


Disney needs to pull a Cartoon Network and put their 90s cartoons on Netflix! That'll ensure the current generation will know what all of these great classics are.


God damn right they need to.

Also, I would possibly explode at news of a Rescue Rangers game.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 03:29

MoldyClay wrote:

@Devil_Rising

You're implying that 90s Are All That, Boomerang, all the channels that play old sitcoms like Frasier and the spam of old shows and cartoons mixed in with new ones on The Hub are not things.



Never implied any such thing. I said that as far as big network corporations are concerned, "The Money" is in NEW things, even if it's just new versions of old things (Turtles, Thundercats, etc.). I never said that was a good thing either. I simply said that is how the corporate nature of Hollywood works.

They don't just re-run the OLD (see: REAL) TMNT cartoon again on Saturday or even Weekday mornings, because where's the money in that? They could easily release new toys and sh*t based on the old cartoon. But they'd far rather have a new (see: typically dumber) cartoon, because they see MORE money, because the general marketing rule of thumb is: new = EXCITING. And sadly, having worked somewhat in marketing in the past myself, I know this is how the average consumer thinks. Hell, even the comic industry does it. People will go batsh*t crazy and buy up a "new" Issue #1 of some old long-running comic, so oftentimes an old series that didn't NEED a reboot will get one, simply to "spur sales", even if the sales were FINE beforehand, they still want "more sales". That's how marketing and pure capitalism works, sadly.


And to be fair, when Boomerang first started, hell, when Cartoon Network first started, it showed a LOT of old classic cartoons, I.E. Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes, Popeye, old Hannah Barbera stuff, etc. etc. etc.

Nowadays even Boomerang, a channel specifically created to allegedly show "old cartoons", barely shows that stuff anymore. They play cartoons that were "old" about 5 or less years ago. At least that's been my experience, and that's sad. But why be surprised by that? Cartoon Network also has a bunch of non-cartoon shows now, which kind of completely misses the point of the channel. MTV doesn't even play music. Sci Fi channel has a bunch of programming that is very NON-"Sci Fi". American Movie Classics (AMC) is more known for their NEW original shows now, and play less and less actual "classic movies". What can I say? Welcome to the retardation that is the movie/tv industry. :roll:
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 03:41

This will not be a problem in Scandinavia.
One out of every four Norwegians read the Norwegian edition Donald Duck & Co. per week, translating to around 1.3 million regular readers. During the same year, every week 434,000 Swedes read Kalle Anka & Co. By 2005 in Finland the Donald Duck anthology Aku Ankka sold 270,000 copies per issue. Tim Pilcher and Brad Books, authors of The Essential Guide to World Comics, described the Donald anthologies as "the Scandinavian equivalent of the UK's Beano or Dandy, a comic that generations have grown up with, from grandparents to grandchildren.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 04:34

RacattackForce wrote:
AnoukiAgentYellow wrote:Kids these days don't look for secrets? Or understand 2D platformers? ...What?

Sad to say I'm not all that surprised...

The other week, it took me 15 minutes to get a 5-year-old to understand the concept of running and jumping at the same time in a Mario game. :(

It took about that long to reteach my 26 year old sister this after her not playing Mario in years and I still have to remind her. Otherwise our brother and I leave her to die.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 05:15

Devil_Rising wrote:
Nowadays even Boomerang, a channel specifically created to allegedly show "old cartoons", barely shows that stuff anymore. They play cartoons that were "old" about 5 or less years ago. At least that's been my experience, and that's sad. But why be surprised by that? Cartoon Network also has a bunch of non-cartoon shows now, which kind of completely misses the point of the channel. MTV doesn't even play music. Sci Fi channel has a bunch of programming that is very NON-"Sci Fi". American Movie Classics (AMC) is more known for their NEW original shows now, and play less and less actual "classic movies". What can I say? Welcome to the retardation that is the movie/tv industry. :roll:

They do have old shows on there, it's newer stuff during the afternoon like Dexters Lab and Powerpuff Girls, but in the early morning/late night, morning and early afternoon it does show old shows like Flinstones, Jetsons, Scooby Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Tom and Jerry, Johnny Quest... They also have some newer but old shows like Smurfs, Snorks, and they have SWAT Cats on in the afternoon, which I used to love, and was surprised to see again. It's just that period in the afternoon probably 3 or 4 to like midnight that is sort of newer stuff from the 90's, but still some good shows.

Also, the original TMNT series will always be my favorite, but the new one is actually really good. I thought it was going to completely suck, and I hated the artwork I had seen from it. But, after watching it I like it a lot, way more than the early 2000's one, and the art style isn't as bad in the show as it looks in pictures and stuff, and it quickly grew on me.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 07:23

This is shocking for me. I honestly don't know anyone who doesn't know who Scrooge McDuck is. Things change in 20 years. It's really sad. It means this game is purely made for nostalgic reasons, because it appeals more to older gamers.

Are this just American kids who tested the game? Here in the Netherlands, the weekly Donald Duck magazine still is extremely popular. The magazines chief editor claimed that Donald Duck is popular in the Netherlands because it became a part of parenting. Parents want to give their kids the same experience as they did. I think if the game was tested here in my country, every kid would recognise "Dagobert Duck" (Scrooge's Dutch name), because he appears every week in the magazine.

I don't think Ducktales is as popular as the Donald Duck magazine (which also uses a different canon). Fortunately, the Dutch Disney XD came in 2011 with the brilliant idea to re-air some old Disney cartoons, including "Knabbel en Babbel: Rescue Rangers" and "Ducktales". I don't know if they still air Ducktales, but still... not bad.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 07:47

This is shockingly disappointing. We need to get these shows back on the air.
No Avatar
23 Apr 2013 08:36

Well see they shouldn't have had modern kids be the focus group. They're not the target audience for this game. The target audience are 80s/90s kids who grew up with the show and are now adults. They should be the focus group because they're the ones who loved the show and who played the original game. If you're making a remake/revisioning of a classic game you should always get input from people who experienced the original.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 08:50

@Koopzilla

I must've missed it then, for the most part every time I've flipped to that channel, I've seen stuff like you said, like Dexter's Lab and whatnot. I just think if it's going to be based on classic cartoons, it should be nothing but. As in...stop at the early 90s or something, at least. Then again, I've always felt the Sci Fi Channel should be old classic stuff too. Or at least I wish there was a channel like that, nothing but classic sci fi/fantasy/horror movies and shows. That'd be pretty much the best channel ever created.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 09:08

gtt wrote:focus tests. ug. If you let focus tests dictate your design, you end up with uninspired dreck.


I disagree, and especially since everything they're learning from it is to make an 'Easy Mode' (if you'd read the interview, you'd know this) for new and younger players.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 09:41

Kids don't know about Scrooge McDuck? That's pretty surprising and a bit sad.

Even more sad is that they don't seem to know how to play a 2D platformer. Times have changed, it seems, and not for the better. Now, I usually roll my eyes at the "oh everything was better when I was a kid" nostalgia mentality, but this time, I can agree.
But making an "easy mode" is fine with me, as long as it's optional. If you don't want it, you can still play without it.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 10:29

Oh, come on. Kids can't find hidden areas behind walls?

THEY'RE EVERYWHERE IN NSMBU!!!
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 11:11

cobaltorange wrote:I'm sure people born in the 90's didn't know what some characters were from the 70s/80s. For example, I sure as heck had no idea who HR Puffinstuff was. Never heard of him. I know it is a random example, but still.


Are you serious? We had 70s and 80s stuff regurgitated in syndication for a while.
User avatar
23 Apr 2013 11:19

I can see why a kid wouldn't know what Scrooge is.

However, I feel sad that it seems most kids can't be arsed to look for secrets in a game. I used to LOVE finding secrets and glitches when I was a kid. I guess that's what shovelware and corridor shooters do to you.
No Avatar
23 Apr 2013 16:36

It's sad that 2D Mario is too difficult for kids.
User avatar
24 Apr 2013 00:45

DeAngelo Guillory wrote:
cobaltorange wrote:I'm sure people born in the 90's didn't know what some characters were from the 70s/80s. For example, I sure as heck had no idea who HR Puffinstuff was. Never heard of him. I know it is a random example, but still.


Are you serious? We had 70s and 80s stuff regurgitated in syndication for a while.

So how exactly would it work when kids nowadays DON'T have Ducktales in syndication? Only a parent or older sibling would be the way they would know.

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