Showing posts with label Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles. Show all posts

Developer Interview: Yuan Works

Yuan Works wowed the gaming community in 2007 with the release of their first indie game Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles. A charming mix of tile-based puzzling, role playing and mini games, Wind and Water blew many away with its outstanding pixel art visuals, catchy music and cutting sense of humour. The game went on to be a massive hit on the Dreamcast as well as the other platforms it graced, and recently received a re-print through publisher Dragonbox Shop.
We've documented our love and admiration for Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles many, many times here at The Dreamcast Junkyard and fellow Sega Network site Dreamcast Hub recently published a review of the game. We wanted to go a bit deeper though and find out more about Yuan Works, the developer behind one of the Dreamcast's most highly regarded indie gems; and so we got together to interrogate them about the history of Wind and Water, the future of Dreamcast indie dev and to ask if they know the identity of the elusive Dreamcast barber...
DCJY: First off - thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us and the Dreamcast community at large! Could you tell us a little bit about Yuan Works? Who are you and how did Yuan Works start as a developer?

Yuan Works: We are an independent game company founded by brothers Yuan-Hsi and Yuan-Hao Chiang. Although we have received help from others before, 90% of the work we do was pretty much done fully by ourselves. Yuan-Hsi is in charge of the art, aesthetics, music and sound, while Yuan-Hao focuses on programming and testing, as well as other parts of design (think website, manual). As for the gameplay and direction, we worked together by designing a concept and sending it back to the drawing board as many times as we needed. We grew up with all kinds of classic games, which inspired us to create our own.

Small fact about us: We are half Costa Rican, half Taiwanese and in Chinese culture, siblings and cousins sometimes share the first character of the name — in our case, Yuan. Yuan-Hsi is better known as 'Yuan' while Yuan-Hao is better known as 'Hao,' which can get very confusing at times.

Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles Re-Released

Yuan Works' Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles is one of the most highly regarded independent games on every platform it has graced, and the Dreamcast is no different. It's a charming little strategic puzzler in which blocks featuring different elements (earth, wood, fire, metal etc) must be arranged in such a fashion as to remove them from the board. There's much more to it than that though, and it features some outrageously good production values for an indie game. We have covered Puzzle Battles extensively here at the Junkyard in the past and several of our team members are actually in the game and can be accessed by way of a special code - who wouldn't want to play as Aaron, complete with sombrero; or Caleb pointing an accusatory finger?!
Caleb and Aaron - bottom row, green shirt and sombrero respectively
While Wind and Water has been available as a free download for Windows since 2011, the Dreamcast version of the game has been out of stock across the internet for some time (unless you want to pay through the nose on eBay). Recently though, it has been the subject of a much-needed reprint and can be purchased - right now - for the meagre sum of €9.99 plus postage from DragonBox. Due to the recent Brexit, that probably means that UK buyers will end up paying around £75 for it, but it's worth it. Probably. This re-issue comes with the same printed inlays and manual and for the price it's a steal.
Head over to DragonBox now to order your copy of Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles.

Source: Yuan Works Dev Blog