We’re working on a review for Ping Redux, so I got in touch with indie Nami Tentou Mushi to talk a bit about the game’s development and PS4 release. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Good afternoon! Welcome to PS4Blog.net. Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers and telling them a bit about your work?
Hey! I’m Christopher, and I run the studio Nami Tentou. I’m the parent of two kids as well, so I’m always tired. I’ve done work on VR autism therapy tools such as FloreoVR, helped build some educational tools for kid camps, been teaching coding at the local high school after school program for a couple of years, and have released a could games in the PING series as well as helping publish and manage some other indie titles! It sounds like a lot, but I’ve been around for about seven years now, and it doesn’t feel like I’ve done much.
PS4B: It’s been a while since you released PING 1.5+ on the Nintendo Wii U, and now here you are with PING Redux on PS4! What can you tell us about the game?
It’s a pong puzzle game. It takes the mechanics of that ¿retro game and turns it into a puzzle game! It’s been compared to golf, where you have a certain amount of shots and bounces you’re allowed to do. You use angles to your advantage and the slowdown mechanism with aiming to get a precise shot to where you need it to go. There are over 100+ levels for you to enjoy, and as each world goes by, a new gameplay mechanic is usually introduced into the fold to keep you on your toes. It features voxel visuals with some effects layered on top to give it a more retro and exciting vibe to it.
It comes with boss stages at the end of each world as well that is usually another old classic game remixed/combined with pong physics. It adds a lot of variety in gameplay as you continue on in the game. That can really be blamed on me for wanting to program a lot of different ideas into a single game.
PS4B: What are the differences between PING, PING 1.5+, and PING REDUX?
The music was now made by XonahXonah, and it’s a more hyper feel compared to the previous game’s tracklist. I also made tiny adjustments to the first eight worlds and then completely redid the last four worlds since they weren’t as well received. PING 1.5+ had the last world be an RCMADIAX and Minecraft cameo stage, and rather than deal with the legal hoops I’d have to jump to reinclude them, I just replaced them with all new original content. I did leave one little block of Minecraft in the game somewhere tho if someone looks hard enough. There are some new mechanics such as teleporting to different layers of stages in the background and foreground, and some lava blocks that get incredibly challenging to pass since they kill you on touch.
This is intended to be the definitive final version of that PING game since it’s fully localized and completely multiplatform. When I first made PING back on the Nintendo Wii U, I was really fresh to game coding, so I made a lot of programming mistakes that made it really hard to ever port it in the future. This one, I can put on PS5, Xbox One Series X, etc. with no problem.
PS4B: With PING REDUX ready to go on PlayStation 4, what are you working on next?
I’m working on a photography centric game. Think of Pokemon Snap, Afrika on the Playstation 3, those types of games. I haven’t shown much of it on Twitter besides really ambiguous pictures, but we keep progressing on it. I’ve grown a HUGE appreciation for those camera systems and how they can detect what’s in photos. We’ve been taking a while on it and haven’t shown much because I’m going to try to get away from the voxel indie games I’m known for and really step it up for the next big game we do. It’s been a team effort, and we have some wonderful people helping out at Nami that really believe in our ideas!
The basis of that game’s story will be that you’re a freelance broke photographer taking odd jobs to pay the bills. You eventually come across aliens in-between your jobs, and the circumstances and tools you get for capturing pictures become really eccentric. It has some really fun mechanics we have programmed for it. It’s already approved for development on PlayStation 4, so I can comment on that platform!
PS4B: Any chance of getting a physical release for PING redux on PS4?
Its cost being $4.99 means that even if I wanted to do a physical release, there would be practically no profit. It would have to be some fun Nami Tentou collection someday once we have a library, but by that time, I’m sure the PS5 will be in full swing.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have. Would you like to add anything else?
Shoutout to the Nami Tentou team on Twitter! They’ve helped me so much.