Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
a video game for your cel phone from the excellent people at Kuju Wireless.
Our Exclusive Interview with the creative babes and dudes
behind this outstanding new video game!
Bill & Ted's Excellent Online
Adventure: Tell us about Kuju Wireless . . . what you do and how you got started
creating video games for phone systems.
Kuju: Kuju Wireless is one of the leading mobile
phone games publishers, producing a wide range of quality branded and original
games. We first
started working on mobile phone games early in 2000 and quickly established ourselves
market leader first in WAP and SMS games, with titles such as The Weakest
and FIFA, and then subsequently in Symbian and Java games, with titles such as
Space Impact, Lotus Challenge and Judge Dredd.
B&TEOA: What made you decide to do a phone game based on Bill & Ted?
all fans of the movie?
Kuju: We're always on the lookout for quality brand opportunities and so
jumped at the chance of working with 'Bill & Ted' after meeting the film
agents at a trade show. Several key team members are long-term fans of the films
(including the lead designer), and they quickly converted the rest of the team
to 'be excellent to one another'.
B&TEOA: What did you look at for inspiration?
The movies? The animated series? Previous computer games featuring Bill and Ted?
LK: The inspiration was drawn mainly from the first film, and the game
follows the main plot line of traveling to several time zones. The main
artistic license we employed was to introduce Death from the 2nd film in our
'Don't fear the Reaper' feature which the player can use to reset puzzles.
film agents provided lots of useful advice and feedback for us, and was heavily
involved in editing the dialogue to ensure it sounds genuine for the characters.
B&TEOA: It must have been tricky taking characters and making them work in a game
which will be played on a small screen. How did you work through this process
and come up with the character designs?
Kuju: Representing larger-than-life characters like Bill and Ted was always
going to be a challenge, but I'm sure you'll agree that our artists did a
fantastic job of capturing the correct look. Our in-house development team has
created more than 60 games and so they know all the tricks to use to produce the
best graphical effects on a small mobile screen.
B&TEOA: Unlike previous Bill and Ted computer games in this new game you get to
play both Bill & Ted at the same time! Explain more about how this works, as
I think this aspect will really appeal to the fans!
Kuju: We felt that the game should feature both Bill and Ted working
cooperatively as this was a key theme in the films. Therefore we started with
this as the main design remit. To achieve this we determined that they should
have a range of skills. Using just the directional buttons you can make them
run, swim, push things, pick up objects, open doors, talk to people, drive the
Wyld Stallyns van, ride a horse - even herd cows! We've made the controls very
simple and intuitive, but the range of things you can do is very wide, which
makes for a fun game. There is a also comprehensive tutorial provided by Rufus
to get the player off to a good start.
An example of the teamwork required is that Bill might have to stand on a
pressure pad to open a door allowing Ted to retrieve a prize item from the
previously locked room.
Other skills such as swimming and pushing large rocks are unique to either
Bill or Ted and the player has to discover the strengths of each in order to
solve some of the trickier puzzles.
B&TEOA: You also created original music for the game.
Could you tell us a bit
about this process and what you used as inspiration?
Kuju: Music for mobile phone games has to work on a variety of handsets each
with differing music capabilities. This makes composing music for mobile phones
a real skill and so we use a specialist musician who has always performed well
for us. We wanted the music for the game to represent the music style from the
film but also stand alone as a contemporary tune. The musician watched the film
several times and then produced a number of samples from which we and the film
agents chose the final piece.
B&TEOA: Are there any special tricks or easter eggs in the game which fans can
find as they play?
Kuju: There are several places where you can discover secret rooms which
gives you the chance to earn bonus points. I shouldn't really tell you this but
there are also hidden levels set on famous dates that you'll have to discover by
entering famous years into the phone box (yes, of course we included the phone
box!) and these feature famous people and events from throughout history.
B&TEOA: Did your team have fun creating this game and
working with the Bill and Ted characters?
Kuju: 'It was like, totally awesome!' Seriously though - this game was a joy
to work on and the team put in many extra hours polishing the gameplay and
squeezing in neat little features.
We are sure the players will have as much fun playing the game as we did
making it. You'll meet up with Joan of Arc, Billy the Kid, Socrates, Rufus (the
dude from the future), Missy, Ted's Dad, Colonel Oats (still trying to get the
boys to military academy) and more. Your old friend Death from Bill and Ted's
Bogus Journey is also around to lend you a hand when you need it. There are also
bonus levels, snakes, rabid dogs, icy lakes to negotiate, outlaws to outwit and
princesses to placate. It's a really fun adventure you can dip back into
whenever you have a spare moment and we think you'll really enjoy it.
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