Minter keen to do more XBLA

And a Wii game. Some day.

Jeff Minter says he'd like to "get cracking on another Xbox Live Arcade game" once he's done with Space Giraffe, but that he'd "certainly like to work with the Wii" at some point in the future. "It's just a question of marshalling the time for it," he tells Gamasutra.

In a wide-ranging interview, which of course delves into the thinking behind Space Giraffe, Minter also reveals that J Allard had originally wanted him to create the boot-up sequence for Xbox 1. "He tried to contact me through email, but the email he sent ended up going to one of my old email addresses that I wasn't using anymore, and I never got the email. We would've loved to do the visualisation stuff for the original Xbox as well. I was really quite surprised to hear about that," he says.

As for what's going on right now, Space Giraffe is nearing completion (it's due to appear on Xbox Live Arcade for 400 Microsoft points soon), and Minter's confident of its quality. "I'm pretty certain it will do well. All the results I got coming back from alpha test, all the guys just love it to bits. They're all saying that it's better than Tempest 2000, and it's better than anything that we've done."

He likens the game to classic titles that "were fashioned within such a small space, with such a small collection of behaviours that together added up to make something that was bigger than the sum of its parts". "That's the kind of design philosophy I'm using to develop Space Giraffe, but it has to go a bit further, and it has to be much longer, deeper, and much more rewarding to today's audiences," he explains. He doesn't want it to be a game where you've played for 30 minutes and "you've seen everything that's in it and it just gets faster" - something he says is true of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. "With Space Giraffe, each level is its own different graphical theme. There's a bit more depth and substance, and you get the feeling that you haven't seen it all within the first half hour."

He's also confident that the two-man Llamasoft team has found a sweet spot between challenge and frustration. "I think what we've done in Space Giraffe is quite nice because there are two ways you can play it. You can play it very defensively, and it's not that hard to play it defensively and make a good bit of progress. But if you play defensively, you won't get the extra lives, so you need to play aggressively as well, to build up the bonus points you need to get extra lives," he says. "There's a wide path through the game."

And it's one we're very much looking forward to. For more on Space Giraffe, and lots more of Minter's enjoyable anecdotes, read the full interview.

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