Q&As// Trion Cube Designer: Kouji Asuna

We decided to apply the cute looks to make it more appealing to the younger and female players

Posted 5 Jun 2007 12:00 by
The 'Trion  Captain' apparently...
The 'Trion Captain' apparently...
I?m a sucker for puzzle games. There, I said it. The secret addiction is out. Ever since Tetris on the Game Boy I?ve had an insatiable lust for block-busting, bubble-bopping strategy, and Tetris DS was simply heaven with online play. That said, it?s quite difficult to come up with an original puzzle concept these days, only adding to my anxiety levels as we need more. More blocks, bigger score, longer battery life (for the handhelds that grace the games, naturally).

So, it?s with some interest then, that Trion Cube has ventured its way to the Nintendo DS. In it, you play a little nameless chap who is captain of the space ship Penko, trying to save a princess from a bounder called Hell Metal. The game advances by forming 3x3 squares on a grid from valid blocks. Certainly sounds like a potential time-killer ? SPOnG spoke to the game?s designer, Kouji Asuna, to tell us more about the puzzler.

SPOnG: Can you please explain the concept behind Trion Cube and tell us how you came up with the idea for the game?

Kouji Asuna: The concept of Trion Cube was to make everyone (from a novice to an expert) feel excited and enjoy the fun of creating combos as the blocks pile up on the screen. The idea came to me while I was relaxing at home watching TV after taking a bath.

SPOnG: Why did you decide to focus so much of the gameplay on combos, rather than the traditional puzzle game idea of just clearing lines?

Kouji Asuna: By reversing the traditional rules of a puzzle game, the idea of starting a combo as you build up the blocks formed shape. I hope everyone will be able to enjoy this unique style of play which Trion Cube offers.

SPOnG: Many people have compared Trion Cube to Tetris, is this something that you would agree with? Would you also agree that Tetris has probably been the most important puzzle game of the last 20+ years?

Kouji Asuna: Having Trion Cube compared to Tetris is rather honourable considering its place in history of the puzzle game genre. However, Trion Cube has its own unique features not seen in Tetris, so I hope many players will be able to get their hands on the game to experience the differences themselves.

SPOnG: Were there any puzzle games that inspired you to create Trion Cube? It reminds me a lot of Lumines.

Kouji Asuna: It can be said that inspirations has come from all the puzzle games available to date. Since I tend to play a lot of overseas titles as well, I have been inspired by both Japanese and non Japanese titles.

SPOnG: Trion Cube is an extremely cute game, did you always plan to make it as cute as it is? Do you think it?s a game that?s better for younger players?

Kouji Asuna: The original interface was rather basic at the beginning. However, we decided to apply the cute looks to make it more appealing to the younger and female players as well. I hope the idea has had some effect.
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