Developer/publisher Vitei Format Playdate Release Q4 2021
We fell in love with the Playdate as soon as we saw it. It was the crank, the little crank on the side – I just thought it was such a brilliant control input method. I’m always for trying out different ways of controlling games, because it can really change the entire game.
With Whitewater, it sounds like a crank wouldn’t be a good input method but it’s actually a brilliant input method for – I know this is going to sound stupid – things that need to be turned at varying speeds. You can turn it really quick to turn all the way around, or you can slow it down to get really fine adjustment out of it. Think about it: there’s no other way of doing that. If you use a joystick, you’re not going to get the fidelity of being able to smoothly rotate around. With the crank, it’s such a simple, brilliant little way of controlling things. Surfing is such an ideal case for that. You need to be able to spin really quickly to do a trick, and when you land you need to be able to very delicately ride the wave.
I didn’t want it to have a chugginess to it, so it was quite hard to get that performance out of the little device. It doesn’t have a GPU or anything like that, so you can only really have a few sprites on screen before it starts slowing down. It was quite a challenge to figure out how to do the wave and have this big board rotation on the screen with a character sitting on top.