Ever since we first laid eyes on Viva Piņata last month, we've been intrigued and excited about what looks set to be one of the most original games ever to come from Rare.
Speaking to our friends at OXM.co.uk, Viva Piņata Executive Producer Jim Veevaert and Lead Designer Gregg Mayles offered some more nuggets about the game, including its many enticing Xbox Live options.
"As with all game concepts Viva Piņata started off very small and simple. We wanted to create an environment that players could customise to attract animals, then allow the player to trade those animals with other people," said Mayles. "We had the concept for the game but we were searching for an identity for the animals. We're from the UK so we didn't know that much about piņatas, but when we discovered them we instantly wondered why no one had ever used them in a game"
Despite what you may think looking at the cute and cuddly screenshots, not all the Piņatas are sweet and innocent: "Bad piņatas are easy to spot because they're bright red," notes Mayles. "The bad crocodile piņata scares off your residents, the snail eats the flowers in your garden, the mandril starts fights amongst the other piņatas. Each bad piņata has a reverse side though, so if you work out how to turn them into good piņatas they can help out your garden. The crocodile will scare off bad piņatas, the mandril will stop fights, and the snail will eat the weeds."
In the interview, the Viva Piņata developers also discussed the game's Xbox Live modes, the TV show tie-in and taking on Pokémon. To read the whole thing, head on over to OXM.co.uk for a good old gander.