I recently had a chance to speak with Sean Walsh, Product Manager at Wired Productions, about their moe fishing sim Let’s Fish! Hooked On. The game is avaiable now on PSN for the Vita for $19.99. For more information about the game, visit the official Website at letsfishgame.com.

You should also take the bait and check out my review here.

Let's Fish! Hooked On Jamie

[Steve] The game looks fantastic. The moe anime-styled characters really set this game apart from other fishing games. What made you decide to go with this style?

[Sean] Thank you. We wanted to create a fishing game that was both fun and accessible; one way of achieving that was by creating a fun visual style that drew people into the game. In addition, the publisher of the Japanese version of the game is a book publishing company called ASCII Media Works. They are very good at publishing books and comics which focus on anime style content. They took inspiration from this when developing the Let’s Fish! Hooked On style.

[Steve] What was it like working with Poyoyon Rock for the character designs for the game?

[Sean]  Fantastic! We were really excited to have his character designs in-game. From a marketing point of view, they’ve definitely helped expand the market for the game, beyond that of a typical fishing game. He really got behind the project, and was intrigued to see how his designs would translate to the Vita; we’re all very pleased with the outcome.

[Steve] This is the first time I have ever heard of an in-depth story mode in a fishing game. Can you tell me how this came about?

[Sean] Again, we really wanted to do something a bit different. With Let’s Fish! Hooked On we wanted to add variety and give the game a point of differentiation from other fishing games. As Im sure you know, the story occurs in World Tour Mode, where the player is taken through a story line involving the four characters of the game.

[Steve] I noticed that each character has a specialty in their bio. How do these figure into each character’s game play?

[Sean] Each character has their own special skill and individual characteristics, which affect game play. In World Tour Mode characters earn points after competing in a number of skill improvement events – the earned number of points for each skill will be different for each character, depending on what their individual specialty is. For example, Ryuji is naturally good at casting, so the points he earns for casting will be less than the other characters.

[Steve] The outdoor locations in the game look gorgeous. Were they inspired by real locations?

[Sean] Not as far as I know, but I wouldn’t mind fishing at some of them!

[Steve] How do the fishing controls work with the touch screen? Are there any advantages to using the touch screen over a traditional control scheme?

[Sean] Let’s Fish! Hooked On was built exclusively for the PS Vita so we really wanted to make a fun, intuitive game that utilised the PS Vita touchscreen. Using the touch screen controls, we wanted to create an arcade style game play experience in an attempt to make fishing fun for everyone! By using the front touch panel, the player can respond to the fishing action quicker, providing a more intuitive and fun way to play the game. Players can tap and swipe the screen to handle the fishing controls for casting, reeling, hooking and other actions. In fact, the game can be played exclusively with the front touch screen, if you so wish. Whilst the back touch panel, allows the player to zoom in and out to inspect the water.

[Steve] This is the first time you have done a game for the PS Vita system. How was your experience in working with it?

[Sean] SIMS are a very experienced team that have launched many fishing games, including SEGA Bass Fishing, Top Angler, Hooked! and Hooked Again!, so they were ready and able to handle most things. From Wired Productions’ point of view, we definitely learned a lot in terms of working closely with Sony on our first PS Vita published product. It was definitely a learning curve at times, but one that has ultimately been very rewarding.

[Steve] Do you have any future projects planned for the PS Vita, or any other system, that you can discuss at this time?

[Sean]  Wired Productions are entering an extremely busy and exciting period with multiple projects either in discussion or under development. Whilst I can’t reveal anymore than that at this stage, I can say that we expect 2013 to be our most productive year yet.

Steve Baltimore
Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.