Home » Ask the Developer Vol. 5, Nintendo Switch Sports–Part 1

Ask the Developer Vol. 5, Nintendo Switch Sports–Part 1

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  • Pre-recorded content according to current COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines.

  • This article has been translated from the original Japanese content.

  • This interview was done before the game was released.

In this fifth volume of Ask the Developer, an interview series that conveys in their own words Nintendo’s ideas about Nintendo developers making products and the specific points they are particularly particular about. Nintendo Switch ™ Sports A game for the Nintendo Switch system released on April 29th (Friday).

1: Aim for the most inviting motion-based game in the world

Four:Playing with others is inherently fun

Part 1: Aim for the most inviting motion-based game in the world

First of all, can you briefly introduce yourself?

Takayuki Shimamura (Hereafter referred to as Shimamura): I’m the producer of Shimamura Nintendo Switch ™ Sports..Served as the director of Wii Sports ™, Wii Sports Resort ™ When Wii Sports Club ™.. This was the first title in a series I participated in as a producer.

Zenichi Yamashita (Hereafter, it is called Yamashita): The director of this title is Yamashita.I was also the director Wii Sports ™ When Wii Sports Resort ™ game.

Shinji Okane (Hereafter referred to as Okane): This is Okane. I was the program director for this title.I was also involved Ring Fit Adventure ™ With games as a program director Jump Rope Challenge ™ A game as a director. I have worked on many physical activity titles.

Junji Morii (Hereafter referred to as Morii): This is Morii. I joined this title as an art director.I was also an art director of Wii Sports ™ game.Some of the other titles I worked on Nintendo Land ™ And that 1-2-Switch ™ game. I have been working with Shimamura-san and Yamashita-san for a long time.

Natsuko Yokoyama (Hereafter referred to as Yokoyama): I was the sound director for this title. Before this game, I was in charge of sound effects (1) for Ring Fit Adventure ™ Like games and Mr. Okane, I’ve been working on physical activity titles.

((((1) Sound effects. All the sounds an object produces in a game.

thank you very much.Mr. Yamashita, could you start with a brief introduction? Nintendo Switch Sports??

Yamashita: of course. Nintendo Switch Sports A sequel to a series of motion-based games that started with Wii Sports, Released exclusively for the Wii system in 2006. In addition to the popular tennis, bowling and sword fights from previous titles, this new title includes volleyball, badminton and soccer. There will be an update in the fall when golf is added as an additional sport.

When did the work on this title begin? Did development start with the assumption that it would be a sequel? Wii Sports series?

Yamashita: Shortly after the Nintendo Switch system was released, the project started. Mr. Koizumi (2) Called me and requested the development of a Nintendo Switch title Wii Sports series. And that is the beginning of the project.

((((2) Yoshiaki Koizumi. Deputy Governor and Senior Executive Officer of the Planning and Development Department. He is the general producer of the Nintendo Switch system.

So it started long ago.

Yamashita: You may be wondering why it’s been so long since it was launched in 2022.

I’ve been working on it since I received a request from Mr. Koizumi.

Yamashita: Yes.With Wii Sports ™ When Wii Sports Resort ™ In the game, I came up with as many ideas as I could think of … and most of them were achieved and implemented in the title, so I felt we did everything we could. My impression at the time was that it would be difficult to do a sequel in the future.Therefore, this is Nintendo Switch Sports When the project started, I honestly felt that there was no sport left to add.

So your starting point was “nothing left to do”, and did you think of a creative way to add something new?

Yamashita: Yes. “There may not be so many new sports and gameplay types anymore, but that’s not enough.” After thinking about various things for a while, I was doing my best alone. With the addition of new members, I was conscious of creating something new that was different from the past in the process of prototyping. However, we were so conscious of this that we decided to achieve gameplay that could be played without shaking the Joy-Con ™ controller. (Smile)

Without shaking the Joy-Con controller …?The plan was to develop a title for Nintendo Switch Wii Sports Is it a series?

Yamashita That’s right.We started from Wii Sports However, we were obsessed with renewing the look, swing motion control became a secondary consideration, and other aspects of the game, such as the mood of the game, became a priority for our efforts. But at that time, I was working so hard that I didn’t really wonder. I was conscious of making something new no matter what, but it didn’t work out in the end.We got lost and were on the verge of losing charm Wii Sports.. And it had already been years before we admitted that we were pursuing the wrong direction.

I understand that it’s been a long time since the project started. How did you pivot from there after you realized you were going in the wrong direction?

Shimamura: Then, when I actually played the prototype, the operation was complicated and the motion control became a back burner. I felt that if we went in this direction, it wouldn’t be something that people would say, “Let’s play together,” when someone is at home.Was indispensable Wii Sports The series was easy for anyone to play, even for the first time, and I thought it was lacking in the prototypes I was making at the time. So, I had a hard time with all the staff who worked on the game halfway, but said that our goal was to make “the most mobile game in the world”. There are many other deep and interesting games at Nintendo, but considering the differences between them, I think it’s our mission to create friendly products for ages 5 to 95. And we have made a new start.


understand. That was a big decision. So what was the first thing you did when you resumed this latest entry?
Wii Sports Series as a motion-based game?

Yamashita: Going back to the basics, I thought that this game should be something that customers can react to immediately with a single swing and find it interesting. Fortunately, some customers have felt this way about past works, but both those who know past titles and newcomers will be able to say “Oh, this is fun” at the moment of choice. I decided to do it. Start the Joy-Con controller. But to get there, the entire development team needed to close the gap between those who knew and didn’t know past titles. For example, four people (Shimamura, Yamashita, Morii, Okane) who have experience in developing motion control games have some common sense when they say “this action from that time” or “old-fashioned way of making”, so “Oh. That’s it. This makes it easier to understand. ” However, when Mr. Yokoyama gave it to the new member in the same way, he was asked, “What the hell is that?”

Shimamura: Members who had a common experience in development Wii Sports The game can be prioritized immediately and say, “This is important. This can be developed later.” But new members understand why we are developing in such an order and why we are creating it that way, unless we put it in words properly. I could not do it.

By the way, how many new people did not know about the development of? Wii Sports??

Yamashita: More than 90% were new members. Each member brought in ideas for improving past titles, but I didn’t have a common experience of why I didn’t make such a system, so after a while of development, I finally said, “Hey, that’s it. So past titles seemed like they were. “It took a long time to reach a common understanding.

I think you said that it would be difficult without the intuition unique to motion-based game development.

Shimamura: For example, if you press the A button in a normal game, everyone will get the same result. However, in the case of motion control, the controller is shaken to operate, so even if you try to use the same motion control, the movement will be different, so it is not easy.

Certainly, the degree of “light” of “shaking lightly” varies from person to person.

Shimamura: If you give a prototype adjusted by imagining it as a “light swing” to another person and swing it “lightly”, it will not move in exactly the same way in the game. So this happens. As with previous games, motion-based games require adjustments to each of these aspects.

Okane: After all, it wasn’t enough to explain, but as I was actually making and playing the game, everyone started to understand …

This meant that we were able to share different insights by tracking the actual development of the project and improving the project by incorporating past methods. So, if we had a common understanding, would development go smoothly?

Yamashita: No, it’s better, but I think it didn’t work as well as I expected. This is my third title development, so I thought I could do a certain task within a certain amount of time … First of all, when I realized motion control, I hadn’t realized it yet. We have thoroughly investigated all the mechanical and systematic differences between the Wii system and the Nintendo Switch system. Through trial and error in development, there were more differences than I had expected, and as a result, it was time-consuming and difficult. (Smile)


Shimamura:
I thought I could take over some elements from the original title, and it would be as easy as 1, 2, 3 … (laughs)

So I thought it would be easy for everyone to at least reproduce it. Wii Sports..

Okane: No, all programmers thought, “It’s never going to be easy …”.

Yamashita: I can understand it. Unless you actually write the code (3), I don’t understand how difficult it is. As a director, I would like to ask you to “make this kind of experience possible.” However, it is the programmer who is doing trial and error to achieve that. This is the most difficult part, but I still only remember the good memories of developing past titles, so I tend to feel free to ask. … I apologize. We would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the inconvenience …

((((3) A game program that describes what kind of input (motion control, button operation, etc.) and what kind of output (character running, throwing a ball, etc.) in a programming language.


read more –
Part 2: Detection above 90%

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