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Miaymoto on Mario as a mascot, Super Mario Run, Mario's future, mobile efforts, Animal Crossing & more

Coming from a Verge interview with Shigeru Miyamoto...

On Mario's role as a gaming mascot

“I feel like Mario was what introduced millions of people to video games and interactive entertainment, and I think that Mario will continue to serve that role and I think with Super Mario Run that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

On one-button game experiments that started on Wii

“As we were doing those Wii experiments, we thought that that kind of approach would perhaps best be suited to iPhone. So that became the basis for Super Mario Run. Nintendo has been making Mario games for a long time, and the longer you continue to make a series, the more complex the gameplay becomes, and the harder it becomes for new players to be able to get into the series. We felt that by having this simple tap interaction to make Mario jump, we’d be able to make a game that the broadest audience of people could play.”

On the Pokemon GO success

“Certainly when we first embarked on our mobile strategy, a key element for us was the idea of bringing our characters and [intellectual property] to a much broader audience, but I think we were surprised by the impact that [Pokémon Go] has had in terms of bringing that audience back to our own games.”

On releasing Animal Crossing to mobile and expanding the audience for the next traditional Animal Crossing game

“We have Super Mario Run releasing now, and it’s already decided that we’ll be making a Mario game for our next system and similarly with Animal Crossing, the hope is that when we release the Animal Crossing mobile game, we’ll have more people who become familiar with the Animal Crossing world and characters, so that when we next release an Animal Crossing game we’ll have a much larger audience who will be interested.”

On what kinds of Mario games fans of Super Mario Run will want

“Super Mario Run is going to introduce millions of more people to the fun of Mario, and it’ll become the entry point for them and then the question becomes, once you’ve gone through that entry point, then what comes next? Is it a more traditional Mario experience? Is it something like the Mario Galaxy games? We’ll then have to look at what it is these new fans want from a Mario game, and we’ll continue to see Mario evolve in that way.”

On Mario's first step into mobile and the legacy of the Wii U

“I hope people will continue to recognize the areas where Nintendo has taken that first step and hopefully someday people will look back on the Wii U and think ‘Oh wow, I remember when Nintendo did that, and now look at what’s come of that.’”

Miyamoto also said that franchises like Nintendogs could potentially work better as mobile-only experiences. He went on to say that, "depending on the IP there are different opportunities."

Nintendo explains reasoning behind Switch name, talks direction of the reveal trailer

Coming from a Nintendo Dream interview with a Nintendo rep..

“We decided that this name (Switch) would be the best fit for our product for two reasons. It represents one of the defining features of the Switch, the ability to seamlessly ‘switch’ between the TV screen and Switch’s screen, while also embodying the idea of being a ‘switch’ that will flip, and change the way people experience entertainment in their daily lives.

We wanted to show people (in the reveal trailer) just how much of an enjoyable difference it will make in their entertainment experiences, by having them see and hear for themselves what it can do in an easy-to-digest manner. It allows people to enjoy a home console experience not only in front of a TV, but in rooms with no TV, or outside altogether. And because the controllers are detachable from the main body of the console, each of its forms offer different play experiences for people to enjoy.”

Stardew Valley creation took 70 hours of work a week for 4 years

Eric Barone has a huge hit on his hands with Stardew Valley, and it's coming to the Switch in 2017. The title has been quite a labor of love for Barone, who admits to working on the title for 70 hours a week for 4 years straight. Talk about dedication to an idea! If you want to learn more about the process Barone went through to get this game out, check out the full feature here.

Sony says Switch is "unique" & "interesting", believe it to be "good for core gamers", talk Nintendo mobile efforts

A portion of a DigitalSpy interview with Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Sony's Worldwide Studios...

DS: 2017 will see the launch of another new console, Nintendo's Switch. What do you think of it, and where do you see it sitting in the console ecosystem?

SY: I think it's a very unique system. It's very interesting that they've designed the system to work well with more conventional games in terms of inputs and buttons. So I think it's good for core gamers and their marketing message focused on that.

DS: Do you still see Nintendo as competition in terms of hardware sales, or do they now exist in a completely different market?

SY: I think they're going to cover a new market for themselves.

DS: Nintendo are also making big moves into mobile gaming. Super Mario Run comes out soon and Pokemon Go was the success story of the year on mobile. Is this an area Sony will be looking to move into?

SY: Not like Nintendo is. But the mobile is a great tool to connect with our fans and might be a good place to allow new gamers – or non-gamers – to become familiar with our IP. So we will look at opportunities to make use of the device.

THQ Nordic has plans for de Blob franchise, hoping to revive Deadly Creatures

A portion of a NintendoEverything interview with THQ Nordic’s Reinhard Pollice...

NE: Does THQ Nordic have any plans for the de Blob franchise?

RP: Yes, we do.

NE: In 2013, you mentioned that you were interested in reviving Deadly Creatures. Do you still hope to see it brought back in the future?

RP: I still have hopes for that although we had some kind of set back just recently that was very disappointing.

Nintendo reveals how the demand for a more realistic Link after Wind Waker ended up derailing Wind Waker 2

The following comes from a The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts interview with artist Satoru Takizawa and Illustrator Yusuke Nakano...

AA: Realistic Link came back four years after Wind Waker in Twilight Princess, which was released on GameCube and Wii. The pendulum returned again to the realistic direction, but what kind of circumstances resulted in it?

Takizawa: To tell you the truth, we had begun the initial steps towards creating Wind Waker 2 around that time. However, demand for a more Ocarina-like game was growing by the day. We did our very best with Wind Waker, and put everything we had into it…

However, Wind Waker 2 would have taken place in a more land-based setting, rather than on the sea, so that we could have Link could gallop across the land on a horse. But Link’s proportions in Wind Waker weren’t very well suited for riding on horseback, he was too short, and an adult version of Toon Link did not seem appropriate either. So, while we were stuck on those problems, we became aware of the greater demand for a more realistic, taller Link. High-budget live-action fantasy movies were also huge at the time, so with all things considered, we decided to have at it. I was on board with the project as art director, and started off by bringing [Yusuke] Nakano on to do the design for Link.

AA: So the project began with Mr. Nakano’s Link as the basis?

Takizawa: He had joined after the graphics testing process, when we were trying to figure out the game’s “product-level visual identity”. I think that was the first time we had ever brought him on during that part of development.

Nakano: Yes. That was the first time for an internally developed Zelda game.

Ed Boon talks about the early days of Mortal Kombat

GI: So when you guys were getting Mortal Kombat started and you were doing your tests of the characters, were you digitizing yourselves in the game? Or did you bring in actors from day one?

EB: In the very beginning, we wanted it to be a game starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and it was supposed to be… I think Bloodsport was a pretty recent release that he had. Bloodsport and Enter the Dragon and all these ensemble things where everybody kind of collects to fight in some kind of a tournament was the kind of theme that we knew we wanted to do that would allow us to have big variety of characters. So we took the movie Bloodsport and we played a videotape and digitized those images and put together like a demo using what we could find.

We made a demo and sent it over to Jean-Claude Van Damme. So we had put together this tape and this demo and kind of showed mocked-up graphics of what we would envision it to look like and then they contacted our guy who talks with the licenses and stuff and they said, “Sorry he’s already signed a deal with Sega” or somebody like that. Which was weird because we never saw that game. I’m still waiting for that game to come out 25 years later.

So we said, “Okay, well, let’s do our own characters.” John Tobias, at the time he was like, “Oh I know a bunch of martial artists that I went to high school with. Let’s bring some of them in and let’s shoot them.” It wasn’t even blue screen or green screen at the time. We just shot them in front of a wall and manually ripped away the edges frame by frame. And we did that super fast. We got a demo of the game running. God, it must have been… just a few weeks. Maybe in a month we got something running.

The big thing was this uppercut. Once we got this uppercut going and the screen shook and the guy flew up in the air then like suddenly everybody is coming into my office “Aw, let me see the game!” Our management all of a sudden… it was something that was real. It was something that people started talking about.

Since we do coin-operated games, we were also working in the building where they manufactured [the machines], so there was a factory and they had a production line and they were making pinball machines at the time. But they were trying to ramp up our offices in, I think it was by Gurnee, we had one that was building the video games and that showed, “Oh for this month we’re going to run out of whatever game we were producing at the time. Can you guys get this fighting game ready in time to fill that production schedule?” And we were like, “We can try” and we were much, much younger than we are now and so I had a lot more energy.

We put the game on test in an arcade like five months after we started it, after that first demo. With six characters. Sonya Blade didn’t exist. And there were four guys on the team: Myself, John Tobias, a guy named John Vogel, and Dan Forden who did music. And that was the entire team. Looking back now, it was odd just because.... I think in my head it’s just two guys on the screen. How hard can it be? Jumping around and stuff. So we put it on test and it was… I swear to god somewhere in my basement I have footage of that first test. But it was like the most surreal thing seeing 30, 40 people crowded around the game and when they would see something crazy happen when they just saw an uppercut or blood or something like that… they were literally running around out of excitement. Running around the machine.

So at the time we were like “Wow!” and we had tested games before and you really get an idea when you test a game how it’s going to do. And we had seen nothing like this. Our company got phone calls from distributors in Los Angeles. I remember one of our distributors [got] mad at us, saying, “What is this game that you’re testing that we’ve heard about?” People flew in from New York just because they heard this game was on test. Again, Street Fighter was huge, so arcades were just packed with people playing Street Fighter. And all of a sudden this new kind of bad boy-looking version of Street Fighter comes out and it was just taking over. It was ridiculous. So some people were flying in from New York and checking the game out, and then we pulled it after just a few days because we knew what the bugs were. So there were people who showed up and the game was gone and we started getting phone calls. It was like nothing you can really imagine, when you see something that’s on the cusp of becoming bigger than the team is.

And we got the game done in eight months. The game from beginning to end was eight months. Four guys. A lot of late night hours. There was no such thing as a designer. The position of designer didn’t exist. It was Programmer, Artist, Sound Guy. Those were the three positions on our team. When I think back to it, the design really was ideas. John Tobias, he designed the costumes and stuff like that. I designed what the guys did, what their special powers were and what their fighting mechanics were. It was a complete collaboration on our part, but as far as the actual work - the implementation of it, the programming in the moves - that was me. And doing the art and the animation and stuff that was John Tobias in the background. Graphics was John Vogel and Dan Forden was the sound. So it was a very tight four-person team. Very collaborative. That was kind of like what started this 25-year chapter of fighting games.

Metroid developer interview with Yoshio Sakamoto and Hiroji Kiyotake

The Metroid™ game series holds a special place in the hearts of gamers across the world. Now you can find out what went into the making of the original game 30 years ago.

In the latest edition of the Nintendo developer interview series, the creative minds behind Metroid explain how they came up with the iconic characters and how they overcame crushing deadlines to make this classic game. Read the interview here.

To play Metroid and many more classic titles, check out the NES Classic Edition. This miniaturized version of the original system lets you plug-and-play 30 classic games.

Full interview here

Sakaguchi shares his thoughts on Final Fantasy remakes

A portion of a Glixel interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi...

G: How do you feel about the Final Fantasy remakes?

HS: On one hand, there are benefits to creating remakes. For example, the original Final Fantasy games were made of characters with the big, stubby heads. This style doesn’t really sell outside of the Japanese market. So, the remakes introduce these early games in a way that weren’t done before and I appreciate them because they can be enjoyed by a bigger audience. But personally, as a creator, I’d rather people focus their energy into creating something new. For example, [Final Fantasy XV director, Hajime Tabata] has recently created Final Fantasy XV and created an entirely new story, world, and characters. I think that’s great. But like I said, the remakes have their purpose.