ARMS devs talk game origins, more fighters coming, appealing to different players, franchise dreams

The following comes from an EDGE interview with Producer Kosuke Yabuki, art director Masaaki Ishikawa, and design director Shintaro Jikumaru...

On the game’s origins…

“We were thinking up ideas relating to things that extend. Things that would normally be rolled or bunched up, but could be extended with a punch – springs, ribbons, bandages, chains, and the like. We then expanded our ideas from there so, for example, we could use chains for a ninja-style character. The characters appear quite prominently, so we’ve made their designs fairly detailed.” – Ishikawa

On the core concept…

“I wondered if there was any way to make ARMS a little more accessible as a fighting game. Specifically, whether it would be possible to replace the elements that make up a fighting game with something more visually intuitive. For example, instead of having openings in your defense during or after an attack, we have the arm extension and retraction mechanic. And instead of strong and weak attacks, we have light-but-fast and slow-but-heavy weapons.” – Jikumaru

On additional fighters…

“The fighters we’ve announced are just a fraction of what’s to come. We’ll be introducing fighters all the time, with all sorts of abilities.” – Jikumaru

On balance…

“In addition to the vast number of possibilities that you can get from the different combinations of left arm, fighter and right arm, if you include the advantages and disadvantages incurred in stages as well, then it’s not practical to balance everything with just a handful of designers. To cope with this, we designed some systems to tabulate the battle results of all the developers, as well as a system for the AI to battle itself all night.” – Jikumaru

On motion controls recommended, but not required…

“The true feel of ARMS comes when you’re holding both Joy-Con controllers in the Thumbs-Up grip. You can throw punches from each hand with real precision as you dash or jump around, allowing for a lot more depth for your fighting style. It’s possible to throw a straight punch as a feint for your first blow, then curve your second punch to where your opponent runs to. But ARMS doesn’t quire you to use motion controls. I hope people will pick the playstyle that suits them.” – Yabuki

On having to appeal to different types of players…

“I don’t actually consider fighting games to be a niche genre. There are a lot of big games, and a lot of titles that are prominent on the esports scene. It’s a fiercely competitive genre. We designed the appearance and systems of ARMS so that people can feel like it’s the kind of game they’d like to play, too, by making it so you could see the trajectory of your arms, and by reducing the amount of things you have to memorize. And because we were using motion controls, we worked hard to make sure that while you could play simply by waving your hands, you couldn’t win against a good player by doing just that. Making games accessible while still maintaining plenty of depth is a never-ending problem in videogame development, and we have taken on that challenge with ARMS as well.

On wanting ARMS to be a franchise and having the game spread…

“It would be like a dream for this to become a franchise spanning decades. But right now, only a small number of people in the world know about ARMS: those who closely follow new games and technology. First, I’d like those people to play ARMS, then have fun with it. This game offers a brand-new playstyle, brand-new characters and brand-new strategic gameplay.” – Yabuki

ARMS - Twitter content update for April 27th, 2017

Nintendo releasing new wave of ARMS, Splatoon 2 and Zelda-themed Switch accessories in Japan

- ARMS, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Switch pouches due on Dec. 31st for ¥2,462 each
- Splatoon 2 case that holds the full Switch console, priced at ¥4,298

ARMS - Twitter content update for April 26th, 2017

We've seen the bottom tweet already, but now we have it translated through Nintendo EU. I mean, I guess I'm with Mechanica. Who wouldn't want stretchy, noodly arms?!

ARMS - new screens, art and footage for April 25th, 2017

Japan - Nintendo hosting storefront experience events for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and ARMS

- storefront experience events during Golden Week
- try out both Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and ARMS
- taking place at BIC CAMERA in Lazona Kawasaki on 29/30 April
- other locations include AEON MALL in Makuhari New City, Yodobashi Camera in Akiba and AEON MALL Kyoto Katsuragawa all on the 3rd/4th in May
- special third day on May 5th at Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Akiba Store

ARMS - Toaster arm showcase, Minmin animation loop

Nintendo really seems to be on a tear lately with ARMS. Obviously they want all of their games to a be a success, but it seems like they think ARMS could be something special. I sure hope they're right. I feel the same way based on what I played!

ARMS - Mechanica art and screen

ARMS - screenshot round-up for April 18th, 2017

The more I see of this game, the more I can't wait to get another hands-on session with it. It really surprised me the first time around, and I just know there's so much more to experience.