Coming from a Verge interview with ARMS art director Masaaki Ishikawa...
“Each fighter has these super intense, passionate fans who kind of copy their look and feel, and come into the arenas to support their chosen fighter. This world of Arms, it’s like our world’s football fans. They’re super passionate, and these Arms supporters really love the fighting aspect of this competition. ...With all of their differences, they still have a cohesive aesthetic that binds them to the same world.”
On Helix's design
“Initially we had the design for the double helix, DNA-spiral shape for his arms and we had a lot of different ideas for what kind of character would have arms like that. Maybe a cyborg, or some sort of man-made being. Eventually we settled on this amoeba-like character design. In the end, we got a sort of biological creature design. Rather than go really serious with how he moves, we thought it would be more fun and unique to give him an awkward, but cute animation. And with that we ended up with a really unique design that we’re really proud of.”
Coming from producer Kosuke Yabuki...
“In [Mario Kart 8] the focus really is on each of the course designs, and how you race on those, but Arms is more about how you use each fighter and their arms to fight each other. The personality and distinctive features of each of the Arms characters is a lot more important in this game, as opposed to Mario Kart.
Creating a wholly new property is really tough, but also incredibly fun and rewarding. You have to think of everything from scratch; the sound, the visuals, absolutely everything. It was really rough, but also really fun to try this.”