SEGA wanted to make a Metroid game, but Nintendo turned the proposal down

Well here's a crazy tidbit well worth its own post! The other day, we shared snippets from an interview with SEGA's Toshiro Nagoshi. He talked about working on Super Monkey Ball, as well as F-Zero GX. In the blurb about F-Zero GX, we find out that SEGA had interest in working on a Metroid game, but it seems the pitch never went anywhere.

...while we made a few proposals - Metroid for instance, and others - I was most confident in making a driving game because of my experience in the genre, though I'd never make a sci-fi one.

I can't even begin to imagine what a SEGA-developed Metroid would have been like. All I know is I still want to see it happen!

Abstraction Games shares insight into porting Ark: Survival Evolved to Switch, the game's content, and more

The head of Abstraction Games, John Day, has talked about the Switch in great detail on the 'Fragments of Silicon' podcast. In the blurbs below, Day talks about his team's work to bring Ark: Survival Evolved to the Switch, the horsepower of the platform, making the port feature/content complete, and more.

“The Switch does not have the horsepower of a high-end… or even a PS4. It’s not actually particularly close to that. But as I said before, we are an engineering company. We have extraordinarily smart people who do very technical things very, very well and so by doing things like procedurally reducing meshes on assets and dynamically scaling the resolution in intelligent ways and things like that, we can manage some of that performance.

I’m unaware of any significant features or content that Ark: Survival Evolved Switch is lacking or otherwise. I’m pretty sure it’s pretty much that game. As I said, seeing as it’s on the Switch we have had to make a couple of adaptations to ensure… I mean not only in terms of things like performance but also in terms of controls and user interface and things like that.

Ultimately, the target is not as much about saying, ‘Okay, we need to be this resolution at this frame rate.’ It’s that we go, ‘We need to have this feel in quality of the user experience at these points in the game.’ It’s pretty easy to be like, ‘Oh we’re going to do an upscale to 720p at 30 Hz at least, everywhere we can, but better than that when we can, and worse than that when we have to.’ You have to understand, even Breath of the Wild dipped below 20 frames at certain points in the game. It’s just that you don’t notice because of the way that they’ve handled it. So I think that we’re trying to rather than be like, ‘Okay, here’s a frame rate benchmark – hit this or else,’ I think it’s more like, ‘We’re looking at this thing holistically from a qualitative standpoint.’ I guess there’s a range of parameters within there that seem to work depending on what the context is.

As I said, we have done some procedural reduction of some of the meshes and things like that. And there are a couple of other tricks… there are some others, I won’t bore you with the technical details. I think we’re trying to find places where we can ease the demand on the system without compromising the quality to the player. I think there are a lot of places where we can reduce the number of triangles in a given asset, and it doesn’t really look significantly different even though it’s got way fewer of them in it. So there are opportunities like that.”

Octopath Traveler's composer shares detailed thoughts on the process and struggles of creating the game's soundtrack

Octopath Traveler composer Yasunori Nishiki has been sharing all sorts of thoughts on the game's soundtrack since it released. He's been publishing these thoughts on the official Japanese page for the game's soundtrack. Here's a rundown of some of the content he's been sharing with fans.

On the main character themes:

“Every main character’s theme was made to be around one minute in length. Something I discussed with the Hayasaka-san, the sound director, was the theory that memorable game themes should be around one minute or so. And it was true – the old Final Fantasy character themes are all composed to be around that length. Focusing on the simple elements lead to the themes and motifs being easily remembered in a small amount of time.”

On ‘Battle 1’

“This ‘Battle 1’ theme is probably the track that players of Octopath Traveler will hear the most (even more than the main theme), meaning that this track is representative of the true face of this game. While trying to realize this game’s theme for the music, which was ‘the gorgeous audio image provided by live instruments’, as well as how to represent the musical elements present in battle themes from classic RPGs, I came to the current composition.

Although there are some brass and electric guitar parts in it, it’s only there to liven up the music, and string instruments remain as the centerpiece of the track.

The composition of the piece is like this: Intro-> A-> B –> Chorus, like how a song would be composed. I decided to compose the piece like this based on the fact that the chorus would most likely be heard thanks to various tactical elements like the Break system. With this type of composition, the chorus comes along just as the battle starts to heat up (in this game, that would be using Boost points for flashy, strong attacks), and make the player feel even more pumped up. This is why I thought this was appropriate.

On the other hand, for games where each battle is quite short, I believe that a memorable melody is a must, so it really depends on the type of game you’re making. It requires a high amount of skill.

Finally I would like to state again that ‘Battle 1’ is the face of the game, and I always think that personally, it’s one of the types of songs I find the hardest to compose.

This song was so hard to create… (cries)”

On ‘Boss Battle 1’

“I’ve composed quite a few battle tracks for Octopath Traveler, and each of them presents a different concept to each other.

Early in development for Octopath Traveler, there was a proposal regarding battle themes, where only orchestral instruments were to be used, and modern instruments such as drums and electric guitars were to be discarded. (Although we determined later on that the battle themes wouldn’t be lively enough without them, and decided to include them.)

The song I composed from during that period was this song, which is meant to sound as orchestra-like as possible no matter whether drums were included or not.

The intro to the track is composed in the classic fashion of bringing out the tension of fighting a strong opponent. Afterwards, the drums kick in, and the focus is then placed on the protagonists, with phrases that are meant to encourage them.

All the boss battles seamlessly transition in from the character intros, which plays during the events leading up to the fight, which we nicknamed “Battle Extend”. Because when you enter the battle is determined by when you advance the text, this becomes an interactive element to the music. However, this sort of interactive element isn’t uncommon nowadays, so we thought that we may as well make the lead-up as emotionally charged as possible, and I remember putting a lot of effort into this.

However, because of this, the tempo for boss battle themes had to be fixed at 164, and had to start in the G Minor key, which caused no shortage of headaches.

By the way, I wonder how many people realized how different the track is from the version in the first demo? Actually, back then the drums were synthesized, and the whole latter section of the track was missing.

You could say that people who know this bit of trivia are the true Octopath Travelers.”

Rainbow Six Siege will not see release on the Switch, says Ubisoft

Are you hoping to see more support from Ubisoft on the Switch? More might be in the works, but that support won't include Rainbow Six Siege. The Metro recently interviewed Rainbow Six Siege brand director Alexandre Remy, and he had this to share on the potential of a port.

[It’s] not possible with the technical constraint and especially the frame rate of the game; 60 frames per second plus destruction is a bit CPU heavy and Switch is not yet the Nintendo console where it’ll be.

Super Neptunia RPG dev details meshing of old and new characters

A portion of a Michibiku interview with Artisan Studios’ Mario Rizzo...

M: What was done to make sure new characters like Chrom, Mai, Kukei and Surara fit in with the existing console goddesses and cast members?

MR: So as I mentioned, the creation of the game scenario was primarily handled by Mizuno-san’s team at Compile Heart in Japan, and Artisan then needed to create the art and animate these things. They were the creators of these new characters when they developed the storyline for Super Neptunia RPG. Artisan primarily developed the quests, so we used the guidelines from the scenario to ensure they fit in the rest of the characters from the Neptunia universe. We also made sure that we had all of our content for these new characters, like dialogue and quests, validated in Japanese by the design team at Compile Heart before localizing the game into other languages.

DOOM Eternal Gameplay Interview with Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin

Haven't had enough of DOOM Eternal yet? Check out the video feature above, which goes over various gameplay details with id Software's Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin. The two discuss the Doom universe, storytelling, PvP, the "invader" system, and more.

SEGA on the SEGA AGES logo, balancing old and new features in the game lineup, and working on more than 15 games

Nintendo Dream recently published an interview with SEGA Ages lead producer and director Rieko Kodama, and supervisor Yousuke Okunari (translated by NintendoEverything). The first thing the devs discussed is the brand-new SEGA AGES logo you can see in the art above.

Coming up with the new logo wasn't easy, as over 90 different proposed designs were made. SEGA eventually settled on the one you see in the image above, as they felt the coloring reminded people of classic SEGA, and the pixel-style letters helped evoke feelings of when these classic games originally released.

The devs then moved on to discuss the new features and elements games in the SEGA AGES lineup will have. The team worked hard to include quality of life features that would be appreciated by old and new gamers alike, but were sure to maintain the original feeling and play-style of the titles. New bells and whistles like visual upgrades and online play were carefully decided and balanced to make sure that the spirit of these releases was left intact.

Finally the developers shared that there are more than 15 titles being worked on for the SEGA AGES lineup at the moment, and some of the games included haven't seen any other release outside of their original launch! The plan is to release one-to-two titles a month, and details on other games in the lineup will be shared in the future.

Splatoon 2 producer talks about what makes the game fun, the importance of community, and his greatest pleasure as a dev

Nintendo conducted an internal video interview with Splatoon 2 producer Hisashi Nogami to talk about the game in general. You can see a summary of the discussion below.

- Nogami thought the E3 2018 tournament was a wonderful display of high-level play, and he cheered along with the event
- Nogami believes the 4-player teams help to make Splatoon 2 really fun, and provides unique roles fore each player
- the use of ink makes it easy/clear to see who's winning/losing, so anyone just watching the game can enjoy as well
- Nogami finds playing with friends and online with random people to both be fun and important
- Nogami feels the community aspect of the game, both in gameplay and outside of the game, is a great element
- character design in Splatoon 2 is based on sea creatures in general
- Nogami says there is no greater pleasure for him than witnessing a game that can bridge people across the globe

Little Dragons Cafe creator says certain things were downgraded for the Switch version, but gameplay was improved

Monstervine sat down with Little Dragons Cafe creator Yasuhiro Wada to discuss the process of bringing the game to Switch. In the snippet below, Wada mentions that some things were 'downgraded' for the Switch version, but doesn't specify any elements in particular.

We first created the game for PS4 and PC, so we had to downgrade certain things for the Switch. We also re-arranged some play mechanics, so there are some improvements there. I feel happy that the Switch version’s gameplay has actually improved, even though we had to downgrade some things.

Blizzard talks about Diablo III's smooth porting process to Switch, building a relationship with Nintendo, and future Switch support

The following tidbits come from a Kotaku interview with Blizzard senior producer Pete Stilwell.

- porting was a relatively smooth process, which took about 9 months
- “conversion on the graphics side” of things was the biggest challenge
- Nintendo offered assistance with trouble-shooting
- the experience paved the way for potential future Blizzard ports to the Switch

“Without going beyond [the Diablo port], I think it was a good exploration into the platform and into the relationship with Nintendo that has been extremely positive, extremely healthy and forward-thinking.”

- a team of “eight or nine” Blizzard staffers collaborated with Iron Galaxy to handle this port
- “nothing to say about that today” when asked about Overwatch
- each potential port of a Blizzard game will be its own process

“Blizzard is really comprised of many unique game teams, so the game engines are equally unique. I wish I could say it’s simple, like ‘flip a switch.’ But it’s not.”