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Sonic Mania Plus - Dev Diary 2 (Game Design)

Christian Whitehead and Takashi Iizuka join us for our second Sonic Mania Plus Dev Diary! Sonic Mania Plus is out now on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC, but you probably already knew that, right?

Mega Man 11 - video interview with the game's director and producer

To be completely honest, I don't need to hear anything else about Mega Man 11 to know that I want it. It's a day-one purchase for me without a doubt. I love the Mega Man mainline franchise soooooooooo much. Anything else I see about Mega Man 11 just makes the wait that much tougher!

Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers devs think people aren't aware the game released, want to make a Dillon RPG

The 3DS isn't exactly garnering a ton of attention around the world. It might be selling well here in the states, but those who are just picking up the system now seem to be quite young, and they're playing the huge backlog of games that came to the system in years gone by. That makes it hard for a new game to gain any traction, even if that title has the backing of Nintendo.

Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers launched on the 3DS awhile back, and it seems that not too many people have picked it up. In an interview with Kotaku, Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe and Vanpool’s Jun Tsuda talk about how they think people missed the game, and their desire to put Dillon into an RPG.

Kesuke Tanabe

“I really only know about what people are saying online. What I see personally is that many people are not aware that this game has been released, and I want more people to play this game. I’ve actually been wanting to make an RPG with Dillon as a main character for a while. I am hoping this game reaches a wide enough audience that we can make that plan come true in the future.”

Jun Tsuda

“I bet the players who like Dillon and the setting actually are pretty secretive about it. I would like more people to know about the game. It’s not like a popular restaurant, so there won’t be a sudden crowd or a long wait time or anything. So, to any new players who have an interest now after reading this article, please give the game a try. You won’t regret it.”

What do you guys have to say about Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers? Were you unaware the game launched? Do you just not care about the franchise? Are you done with your 3DS?

Sakurai says bringing back every fighter for Smash Bros. can only happen once, future Smash games likely to have fewer characters

The focus with Smash Bros. Ultimate is to bring back every single character who was ever playable in the Smash Bros. franchise. That means the roster is insanely huge, and even has a couple new characters so far! That must mean the next Smash game after Ultimate is going to absolutely MASSIVE, right? Not so, says Sakurai.

In Sakurai's latest Famitsu feature, the man himself says the amount of total fighters in the next Smash game is likely to be smaller than what you see here in Smash Bros. Ultimate. Sakurai believes you can only bring back every single fighter once, so this is a very special event. This also leads him to believe that future Smash titles might be a bit sabotaged due to the grandiose nature of this outing.

With that said, Sakurai isn't really thinking about the future of Smash. He'll worry about the next game if/when it happens. For now, he's focusing all his development power on making Smash Bros. Ultimate the best it can be.

These tidbits were translated by the wonderful gang over at Source Gaming. Make sure you check them out!

Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda gives vague comments about Switch's Pokemon 2019 title, hints at connectivity with Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee

As we said earlier in the week, Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda was going to be part of an interview featured in the latest issue of Famitsu. That interview is now available, and we have a quick rundown of what Mr. Masuda said concerning the Pokemon title hitting Switch in 2019.

As for the 2019 title, we’re working with the idea that everyone will be playing on their own Switch. It’ll have the same kind of feeling as the previous games on handheld systems.

Masuda was asked about the potential for bringing over Pokemon from the upcoming Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee, to which he gave an interesting response.

There have been times where you couldn’t bring Pokemon over from previous titles – I imagine that created some bad memories. I want to try and change that, if I can.

Various developers comment on Octopath Traveler's decision to go with partially-voiced dialog

Those who are playing Octopath Traveler know that the game uses voiceover for some of the dialog, while things remain quiet for other moments. On top of that, you'll hear a character speak lines that are different from what the text on-screen is. There are also moments when dialog is voiced by simple character utterances, like grunts or sighs. Wondering why a developer might choose to go this route? So was Game Informer, which is why they reached out on Twitter to scrounge up some possible explanations. Here's what Jos Hendriks, a senior level designer at BioWare, had to say.

"1. Money (VO budget) 2. Time (implementation) 3. Memory (loading conversation files) 4. Scalability of content (if every line is subject to VO, less content can be made because of the costs associated) 5. Same filesize (every little bit matters)."

I'm sure all those reasons above apply, but I think there's one that some devs might not be considering. Taking this approach to voicing dialog, where some lines are voiced and others get smaller noises/phrases is a very Nintendo-style approach. Nintendo loves to do that kind of thing. They emphasize certain words/phrases/sounds with special dialog. I wouldn't be surprised if Square-Enix wanted to take that approach to fit in better with what Nintendo fans are used to.

Little Dragons Cafe creator on the importance of variety in the game industry

Yasuhiro Wada has had a very long and successful career in the game industry. His latest game is Little Dragons Cafe, a game about adventuring, exploring, dragon-raising, and running a cafe. The game is definitely unique, and doesn't quite fit into one genre. In an interview with Dtoid, Wada explains why it's important for the industry to create all sorts of varied games.

“I play a lot of open-world RPGs. Like Fallout 3 and Skyrim. There are fighting and shooting elements in those games. But if all developers were to make only those types of games, I don’t think the gaming industry would last. There are a lot of people out there who are gamers without having played those violent games. They enjoy something else, so I feel I have to make something other than those genres to reach them.”

Little Dragons Cafe creator talks about in-game weather, day/night cycle, and potential for DLC

A portion of a Gematsu interview with Little Dragons Cafe creator Yasuhiro Wada...

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G: We know that weather plays an important role in Little Dragons Cafe in terms of customer traffic. Does weather affect any other areas of the game?

Wada: “Technically, not really. Maybe small things like your stamina might not be as good on bad weather days. There is no big effect to the game itself.”

G: How about the day and night cycle?

Wada: “The ingredients that you can collect during the day and night can differ. This is something I discussed with the artist, but as far as gameplay goes, [the day and night cycle] doesn’t affect the game negatively, what I really wanted to show was the scenic differences such as the sunset and the beauty of the island. I really wanted the player to see the various aspects of color usage.”

G: Are you planning any post-launch downloadable content?

Wada: “If it becomes a series. For now, no. But if it becomes a series, there is definitely a possibility. There are a lot of things I want to do for this franchise. Little Dragons Cafe is a brand new IP and a big risk we’re taking, and we did our best to make the best game with our budget and want to see it succeed. If it succeeds, then what successful game doesn’t have a sequel? I have a lot of ideas, and it’s very difficult to implement everything into this first game. If Little Dragons Cafe is successful and people are willing to see more, then in the sequel we’ll be able to take more of a risk and implement more things that the fans are asking for.”

Game Freak's Junichi Masuda interviewed for this week's Famitsu issue

Last week we found out that the next issue of Famitsu would include an interview with some of the Splatoon 2 dev team. Loosk like there's even more Nintendo goodness in the issue, as now we know that it includes an interview with Game Freak director Junichi Masuda as well! We don't have interview details, but one would imagine there'll be some chatter about Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee at the very least.

Nitrome working on Bomb Chicken patch, considering DLC, and has more Switch games in the works

Nitrome recently released Bomb Chicken for the Switch, and it's absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend the game if you like puzzle platformers with gorgeous pixel animation. What's Nitrome up to following the release of Bomb Chicken? The team answered that question and some others in a Reddit AMA. You can get the juiciest tidbits below.

On more Switch support

Yes, we have some games that are incubating, but we can't say what they are just yet.

On patches and potential for DLC

We have a patch in the works atm to fix some nasty bugs and a rare Unity slowdown issue happening for a handfull of players (there is an easy temp workaround for this though) . Sure, we will do DLC, if the game sells well enough. It's too early to tell on sales atm, we are hoping people put down Octopath long enough to give it a more of a chance ;) There is no reward but there are a lot of the hardest and most creative challenges locked away for people to find as secrets.

Potential for a physical release

We're talking to some special folks about this. Can't say more at this stage.