Little Dragons Cafe's creator says this game is unlike any other, and the cast is full of "losers and no-good dorks"

Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of the Harvest Moon franchise, is also the driving force behind Little Dragons Cafe. Wada is pretty high up on the game, and thinks it provides an experience unlike any others out there.

“Many games are based off the battles and the combat and the adventure, and that’s great, but I believe that there aren’t many games that go into the personalities of the characters and go deeper into [them]. In that sense, I believe this is a game that doesn’t exist.”

Wada also shared some harsh words for the cast of characters in the game, which was created to help the player feel better about themselves.

“All the characters that appear in this game are just a bunch of losers and a no-good bunch of dorks. We’re all human — there are some good parts and bad parts about us. What the player feels from playing this game is, when they see this bunch of losers, what they’ll think is, ‘I’m better than these guys.’”

Nippon Marathon hitting Switch in Japan Fall 2018

San! Ni! Ichi! Hajime!!! Stretch your muscles and embark upon the ultimate marathon of Japan in a raucous ragdoll party multiplayer racer where anything can happen. Hurdle barrels, outrun Shiba Inu and dive out of the paths of bicycles - all while chucking fruit at your opponents and dashing across planks precariously balanced over waterfalls - in an unreal experience that must be played to be believed.

Kickstarter - Ambrosia aming to release on Switch

Ambrosia is a side-scrolling platformer with a deep customization system, a large world with many secrets to uncover, and an emphasis on frenetic yet strategic combat. It is structured much like a classic Metroidvania, with action and tight controls that fans of series like Mega Man might be accustomed to.

Kickstarter here (thanks Jabel47591!)

GDC 2018 panel shares insight into the struggles of creating NBA Jam

NBA Jam is very fondly remembered by an entire generation. Countless hours were spent in arcades and on gaming platforms dunking over the competition. At a GDC 2018 panel, developers Mark Turmell and Sal DiVita, along with the game’s announcer, Tim Kitzrow, sat down to discuss some details of how the project came together.

- the dev team didn't think they could get the NBA license, and didn't even consider it until halfway through development
- the NBA was against the idea at first, as they didn't want their logo in arcades due to their perceived seedy nature
- Midway produced a video showing the safe, fun, and carefree environments of arcades, and this won the NBA over
- the dev team filmed local basketball players performing moves in front of a blue screen for the characters
- the team had to remove the actor from the video by hand and spend time cleaning up the sprites
- they also created various skin tones to accommodate all the NBA players
- Midway would scour sports magazines and record footage of games hoping to find the right angles for players faces
- these were then scanned and put into the game
- the game has you miss more dunks when you’re way ahead to keep games close

There's a few more details on NBA Jam in the full feature, but they mostly pertain to the arcade. Check that out here.

Nintendo says indie games are important to their company, will stay dedicated to supporting them

Nintendo has come a very long way since WiiWare and the DSi shop. It might have been a slow burn, but Nintendo has definitely learned a thing or two about digital storefronts, as well as interacting with indie devs. All that work lead up to this point, where the Switch is kicking butt and indies are finding big success. Nintendo's Damon Baker acknowledged the hard work it took to get to this point, and also made sure to point out that Nintendo's work with indies is an important relationship moving forward.

“All of these things have been a work in progress to create an environment that’s much easier to navigate and it’s really been resonating with the indie community. ...It’s important to the company. This is a long-term play.”

Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud - Another look at the Breath of the Wild costumes

Looking pretty damn spiffy if you ask me. Too bad we don't get to experience this content, as well as the whole game here in the states or in Europe. Come on, SEGA! Time to announce a localization!

Once Upon A Coma - developer video interview

After Pete wakes from a strange coma, he discovers things aren’t exactly as he remembers. His home-town is overrun with naughty children, and the grown-ups have vanished.

Pete quickly learns of massive insects, child-eating zombie-parents, other-worldly puzzles, and intricate maze-like forts woven together throughout a large late-summer dreamscape. The same forts Pete and his gang built a year earlier are suddenly larger, stranger, and more dangerous than ever.

Little Dragons Café - tons of gameplay details

Check out more screens here

- story follows twins Ren and Rin, whose mother mysteriously falls into a deep sleep and is unable to wake up
- play as either twin and name them whatever you wish
- the sibling you don't choose appears as your brother or sister in the café
- in a meeting with a wizard-like old man named Pappy, the twins discover that they can save their mother
- this is accomplished by raising a dragon and feeding it food
-.the twins are overwhelmed at the idea of running a café without their mother
- venture out into the wilds on your island to get animals that have colorful, food-like appearances
- one beast has what looks like a chicken leg bone for a tail
- hunting these creatures gives you ingredients
- if they attack you, they may eat up ingredients you've already collected
- when your dragon grows older, it can help you hunt
- fish at certain spots by the water
- the fishing minigame has you press A to cast, and then A again to reel
- if you reel in when a fish is biting, which is indicated by two exclamation points, you can catch a fish
- look for recipe fragments, and when you collect four of one type, you learn a new recipe to cook for patrons at the café
- use your dragon to crawl into hard-to-reach spaces, like a small cave, to explore
- customers come from all over the world, and they may offer you quests and recipes of their own if you feed them well
- these patrons come with unique problems, and your food can help bring them peace
- cooking comes in the form of a rhythm minigame, where you press arrows at the correct time
- the difficulty of the minigame ramps up with tough recipes
- how far you can venture out depends on what stage of life your dragon is at
-when you hit stage three, your dragon can fly and you can ride on its back to reach areas that were inaccessible before
- the open world is "pretty big," and has distinct areas, including a large volcano
- your dragon's name and color are customizable, with color depending on what you feed it

Nintendo - Nostalgic games resonating with Switch fans, eShop approval process, Nintendo Labo third party opportunties

Nintendo's Damon Baker is the man to talk to if you want to get your game on the Switch eShop. He's helped facilitate hundreds of developers in getting their games to the platform, and many have been met with great success. In the interview snippets below, Baker talks to Kotaku about the eShop games resonating with fans, the process of getting your game on Switch, and even consideration for third parties and Nintendo Labo in the future.

Kotaku: Switch has been out for a year now. Has Nintendo’s thought process about what kinds of games it wants on the platform changed?

Damon Baker: Not exactly. It’s still about quality, first and foremost. But I think we have a better understanding of what is resonating on the system. I think we know that we can tap into—a Nintendo Switch fan is gravitating towards a sense of nostalgia. They’re really digging the types of games and experiences that are heavily inspired by the games that they grew up with. Or certain types of genres, like the platformers or Metroidvanias or any of those styles. Or it’s also, you know, kind of a nostalgic slant on the graphics—pixelated or retro-styled graphics.

Kotaku: When the Switch launched, I think that if you were an indie developer and Nintendo returned your emails and you got a dev kit and you got your game on Switch, you were really happy with the whole process. If you were on the other side of that and Nintendo was, like, well, this isn’t what we’re looking for right now or we can’t give you a dev kit right now, you were pretty bummed about the whole process. There still seem to be some developers who say ‘our game can’t get on Switch.’ What’s the situation with that now?

Baker: I think the best way to explain it is, over the last year we have been evolving past what was initially more of a curated content position to now a curated partnership position. So part of the pitch process for new developers or new publishers who come on board with Switch is to not just pitch us a brand new game or a brand new concept, but to use that opportunity to prove their background, their aptitude as a developer and whether they’re going to be able to navigate through what can be a complicated process of going through the development cycle, and certification, and all of that. So that’s part of our evaluation.

I can’t really disclose all of our guidelines, but I can tell you that those partners that are able to instill a level of trust and confidence in us that they’re going to be very capable of getting through the development process and are knowledgeable about bringing content out on consoles, those are the ones that are resonating in terms of bringing that content out and it doing well on the system. Some of those developers do have a negative reaction or are bummed because we haven’t opened up the door to hobbyists or students at this time. But one day, we may. We may be going towards that direction. But for now, we’re still staying the course in terms of a closed dev environment for Switch.

Kotaku: With Labo, Nintendo is about to redefine what the Switch is, and what you use it for. Right now, Labo is two first-party games. Is it a platform that other developers might be able to make stuff with at some point?

Baker: It could be. I mean, I think it’s similar to Amiibo. If it resonates with a bigger community, and there’s a bigger installed base, and it ends up working really really well, then we’ll definitely have those conversations from a third-party perspective of, what makes sense, and if there’s a way to tap into that excitement as well. So, anything’s possible.

Castle of Heart - another round of footage

CASTLE OF HEART, available exclusively for Nintendo Switch™, is a classic action platformer at the genre's best… and most challenging, with plentiful of new twists on formula to experience. The players take control over a cursed knight, turned to stone by the evil sorcerer's spell, but ready to prove that love and courage can conquer even the darkest magic.