What was challenging about making the game for Nintendo 3DS, and what provided a sense of accomplishment?
As for something challenging, the first wall we hit was stereoscopic backgrounds. Until now, we could fudge the placement of things in 2D, but in stereoscopic vision, that doesn’t work.
You can’t just make things up. Until now, you had been making regular use of techniques for ‘fudging it’, but with stereoscopic 3D, they were all off limits.
That’s right. As for a sense of accomplishment, we made abundant use of the features of Nintendo 3DS, so I think it fell into place extremely well.
We especially used the gyro sensor9 a lot for the Bros. Attacks.9. Gyro sensor: A measuring device built into the Nintendo 3DS system that is used in attitude control to detect angle and rotation speed.
I’d like to ask each of you what your favourite attacks are during battles. Let’s start with Maekawa-san.
I like the Luiginary Stack in the dream world – because I’m the one who thought of it! (laughs)
Okay. (laughs) What kind of attack is it?
If you stack up a bunch of Luigis just right and then trample an enemy with them, it does a lot of damage.
I like the Luiginary Ball, also in the dream world. A bunch of Luiginoids roll around in a ball. You roll the ball by using the gyro sensor, so I think it’s an attack well-suited to Nintendo 3DS. It’s a broad attack for taking out lots of enemies all at once, so it’s a convenient tool that comes in handy in the latter half as well.
I like the Bomb Derby in the real world. Luigi tosses up bombs that Mario bats out one after the other. It feels really good to knock those out like bam!-bam!-bam! It’s in a minigame called the Mad Skillathon that you can play forever! (laughs)
I like the Dropchopper in the real world. You use the gyro sensor, and it feels great as you fly deeper and deeper in. First, you link up Mario and Luigi and have them grab onto a propeller. It’s a little difficult, but in the end it’s exhilarating.
Another one I recommend that uses the gyro sensor is the giant Luigi’s Finishing Bros. It’s a fairly dynamic attack, and in the end, Luigi flies into outer space! (laughs)
Luigi flies into space?! This may be The Year of Luigi, but you really will do anything to take advantage of the fact that it’s a dream! (laughs)
We used to think of video games as something you played sitting in front of the television screen, but now we simply accept that you can play them anywhere on handheld systems. I suppose that’s how much the world and the way we interact with games have changed.
Yes. You can get full enjoyment on a handheld device. Compared to previous games in the series, this one has a lot of volume. A lot of people said they wanted more to play in the third game, so I definitely wanted to increase the volume a lot for the next one. Of course, it isn’t just longer. We added a lot of extra challenges.
It has a high concentration of content coupled with increased volume.
Yes. For example, there’s a battle mode called Expert Challenge. You get points for fulfilling certain conditions like clearing it without taking any damage, and if you store those up, you get a nice reward.
I see. With regard to volume, what impression do you two from AlphaDream have?
I had also heard that people wanted more of the last game, so we made a point of adding a lot of gameplay and features deriving from battles. Also, simply making it 3D resulted in unexpected by-products such as the maps broadening and the stages turning out to be more enjoyable than expected.
I paid a lot of attention to tempo more than volume. What I remember particularly well is how we made correction after correction early on so the first few minutes after the opening would have a good tempo. As a result, being able to show interesting things within the short timeframe of the opening helped us get a feel for the overall tempo.
Sano-san, did you pay attention to volume?
Yes. When it first came to me, since the maps were broader, it felt like there were too few enemies, and as a result, it didn’t feel very challenging. So rather than focus simply on volume, they were added in so they’re memorable encounters.
Memorable experiences give a sense of volume. It’s about the tempo at which players can have experiences that will stick with them.
Yes. It felt so good when we were test-playing it that we were surprised at how quickly time had passed.
If you were able to play through it three or four times without getting tired of it while making adjustments, you must have been having fun.
I suppose so! (laughs) It was also enjoyable sharing opinions with the staff about the ideas to make it more fun. (to Kubota-san and Maekawa-san) Don’t you think adjusting it went well?
I think so.
You didn’t think, “Do we have to do more?!” (laughs)
No, no... (laughs) The staff in charge of battles said, “I’ll handle it somehow!” and kept plugging away.
From what I hear, AlphaDream is a group of craftsmen.
Oh? I guess so… (laughs wryly)
I’m praising you, you know?
It does take backbreaking labour to convince a group of craftsmen! (laughs)
It has to make sense. Craftsmen won’t work off of anything half-baked!
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