How have people reacted to the final product?
Something I sensed especially during E3 was that it’s challenging to communicate its appeal in a few sound bites.
Compared to how easy it is to recognise what kind of game Wii Sports is by someone swinging around a Wii Remote like a tennis racquet, Nintendo Land is difficult to convey.
As we polished it up, we had families test it, with kids from five- to six-years old up to people about 70 years old trying it out without any explanation. The kids really took to it and explained it to the older folks, and before we knew it, everyone was playing. I think once you try it, groups of friends of families are able to figure it out themselves, even those who aren’t used to playing video games.
But even now, I am still feeling it a challenge that people need to play the game in the first place in order to really understand the experiences that they can enjoy. But watching people play it, communication is occurring in a different way than ever before for multiplayer gaming, so I’m certain it will liven the place up.
Until now, I’ve felt like games for lots of people were incredibly fun when everyone has about the same skill level, but when there’s a difference in skill levels, it’s difficult for everyone to enjoy them the same way. With several of Nintendo Land’s attractions, however, I feel like people with different skill levels can all play.
The other day, Miyamoto-san and (Takashi) Tezuka-san14 and everyone had the chance to play Mario Chase Miyamoto-san wasn’t very used to the game, so his movements were a bit amateurish.
14. Takashi Tezuka: Executive Officer, Software Development Department, Entertainment Analysis & Development Division. He has been involved in the development of many series such as Super Mario, Yoshi and Animal Crossing. He has appeared in sessions of "Iwata Asks" over the original Super Mario developers for the 25th anniversary of Super Mario, the history of handheld Legend of Zelda games for The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Volume 2), and the producers of SUPER MARIO 3D LAND, as well as in the special edition sessions of "Iwata Asks" for E3 2012 covering New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Mario Bros. 2.
Even though he’s Mario’s creator he was amateurish? (laughs)
Mario was running around and we were chasing him, but since Miyamoto-san didn’t have a handle on the land forms, he didn’t know how to chase him.
I’d think, “Aw! Why’d you go that way, Miyamoto-san?!” and watch over his playing, but then he would – completely unintentionally – catch up with Mario. It’s made so that even if you’re not very good you can still do well.
And when it’s over, you can have a good time all over again by watching the replay.
Yeah. The routes Mario flees along and everyone else uses to chase him show up just the way they were . You can really tell how everyone was moving, so the replays are really effective. Miyamoto-san alone was apart from the teamwork and off wandering around, but to Mario that seemed like a diversion.
It’s also interesting how conversation arises due to differences in role. When you play tag, if you’re It, your attitude is “Mwa ha ha! I’m going to get you!” But if you change controllers, the roles switch and everyone’s tone suddenly reverses. When you’re playing, words just pour out.
Yeah, they really do. That element is particularly strong in the competitive attractions.
Yamashita-san always says that rather than there just being strategy in the game, there’s also play outside the game. You call out to each other like, “Move that way! Now this way!” and, “He’s in the red outer periphery!” That’s like team sports.
Yes, it is.
You can’t beat a group with good teamwork, but if it’s a group of well-skilled people at video games who don’t talk to each other, you can beat them pretty easily.
It’s made to draw gameplay out of elements external to the television and the game.
When everyone plays together, you make discoveries for how to issue instructions.
Yeah. (laughs) You come up with all kinds of words to indicate the direction that Mario is fleeing, like “clockwise” and “anti-clockwise” and “outer circle” and “inner circle.” We coloured the landforms and purposely made a bowl-shape in order to enable words like “up” and “down.”
When we on the development team play together, we’re like, “Red outer periphery! Clockwise!” (laughs)
I see. (laughs) You can give accurate indications in just a few words, so all of the movements become obvious.
Yeah. That’s true for other games in addition to Mario Chase.
And while Tezuka-san isn’t usually a rough guy, he’s frightfully strong at Luigi’s Ghost Mansion , so when he’s the ghost, he’s like an assassin!
Really? Tezuka-san an assassin?! (laughs) The two just don’t seem to fit!
It’s really surprising. You’ll catch a glimpse and think, “He went right,” but then he’ll suddenly come from the left. It’s like he’s two or three moves ahead of us!
There was a Miiverse comment15 that said, “I think I have a detective’s instincts!”15. Miiverse comment: Takashi Tezuka’s handwritten post to Miiverse shown in the Japanese Nintendo Direct video for November 7, 2012 covering Wii U console features. (The post can be seen at about 23:45.)
Oh! Maybe he does! (laughs)
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