Ebisu-san, you made Skip Skimmer, but was there another minigame that inspired you?
For me, that would be Teeter Targets . It’s addictive, so you want to play forever. It’s like Tanks!27 I’ve always had a taste for games like that. 27. Tanks!: A minigame included in Wii Play. The player operates a tank, firing shells and laying mines to defeat enemy tanks.
Everyone was excited about Tanks!
Actually, we were inspired by Tanks! and had bricks in the background for Teeter Targets. I wanted the game to be stoic but look really cute like Tanks!
I see. Which game do you like, Niitani-san?
I like Veggie Guardin’. It just feels good to pound like that.
I like the way everyone mentions a different minigame. Usually, there would be a concentration on one particular game, but ever since I asked people within the company about the prototypes, different ones have been mentioned as their favourites. Every minigame shows off game controls peculiar to the Wii Remote Plus. Which game inspired you, Eto-san?
I think Wind Runner is fun. I’d like to ask Taniguchi-san something. No matter what I do, I can’t go past 2,000 meters in the Long Jump mode. How can I do that?
It all depends on the turbo and jump timing.
Oh, jump timing. Then you watch the direction of the wind and decide whether to ride the wind or sail straight ahead and so on. The wind has an effect on real jumping, too, so you have to play influence by chance factors and your own skill off each other.
What a good customer you are! (laughs) How about you, Naka-san?
The one I played the most is Star Shuttle. It fits with my own personal interests. I played through 30 stages, and thought, “Isn’t this a little too difficult?” (laughs)
The higher difficulty agrees with you. And I suppose you like the precision required.
Yes. I like the precise controls and how you can select another stage after you clear one. That’s why at the very, very end we put stage select into Trigger Twist.
So if it weren’t for Star Shuttle, Trigger Twist wouldn’t have a stage select feature?
No, I don’t think so.
We actually didn’t want to put in that feature. You started by completing the space base piece-by-piece, so we couldn’t imagine starting partway through. But we ended up putting in stage select because we figured people would want to play certain stages again.
So in that way, it was fun to make our minigame with an eye on the development underway at the other companies.
The fact that they weren’t each designed based on a single vision gives them a unique appeal and inspiring quality. How about you, Funaki-san?
I like Wind Runner. I had a fun time playing it because it feels good to ride the wind and has a good sense of speed. And a game that was incredibly helpful was Dolphin Park, which features the sea just like Treasure Twirl.
You each looked at different things.
Yes. Nonaka-san told me to raise the quality as in Dolphin Park, and that proved incredibly informative.
That’s the first time I’ve heard that! Actually, we were told to pay attention to Mitchell’s Treasure Twirl! (laughs)
Huh? Is that how you operate, Nonaka-san?
Well, uh...yeah, sometimes. (laughs)
The producer’s schemes are becoming apparent. (laughs)
Well, sometimes some friendly competition is worthwhile. About February to March, the quality shot up.
At first, the quality was uneven, but then there was a period when the overall level jumped up. That was the first point that this product suddenly started coming together in a rewarding way. Why do you think that happened? Do you think there is some reason other than being inspired by the other teams’ games?
Since each company has its own forte, we could look at and be inspired by their output, which naturally raised the quality.
Toward the end, I had Nintendo’s graphics supervision team become involved. At first, they were each proceeding with their own graphics, and when the directions they were each heading were similar, any difference in quality stood out. For that reason, I decided to establish a standard. Uniformity in sound also arose. The games began to have a unified feel when we thoroughly adjusted each game’s sound effects. We started to see results in graphics, sound and game quality around February to March.
Did Nintendo make all the sound?
No, the sounds themselves were made separately, but Nintendo’s sound director gave them all a uniform quality.
We were very specific about the tone of the sounds.
Yes. Sound rounded out the overall tone.
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