The 2018 Game Developers Conference has updated their session scheduler, revealing that Nintendo will host panels to discuss how they approached development on ARMS and Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch.
The “ARMS: Building Mario Kart 8 Insights into a Showcase Nintendo Switch Fighter” session is aimed at developers who are interested in learning design tips about the games and the “unexpected connection points” between them.
Those that attend will gain an insight into how seemingly unrelated games can influence each other, and the challenge of creating games that help to showcase newly launched hardware.
Kosuke Yabuki (Manager, Production Group No.9 , Nintendo)
Spring-loaded fists hurled like rockets. Body blows from boomerangs, parasols, and robot birds. Up to four players juking and jiving in kaleidoscopic arenas. ‘ARMS’ is anything but run-of-the-mill. How do you make a family-friendly fighter that’s also rich and rewarding for serious players? Craft motion controls to excite esports pugilists? Nintendo’s Kosuke Yabuki, who directed ‘Mario Kart 7’ and ‘Mario Kart 8’ and served as producer on both ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ and ‘ARMS’, will talk about the challenges of creating a genre-bending fighting game for a brand-new platform. What lessons can a kart-racer offer a brawler that has players throwing corkscrew punches like tennis players volleying missiles? How do you ensure function follows form, using the Nintendo Switch system’s motion controls in ways that feel as natural and responsive as tapping buttons? And what’s the story behind a world where protagonists’ fists come unglued from their forearms anyway?
Whereas the “‘Splatoon’ and ‘Splatoon 2’: How to Invent a Stylish Franchise with Global Appeal” session is aimed at developers of all levels and backgrounds that are interested in looking at how Nintendo approached Splatoon and Splatoon 2‘s design.
Listening in, they will learn about Nintendo’s generative ideas process, how challenging it was to balance “quirky character design and novel gameplay against worldwide appeal,” and why it is important to take risks.
Hisashi Nogami (Deputy General Manager and Producer, Nintendo)
No one expects a dull Nintendo game, but the ‘Splatoon 2’ game’s scrappy ink-hurling heroes who can morph into turbo squid and graffiti up skatepark-style arenas are unusual even for a company that puts hats on mushrooms and wings on turtles. How does Nintendo come up with its big (and occasionally gonzo) ideas? ‘Splatoon’ and ‘Splatoon 2’ producer Hisashi Nogami will share his experiences working with a design team whose goal was to create a game that was novel yet easy to grasp and riveting to play. What were the brainstorming sessions like and what kinds of review processes determined the game’s final ideas? How do you make a sequel better while releasing it on a brand-new platform with unique features? And how do you land on a quirky concept like “squid creatures fighting turf battles with water pistols” in the first place? Mr. Nogami, who also served as director and lead artist on Nintendo’s ‘Animal Crossing’ series, will don his lab coat, roll up his sleeves, and divulge lessons learned while illustrating the importance of risk-taking.
GDC 2018 will be held between 19th – 23rd March at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.