I’ve always found Nintendo’s Iwata Asks interviews fascinating to read, especially when they discuss the early prototypes behind some of their most creative ideas.
Splatoon’s been no different, with the development team revealing that the Wii U exclusive began life with sesame and firm tofu shooting each other with ink.
“There was a white thing and a black thing shaped like blocks of tofu, and they were shooting ink and they had to steal each other’s turf,” producer Hisashi Nogami explained.
“From the prototype, you were able to play four against four in an online match. And Sato-san’s prototype already had a really strong basic playing structure. It was the opposite of the way it is now.
“The map was on the TV screen, and you controlled the 3D screen of your tofu moving on the Wii U GamePad. You kept track of your opponent’s movements on the map, shot ink from the tofu, and claimed your turf. It was so much fun and I thought, ‘This could be the core gameplay.'”
As to how tofu could spray ink everywhere, program director Shintaro Sato later added: “We gave the tofu a little nose. Otherwise you’d never know which end was the front or the back. [laughs]”
Splatoon will launch exclusively for Wii U in Japan on May 28th, and everywhere else worldwide on May 29th.