Miyamoto: Game Development is Still About "Starting From The Idea"
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Talks about his use of Flipnote Studio, and new approaches to distribution
As reported earlier today, Shigeru Miyamoto's comprehensive interview with Rolling Stone has suggested that retirement isn't currently in the designer's plans, helping to put to rest one of the enduring question marks hanging over the Kyoto-based company.
We do recommend reading the full feature, however, as its gallery collection of quotes includes comments on some well-known but popular anecdotes, such as the origins of Luigi as the younger twin of Mario, and so on. There are some interesting snippets that are less familiar, however, such as the revelation that Miyamoto still uses Flipnote Studio on DSi to sketch out basic pre-game intros; the use of the app also leads to an assessment of his overall approach to the development role.
I use that [Flipnote Studio] to draw kind of a rough idea of what I want the movie to be and send that to the director and then he starts working on it.
Over the years, games have changed quite a bit. We've seen new elements added, we've seen the addition of multiple layers of backgrounds of games and even additional characters and then we have all the production elements that go into games now from the stories and everything. For me, what's important is that starting from the idea. Even if you're developing for a really large team, you still need to have maybe just one or two people who really are overseeing the entire project.
On the subject of Luigi's upcoming adventures, Miyamoto explained the foundations for the idea behind New Super Mario Bros. U's upcoming spin-off New Super Luigi U, and how the substantial download offering is the beginnings of some new ideas for distribution and adding life to established games.
At the same we were working on Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, we were working on New Super Mario Bros U. We decided to do the downloadable content for that, which is going to feature Luigi and be new Super Luigi U."
We're looking not just at creating a single product, but also at how we take advantage of those distribution methods, potentially creating additional downloadable content for those games. Going forward, we've sort of moved out of simply focusing on the technology and trying to completely create the worlds that had been imagined by the user. As we go forward, we'll start to see new ways that we can leverage technology to create new structures of play or leverage new means of distribution to the consumer.
Naturally the ideas of expansions and DLC can be divisive, with some not being fans. Ultimately, Nintendo will surely face the challenge of ensuring that core content is still substantial and good value, making extras an attractive option rather than something that consumers feel should have been in the core product.
Our final excerpt from this interview relates to Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, the RPG set to grace the 3DS this summer. Miyamoto made a brief comment about a feature that many will have spotted in the short trailer we've seen so far, in that lots of mini-Luigi's can team up and give the game a Pikmin style.
It's almost a coincidence that this is coming out the same year as a Pikmin game, because one of the main themes of the Mario and Luigi: Dream Team is the idea of these mobs of Luigis – these big mobs of Luigis that are attacking the enemies that has sort of a Pikmin-like feel to it.
We do recommend clicking through the whole article on Rolling Stone to pick up the various tid-bits on offer. Let us know what you think of Miyamoto's comments from these excerpts in the comments below.