News Article

StreetPass Games Producers Tell Origins of Mii Plaza's Playground

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Also explain that pesky 10-Mii limit

With all the fond looks-backsie on the year that was in gaming, the creative, StreetPass-powered games pushed by that rabbit who suddenly appeared in the 3DS Mii Plaza tend to be overlooked. Stephen Totilo, a self-professed fan of the games at Kotaku, thought this was a shame, so he went straight to Nintendo to learn more about how these titles came to be.

Totilo managed to get a hold of Kouichi Kawamoto, producer for StreetPass Mii Plaza and StreetPass games, and Toyokazu Nonaka, associate producer for StreetPass games over email. Both men were happy to field questions about their projects.

According to Kawamoto, Mii Plaza and its original games, Puzzle Swap and StreetPass Quest (aka Find Mii), were designed to create a uniquely single-player experience out of meeting others, rather than something more widely social:

The core concept I brought forward is the idea that gameplay advances forward when you use StreetPass. In other words, going outside in order to use StreetPass is an important aspect of the games. I think that's an unusual experience for people.

Also, I felt it important to have the Mii characters play as active a role in the games as possible. That helps players feel like the people they're interacting with really exist.

Nonaka, who said he enjoys surprising people by springing unexpected concepts upon them like the four DLC Mii Plaza games, StreetPass Squad/Mii Force, StreetPass Battle/Warrior’s Way, StreetPass Garden/Flower Town, and StreetPass Mansion/Mystery Manor. He added that the changes required the need for additional thought to make the titles stand out over their free siblings:

When thinking about selling games that would be worth it for gamers to buy, we had to do something to differentiate them from the free games already available in the plaza. That difference could be in the fun, of course, but also in the amount of volume and depth to the games.

Along these lines, finding the right path to take with each of the four games wasn't an easy task, but I think we succeeded in giving unique value to each title.

After discussing the ideas behind each DLC game and their work with the individual development teams in making them, the question of the 10-Mii StreetPass limit was raised. According to Kawamoto, it’s a matter of keeping the pipes open for data flow:

We had been thinking about the possibility of expanding StreetPass Mii Plaza from the start, and we set the maximum number of connections to 10 to ensure we'd have room to exchange more data via StreetPass in the future. As a result, if we get to a point where we definitely won't expand it anymore, there is a possibility that we'll raise the number of connections. However, we have no plans to do that, and we're already transmitting a lot of data, so even if we stopped right now, I doubt that number would go up much.

Kawamoto remained vague regarding the potential of additional StreePass games, but spoke fondly of the current results and leaves the door of possibility wide open:

We've learned that using StreetPass itself feels good in a way, more so than I had thought at first, and it's something that makes gamers happy. I think there are still a lot of gameplay styles we could explore, and not just within StreetPass Mii Plaza either. Unfortunately, I can't go into details quite yet.

The extra details in the full interview should prove further pleasing to fans of the Mii Plaza games. Did you try out the DLC games this year? Are they something you wish to see more of in the future? Let us know in the comments.


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User Comments (57)



AlexSora89 said:

I'd like to know why completing puzzles before a new one gets released has been made borderline impossible. I mean, okay, Streetpass is the fastest way to achieve new pieces but... well, let's just say I don't live in a big city. I live in a small Italian town, and I only happen to visit Milan for Comic-Cons and the like (which means pretty much "Puzzle Completion Day" every time I attend cons). I don't come across subways that often. If players could at least use friend codes to help each other completing puzzles, that'd be a giant step forward.



ajcismo said:

Love the StreetPass games. I'm completely addicted to Puzzle Swap, more obsessed really. All the games are fun 2-5 minute time killers.



Einherjar said:

@AlexSora89 Good point. The addition of the pink pieces that you could only get through street pass exchanges wasnt the best thing that could happen. Getting all the regular pieces is just a time consuming task, since the RNG when buying these pieces with coins can be a bit mean



Tsurii said:

@AlexSora89 Wouldn't it even be possible to use something like Wii U's Spotpass for stuff like that?
It works through an internet connection and not so much through consoles interacting with each other, but I'd say in its core elements it's really very similar AND way easier to access for people like you and me, who live in small towns and villages, that are quite far away from big cities and those Nintendozones.
*(If Spotpass is available on 3DS, anyone please tell me since I don't own one for myself and I'm not exactly a pro in that stuff ^^)



AlexSora89 said:

@Baum897 The 3DS does have SpotPass. Which is also what puzzles me the most (pun not intended). Seriously, would it be too much to hand out three new puzzle pieces on a daily basis? I mean, the only thing I've been collecting so far are incomplete puzzles.

@Einherjar Yeah, that falls right into TvTropes' definition of a "Scrappy Mechanic".



Kenchi said:

I would love to see more games for MiiPlaza! Also, we really need to have new Puzzle Swap boards.



catsrnice said:

It's the Streetpass Mii Plaza, not the Spotpass Mii Plaza.
Do you live in the US? The've given out so many Gold-pantsed Mii's through the Nintendo Zone lately I though Puzzle piece scarcity was a thing of the past.
EDIT: Never mind, just saw your first post. There's always Homepass I guess?



Bisylizzie said:

I've finished all the Puzzle Swap boards, so far, waiting on the next ones...

Going to a Nintendo Zone or two everytime I'm in town just helps to rack up the Streetpasses (and, thus, the pieces gained)



DreamOn said:

I have not purchased any of the DLC although it looks decent. I just don't get to NinZones enough to get enough passes. Now If they put NinZone in Subway restaurants that would help me out!



Aqueous said:

Love the first ones and the new ones, I look forward to seeing what comes next if anything.



NorthLightSuplx said:

Put Nintendo zones in Walmart that would help in so many ways. I think McDonalds is starting to get suspicious of my truck always sitting in their parking lot for street passes and animal crossing dlc.



StephenYap3 said:

For Mii Plaza standards, the DL games are fun and my favorite so far is Monster Manor (lol, 'Mystery Manor').

As for the 10-Mii Limit, I don't mind it at all, but what I do mind (at times) about it is that you can't add any more Miis to that cycle for games. Say, for instance, if you have 6 Miis to use in the games you have, but there's only 2 waiting for you to retrieve at the Plaza gate. Can you have 8 to use? Nope. You have to use the 6 (or skip using them) before going to the second batch. Oh, and ANOTHER batch of ONE Mii comes in! Can you have 3 to use? Nope. You have to use the 2 (or skip using them) before going to the one-Mii batch. For games that aren't Find Mii I, II, and Mii Force, this isn't much of a biggie.



Klimbatize said:

I hope they add more DLC to the Plaza. I've managed a lot of playtime out of the four newer games. Unfortunately, it's to the point where Streetpassing again doesn't mean as much to me because I have every puzzle piece and all but one ticket from the new games (still need to battle about 30 more "Monarchs From Afar" in Warrior's Way).



edhe said:

While the 10 Mii limit is a bit awkward, all I really have to do is open up my 3DS and play through some games. Then let the next 10 in. I'm playing all of them at the moment, except Streetpass Quest 1&2, Puzzle Swap (completed!) and Mii Force (just too tedious to fit in to a 20 minute timeslot when I'm out and about).

I can realistically streetpass 30+ people a day.

On one hand, it's nice to bump into people from other countries and fill out my streetpass map - since the new update (before that, I'd be lucky to meet anyone from outside England), but it makes Streetpass Quest especially hard when your lvl 1 recruits' attacks are dinging off the heavy armour of a juggernaut. Not to mention I haven't been tagging many familiar faces lately.

So it would suit me if they upped the Mii limit past 10, but surely it would ruin the balance of the games. Unless you could let in loads and play with 10 at a time as you usually would...



Gold_Ranger said:

I feel that StreetPass Plaza needs a few improvments still:
1 - Up the Coin Count from walking to either 20 or 30 per day
2 - Up the Coin Count from 300 Maximum to 600 Maximum
3 - Add more games and bundle them again.
4 - Most importantly - SPLIT Find Mii / Find Mii 2!!!



YorkshireNed said:

I bought all the new streetpass games and love them. However, I do feel that recently streetpass has lost a bit of its sparkle with you getting 6 miis everytime you pass a wi-fi spot. I live in a small remote town and find it hard to believe that 6 other 3ds users (and always one from abroad) have really passed that wi-fi spot. It feels like its just giving me 3ds users from elsewhere. Before there used to be something more exciting and personal about streetpassing people but now it feels a bit like a big download dump. Also its now too easy to hit the 10 limit from the wi-fi spots which might block genuine streetpasses.



Quirky said:

@AlexSora89 I live in a major city in Spain, get the tube/train every day (with the 3DS on, obviously) and still have only finished a handful of puzzles. I see about 1-3 people per day. Plus my son at home most days, but he has even fewer pieces than me! It is a slog. I wish spending play coins didn't repeat pieces, it seems for every one I buy I get at least 2 dupes.



solcross said:

I got my wife a 2DS for Christmas and 95% of what she plays is StreetPass Plaza. I'm not gonna knock it, I enjoy it too. More so now that we have relay stations.



dumedum said:

Love streetpass games. But sometimes it takes too much time to go through all the games. Mii Force is challenging then the flowering takes a long time then all the mansion battles.... Very time consuming. which is a good thing but I can't see myself doing even more games each time.



SCAR said:

Where I'm from, McDonald's are usually built into Walmart.

My brother absolutely loves Streetpass. I enjoy it, too, but not as much as him probably

It gives a sense of community that you can't always get online, IMO.



ledreppe said:


Just change the date in System settings, and you'll fool your 3DS! Don't forget to change to the current date so you don't corrupt save data.

I love the Street Pass games, but I've been forced to change the date on the 3DS to get round the 10 coin a day limit. There's no way I'd get all the games 100% complete before the next wave of games comes. I live rurally, so Street Pass hits are few and far between.



KKSlider said:

I am a huge fan of street passing. We need to eliminate pink puzzle pieces and add about 5 new puzzles a month. I'd also like to be able to street pass people by simply connecting to the internet. I live in a small town and would like to street pass at least 30 people a week but can't because of where I live. I even bought two extra 2DS' to get street passes daily in order to complete my puzzles.



Lord said:

I agree we need to split find mii (1) (quest) and find mii (2) (quest).
And how do you get that money to buy new outfits with? Dam hard?



KnightRider666 said:

I love all the Street Pass games. At first I thought the Garden Town game was boring filler, but it really grew on me(no pun intended) after a while. I think it has the most bang per buck because it will take a very long time to achieve 100% completion. I wish they would make a Find Mii 3. I have beaten 1, 2, & the secret quest ages ago. All I can say is, KEEP THE NEW HATS COMING!!!



FJOJR said:

I wish Nintendo would put Zones at all MLB stadiums since they are the owners of the Mariners. Or at airports, train stations, bus stations, and more.



SanderEvers said:

I currently have all my puzzles complete, so I definitely don't need more pieces.

I do like some more puzzles though. Maybe one for A Link Between Wolrds



NorthLightSuplx said:


Not for me. We use to have subway's built into the one's close to me but they pulled the Subway franchise out of them. The bigger towns do have a McDonald's though. I would love to be able to grocery shop at wal-mart and pick up street passes.



RawkHawk013 said:

Really enjoy playing these games, StreetPass is such an awesome idea and hopefully continues to expand!



mullen said:

I live in Arizona where we have a large community that hold streetpass events every few weeks, with usually 50+tags each time. I can get few tags every day from university, 3 tags from my other 3ds, and I travel worldwide several months each year, attend different comic cons, and get more tags. But even with all that benefits that most players don't have, I can just barely catch up the with speed of releasing new mini games and new panels. I think Nintendo should really consider the feelings of the players out of Japan, because I can say most players out of Japan may have no chance to follow that speed, and may eventually give up.
FYI, the no 47 to 55 accomplishments in Mii plaza are obtain 10000 to 90000 tags, which sounds almost impossible. What's more, no 56 to 65 is still unknown. If following that pattern, the no 65 could be 200,000 or 1,000,000 tags. For the later case, even if you can get 100 tags everyday, it will take 27 years to reach that point. Even for the no 55(90000) case, it's two and half years with 100 tags per day, or 25 years if only 10 tags per day.



Nintendude789 said:

No offence, but the European names for the StreetPass games are stupid. StreetPass This, StreetPass That.



allav866 said:

@mullen I've heard of StreetPass Arizona, but never looked into it. I might have to do that at some point. Right now, though, I have completed all the Puzzle Panels, and I have a few Nintendo Zone locations I pass by every other morning after work.
Even so, I'd join a community like that for other games that support StreetPass, especially Link Between Worlds. I can't seem to get any tags in that game, except from Shade, which at this point I'm sure is just a part of the game that ensures that you enjoy the StreetPass feature at least once without actually tagging somebody.



LavaTwilight said:

I would like to see the ability to put hats on the Mii's in your plaza, not just the Mii associated with your StreetPass.



BakaKnight said:

Still have to download the extra games, they came out when I had less chances to street pass many people and forgot about them later on >.>;

Now however there are even special spotpass areas in every mac donald and gamestop ("met" people from whole italy just by walking into the store XD) so maybe I'll download them soon



RedYoshi999 said:

I never bought any of the DLC games, however I would like to one day. But not until I actually get regular StreetPass hits, more than one a month would be nice. Wish I got to enjoy StreetPass a bit more, it's really cool.



ollietaro said:

I bought all of these games as soon as they came out. What a blast they were! The space shooter Mii Force is actually really challenging but my favourite is Flower Town because the creative options are endless and there's a lot of room for expansion, too. I have grown 65/80 breeds of flowers. It's a fun one for the visual artists. Also, Mystery Manor seems endless at what, 50 floors? I still have not received the endgame hat for my Mii because it has a lot of depth and fun for what you'd consider a minigame. The thing that I like is that there's plenty of content to be had and these games can be played forever as long as you use your 3DS' streetpass. They continue long after endgame. You don't need to buy all 4 to enjoy because each stands well enough on its own but I have thoroughly enjoyed them all and will continue to do so in 2014!!



ollietaro said:

@mullen I think you can choose at least one new streetpass plaza game because each one stands well enough on its own, just pick the one that interests you most because they really are fun and expand the experience quite nicely. They're especially fun for those who get a lot of hits like you do.



danielm1930 said:

Not so long ago I wouldn't have thought about this limit as before the Streetpass relay update, I was very lucky to get even 1 Streetpass, now I'm always maxing out at 10.



sagen said:

@AlexSora89 true, but on the other hand, some people out there living in big cities are getting through puzzles faster than you can snap your fingers, so it's a difficult balance Nintendo has to accommodate for.



SurferClock said:

Absolutely LOVE the new StreetPass games, it brought the concept back to life for me in a big way and makes me feel much more involved with my Mii. I've only just now managed to complete Flower Town's 22 tickets and still have several more to go in the other games. Mii Force is just ridiculous with what it wants players to do to earn the tickets, but the others I can't complain about. They've brought new challenge and purpose to the Mii Plaza, and it's something that's quite welcomed.



mullen said:

@ollietaro I don't know why you think that in this way. I already beat all 6 games (not only the all the hats, but also all the elements you can think about (maxed out the solder number, all colors/flowers/perfect jobs, filled all floors)except the arcade hard mode of Mii Force. However, that's only because I have all the benefits I described and really put lots of hours every day on these games, and I don't know any of my friends can archive that even they are equally or more love these games. I can still remember the days that I just finished the 10th gameplay of Find Mii II and thought I can rest that those 4 games released. I don't know if there will be any new mini games in the coming weeks. If there is, maybe I can still barely catch up the pace, but I think 99% of players can't. That's what I meant.



mullen said:

@allav866 I don't play the new Zelda game, but I may understand what you mean. I also want to mention Bravely Default, which have streetpass feature, but you can also just connect the server everyday and get 1~3 random friends, which have exactly same effect as streetpass.
Maybe Nintendo should consider it this way. I don't mean to use such function to replace streetpass, because Nintendo want players to take their 3DS out. Maybe they can at least consider such way to make old games easier, but you still need real streetpass for new games.



Justaguest said:

Not buying anything until I finish puzzle quest. That is pretty much impossible thou. for some weird reason I always end up getting same piece I already have even though there is 80% of me getting a new one. I dont get it ...



mullen said:

@Nintendude789 Actually that's follow the Japanese titles' pattern, and much more straight forward. (If I say flower town, then I may need to add streetpass or Mii plaza to further explain it; but streetpass garden already explained everything)



mullen said:

@Justaguest It's impossible. I mean, they release new panels every few months (about 0.5~1 panel every month), and thanks to pink pieces, you may not be able to finish old panels before new ones appear.



bngrybt said:

I just finished every puzzle over Christmas. Streetpass feels so empty now. 100%'ed both Find Mii's a long time ago. Looks like I'm gonna have to dip into the paid games soon.



CrimsonTurtle8 said:

I love the streetpass games. Amazingly more addicted to Flower Town than I expected, but I also adore Monster Manor. Mii Force is a given. I don't care for Warrior's Way at all though. I'd buy any others they come out with in a heart beat.

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