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Shigeru Miyamoto Hints at Star Fox for Wii U Structure, Explains Background of Mario Maker

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Potential link between Project Guard and Star Fox

Now that the E3 LA extravaganza is finished, we're starting to learn a little more about projects that were shown by Nintendo during the event. Shigeru Miyamoto has been doing the rounds, for example, and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly has given a little more context for his GamePad projects in addition to Mario Maker.

To start with Star Fox for Wii U and Project Guard, Miyamoto-san has made some interesting comments with regards to possible cross-overs between the projects. While teasing the tantalising prospect of various vehicles (Mechs!) for Star Fox, the designer continues the previously-seen analogy of the new entry being like a TV series in structure, but also hinted at the Guard title — in which you place and jump between camera turrets to protect your facility — having some role to play in the highly anticipated project. Based on his comments, these games — when they arrive — could have a relatively unconventional release structure.

Perhaps if you noticed in Project Guard, there was a Star Fox logo on the cameras! I have different ideas for what would be possible, but I haven’t finalized anything yet. One idea that I had for Star Fox is something like the Thunderbirds TV series, where they had all these different vehicles and Mechs that they could use. I’m not certain, but one thing I think about Star Fox is that, instead of just a ship-based adventure that we’ve seen in previous Star Fox games, there’s multiple different mechs and vehicles and things that they use. And maybe, within that, the Project Guard style of gameplay could be one element of sort of a larger-scaled thing.

The other analogy I’ve been using with the team is that the Star Fox games that we used to make were Star Fox for the movie theater, a big dramatic adventure. And this time, with our focus, it’s a little bit more of Star Fox if it were a TV series. So maybe Project Guard is the TV series of Star Fox that runs late at night, and the main missions of Star Fox are the TV series that runs in primetime.

Moving onto Mario Maker, Miyamoto-san explains the origins of the level-creating tool that's due in 2015. Unsurprisingly, it started life as the internal development tool made for creating the main-series games, further highlighting how exciting this project should be for platforming fans.

My approach has always been less “I’m going to create something, and I want them to play it a certain way.” I’m always trying to design games in a way that the player will think about what might be possible, and come up with their own ways to play the games. So I’ve always had sort of an affinity for course editors, for the players to have a customization element, dating as far back as Excitebike on the NES, which was the first game that we built a course editor for.

What’s interesting about Mario Maker is that it started out as a tool set for our development teams to create levels themselves. As recently as Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES, there was still a time when we were designing the levels by drawing them out on paper. It took a lot of work to do that [laughs]. Since then, as part of the game development, what we’ve always done is develop tools that allow us to develop level design within the program.

Finally, we have Miyamoto-san's views on current development trends and his own focus. Acknowledging the continued push for graphical fidelity and realism found elsewhere, the focus for Nintendo remains embedded in innovation and utilising technology in creative ways.

This goes back to what I was saying about the tools, the technology, the programming. Game development itself is relying more and more on the programmers and the artists to bring those games to life. My focus, really, is on the work of the game designer, and the game designer’s ability to think up new structures for play, or bring new ideas to the table, in a way that then can create new ideas for video games, and new ways to play.

For me, I think the challenge is that we see a lot of people who are putting all their energy around using the technology to create hyper-realistic graphics, and those sorts of things. I like to look for more novel ways to use the technology to do things that couldn’t be done before. A simple example is something like Project Guard. Now, with the power of the system, we’re able to display those twelve different cameras onscreen at one time. How can you use those twelve different screens to create an interesting interaction for the player to enjoy? That becomes the core of the new piece of gameplay.

What do you make of Miyamoto-san's comments on Star Fox and potential links to Project Guards, and are you excited by the potential of Mario Maker?

[via popwatch.ew.com, gonintendo.com]

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User Comments (44)

xevious

#1

xevious said:

"something like the Thunderbirds TV series, where they had all these different vehicles and Mechs that they could use." Awesome.

dinosauryoshi

#5

dinosauryoshi said:

Star Fox is sounding great. Initially I just wanted one similar to the N64 game but I'm liking all the new ideas I've heard a lot. Can't wait to see a little of it in action!

As for Mario Maker I've never been really into building my own levels on games but I certainly look forward to playing levels other people create.

Xilef

#7

Xilef said:

It sounds like this Star Fox will be very interesting. Can't wait!

Artwark

#8

Artwark said:

Star Fox sounds very interesting indeed. The only thing I'm worried about is whether they are going to do episodic games because for one episode, you have to pay this much and so on which becomes annoying.

Finally someone who clearly understands what game designing is all about. making a game in the end not some fancy graphics and all.

Mega719

#9

Mega719 said:

It's not about the graphics it's about how they play, wouldn't you want to have a game that plays wonderfully instead of a game that looks real? Would always remember that. Love the mech idea can't wait to see how it gets next year great to bring new ideas to the table

GamecubeComplex

#10

GamecubeComplex said:

Yes please! I want this so bad. I knew Project Guard looked a little simple for a full game. My theory with this new information is that Project Guard is actually a sub-mission within Star Fox Wii U.

outburst

#11

outburst said:

@dinosauryoshi
Haha same. I'm gonna buy Mario Maker but I wouldn't put much time creating levels but would just download those made by the community. :D

AhabSpampurse

#14

AhabSpampurse said:

Interesting fact, I shared a bathroom with Miyamoto about 19 years ago in London. My life has gone steadily downhill since then.

sinalefa

#16

sinalefa said:

I am not that interested in Mario Maker (as I never was in LBP), but I know it is a lifelong dream for a lot of people.

About Starfox, it looks like Miyamoto is thinking outside the box for this one, and that means taking risks and being creative. Sounds good to me.

SecondServing

#17

SecondServing said:

Follow these three step rules when it comes to Miyamoto's work:

Rule #1: Never question

Rule #2: Pay the money needed

Rule #3: Enjoy

It works everytime! :)

Gridatttack

#20

Gridatttack said:

While is still good practice to sketch the level design, of all the NSMB levels I designed I never sketched one, so I see what they mean. Since you can create a level. Have feedback, modify according to it, until it ends polished.

I wonder how ninty editors are compared to the unofficial ones :P

Dinosaurs

#21

Dinosaurs said:

I like hearing from Miyamoto and others at Nintendo. But over the years it's always been my experience that you hear one thing from them but then get something completely different on the store shelf. So really you just can't have any expectations no matter how much you hear.

BoobooMama

#22

BoobooMama said:

I think what he means by the TV series thing is that the story might not be as grand as in Starfox 64.

dumedum

#23

dumedum said:

Imagine controlling a whole fleet of ships and moving control between them with touching on the gamepad to switch views. Has ever game any tried that? Mind blown.

Hero-of-WiiU

#24

Hero-of-WiiU said:

I really feel that Starfox can go further than just aerial combat, I think past Ideas from Assault can be implemented in a MUCH better way.

AJWolfTill

#25

AJWolfTill said:

I'm kind of surprised that Thunderbirds is at all known in Japan. On the other hand it doesn't surprise me that a wonderful creator is aware of other wonderful creations.

JimLad

#26

JimLad said:

Most people complained about Star Fox Assault not having enough ship segments... :/

Morph

#27

Morph said:

Id sooner have the movie version of starfox, but this could be good too

aaronsullivan

#28

aaronsullivan said:

Okay, so here's my speculation/hope(?) based on the Star Fox information.

You are guarding a base that is under attack by multiple types of vehicles. There is a large map with multiple defenses and you can hop from player to player in their different defense vehicles and even stationary turrets to fight back. So you are off in one corner clearing out fighters with your Arwing and then you see a ground assault so you switch to an animal driving a tank or a mech, and then you see a large missile headed toward the opposite side, so you don't trust the AI and you hop into an Anti-air turret and start fighting away.

Yeah, that could be fun. :)

My only problem is I still WANT the big "movie" version of Star Fox. :/

Also, it's confusing because is he talking small games released over time, too?

AshFoxX

#29

AshFoxX said:

@Zobocop They will probably release a Star Fox Wii U Complete retail package after all of the 'episodes' have been released.

AshFoxX

#30

AshFoxX said:

@AJWolfTill Thunderbirds was one of Miyamoto's original inspirations for the SNES Star Fox in the early 90's. That's why the box art and cart had puppets on them.

khululy

#32

khululy said:

@WiiULoveSquid Well it's clearly Miyamoto venting some ideas maybe some possible direction but they are always limited by deadlines, funds, hardware and other sorts of random things that might hamper all the ambition they want to put in there.
Ofcourse Nintendo always loved hinting at things to keep the curiosity alive
But these days it does indeed pay not to get swept away by the hypes.

I do like the idea of a starfox with a base that lets you choose your form of transport and thus making the same level totally different in experience and gameplay or something
like one time you head for the rivers and underground resevoirs with the battle sub and the next time you soar trought the skies or roam the land in a fox mecha. And maybe multi-player where players can control a support unit or be the gunner . well one can only speculate

JaxonH

#33

JaxonH said:

@AshFoxX @Zobocop

He's not referring to episodic releases. He's referring to the scale of the adventure.

Idk a good way to explain it, but he means the past Star Fox games have been focused on a macro level, whereas this one will have more of a focus on the micro. Think Pikmin 3, for example. Not a grand scaled adventure, but fun nonetheless. LOTS of fun, actually. I would categorize Star Fox Command on DS as kind of what he's referring to. Not to say that's how the game will play (and I'm sure it will be much, MUCH better), but that's a good example of a Star Fox not focused on the macro level (movies). It's focused on the micro (TV series).

AshFoxX

#35

AshFoxX said:

@JaxonH if that is indeed what he means, I am surprisingly looking forward to that! Sure a big story is nice, bit to have many smaller stories and skirmishes would be ideal when you think about it. It would also make incorporating local or online co-op more inviting.

JaxonH

#36

JaxonH said:

@AshFoxX

When it comes to Miamoto, I don't question his judgement. He is the master, not I. I might not necessarily understand why he makes some of the choices he does, all I know is in the end, it's gonna work out for the best. Just look at Pikmin 3- hallmark Miamoto excellence. I will question nothing, have faith and trust he knows what he's doing.

gamerphil07

#37

gamerphil07 said:

I'm SUPER hyped for this Star Fox game, but I'm not a huge fan of the whole episodic idea. I never really cared much about stories in games (to the exception of Kid Icarus Uprising) so I just want it all together.

gamerphil07

#38

gamerphil07 said:

In response to my previous comment, I just realized this doesn't mean it's an episodic game. I hoping it means something along the line of multiple small stories, like how he used the whole TV show thing. In that case, this game is 100 000 000 times better.

Knuckles

#39

Knuckles said:

All Nintendo needs to do is announce F-Zero and most Nintendo fans will be happy.

Action51

#40

Action51 said:

@Knuckles - well played, sir!

"...and most Nintendo fans will be happy."

This is very true, but sadly like we saw right after this amazing E3, the moment we could catch our breath after all the great announcements, I started hearing people whine about no Metroid announcement. Then there was a Metroid announcement and people started to whine about Mother3 and F-Zero.

I just thought that was both funny and frustrating, lol.

Anyway...I am curious to see where this new idea for Miyamoto leads us.

NintyMan

#41

NintyMan said:

I feel Project Guard will ultimately become part of Star Fox U. All it is is a concept right now. The demo looked like it could have fit right in with the Star Fox theme with all the robots and the cameras themselves having the Star Fox logo on them. Project Guard could become like extra missions in Star Fox U.

As far as the TV show comparison, I don't know if he meant that Star Fox U will be divided into literal episodes, but I don't believe it means that it will be a download-only game. Time will tell what this comparison might mean as he clarifies it more.

Pj1

#42

Pj1 said:

is Star Fox really download only, can't find where it says it! isn't funny that Miyamoto took inspiration from thunderbirds for the snes title. I hired it back in the day for the snes but couldn't get into it, good graphics though at the time and it's a classic. Hopefully it might re-appear on Wii-U VC!!

Knuckles

#43

Knuckles said:

@DestinyMan I think he mean the same thing as Hideo Kojima when he says episodes. In Metal Gear, you play through more of a movie, in MGSV Phantom Pain, you can choose how much you play, and the cutscenes will be shorter like a TV show instead.

For Star Fox, I believe he means more indiviual missions instead of the overall main plot, destroy Andross.

Blue-Thunder

#44

Blue-Thunder said:

I for one am very excited about the new Starfox game.

@Pj1
There's not a chance Starfox will be download only. Retail all the way.. :)

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