Dylan Cuthbert on Switch, Star Fox old-school re-make pitch, Star Fox Command, "X" staying in Japan, more - Nintendo Everything

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Dylan Cuthbert on Switch, Star Fox old-school re-make pitch, Star Fox Command, “X” staying in Japan, more

Posted on April 7, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in DS, General Nintendo, News, Switch, Wii U

Q-Games founder Dylan Cuthbert conducted a new Reddit AMA today. As a Star Fox developer who has played an influential role in the Star Fox series, he had plenty to say about the franchise. He spoke about an old-school re-make pitched to Nintendo, working on Star Fox Command (and its endings), and his own personal ideas for a new game. Cuthbert also weighed in on Switch, Nintendo’s Game Boy title for “X” and why it never left Japan, and more.

We’ve collected a number of important responses from the Reddit AMA below. You can read the full thing right here.

On the inspiration behind the Arwing walker mode mechanic in Star Fox 2…

I think it’s just that we all grew up with Transformers/Gundam and transforming robots and it seemed a natural fit. We also wanted to experiment with foot-based gameplay and a lot of our initial experiments were platform-gamer based (of course back then 3d platform games didn’t exist so these early experiments were to prove for Miyamoto that something like Mario 64 could be made). This was all back in 1993 immediately after launching Star Fox.

On Switch…

I think the Switch is awesome – perhaps the res could have been higher but maybe that would have resulted in a smaller screen to keep the cost down. The idea is very cool though and I’m playing Zelda (of course). I’m sure Nintendo must be thinking about StarFox for Switch but we aren’t involved in that (I must admit it would be fun to do though!).

On thoughts regarding Star Fox Zero…

I can’t really comment on other developer’s games. I think Platinum did the best they could within the restraints they had. There were some fun experiments in there that I’d like to see expanded in future titles.

On an old Star Fox pitch made to Nintendo and Star Fox 2 version shown at CES in January 1995…

We did a old-school re-make demo like this of the original StarFox for the 3DS back after we did the remake of StarFox 64 and showed it to Nintendo but they weren’t interested unfortunately.

The CES version was an even older version of Starfox which emphasized two-player co-op, however we dropped that due to performance in the end, and concentrated on the one player game.

On working with Nintendo again and potentially on Switch…

I would love to and I have a few quite original ideas to try out for that style of gaming, but we aren’t developing anything yet.

On Super Mario FX…

I think it was just light experimentation, such as the FX chip based Pilot’s Wings experiment too, just to see what could be done and was quickly re-worked on the prototype N64 hardware. They were already experimenting with motion capture for better animation in 1995 or thereabouts.

On making Star Fox Command…

That was a ton of fun! Especially as Miyamoto said to take it “elsewhere” rather than just do a copy of the original or the N64 version. So Imamura basically moved into our office and we created something a bit quirkier and hand-held based with a bit of strategy involved as those were the ideas explored in StarFox 2. Eguchi was also involved overseeing the project and he was a driver behind the game going more strategic like that.

On ideas for Switch…

Unfortunately no, we aren’t working on anything for Switch right now, but I have some ideas for original titles. I just need to find a publisher crazy enough! 🙂

On how “X” never left Japan and development length…

Well yes, especially as we made and submitted the english version. NOA decided it was too hardcore for the US market… 🙁

It took about a year and a half all in all.

On ideas for Star Fox…

It would have to be epic, the game is always best when it takes on and copies the big classic scenes in science fiction movies such as Independence Day and Star Wars. But at the same time I would want to work on the controls and gaming loops surrounding the player’s actions, and arguably this is what I added to the original StarFox too, with the hit-flashes and rings and direction-flickable barriers, that’s the stuff that is really good fun.

On Star Fox 2 not being released…

It was very disappointing of course, I had spent two years making the game and put so many ideas into it. I could understand the marketing/publisher logic behind the decision but it was still disappointing.

On the Star Fox Command endings…

Well, it depends on how you play! Imamura designed the endings like an old adventure book so none of them are the actual ending… well, because StarFox will never end right?

Leave a Reply

  • Some day Dylan you’ll get to do another Star Fox game….some day…

  • Vigilante_blade

    I also think Platinum did their best, but what can you do when you go Miyamoto breathing down your neck telling you to use the Gamepad no matter what? I’ve played the Bayonetta easter egg. I know that platinum can make a good Star Fox experience. It is very unfortunate that it had to come to this.

  • Julien

    Too bad StarFox is now dead meat after the failure that StarFox Zero was… I’m also sure Platinum would have done an awesome StarFox game if they had more liberty and no obligation to use the Gamepad.

  • Locky Mavo

    Star Fox will be back, of that I’m sure. It’s obvious why Zero was made the it was,a point needed to be proven to Nintendo, and they were proven wrong, lesson learned. Sure it’s irritating and a bit sad PG, Nintendo and the Star Fox series now have to suffer a bit because it, but I don’t think because of SFZ it’s completely killed off the series. They will have to work harder to make the next one better than all those before it, and think they can do it.
    It’d be cool if Platinum and/or Q-Games could have a shot at leading the production next time, I know either of them can make a good Star Fox game.

  • Tlink7

    Maybe next time don’t force a stupid control scheme onto the player… don’t think we’ll be seeing another Star Fox game soon

    • Shigeru Miyamoto said pretty recently (I think it was during the Super Mario Run press interiews) that the licence he wanted to keep seeing more of was Starfox. So if Miyamoto wants it, I don’t think they’ll stop him.

  • Coonfoot

    If Star Fox could come back after the polarizing Adventures, it can come back after the just-as-polarizing Zero.

    • Fandangle

      was zero polarizing? last I checked mostly the older fans and people with a passion for games that don’t hand hold you loved it while people who prefer pick up and play styled games hated it because they couldn’t get into actually learning to control to save their virtual life.

      • MagcargoMan
        • Fandangle

          that infographic is pretty bad and biased. it’d take more effort than I’m willing to put into an Internet comment section and it’s obviously too much effort for you because you posted an image instead of actually making an argument.

          my only advice is to actually play the game and not rely on opinions you find in obvious bait images on the internet.

          • MagcargoMan

            It’s bad and biased because it criticises something you like? Like how your biased by pretending to care about censorship but ignore any articles here that talk about when the Japanese version censors something? Also, I like how dismiss it because it’s an image. Because infographics are obviously very bad, right?

            Also, lol buddy, I’ve played the game. I played through every mission in the story (including all the optional ones) and played through Arcade Mode twice. It’s not a good game and fails to be superior to a game that came out in 1997. Deal with it.

          • Fandangle

            The problem is it doesn’t criticize anything. It doesn’t explain why anything is bad or even how it can be improved. “there are these hidden collectibles that I actually have to go out of my way and search for? MY GOD HOW TERRIBLE.” it’s just bad bait. maybe you should actually read it instead of blindly following things you read on the internet.

          • MagcargoMan

            Lol, still dismissing me as following things on the internet when I’ve played through the damn game back when it came out in 2016.

            It explained the flaws very well while you just stuck your fingers in your ears shouting “LA LA LA”. Let me spoonfeed you so you can stop playing dumb:
            – The game has less content than the N64 game it tries to ape. A game made in 2016 has less to offer than a similar game made in 1997.
            – Despite the alternate routes being advertised in pre-release material, you don’t even gain access to portals until randomly halfway through the game, meaning no, you aren’t free to choose your path until you unlock it arbitrarily, whereas in 64 you could choose your path from the get-go.
            – The Gyrowing is incredibly slow and is only used for one full level and half of another. It is ultimately made pointless because later in the game you can unlock the ability to hack with the walker. To drive the point home there is level that is literally the Gyrowing’s level but with the Arwing, really showing how bad the former vehicle is.
            – The final boss only has one form no matter what, unlike in the SNES and 64 games where there were two versions of the fight depending on what path you took.
            – No Expert Mode. There is a Black Arwing you can unlock that takes more damage, but it doesn’t include the other features of Expert Mode like different enemy formations. Also it can lock onto two enemies in once, which isn’t a thing that makes things harder.
            – There is no real difference between getting Mission Accomplished instead of Mission Complete other than netting you a medal, whereas in 64 it determined outcomes like the path you took.
            – No dogfight mode.

            Feel free to dismiss everything I just said as always though.

          • Fandangle

            You think that playing through the game makes your opinion infallible? How about next time you actually make your own points instead of posting a bait image?

          • MagcargoMan

            LOL, so butthurt about Zero bombing you’ll dismiss criticism. I’ve made my own points. The image just has them too because it’s obvious to anyone who isn’t a blind SF64 fanboy that this game is mediocre.

          • Fandangle

            I agree with some of your points above, however the image is pure bait. I’ll repeat myself again, next time start out with original ideas and not bait and maybe people will take you more seriously.

          • MagcargoMan

            Next time don’t damage control a game that is inferior to the game it tried to recreate from twenty years ago.

          • Fandangle

            I wasn’t damage controlling? That would imply you made a valid argument from the getgo and I had something to actually argue with.

            I get the feeling all that’s going to be from here on out is name calling or insults like this so I’m gonna back off now.

          • MagcargoMan

            “I get the feeling all that’s going to be from here on out is name calling or insults”
            “That would imply you made a valid argument from the getgo”
            Lol, that lack of self-awareness.

          • Velen (Not WoW)

            I have to agree with Mag on this. Zero is mediocre, and I’ve also played the game.

            At least Guard was interesting.

  • Exposer

    I think that Zero should be re launch on Switch with more improvement.

    • CaptainPleb

      hey would have to retool the entire game to work with a single screen. Might as well make a new game.

      • Exposer

        Thats why i think they should re-launched it, i mean Zero was a good game with controversial controls, so re-work it as a Switxh game in orders to really test the interest for the game and the franchise itself.

    • ibo

      lol ya like take out the dumb motion controls

      • Fandangle

        But because they are the only things keeping casuals out of the Star Fox series.

  • JasonBall

    Command is freaking awesome.

  • Exy

    I always confuse Dylan Cuthbert with Elisha Cuthbert. I’m amazed no one thought to ask him if they’re actually related because I can’t find any evidence that they are, but I just know it’s the truth.

  • MagcargoMan

    So another remake/retread was planned? Holy hell, can’t this franchise move on from the same old game? Hell, even 64 was a reboot.

  • Addy

    He also debunked the whole metal leg thing. Just thought I pointed that out.

    • MagcargoMan

      He did that last year.

      • Addy

        I know, just wanted to mention it.

  • what’s x

    • nekoknight

      It’s a 3D polygonal space shooter game released on the GameBoy only in Japan, developed by the same people who developed StarFox.

  • Locky Mavo

    Dylan had also answered the question of “What Nintendo IP would like to work on if you could?”, answering with Pilotwings and F-Zero.