Designer talks about how Retro Studios turned an original FPS into Metroid Prime
Metroid Prime has a pretty interesting development history. Before it was a Metroid game, Retro Studios was working on an original first-person shooter that had no ties to anything Nintendo-related. It was only when the big N stepped in and saw a level of the game that the game eventually morphed into Metroid Prime.
Speaking in the latest issue of Switch Player, senior designer Mike Wikan noted:
“When I came on board, the Engine group was significantly behind schedule and there was no way to create gameplay demonstrables in an effective fashion. I was told, quite literally, by leadership that designers would design the game on paper, then hand it off to engineering and art to create it. In my opinion that was insanity.”
“When Nintendo arrived suddenly, wanting to see demonstrables of all the games that the teams were working on, only our FPS had demonstrable real-time scriptable content. Nintendo liked what they saw and proposed we adapt that game and viewpoint, but restart it as a Metroid game.”
“The moral of the story is that if you see a problem, work to solve it; don’t assume someone else will take that responsibility on.”