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Mario Kart 8 director on being free of gravity restrictions, updating the classic courses, d-pad controls

Posted on May 30, 2014 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Wii U

EDGE has put up its full interview with Mario Kart 8 director Kosuke Yabuki. We’ve already covered the most important bits, but additional comments regarding the game’s anti-gravity feature, updates for classic courses, and d-pad controls are now in as well. Head past the break for Yabuki’s words.

On how being freed of gravity’s restrictions change the team’s approach to course design…

We had tracks that rose and fell a little in previous Mario Kart titles, but essentially they were designed on a level plane. With the introduction of the antigravity mechanic, we started designing tracks to make use of all three dimensions. We built Mario Circuit and N64 Rainbow Road so players will catch some great views of castles or skyscrapers in the upper portion of the screen, heightening the sense of racing upside down.

On whether it was challenging to update the classic courses…

A lot has changed since these courses first appeared, from kart behaviour to the camera and even the number of opponents, so we had to redesign the courses both in terms of their spatial layout and even the width of the tracks. We’ve also added in the antigravity, gliding and underwater mechanics, too, and the graphics and sound are all remade from scratch. But I hope these courses will still bring back some fond memories.

On why the team reinstated the d-pad control option…

The Wii Wheel supports both [D-pad] and motion controls. We’ve honed them so that they both give a great racing experience, and users can select whichever they prefer. We did the same for the right stick on the GamePad as well. Letting users move the right stick to accelerate gives them a different feel to pressing the A Button. Having said that, it’s not simply about the quantity of control options; we experimented with a lot of different control methods, and only the ones that we found worthy made it through.

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