Nintendo reveals early Switch Sports character concepts
Nintendo has provided a look at early character concepts that were considered for Nintendo Switch Sports with brand new concept art.
While the game ultimately has human-looking characters and Miis, the team almost went in a different direction. Early on, college students were considered. There was even talk of using robots that made it to the prototype stage.
Developers Takayuki Shimamura, Yoshikazu Yamashita, Shinji Okane, and Junji Morii revealed the following regarding character concepts for Nintendo Switch Sports:
The Mii characters (*) left quite an impression in Wii Sports, but there are some new characters added to this title. Did you add these characters to show the freshness of the design?
(*) A system implemented on the Wii system in which players can create caricature characters by combining various facial features, such as face shape, eyes and hairstyle. In the Wii Sports series, players can play in each sport as the Mii characters they created.
Morii: Even before we decided to make a fresh start again, we had proposed different kinds of character illustrations. In the early stage, we proposed round-shaped characters with no arms or legs, similar to the Mii characters in Wii Sports. We also created college student characters that looked like this with a theme of intercollegiate sports.
Shimamura: I remember we had the most outlandish characters that looked like robots. (Laughs)
Morii: Around the time when we decided to restart the project from scratch and were told that we would be starting over to create the world’s most easy-to-invite to motion-based game, I asked, “Are you sure we can’t go this far?” (Laughs)
The player is inside the robot, but it is the robot that moves when you swing the Joy-Con controller. The robot is the one doing the bowling.
What? You operate the robot?
Yamashita: Yes, you operate this robot, and the robot throws the ball. I know it doesn’t make sense. You might also wonder how big this bowling alley is. (Laughs)
Morii: At first, everyone was so excited about this robot idea that we all thought, “This could be fun!” We even made a prototype. But when we actually saw the robot on the screen and moved it around, a blanket of silence fell over everyone.
Okane: This would make the gameplay about operating a robot.
Yamashita: The player controls the character in the robot to operate the robot. Then, the robot throws the ball. There are too many steps in between.
So you ended up going in the wrong direction after refining the motion controls.
Morii: As a result, we decided to go with a design that resembles a human being.