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Splatoon devs on the project’s origins, why squids were chosen

Posted on February 18, 2015 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Wii U

Famitsu published its full interview with the developers behind Splatoon on its website today. Producer Hisashi Nogami, director Yusuke Amano, and co-director Tsubasa Sakaguchi participated in the discussion.

Siliconera translated some excerpts from the interview. You can find a summary of what was shared below.

“Many staff members that have worked on Wii U launch titles are working on this game, so now that we have a grasp of the Wii U’s functions, it started out with discussions about wanting to make something new with what we already know. There were many plans, but the one that stayed until the end was Splatoon.”

– Nogami says that it was just around the time Sakaguchi finished working on Nintendo Land, and Amano with New Super Mario Bros. 2, that Splatoon’s plans began
– Wasn’t always about squid characters
– Originally had tofu-like square characters
– Eventually chose to make it a competitive 4-on-4 game that required spraying the environment with ink

“At first, during the trial stages, we tested the game with different numbers of players. With more than four players, the impact of one single player felt too little, while having three players made it feel like the impact was too much.”

– It’s ultimately about covering as much space as possible and not defeating a bunch of enemies
– This is why the team felt that a 4-on-4 setup was the most balanced

On how it came to be that the main characters are squids in Splatoon…

“We’re very grateful that it was well received right after its announcement. The reason we made them squids… well, to put it simply, ‘it was the optimal way to represent all of the game’s features’.”

“At first, they just shot ink, and couldn’t even jump.”

“The concept of height didn’t exist [in the game], so without height, so you couldn’t paint the walls with ink and climb up, but we’ve added more and more to the feature over time.”

– The team originally intended to keep adding other elements as well as possible, but had to readjust all the features at one point because things got too confusing

“At first, we had all kinds of actions that went according to when a character was in human-form. However, the result of adding more functions made it too messy. When we made the adjustments, we decided to split what a character could do in human form and what they can do in squid form. Humans can walk and attack, while switching to squid makes them specialize in movement. We decided to make it into something that makes you switch around [between both forms] while playing.”

– The team had several options besides squids, but felt that ink shooting would best be represented by a squid
– That’s why squids ended up being the most popular choice


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