The quirky paint-splattered multiplayer of Splatoon was an entirely new direction for Nintendo. It’s unsurprising then to hear then that development wasn’t an easy ride. In an exclusive interview in the new issue of Edge Magazine, Splatoon’s development team reveals that Nintendo boss Shigeru Miyamoto wasn’t always keen on the game.
“[After] the prototype phase, we had all these ideas about the height, the ink, the characters, and the image of the character and the squid,” co-director Tsubasa Sakaguchi tells Edge. “But we couldn’t kind of filter it down to a final result that would result in a simple, fun game. And during this period, we were being scolded by Mr Miyamoto all the time.”
Miyamoto originally didn’t see the attraction. “He was saying, ‘I don’t understand. What do you want to do? There’s no appeal to this game,’” clarifies producer Hisashi Nogami. “We had the basics,” director Yusuke Amano says. “And then we were like, ‘Let’s add the hiding [in ink] feature; let’s add jumping; we need height, because it’s a 3D map.’ And then we thought, ‘We need to be able to shoot up and down.’ And we realised we’d added all this stuff, and we got confused. We didn’t know what the game was about.”
Miyamoto's opinion has of course changed. Edge's feature mentions how the early builds featured mere blocks rather than the squid characters that now star, and polish goes a long way: it's currently a game that Edge say "drips with allure" in the version it played.