Splatoon was my pick for Game of Show for this year’s E3, as it was highly unexpected but pleasantly surprising in terms of both gameplay and a fresh new IP for Nintendo. Nintendo has always tread on tip toes when exploring the shooter genre, so to see a game focused around team-based combat and territory control from Nintendo was a great surprise. Perhaps the bigger surprise is news that producer Hisashi Nogami considered using already established characters for this idea, before deciding to use the squids.
When we had a really good long think about, would one of [our established IP characters] fit it? Or should this new squid idea be the way to go? We realized squids were definitely the only thing we could go with.
Nogami said in an interview with Game Informer that his team looked at creating the game around using existing characters from Nintendo’s bevy of established franchises, but ultimately felt the mechanics they wanted to establish in the game didn’t fit any of their major characters. According to Nogami, characters weren’t established for the game until the mechanics for gameplay had been ironed out, which they discovered worked really well with squids after the ability to swim fast and splatter ink everywhere were included in the game.
First we started with the ability to shoot ink but then we added the ability to swim really fast through it, and as we kept adding more abilities to what the player was able to do, there was this kind of moment where we all realized, ‘Oh yeah, this would work really well with squids.
So Splatoon could have been a Mario game, but it turns out the mechanics are better suited to squids than an Italian plumber.
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TAGS: hisashi nogami, Splatoon