De­vel­oper Nin­tendo EAD For­mat Wii U Re­lease First half of 2015



The first full game to emerge from the Garage ini­tia­tive is a bright mul­ti­player shooter in which vic­tory is not about kills, but ter­ri­tory. Armed with guns and tanks of paint, play­ers com­pete against op­po­nents in a bat­tle to cover ar­eas with their colours.

The game is, at its core, an on­line shooter – a highly com­pet­i­tive genre in which Nin­tendo is in­ex­pe­ri­enced. What have been the most chal­leng­ing as­pects of de­vel­op­ing some­thing so new? When we go about mak­ing new games, we don’t have a par­tic­u­lar genre in mind at first, so it wasn’t that we in­ten­tion­ally set out to make an on­line shooter. One of the big­gest chal­lenges was sim­ply com­ing up with some­thing new and fun, be­cause our main ob­jec­tive was cre­at­ing a game that could be en­joyed by ex­pe­ri­enced gamers as well as those who haven’t played com­pet­i­tive on­line games be­fore.

Why did you pick third­per­son per­spec­tive over first­per­son? In Splatoon, play­ers switch between a squid and hu­man form, so they need to be able to see them­selves at all times. The ac­tions play­ers take will also change based on what colour of paint is at their feet so, again, it’s im­por­tant that they can see this. Our de­ci­sion to go with a third­per­son view was thus born out of ne­ces­sity.

The E3 demo only fea­tured one gun, but oth­ers were shown in the trailer. How can you make a sniper ri­fle, for in­stance, work in a game where you win by shoot­ing the ground rather than en­e­mies? In Ja­panese, we call this weapon the Charge Shot. You charge up and hurl ink over a large dis­tance. You can cer­tainly use this to take out far-off op­po­nents, but it can also be used to ex­tend your painted ter­ri­tory much far­ther. The abil­ity to paint the ground is a re­ally im­por­tant fea­ture for all the weapons.

What other uses of the GamePad’s screen did you con­sider for the game? Or did you always feel that the per­ma­nent map dis­play was the best way to use it? One of the core parts of Splatoon is the abil­ity to grasp the over­all pic­ture of the bat­tle as it un­folds mo­ment by mo­ment, and to be able to take this into ac­count to plan your next move. We felt that let­ting play­ers always be able to see the map on the GamePad and be able to se­lect it – that is, to touch it at any mo­ment – was re­ally the best choice for the game.

Play­ers can aim with ana­logue sticks in­stead of the gy­ro­scope. How have you bal­anced those two against each other, given ven that one is bet­ter for faster move­ment, ve­ment, the other for faster aim­ing? The gy­ro­scope is used for or things like ver­ti­cal aim­ing and fine ad­just­ments. Tilt­ing the GamePad a lit­tle makes for larger cam­era move­ments, so you can aim quickly with­out t having to make large move­ments your­self. The ana­logue sticks are used to make larger hor­i­zon­tal changes in di­rec­tion. It’s not some­thing that’s been done be­fore, so it might take a bit of get­ting used to, but in n a game like this, s, where play­ers can move around vir­tu­ally un­re­stricted, we feel that it’s the best con­trol scheme.

Maps fea­ture plenty of ways to get a height ad­van­tage – not just ramps and lad­ders. You can swim up walls in squid form, just so long as you’ve inked them

GamePad maps can feel like a copout, but having one here is in­valu­able, a quick glance show­ing who’s win­ning and where you need to fo­cus on



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