Developer Nintendo EAD Format Wii U Release First half of 2015
“ONE CORE PART OF SPLATOON IS THE ABILITY TO GRASP THE OVERALL PICTURE OF THE BATTLE AS IT UNFOLDS”
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