De­vel­oper Good-Feel, Nin­tendo SPD For­mat Wii U Re­lease First half of 2015


When Yoshi’s Woolly World d launches, the game that started it all will be 20 years old. But while this se­ries is still firmly wed­ded to the Yoshi’s Is­land for­mula, Kirby’s Epic Yarn cre­ator Good-Feel has sought ways to re­fresh it, such as se­ries-first co-op.

What does it mean to make a Yoshi game in 2014?

Takashi Tezuka For each game we [at Nin­tendo] have made in the se­ries, we’ve tried to achieve all that we wanted to do, so that we wouldn’t be left with any re­grets. Having said that, there have been times when we haven’t been able to in­clude some­thing due to the tech­ni­cal lim­i­ta­tions at the time.

For ex­am­ple, mul­ti­player is some­thing we can do now be­cause of the leap in hard­ware per­for­mance brought about by Wii U. We’ve also always wanted to show the en­e­mies and ob­jects in a more re­al­is­tic way. We’re cer­tainly us­ing the hard­ware to its lim­its to make the wool look as good as it does here.

We’ve been able to do th­ese things by mak­ing our devel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment more ef­fi­cient and user friendly than in the past, par­tic­u­larly in terms of level de­sign.

How has adding co-op af­fected your ap­proach to de­sign­ing lev­els?

TT The co-op­er­a­tive mul­ti­player mode is def­i­nitely some­thing we want play­ers to ex­pe­ri­ence, but at heart this is a sin­gle­player game, and the lev­els are be­ing de­signed with a fo­cus on the sin­gle player. Us­ing th­ese de­signs as our base, we’re mak­ing fur­ther ad­just­ments so that mul­ti­player will be even more fun, while at the same time mak­ing sure not to lose the orig­i­nal sin­gle­player en­joy­ment. That’s our ap­proach.

Other re­cent Nin­tendo co-op plat­form­ers have been gen­tly com­pet­i­tive as well. Will that be the case with Woolly World, too?

TT Mul­ti­player can broadly be di­vided into co-op­er­a­tive and com­pet­i­tive types. There’s big de­mand for each and I be­lieve we have be care­ful to cater to both of them. Ideally, we aim not to make th­ese sep­a­rate modes, but al­low play­ers to choose their pref­er­ences nat­u­rally as they are play­ing. For this game, we’ve limited mul­ti­player to two play­ers and left the choice up to them whether hold­ing the other player in Yoshi’s mouth should be used com­pet­i­tively or co-op­er­a­tively.

With the woollen feel of the world, we also an­tic­i­pate that more small chil­dren will play the game with oth­ers in their fam­ily, so while it would be easy just to fo­cus on com­pet­i­tive play and put in a re­sults screen show­ing who won and lost, we think it’s much more ap­pro­pri­ate in this game to be able to en­joy com­pet­i­tive el­e­ments within the de­sign of a co-op­er­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

How has the leap to HD af­fected the way you work?

Etsunobu Ebisu One of the im­por­tant themes of this game is the look of the as­sets. Thanks to the in­crease in res­o­lu­tion, we’ve also been able to make th­ese look a lot more re­al­is­tic. How­ever, there’s now more things than ever that we can do thanks to the in­crease in hard­ware specs, and so there’s a lot more tri­a­land-er­ror go­ing on, mean­ing that of course the costs have gone up too. We’ve also had to take mea­sures, such as as­sign­ing some­one to work specif­i­cally with shaders, to en­sure the qual­ity of the tex­tures and the over­all ap­pear­ance of the as­sets.

Strip away the vi­su­als and this is still very much a Yoshi’s Is­land game, end-of-level bonus ring and all




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