YOSHI'S WOOLLY WORLD
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
ETSUNOBU EBISU EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, GOOD-FEEL