The folks over at Gamasutra recently had the chance to speak to some Nintendo representatives, namely producers Tabata Risa and Tanabe Kensuke, and got some interesting information on how Nintendo makes its games.
Tabata was the first to speak, saying that first and foremost, “the basic idea is to have the fun element of the game. As long as [they] can see that, [they] can move forward with that game.” Tanabe then also spoke about the matter, explaining that Nintendo makes games in “a unique way”. He compares Nintendo to other gaming companies, explaining that others create big stacks of documents of ideas they want to incorporate in a game, but Nintendo doesn’t do that.
Tanabe then shares that a game is not officially started until they have the main core of it, or the main gimmick of the game, in other words. After that is settled, then they proceed to create prototypes and play around with the idea. “We don’t start a project until we know what’s going to be the main core of that project. Once we know what’s going to be the baseline, the core of that game, the fun element of it, then we start to create the prototypes and play around with it.”
“Once we know […] the core of that game, the fun element of it, then we start to create”
Tanabe then moves on to working with developers, explaining that the reason they work with them over long periods of time is to get them to know the process and importance of creating a game at Nintendo. “And that’s mainly the reason we tend to work with [developers] for long periods of time. So we can get them to understand the philosophy and idea behind the process we go through at Nintendo. And for those companies that end up understanding our ideas, and agreeing to work that way, those are essentially the companies that will work with us for the years to follow.”
Finally, they end the interview with some talk about Amiibo. Tabata says that for her, the most satisfying feeling is when you touch your Amiibo onto the system, and see your character pop up on the game — and she’s sure it’s the same way for many other players. Tanabe also gives his own personal opinion — unrepresentative of Nintendo as a company — on Amiibo, saying that he thinks that when Nintendo makes an Amiibo-based game, it completely affects the development of the game, and that not every game has to be compatible with Amiibo.
You can read the full interview over at Gamasutra‘s website, where you’ll be able to read about more topics that were discussed, like the new 3DS game Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash.