Arms producer on the game’s origins, more news about content to come, controls, more
NintendoEverything posted a translation of a Famitsu interview with ARMS producer Kosuke Yabuki, and he touches on a lot of points that I've seen come up in prior topics about the game. I've picked up a couple of excepts, adding my own bold for emphasis:
Originally Posted by On game origins
I’m assuming that these prototypes are created to test very basic gameplay concepts. So, what kind of concept did Arms originate as? I would imagine it started as a boxing game where the characters’ arms would stretch out…
No, it was not originally a concept for a boxing game. There are many fighting games, like Street Fighter or Super Smash Bros., or even “3D fighters” like Tekken, where the game is viewed side-on. Since the beginning of fighting games, the side view has been the mainstream, but I’ve always thought, why couldn’t we do it a little differently? However, it can be difficult to gauge depth in games where the camera is behind you. So I was absolutely convinced that it would not be suited for fighting games, which require precise distance control. But the fact that your arms extend, and that it takes a bit of time for them to impact, makes it quite likely your attacks will succeed. My idea was to have the game’s tactics revolve less around whether your attack would hit or not, and more around the timing and delay between your attacks connecting. So in pursuing a new kind of fighting game where the camera is behind you and your arms extend, Arms was born.
Originally Posted by On characters
At this event, there are five characters available, each with three different types of arms. Will there be more characters in the retail version?
There will be more characters, with more arm types. What we have available today is just a portion of what will be available in the full game. You can look forward to more information gradually coming out as the release date approaches.
Originally Posted by On advancements in playstyle
It seems like it would be strategically sound to keep at least one arm ready at all times, instead of sending both out to attack at once.
We’ve let all sorts of people play the game, and after spending some time with it, most of them decide “I shouldn’t punch too often”, and wait to react to their opponent’s attacks instead. But once they pass that stage, they do things like manipulate their opponent’s movements with constant attacks or force them into corners. Their strategic capabilities grow more advanced, so there’s a big difference in how people fight depending on their skill.
Originally Posted by On additional modes
You announced a single-player and online mode, but will there be any other modes available?
There are many more that everyone can look forward to… but I can’t talk about them (laughs). Having only 1v1 matches in the online mode would be too exhausting, so there are other modes being prepared. However, the game is boiling down to 1v1 battles in the end, with them as the main focus and the other modes being on the side.
So will those modes be challenging, unlike, say, a party game?
We’re trying to make the kind of game where your skill in 1v1 matches naturally increases as you play the various different modes.
Originally Posted by On controls
What was the reason you chose to use the ‘thumbs up pose’ out of the numerous control schemes available?
During the Switch’s development, we were wondering how we could hold the Joy-Con to play games. Even though it supports the standard grip, the Joy-Con fits in your palms nicely if you tilt them. I thought, if we were to make a game that involved swinging the Joy-Con around, it should use that kind of grip. So, we decided to combine the prototype that became the basis for Arms with that grip style. And, since the internal sensors are more accurate, you can control it with much lighter movement, so I don’t think it will be that tiring. Since there will probably be some people who aren’t good at the physical controls, we made it possible to play using the buttons as well. They can use the buttons on the Joy-Con, or the Pro Controller. It is also possible to play using just one Joy-Con, so you can share the fun and play with others.
Can they play without any problems, using only one Joy-Con?
Yes. But their available actions might be a little limited. So you should use two Joy-Con when you’re looking to get serious… that’s how we designed the game.
...So! Yes, the producer confirms again that you can use non-motion button controls, and even admits you can play the game with a single joycon, albeit with slightly limited functionality. My personal guess would be that you're limited in how you're able to curve punches. Fine enough if you're just demoing the game's concept to a friend, but it sounds like the double joycon thumbs-up is the way to go for major play. He also confirms modes beyond just 1v1 fights and seems to hint that they're designed in such a way to train the player in certain game aspects to get them prepared for real battles. Definitely getting some shades of Splatoon's single player out of that sort of concept.
Originally Posted by Final thoughts
Finally, could you say something to the readers who are looking forward to the game?
Arms is a brand new IP, so we’re starting from scratch. Our goal is to make a game with an enjoyable physical control scheme, that also has a lot of strategy and technical gameplay. I look forward to getting feedback from everyone, because I believe this game has aspects that will evolve together with the playerbase. So I hope you’ll look forward to it.
And yes, just as common sense would dictate, the final game will have more than just five characters and the current arm selections. There are a lot of other little details and origin thoughts in the full interview so do give it a look, but I figured I'd at least bring up some of the common concerns people were raising after the game was first revealed. Sounds to me like they're giving this the full treatment!
Punch me from a distance and around a corner if old.