Sakurai's interview in Nintendo Dream: Bowser Jr almost didn't make in Smash 4 & more

IntelliHeath

As in "Heathcliff"
Mar 31, 2008
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#1
Thanks to Garou for the translations, and he posted it in Nintendo Dream thread.


Another snippet from page 3-4

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ND: When not you are not developing and there is a new title or character released, you are not thinking about "How about that one in the next Smash Bros?", right?

MS: Absolutely not! I'm always thinking that doing Smash Bros. again will be impossible. Impossible, impossible...is what I always think, but I ended up making it again (laughs). But once I decide to do it, I'm very fast about creating moves and such. For example Greninja, even before his name was decided I received several illustrations. I took them home in the evening and around midnight I had already done all his actions, normal moves, special moves and pose-pictures and sent them around asking "What do you think?".

ND: That's incredible speed! By the way, when deciding on which characters to use, are you looking into unreleased new games?

MS: At the very beginning I did that. This time our project-proposal is dated May 2012, at that time all characters were decided already. Then as production moves on we will say "We won't put that chracter in" and cut out low-priority-characters.

ND: That means in your project-proposal there are more characters than ended up in the game?

MS: Yes, but I won't tell which of course.

ND: (laughs). We were wondering all the time "Which characters will be in", and then the "long-time heroes" are announced just like that. We were wondering if that was the right way to announce them.

MS: After all we were planning on including so many characters, in the end this pace of announcing them was enough. Each and every character has fans, we wanted to drop as few as possible. About the order of which character has priority, the characters that don't have a new title coming up have an overwhelming disadvantage...even characters that we ended up including could have been left out if development had progressed differently. But even if 1 former character is left out, for the fans this is a huge thing. On our side, we are re-creating characters from the previous title, and keep on adding more, so the word "reduce" is not appropriate. There are cases where we simply couldn't make it in the end, but on the whole we did a good job I think and the people at Bandai Namco Games did a great job. We had discussions on giving up on something many many times, Bowser Jr. was on the brink of being cut but the staff said "We'll do our best!" and we made it.

ND: Were there Smash Bros. or Nintendo-fans among the staff of Bandai Namco Games?

SM: Of course. People who love Nintendo, people who love the characters, people who aren't a fan of something specific but love games as a whole...it depends on the individual.

ND: Was there something you didn't ask for but got created because one of your staff was obsessed with it?

MS: There are several cases of this. For example, Sheik's movement is completely different to Brawl, someone made a proposal to me for those motions.

-----

So once you hear about a new Smash Bros. being in development you are not asking for which characters to be included, but which characters shouldn't be cut.
Started reading a bit of the Sakurai-interview, small excerpt from the second page. The interview was done shortly before the release of the Wii U version in Japan.

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ND: These games were produced together with Bandai Namco Games, how did this happen to be?

MS: When we created Kid Icarus 3DS we assembled people from several places, but we experienced problems and had some regrets with that. I had to do interviews and other HR-duties, which amounts to a lot of time and work. Obviously, everyone has different levels of experience and different ways of working, so bringing everything together was difficult. To solve this problem we thought it would be better to have one single company work for us, so we choose to work with Bandai Namco Games who produce Tekken and other games. When thinking about a Japanese company that can make a large-scale fighting-game, there was only this one company. It would be quite difficult for other companies I think.

ND: Are you content with how the actual production went?

MS: I learned how to hold it in and not go to the toilet. It was quite far away from my seat (laughs).

ND: Please don't do that! You actually had some health-concerns, right? We heard you couldn't move your right hand anymore.

MS: Even now a tendonitis or something like that hasn't healed yet, I for example use my left hand to move a trackball. Smash Brothers is always a extremely hard development-process. Thinking about it now, I was quite lucky not getting sick in the past. I took care of myself a little better this time and it kind of worked out.

-------
From the Sakurai-Interview "The reason why those 50 (-47) fighters are in the game"

Mii-Fighter
MS: This time customization was a factor, I thought that we had to take a step towards being able to create something to your own liking during development. Although, we were thinking a lot about whether people would be happy to see the Mii Fighter as their opponent. For example if "My mommy" would come up as an opponent, would that really become a heated battle...? As we thought about that, if the character were to look and come out nonchalantly like in Mii Plaza, this would have been a definite failure. In the end by having the head of the Mii and changing up the body as well as giving them proper moves we managed to bring it into existence.

The reason for the return of Dr. Mario
MS: Actually all "Model-change"-characters that we have now were originally just supposed to be color-configurations. Just like the Little Mac-wireframe or how Olimar and Alph are included, we planned to just make the look and maybe the voice a possible configuration. But, when talking about Dr. Mario, including his abilities he had a lot of individuality in Melee compared to Mario. Also there were fans that said things like "I'm a doctor!", or "A back-alley doctor!" when they chose the black color-config. When you have such fans and you just change the character-model and leave it at that and it becomes "The same as Mario", we thought people might get angry (laughs). That's why we forced ourselves and changed that. But, unlike we did in the past when we separately added abilities and monitored the results, this time we used the customization-system and entered the adjustment-process by starting with a "Mario that's a bit heavier, with added attack-power". Although even then it still took a lot of work. During the regular adjustment-process we have each fighter battle all others and try to grasp the "strong" and "weak" problem areas, but in this case we had Dr. Mario go against Mario and tried to adjust it so it would most likely result in a tie. We did the same for Marth and Lucina, as well as Pit and Black Pit.

The reason for Duck Hunt joining the battle
MS: You think Duck Hunt is a rather minor character, right?
ND: We...think so. (laughs)
Everybody: (laughs)
MS: Please try to have a look at the sales-numbers. It might be the most-sold shooting-game in the world. It might be because it came bundled with the NES outside of Japan, if you look at worldwide numbers you come up with a huge number. I thought to create a character based on that would be appropriate, so we included that character from the very beginning of the project.
ND: So it was a candidate all along for the whole Smash Bros.-franchise?
MS: No, that would be exaggerating...in past titles we had our hands full with the characters we included back then. Even if we had tried even harder back then we couldn't have included it. But this time it was fun to do "Duck Hunt" and its shooting-like presentation. Like having a third person intervening the action, being able to say "It's actually a trio" was fun. That's how we finalized it during development of the concept, saying "That's how we can make it work!".

Also I think the translation isn't completed since someone brought up that he did mentioned something about DLC, Third Party and explain the reasonings behind new characters.

Garou, thanks again for the translation.
 
Dec 12, 2006
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#13
Not all that much to add alt costumes in comparison to the work of adding a character.
Its still plenty of work when they each have to have their own model made seperately, require the name to read differently, and require different memory locations setup for the audio of each individual koopling. Not as much as a whole character, but quite a bit as each needs to be tested with the animations and glitch tested seperately as well. God help you if you get "koopling specific combos".
 
Aug 18, 2010
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#15
All the characters were decied by May 2012??


When did Fire Emblem: Awakening come out in Japan??
It's not necessarily all the characters were decided then, just the preliminarily list, it probably read off like "A new Pokemon character, a new Fire Emblem character, Highly requested character" etc.
 
Mar 3, 2014
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#16
Its still plenty of work when they each have to have their own model made seperately, require the name to read differently, and require different memory locations setup for the audio of each individual koopling. Not as much as a whole character, but quite a bit as each needs to be tested with the animations and glitch tested seperately as well. God help you if you get "koopling specific combos".
Its work, but its decidedly less, plus worst case scenario they could've just done regular costumes instead of the Koopalings.
 
Feb 2, 2009
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#17
Wow, din't think someone would make a thread. There is actually a lot more of the interview, but since reddit picked it up I didn't think I would have to translate more. I might do a bit of the Miyamoto-interview and post it in the Nintendo Dream-thread.
 

Hero

Member
Jun 6, 2004
14,960
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#18
I like how he says characters without a game coming out soon were candidates for cuts.

New Ike Fire Emblem game? New Punch Out?
 
Jan 15, 2013
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#19
I like how he says characters without a game coming out soon were candidates for cuts.

New Ike Fire Emblem game? New Punch Out?
Well Ike's a veteran and Punch Out got a new game on the Wii.

Its not like this is some rule set in stone that they have to follow no matter what.
 
Sep 30, 2013
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#21
I wonder why Rosalina was given priority over Bowser Jr. when he has a lot more importance and seniority in the Mario-verse. Thank god he wasn't cut.

I like how he says characters without a game coming out soon were candidates for cuts.

New Ike Fire Emblem game? New Punch Out?
This is just being arbitrary. It says right there that they tried to have as few cuts as possible, and they probably view each character as part of a franchise rather than an individual character. Ike may not have a new game coming soon but Fire Emblem probably will.

Edit: And newcomers aren't chosen by the same rules used to make veteran cuts either, so this "rule" has no bearing on Little Mac.
 
Mar 3, 2014
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#22
I like how he says characters without a game coming out soon were candidates for cuts.

New Ike Fire Emblem game? New Punch Out?
He meant they have more of a disadvantage, he didn't mean it was a surefire thing.
Plus remember he learns of unannounced projects while making these games, so there's a chance some characters have games coming up we don't know about.
 
May 4, 2014
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#24
Having more characters planned certainly would mean a lot if Nintendo wants to sponsor a DLC model. Smash Bros is probably one of the only games people are clamoring for DLC for. Never stop the hype train, you know?

In the past, once a game came out, it was too late. No new Smash Bros fighters for seven years. Now it's never too late.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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Florida
www.youtube.com
#28
Capcom on blast with that bolded part.

Sakurai: We might not have time to fit everyone in. Bowser Jr. might have to be cut...
Developer: What if we focused our time on Bowser Jr. instead of Dark Pit and Dr. Mario?
Sakurai: Empty your desk by noon.
How can people post idiocy like this so consistently? As if a recolored Pit and Mario retexture take all the time of a new character.
 
Jan 18, 2013
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#31
How can people post idiocy like this so consistently? As if a recolored Pit and Mario retexture take all the time of a new character.
Q) Do you think the Dr. Mario and Dark pit character data just magically appeared on a hard drive in sakurais office one day?

Or do you think it still took some (small) amount of time to make? Perhaps enough to fit a character who has had work done on but needs a couple extra days of work, that might not be done in time?

Because it's obvious that no-one was implying a full character could be made in the same time, christ.
 
Dec 15, 2007
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#33
Almost cut...but they made like 8 different costumes for him
Its still plenty of work when they each have to have their own model made seperately, require the name to read differently, and require different memory locations setup for the audio of each individual koopling. Not as much as a whole character, but quite a bit as each needs to be tested with the animations and glitch tested seperately as well. God help you if you get "koopling specific combos".
And all of that is likely the reason he was damn near cut anyway. I don't get the bewilderment. Like.... either do it all the way, or don't do it at all. Seems here they came close to not doing it at all.
 
May 19, 2012
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twitter.com
#34
Q) Do you think the Dr. Mario and Dark pit character data just magically appeared on a hard drive in sakurais office one day?

Or do you think it still took some (small) amount of time to make? Perhaps enough to fit a character who has had work done on but needs a couple extra days of work, that might not be done in time?

Because it's obvious that no-one was implying a full character could be made in the same time, christ.
Unless there's some spreadsheet out there that shows the amount of time spent on each character and each cut character and some kind soul did the math, this is a baffling thing to complain about.
 
Aug 5, 2013
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#35
I like how he says characters without a game coming out soon were candidates for cuts.

New Ike Fire Emblem game? New Punch Out?
I feel like people are taking this statement way too seriously. Obviously characters that are getting a new game have a higher chance of getting in, but that's not even the most important factor. It's not like he's only going to have the classics and the current ones and just cut out the middle characters like Ike and Lucario. Those characters represent a specific era of Nintendo history which is why they will probably stay for all future games.

Duck Hunt and Little Mac got in because they are important classic Nintendo characters. There's not much more to it.
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
Jun 7, 2004
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Space is the Place
#38
Different people work on different things.

Needing a few extra models isn't the same as having difficulty implementing the character's concept in the game.
I believe in a prior interview Sakurai pretty much said the three clone characters are really just extra costumes with some stat differences and a couple of altered specials, so got their own slot. Just as a bonus.

Doesn't sound like the human resources involved in tweaking them could really have gone towards anything substantial, like an original character or a stage.
 
Feb 2, 2009
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#39
Quoting myself from this thread:

From the Sakurai-Interview "The reason why those 50 (-47) fighters are in the game"

Mii-Fighter
MS: This time customization was a factor, I thought that we had to take a step towards being able to create something to your own liking during development. Although, we were thinking a lot about whether people would be happy to see the Mii Fighter as their opponent. For example if "My mommy" would come up as an opponent, would that really become a heated battle...? As we thought about that, if the character were to look and come out nonchalantly like in Mii Plaza, this would have been a definite failure. In the end by having the head of the Mii and changing up the body as well as giving them proper moves we managed to bring it into existence.

The reason for the return of Dr. Mario
MS: Actually all "Model-change"-characters that we have now were originally just supposed to be color-configurations. Just like the Little Mac-wireframe or how Olimar and Alph are included, we planned to just make the look and maybe the voice a possible configuration. But, when talking about Dr. Mario, including his abilities he had a lot of individuality in Melee compared to Mario. Also there were fans that said things like "I'm a doctor!", or "A back-alley doctor!" when they chose the black color-config. When you have such fans and you just change the character-model and leave it at that and it becomes "The same as Mario", we thought people might get angry (laughs). That's why we forced ourselves and changed that. But, unlike we did in the past when we separately added abilities and monitored the results, this time we used the customization-system and entered the adjustment-process by starting with a "Mario that's a bit heavier, with added attack-power". Although even then it still took a lot of work. During the regular adjustment-process we have each fighter battle all others and try to grasp the "strong" and "weak" problem areas, but in this case we had Dr. Mario go against Mario and tried to adjust it so it would most likely result in a tie. We did the same for Marth and Lucina, as well as Pit and Black Pit.

The reason for Duck Hunt joining the battle
MS: You think Duck Hunt is a rather minor character, right?
ND: We...think so. (laughs)
Everybody: (laughs)
MS: Please try to have a look at the sales-numbers. It might be the most-sold shooting-game in the world. It might be because it came bundled with the NES outside of Japan, if you look at worldwide numbers you come up with a huge number. I thought to create a character based on that would be appropriate, so we included that character from the very beginning of the project.
ND: So it was a candidate all along for the whole Smash Bros.-franchise?
MS: No, that would be exaggerating...in past titles we had our hands full with the characters we included back then. Even if we had tried even harder back then we couldn't have included it. But this time it was fun to do "Duck Hunt" and its shooting-like presentation. Like having a third person intervening the action, being able to say "It's actually a trio" was fun. That's how we finalized it during development of the concept, saying "That's how we can make it work!".
 
Feb 5, 2009
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Mexico
#49
I see Sakurai has only the highest regard for Capcom.
Capcom doesn't even have it for themselves.

Sakurai please make the next Mega Man/Mega Man X

BTW I don't get how Sakurai balances characters, I mean, he was working with Namco, yet he balanced Dr. Mario checking the win rate against Mario. Wii Fit Trainer doesn't even use the long recovery. He didn't let Namco have more control?