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Filed under: Industry People, Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto, Straight from the Source (Interview), Super Bros. Smash For 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Series

Straight from the Source: Giles Goddard (Former Nintendo Employee, Vitei Games CEO)

Page 1 — The First Foreign Employee of Nintendo
Page 2 — Working on the N64
Page 3 — Snowboarding in 64 Bits
Page 4 — N64DD, Doshin and Prototypes
Page 5 — Rock n’ Roll Wii and VR
Page 6 — Undersea Adventures on the 3DS and Smash
Page 7 — Bringing Tanks Online and Missed Opportunities
Page 8 — The Future of Vitei
Page 9 — Giles, The Enabler
Page 10 — The Future of Vitei and VR

Page 6 — Undersea Adventures on the 3DS and Smash

In an Iwata Asks, you mention that working on Steel Diver was similar to working at EAD. Can you go into more details about the collaboration with Nintendo?

Well you had Imamura-san, who used to work on Star Fox. He was our producer/ director so he was in the office every day. It was basically like an EAD office. Especially with the Frontroom. It’s very Nintendo-like. Very white, and very corporate looking. So it feels like an off-shoot of EAD. Especially when you have one or two of those members there. Well they aren’t called that anymore.

 

How much creative freedom did the Vitei team have on Steel Diver?

Not very much. Nintendo decided most things. We obviously gave a lot of advice and thoughts, and came up with a lot of small ideas. But they had the general and major decisions with the game. Steel Diver was actually Sugiyama-san’s game from…it was a DS demo. It was shown around for a year or so, when he suggested we pick it up and make it into a proper game.

 

Is there a particular reason he thought of you guys?

It was the perfect fit for the size we were, and the people we had. It was a really good fit for that kind of team. So we did the DS version for like a year and a half…it was going to be a download title I think, for the DSiWare, but internally people liked it so much, that they said if it was on an actual cartridge it could be a lot bigger and have more options as we’d have more data to play with…and we could [provide] a much better game. So we changed from a download title to an actual cartridge game…and then the 3DS came out. So then they thought…’why don’t we make it into a 3D game?’ And so that was another year and a half.

 

Steel Diver was one of the first 3DS games…was it difficult to get the 3D aspect to work?

You mean the stereoscopic view?

 

Yeah.

No that was actually really easy. Our game really suited it well because the depth of field…the field of view, was quite shallow. That kind of 3D…that kind of short, shallow depth is where people are more susceptible to 3D. So everything was kind of in this fish tank. So I think it was a really good example of how that stereoscopic screen could be used.

 

It’s not the kind of 3D that’s constantly barraging your face or anything. It’s more like Avatar where it’s kind of subtle.

I think a lot of games…games like Star Fox…they wanted to come out the screen. But they couldn’t go very far. With our game, it was where the screen starts and a little bit behind it…which I think is the best way to use it.

 

Were there any content that you wanted to add to Steel Diver, but couldn’t because of time or restrictions from Nintendo?

Yeah…we played around with a two player battle thing…we tried for awhile…but it didn’t really…it was difficult to aim and hit people but it was fun. So personally for me that was a bummer as I wanted to see it.

You guys eventually got to it in Subwars. Subwars was also the first free to play title you guys produced.

That was an experiment. It was Nintendo’s decision. I think it was an ideal way to test the waters with free to play. It’s a thing they don’t really want to go into, I think.

 

Steel Diver managed to get some content in the Super Smash Bros. series as an item and a trophy. How do you feel about this?

I think it’s great. My kid plays it and he says “that’s the one you did, you made it”. He doesn’t really know how video games are made, so he actually thinks I made the characters. That’s the great thing about Smash is that you can use all these characters from these games, and [he] only really adds to Smash Bros.

 

Did you supply the assets for those models, or was that a surprise for you?

I don’t actually remember. I guess we must’ve.

 

Was there a lot of communication between you and Masahiro Sakurai?

No.

On the next page we discuss promotion, online and Tank Troopers.

3 comments
  1. I fear a fully technologically integrated society. Maybe I just really hate The Matrix films, but the idea of everything running through one device just feels monopolistic and like we’d just be waiting for the end of the world at some point. I’d probably be able to word this better if it wasn’t so late.

    What I do know is what the other second-parties have to say. HAL and GameFreak have been trying to step out of the shadow of Nintendo recently (though the burnt out GameFreak more so). Retro has said… things about working under Tanabe, but Next Level seems to think differently. And then there’s Monster. MonolithSoft seems to be in a good place, and Intelligent Systems can do whatever they want, it seems. I wonder what Treasure’s been up to? I think they were working on something for Capcom last I checked…

    Zeebor on July 3 |
  2. Great interview, PushDustIn! Question: Does the word “vitei” mean anything in Japanese, or sound like a Japanese term?

  3. it is a great interview, hope you can interview more ex nintendo staff soon !

    n128 on July 27 |