In a recent interview with Polygon, Nintendo’s Yugo Hayashi and PlatinumGames’ Yusuke Hashimoto discussed Star Fox Zero in-depth.
You can read the main quotes below or go read the rest at their site.
On how Star Fox Zero’s concept was born out of Miyamoto and other Nintendo EAD members experimenting with ways to use the GamePad differently:
“Initially we were kind of doing a project along with Mr. Miyamoto where we were looking at a way of using the television and the GamePad in different ways as kind of an experiment,” said EAD’s Yugo Hayashi, one of the directors on the game. “We came up with this idea of having an overall view of the action on the television while having a first-person shooting view on the GamePad and playing around with that. We thought there was a good kernel of a game there and we thought it was something we could use to build a Star Fox title around.” – Hayashi
On how Nintendo reached out to Platinum after determining they didn’t have enough staffers to make the game internally:
“Internally, we thought we maybe didn’t have enough resources to make it. So we started looking outside for a good fit. We already had some relationship with Platinum Games and in thinking about who would be be a good company to make a Star Fox game, obviously Platinum Games are very good at making action games, they’re very good at making games that are visually exciting. So we thought they would be a perfect fit.” – Hayashi
On how having an objective and first-person shooter view was already done when Platinum saw the game:
“When I was getting into the project it kind of started up for me as how do we use this to make stages that will be fun to play. How do we create extravagant, exciting situations. Basically, as the development has gone forward it has been the two teams passing it back and forth and talking about that kind of thing.” – Hashimoto
– Hashimoto said that while working within the framework of Nintendo’s ideas, the studio was still able to inject its own take on the title;
– He knew the studio succeeded at doing that the first time he saw the boss battle in the first level Corneria mission of the game.
“When you get to the boss and it switches to the target view and you have that kind of extravagant cinematic view, flying around the boss with a first-person view. That was the first time I thought we were kind of getting at what I hoped to achieve with this project. I think the reason for that is because it’s a cinematic scene, a cinematic effect, but you’re able to control it and create these kind of action moments while flying around in the way you attack.”
On co-op mode:
“We wanted to have a co-op mode where basically one person could handle flying the vehicle, while another person handles shooting. So, if you had a situation where a parent was playing with their child and the child was having a tough time with the game, the parent could handle flying the vehicle with a nunchuk and Wii remote and the child could just enjoy targeting and shooting things on the GamePad.” – Hayashi
On how the cooperative mode will change as well, depending on which vehicle you’re in:
“If you are using the Gyrowing and you drop down the Direct-I, the GamePad is controlling the Direct-I but the person who is flying the Gyro can still fly around, so you’ll get these situations where you are yelling at the person flying saying, ‘You need to go a little more to the left,’ or ‘You need to drop down lower to let me get in here.’” – Hayashi
“There are no current plans for DLC. But one thing we would like to mention is that the Fox and Falcon amiibo that will be out will be both supported when the game comes out. We can’t get into specifics about what it will be. But we do want to say that it’s not like there will be any big content locked behind the amiibo, it’s more like if you have the amiibo you’ll get something cool. Not new stages or anything like that.” – Hashimoto
On how the game isn’t a remake of the original:
– It won’t have a “more expansive story”;
– The game will be a “pure adventure where Fox McCloud and company can explore these new planets. And all of the planets, in terms of the names, will be places you’ve seen before. But what happens there and unfolds there will be completely different.”
“The way the action of the game unfolds is kind of what drives the stories in Star Fox. Because the action will unfold in very different ways in this game thanks to the different controls, the story will unfold in a different way too.” – Hayashi
On how the game is really a parallel story to that original game:
“I guess the way to think of it is that we’re using the same setting and world as [Star Fox] 64, but we think of this as a parallel dimension of kind of version of what happened. That’s why the game is called Zero.” – Hashimoto
On how Star Fox Zero is an important part of educating gamers about the value of that GamePad’s second screen:
“Splatoon has gyro-shooting using the GamePad itself, and then Mario Maker, uses the GamePad to aid the creation of the stages. Along with those titles, we want to be one of the titles that is really making the case for the GamePad. We have that objective view and that first-person view and we’ve kind of used those together in an interesting way. I’d like to think that we’re part of this group of titles that is really justifying the GamePad.” – Hayashi
“It’s very important to me to within the shooting genre to be able to create something, create a new way of playing that we haven’t done before.” – Hashimoto
“I do think that people have started to understand what’s cool about the GamePad, and I hope with the coming titles we’re able to continue to build on that.” – Hayashi
“Until you get your hands on the game and you’re able to play a game like Star Fox Zero and see how the two screen structure works, I think it is difficult to understand. When you are doing something new, and people just hear about it, it’s hard to understand, but now with titles like Splatoon and Mario Maker we’ve created games that allow people to understand.” – Hayashi
On how the experience of using the GamePad in Star Fox Zero is something new:
“The feeling of being able to fly around on the television feels really good and then you have a totally different feeling on the GamePad, in terms of flying around and shooting. Being able to do those two things at the same time, is not something I’ve ever seen before.” – Hashimoto
Besides this interview, Shigeru Miyamoto also talked to German site “Spiegel Online” about the game’s controls and getting used to them:
Spiegel Online: The controls of “Star Fox Zero” are due to the two screens a challenge.
Miyamoto: Compared to other games, it is a bit complex. There are many ways how video games entertain the player. One of it is the process understanding how a game works – another the process to master the controls. With mastering the controls you improve, which results in having fun. Out intention was not that players suggest: “There are two screens, that is making it complicated” Instead: “There are two screens, I can do different things on them.”
Spiegel Online: How long does it take to get into the game?
Miyamoto: It is hard to understand the basics, if you just try Star Fox Zero for a few minutes at like a games expo. Anyhow, if people buy the game and play it at home, after one or two days, they will reach the point where they understand how it works, how to master it – that is the moment the fun begins.