Wii Play Motion development suffered “all kinds of trouble”

By Brenna Hillier
19 July 2011 00:50 GMT

The independent developers and Nintendo staff responsible for Wii Play Motion have commented on the difficulty of developing the collection of mini-games.

“I was this project’s ringleader, but it kicked off when people in sales in Japan and overseas said, ‘We want you to make a Wii Remote Plus version of Wii Play’ and I started thinking about how I could make such a thing,” general producer Shinya Takahashi said during the latest Iwata Asks.

“My department’s strong point is its ties with lots of companies, so I began by thinking that we might be able to draw upon the characteristics of each one by having lots of companies make the minigames.

“We had all kinds of trouble once we got started.”

Project producer Toyokazu Nonaka wasn’t keen on the idea at first, either.

“It didn’t seem real at first, and I thought, ‘That sounds tough,'” he said.

“It was a new way to make games, and it was an awful short period of time to coordinate so many companies, so I was concerned.”

The developers competed to earn places on the project, with Sonic-creator and Prope boss Yuji Naka losing the battle for his Haunted Tower idea because it was too similar to another ex-Sonic staffer’s Spooky Search.

Good-Feel came late to the project after finishing off Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and were told they would not be given any extra chances despite the delay.

As developers rushed to finish their mini-games, Nonaka threatened to drop some projects if developers didn’t show rapid progress. He was forced to step in and ask individual developers to increase the quality of their projects.

“Toward the end, I had Nintendo’s graphics supervision team become involved,” he said.

“At first, they were each proceeding with their own graphics, and when the directions they were each heading were similar, any difference in quality stood out. For that reason, I decided to establish a standard. We started to see results in graphics, sound and game quality around February to March.”

Ryusuke Niitani, who provided developer support for the whole project, wasn’t sure it was going to work.

“I was full of unease right from the start!” he said.

“When I heard about the development period, I wondered if we could finish in time, and when I heard how many companies were involved, I worried whether we could coordinate it all, and once we had gathered all those distinctive prototypes, I worried about how we could bring them all together into one package.

“Then around January, I began to wonder whether we would make the deadline. I didn’t calm down until about March.”

Wii Play Motion released in the US and Europe last month. It requires and is bundled with the Wii Remote Plus controller, or Motion Plus accessory for standard WiiMotes.

Thanks, Siliconera.

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