With Pikmin 4 releasing nearer to the end of this week, Nintendo has seen to it to make sure Pikmin 4 was the latest game to get the “Ask the Developer” interview treatment. Across the interview’s multiple instalments, we got to hear from the likes of Shigeru Miyamoto, Yuji Kando and more.

During the interview, Shigefumi Hino, Masamachi Abe, Yuji Kando, and Shigeru Miyamoto, all weighed in on the original design of Pikmin characters and what changed to make them the creatures we know now:

Pikmin Devs on the Original Design of Pikmin Characters:

Shigefumi Hino: That’s right, Abe-san and I were directors at the time. Our discussion of this project started during the transition from Super NES to Nintendo 64, so we had a strong aspiration to utilise its ability to display a large number of characters on screen.

Masamichi Abe: Hino-san originally came from an artist background, so he was handling character design and world creation, while I was in charge of game mechanics and stage design. This project wasn’t initially an action game, was it?

Shigefumi Hino: Yes, that’s right. Back then we envisioned a game that would control a lot of characters with AI. The game we had in mind included creatures with AI chips in their heads to make them think a certain way, and you would control them by swapping their chips. So, players would control them by assigning “thought chips”, such as “combat”, “heal”, or “help friends”, to each of them. As they explored the map and gained more experience, their chip capacity would increase. In other words, they’d become smarter. At the same time, we added personalities such as grumpy and cowardly via “emotion chips”, and depending on which emotion chip the character had, the response, such as “attack” or “defend”, would change. And so we were experimenting with these kinds of prototypes with Kando-san.”

Yuji Kando: I was still a newbie programmer in my first year around that time. After joining Nintendo, I was assigned to this team and got a mysterious specification document from Hino-san, completely out of the blue. (Laughs) I devoted myself to experimenting with what kind of actions I could apply to a large number of characters with AI.

Shigefumi Hino: “At the time, our vision was to have a top-down view of the game on screen, so we made the gender and personality of each character identifiable from what’s on their head.

Shigeru Miyamoto: There were also conversations about making a character that girls around the age of high school would find cute, right?

Masamichi Abe: Yes. So then Morii-san drew a pile of sketches, and this design was selected by unanimous decision.

For the full interview, why not click here to check out Ask the Developer Vol. 10, Pikmin 4 – Chapter 1Ask the Developer Vol. 10, Pikmin 4 – Chapter 1.

Ask the Developer | Pikmin 4 (Participating Developers)

  • Shigeru Miyamoto | Representative Director Fellow
  • Yuji Kando | Entertainment Planning & Development Department, Production Group No.10
  • Shigefumi Hino | Entertainment Planning & Development Department, Production Group No.10
  • Masamichi Abe | Entertainment Planning & Development Department, Co-Production Group
  • Junji Morii | Entertainment Planning & Development Department, Production Group No.4

By Jack Longman

In 2015, when rumours of the NX and Zelda U were everywhere, my brother and I started Miketendo64 and we've been running it ever since. As the Editor-in-Chief, I have attended video gaming events in three different countries, been to preview events, and penned more than 4,000 articles to date, ranging from news, to features, reviews, interviews and guides. I love gaming and I love all things Nintendo. I also love Networking, so don't be afaid to reach out. Email: contact@miketendo64.com / jack.lo@miketendo64.com Website: https://miketendo64.com/ YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyVMO4QgcniAjhLxoyc9n8Q

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