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, Yuji Kando, and Shigeru Miyamoto, weighed in Pikmin’s confusing lack of success, difficulty criticisms and the lessons learned to make Pikmin 4 better:

Pikmin Devs on the Difficulty of Pikmin Games & Lessons Learned:

Shigeru Miyamoto: There have been three games in the series until now, from Pikmin to Pikmin 3, and personally I’ve always wondered, “Why haven’t they exploded more in sales even though they’re so much fun to play? Why do people think they’re so difficult?”.

I get that people find it more difficult when death is a factor. But I think the franchise’s strength lies in its relationship with mortality. If something is irreversible, you need to figure out a way to prevent undesired things from happening. To try to prevent Pikmin from dying, you need to practise “Dandori”.  To me, that’s what makes this game unique. I think people find Pikmin difficult for two reasons: the controls and the depth of gameplay. I spent a long time mulling over how we could convey these points as “interesting” rather than “difficult”.

Yuji Kando: Yes, looking at players’ reactions to the first three games, I’ve also thought really hard about how to get more people to play this game. In the early stages of development, we prioritised ease of play and experimented with making the controls easy enough for those who aren’t used to playing games. We also tested improvements to the camera and AI. Also, it just doesn’t feel like a Pikmin game to me if it’s not like the first one. That is, if it doesn’t have this Dandori element where players learn and become more efficient through repetition.

Shigeru Miyamoto: We were talking about how we want as many people as possible to play Pikmin 4, but if it’s not Pikmin-like enough, we won’t meet the expectations of those who’ve enjoyed the series until now. The first game provided a deeper challenge, while the second game was broader in terms of content, and we went back to something closer to the first one in Pikmin 3. But after thinking about it, I realised that we could do both. We could retain the depth of gameplay that makes Pikmin so interesting, while providing the functional support to address the challenges around controls.

Yuji Kando:

So, we implemented a variety of supporting features to expand the Dandori gameplay. We wanted players to enjoy the game in greater depth and for longer by offering those Dandori elements, while removing the time limit. So basically, Pikmin 4 gets all the good things from the first and second titles. (Laughs)

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 2.

Ask the Developer | Pikmin 4 (Participating Developers)

  • Shigeru Miyamoto | Representative Director Fellow
  • Yuji Kando | Entertainment Planning & Development Department, Production Group No.10
  • Yutaka Hiramuki | Entertainment Planning & Development Department, Production Group No.10
  • Taku Matoba | Entertainment Planning & Development Department, Production Group No.10
  • Mitsuhiro Kida | Entertainment Planning & Development Department, Sound Management Group

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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