A lot of details about the development of Sonic Boom have popped up after former employees of developer Big Red Button released material of when it looked to be a very different game. The latest of these is that it was originally named Sonic Synergy! We knew it had a previous name after a photo of inside Big Red Button showed an old logo, but it wasn’t until now that we’ve discovered what that name was. And as a fan of alliteration, I think it sounds pretty good!
But it wasn’t just the name that had changed, it looks like the style of the characters changed as well, with Sonic’s arms previously being the tan colour and having slightly different spike styles. If they were going to change anything though, it should have been the disproportions of Knuckles…
I wonder what made them change the name. Which title do you prefer? What do you wish they had changed?
Thanks, MasterPikachu6 and Josh S
One of the most interesting third-party projects for the Wii U is Devil’s Third which is created by Tomonobu Itagaki who is best known for reviving the Ninja Gaiden franchise back in 2004. He’s been slaving away on Devil’s Third for quite a while so it’s great to hear that development on the project is nearly complete. Here’s what Itagaki had to say about the development process and the single and multiplayer aspects of the game.
“It looks like Devil’s Third for Wii U is just about done. It’s been two years spent on designs, and four, six years of development,” Itagaki said. “We’ve really kept all of you fans waiting, but for our first title since going independent, it wouldn’t be fun if we released a small game, so [Devil’s Third] is the result of making something while going all out.”
“The single player is made to be like the action games of yesteryear,” he stated. “And the online competitive multiplayer mode was designed on a scale that will make you go ‘this much already?!’ The release date announcement will still take a little longer, but let’s play together when it releases. It’s loads of fun!!”
Thanks, N-Dub Nation
We know that Nintendo has many talented development teams at its disposal, but we are left guessing what they’re all working on. Thankfully, Nintendo Online has put together an article listing what each EAD departments are working on. Remember that the list is purely speculative, with some of the titles confirmed and some not.
EAD Kyoto 1
- Last game: Mario Kart 8
- Currently working on Mario Kart 8 DLC
- Confirmed to research on new two screen concepts -> new projects still in the planning phase
EAD Kyoto 2
- Responsible for Wii Sports and Animal Crossing
- Working on Splatoon, to be released next year
- Heavily speculated to develop Animal Crossing Wii U
EAD Kyoto 3
- The Zelda team is currently developing Zelda Wii U
- Co-developing Majora’s Mask 3D with Grezzo
- A completely new handheld Zelda game is speculated to be in the planning phase
EAD Kyoto 4
- Last games: New Super Mario Bros. 2/U, Pikmin 3
- Currently working on Mario Maker and co-developing Yoshi’s Woolly World with Good-Feel
- Speculated to (co?)-develop Project Giant Robot and Project Guard
- A new Pikmin project is likely, maybe for the New 3DS
EAD Kyoto 5
- No current projects confirmed
- Likely to co-develop Star Fox Wii U
EAD Tokyo 1
- Development supervision for Majora’s Mask 3D
EAD Tokyo 2
- New 3D Mario confirmed to be in development
- Many possibilities for the new game, none of which are confirmed: 3D Land/3D World successor, Super Mario Galaxy 3, Super Mario Sunshine remake, or a completely new Mario game
EAD Tokyo 3
- Last games: Ultimate NES Remix and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Next projects completely unknown
News has emerged from IGN that Factor 5 were working on a Rogue Squadron Trilogy remake for the original Wii console. The game was initially in development for the Xbox, but Factor 5 were interested in the motion controls that the Wii offered gamers. Here’s some of the details about the canceled title.
- The trilogy would have included Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, and Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, all updated for Wii.
- originally in the works for the Xbox
- Factor 5 became interested in motion controls on Wii
- The team decided to resurrect the Xbox Star Wars Trilogy project for Wii
- The team salvaged the code and started bringing the game over
- The project was 50% done on Xbox
- All control schemes were supported, including GameCube controller and various peripherals
- You could even use the Wii wheel to control your X-Wing, using the balance board for pedals
- Revamped content included speeder bike racing levels, third-person action sequences, and lightsaber battles
- Lightsaber battles used 1:1 motion controls
- All-new graphics engine running at 60 frames per second
- The project was completed, but then cancelled
- Cancellation is blamed on the financial crisis of 2008
- Other publishers tried to help out
- Unfortunately, financial hardship, legal snafus and budgetary restrictions killed the game
- Julian Eggebrecht, former president of Factor 5 loves the Wii U, but its unpredictable trajectory and licensing troubles in general make a new Star Wars Wii U game unlikely
Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono has revealed in the latest edition of Japanese gaming publication Famitsu that the company won’t greenlight a AAA game sequel without over 2 million sales. Ono says that if a triple A title doesn’t achieve these kind of sales then they reflect on that and use their experience on other games.
“For instance, if a game doesn’t sell over 2 million copies, then we’d have to put the brakes on any plans for a sequel. All that means is that we weren’t capable enough. And all we can do after that is to reflect on the experience, take what we can learn from it, and try to apply those lessons on some other title.”
Legendary video game creator Shigeru Miyamoto has explained to EDGE magazine that he has been hard at work assembling a new team of developers to work on new gaming concepts. The new team is called Garage and so far they’ve created Splatoon, Project Guard, Project Giant Robot and Starfox. Here’s what he had to say.
Splatoon and the three prototypes are the first games to emerge from Garage, a new Nintendo development programme set up last year in which developers break off into small teams and work on new ideas. “There are increasing numbers of young staff at Nintendo’s development studios these days,” Miyamoto says, “and these young guys really want to express themselves.” Work is done during office hours, but he compares Garage to an after-school club, in spirit if not in schedule. “Class time’s over: they gather together and think about new projects completely apart from their everyday business assignments. When all of those projects have advanced to a certain stage, we gather together and exchange opinions on the outcome of each of them, and together we decide which ones should continue. We may have shown several software titles at E3 [that came from Garage], but there are many others in development too.
Thanks, Reggie, Pit
Capcom recently divulged that they expect a 1.5 year development cycle when producing sequels to major franchises. The company initially wanted a 2.5 year development cycle for their sequels, but in these changing times they feel 1.5 years is more adequate. Capcom also mentioned that they have around 30 key developers.
We have about 30 key developers and are able to deploy the required personnel at the required times as needed. This allows us to develop content with a small number of people while operating a number of lines at once. Ideally, we want to use a development period of 1.5 years as a rule for each team. Our goal is to make the development cycle even shorter.