The internet is no stranger to rumours and the latest one involves Diddy Kong Racing. The rumour states that both Retro Studios and Monster Games are currently working on Diddy Kong Racing 2. Nintendo was apparently set to show it E3, but decided against it as they thought it may damage sales of Mario Kart 8. As this Reddit thread has pointed out, the information comes from a blog created yesterday that is still using a wordpress.com domain. Take this all with a grain of salt.
- Retro Studios and Monster Games have been collaborating on Diddy Kong Racing 2.
- This is why Monster Games ported Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and worked with Retro Studios on DKC: Tropical Freeze.
- Diddy Kong Racing 2 began as a prototype in 2006. The animal transformation vehicles idea in Excitebots (2009) came from Diddy Kong Racing 2 prototype. The animal vehicles came from the idea of riding animal buddies in the Donkey Kong Country series.
- The Wii Diddy Kong Racing was cancelled due to Donkey Kong Barrel Blasts low sales. It was also cancelled because Diddy Kong Racing DS didn’t sell as well as the original N64 game.
- Nintendo asked Monster Games to work on Pilotwings because they were impressed with the flight/airplane mechanics in Monster’s DKC Racing prototype. Diddy Kong Racing was well known for letting players ride karts, hovercrafts, and planes.
- Diddy Kong Racing 2 started up development for again (this time for Wii U) due to the amazing sales of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Mario Kart Wii.
- Kensuke Tanabe, the producer of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze, pitched the idea of Dillon (from Dillon’s Rolling Western) to be one of the racers in the game. Tanabe was the producer of Dillon’s Rolling Western, and he liked the idea of having a roster of lesser known Nintendo characters.
- Tanabe thought that the concept of lesser known Nintendo characters “fighting to be Nintendo’s big star” could prove to be interesting for Diddy Kong Racing. Characters such as Mallo (Pushmo) and Rusty (Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball) were also added as racers to fill out the roster.
- Nintendo purposely held off from showing Diddy Kong Racing 2 at E3 this year to avoid sabotaging the excitement around Mario Kart 8. It sounds like Diddy Kong Racing 2 will be revealed sometime in 2015, and released that same year.
- Diddy Kong was taken out of Mario Kart 7 and 8 because of Diddy Kong Racing 2. Diddy Kong had appeared in Double Dash and Mario Kart Wii.
It looks as though Retro Studios is hiring again and this time they’re looking for a skilled individual who is knowledgable with both enemy and boss programming. We are still left guessing as to what Retro Studios is working on. They began their latest project when Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze development ended. Here’s the job description.
Founded in 1998, Retro Studios is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo Company, Ltd. Retro is a state-of-the-art game development studio, working in conjunction with Nintendo to bring award-winning games to Nintendo’s cutting-edge next-generation platforms. Retro Studios is located in beautiful Austin, Texas. With rolling hills, scenic waterways, abundant wildlife, vibrant music and film scenes, and a laid-back cosmopolitan culture, Austin is a dynamic city with an excellent quality of life. Austin’s sunny weather also supports a great range of outdoor activities, providing plenty of venues for top-notch game developers to recharge and unwind.
Individual contributor that develops, writes and debugs code for video game software and tools with a specific focus on AI programming for enemies & bosses and various other game-play systems as required.
A Nintendo representative has revealed that Retro Studios isn’t involved with the development process of Mario Kart 8. Although it helped with Mario Kart 7, the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze studio hasn’t assisted Nintendo EAD in its work on the upcoming Wii U racing title. New information about Mario Kart 8 was unveiled yesterday, April 3rd. The game is scheduled to launch on May 30th in stores and in the Nintendo eShop.
IGN recently has the opportunity to speak to Retro Studios this week about the challenges of bringing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to Nintendo’s latest home console, Wii U. Retro Studios President Michael Kelbaugh explained to the publication the difficulties the company faced when developing for new hardware.
“The Wii U is a powerhouse of technology that we had to transition to. We had brand new tools, brand new engine, brand new everything. There was a lot of unknowns [for us],” he said. “From a technology standpoint we’re trying to develop that technology while we’re developing a new game at the same time. That was really challenging.”
In a recent interview with US Gamer, Retro Studios Michael Kelbaugh said that the talented development team would be lucky to get the chance to work on another game in the Metroid franchise. We already heard last week that Retro Studios have been busy developing a new game since development of Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze ended back in November.
“You’re not going to find a larger bunch of Metroid of Metroid Prime fans than at Retro studios. We’ll be lucky to someday, maybe, work on another one. There’s a lot of people in the studio left over from Metroid Prime that are very passionate about Metroid… If the fans keep asking, then maybe we’ll answer.”
Retro Studios president and CEO Michael Kelbaugh says that developers shouldn’t ignore the Wii U and says it’s more than adequate to make great games on. Kelbaugh then went onto confirm that they are hard at work on a new game, but wouldn’t divulge anymore information.
“Unfortunately, the perception is that it’s not a very powerful machine,” Kelbaugh said about the Wii U. “That’s just not true. It’s a powerhouse. It’s more than adequate to make great games on.”
“It was really fun being able to crack that open for the first time and learning HD techniques; pixel shading, having a lot more horsepower and how that impacts the team. It was really fun to watch our artists just go crazy because now they didn’t really have to worry about polygons anymore. ‘Make as many as you want!’”
Also in our interview, veteran Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe confirmed that Retro Studios is working on a new game, but he would not say anything more than that. This game has been in development for a few months now, as Retro wrapped work on Tropical Freeze in November and hasn’t been sitting by idly, Kelbaugh assured us.
“We love working with Donkey Kong. It’s a great character. It’s a lot of fun. We love working with Metroid Prime, with Mario Kart; those are fun, fun games to work on. So, you know, you can’t lose,” he said. “Every one of those IPs have been a lot of fun to play with and work on and [we'd] love to come back to them sometime.”
Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Nintendo has uploaded another reviews trailer for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to YouTube. In addition to showcasing a minute of gameplay footage, the new video highlights multiple positive quotes made by reviewers of the Wii U platformer. The clip points out the perfect 10 that was awarded by Destructoid, which called the game “pretty much flawless.” It also takes out a quote from IGN’s review, which applauded the title’s boss battles. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze currently holds an aggregate score of an 82 out of 100 on Metacritic, with one of its lower scores given by GameSpot.
The official Nintendo magazine sat down with Retro CEO Michael Kelbaugh and Nintendo SPD producer Kensuke Tanabe to talk about Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and possible future projects for the company. Tanabe says that Nintendo consider Retro as part of the Nintendo family and they may eventually end up working on a title that legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto leads in the future.
“We consider Retro as part of [the] Nintendo family and a very capable game development studio. As a Nintendo development team, they will keep working with not only SPD, but also with the development teams in Kyoto. They might even work on a title that Miyamoto-san leads directly in the future. However, the SPD team assigned to Retro is working together with them as a single team and I hope it will continue this way. (On Mario Kart 7, for example, SPD staff were involved as co-ordinators.) I am saying this because a very interesting and stimulating chemical reaction occurs when the two parties from different languages and cultures are united under Nintendo’s game production philosophy, and that chemical reaction results in extraordinary ideas.”
Nintendo has released a Japanese introduction video for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. In addition to giving a glimpse at some the game’s all-new islands, the clip focuses on how Donkey Kong benefits from partnering up with another character. The game features a two-player co-op mode that allows one player to control Donkey Kong, while the other controls Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong or Cranky Kong. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze will launch February 21 for Wii U.
Retro Studios are looking to hire two individuals for a brand new project, according to a tweet sharing the job descriptions. The company behind the magic of Donkey Kong and Metroid Prime are looking for an AI engineer to work on programming for AI enemies and bosses, as well as a UI engineer to work with “a specific focus on User Interface programming for HUD”, according to the respective job descriptions.
Earlier this month, Retro Studios were looking for four other talented individuals to fill roles as a Senior Tools Engineer, IT Manager, Concept Artist and Tool Engineer. Speculation is afoot on all sides, but what do you hope this new project will be?
Thanks, Mr Specials