Japanese gaming publication Famitsu recently had the chance to talk to Kosuke Yabuki, the producer of the exciting Arms game for the Nintendo Switch. There were a number of topics discussed, but one of the first questions that was asked by the magazine is how the concept of Arms came about as it’s relatively unique.
Arms was announced at the presentation. How did its development come about?
Nintendo is always coming up with various prototypes for games, and we were involved in that process where ideas go on to become new games. Out of these numerous prototypes, we chose one that would fit well alongside the Switch’s launch, and it became the basis for Arms.
I’m assuming that these prototypes are created to test very basic gameplay concepts. So, what kind of concept did Arms originate as? I would imagine it started as a boxing game where the characters’ arms would stretch out…
No, it was not originally a concept for a boxing game. There are many fighting games, like Street Fighter or Super Smash Bros., or even “3D fighters” like Tekken, where the game is viewed side-on. Since the beginning of fighting games, the side view has been the mainstream, but I’ve always thought, why couldn’t we do it a little differently? However, it can be difficult to gauge depth in games where the camera is behind you. So I was absolutely convinced that it would not be suited for fighting games, which require precise distance control. But the fact that your arms extend, and that it takes a bit of time for them to impact, makes it quite likely your attacks will succeed. My idea was to have the game’s tactics revolve less around whether your attack would hit or not, and more around the timing and delay between your attacks connecting. So in pursuing a new kind of fighting game where the camera is behind you and your arms extend, Arms was born.
Thanks to Takamaru64 for the tip!