Japanese gaming publication Famitsu caught up with the developers behind the immensely fun Splatoon 2 in December. The interview has only just been published online. The team talked about a range of things but one of the more interesting topics was why Splatoon 2’s update pacing feels completely different to Splatoon on Wii U.
Famitsu: Since the release of the game in July 2017, there have been many weapon and stage updates, yet the update pace seems slower than before.
Shintarou Sato, director/lead programmer: “Compared to the first game, this game had a lot more weapons available in the base game, so the rate of adding weapons has changed. Also, in the first game, it was the norm to add two new weapons at once, but by doing so one always overshadowed the other one. In order to have each additional weapon shine more, we are adding them in one by one this time.”
Hisashi Nogami, producer: “The big factor was wanting people to focus on the new things one by one.”
Famitsu: Regarding the additional stages, despite thinking there would be more returning stages, there are also quite a few new stages as well.
Sato: “There are a lot of people continuing from Splatoon, so there is little surprise in releasing old stages. On the other hand, there are people who have started playing with this game, so in order to satisfy both sides, the order of the additional stages is fixed.”
Famitsu: Also, regarding balancing for special weapons, it feels like the effectiveness of the weapons fluctuates a lot depending on the update, compared to the previous game. Was this intentional?
Sato: “No, we haven’t really changed how we balance them. However, players adapt so quickly that balance changes build up a lot more in the same time frame compared to last game, and in order to balance that changes might feel bigger than before. Last game, we would update balance changes based on one month’s worth of collected data, but this time we are changing in one month what would previously be 2-3 months worth of collected data. When reflecting that towards gameplay, balance changes feel larger than in the previous game.”
Nogami: “I feel it’s a sign that people are really passionate about the game.”
Sato: “We really feel the need to live up to that passion. Also, the amount of stage and weapon combinations have really increased, which greatly affects weapon adjustment, so balancing has become even more troublesome than last game.”