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Nintendo Explains That Splatoon Was Almost A Game About Rabbits

GDC 2018 has been taking place this week and we’ve had some interesting developer talks and also reveals. One of the developer sessions which took place during the event was with the Splatoon team. Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami revealed an early prototype of the game and said that the team’s goal was to create something brand new, and something that wouldn’t be bound to other Nintendo franchises or genre.

“Our initial prototype was fairly simplistic,” he said. “You’d move a cube-shaped character around a flat map, shooting black or white ink. We used cubes because they were easy to make and eventually ended up calling them blocks of tofu.”

These characters then turned into Rabbits. “Rabbits can be both black and white, making them easy to separate into teams,” Nogami said. “We also learned that rabbits are apparently very territorial creatures. We wanted to use brightly colored inks and thought they would contrast well with the neutral color of the rabbits.”

“Something about the concept still didn’t sit right,” Nogami said, explaining that there was a “disconnect between gameplay and appearance.” Their revelation came when one of the team’s other directors started to break down exactly how the player’s abilities would work during matches. When you were out in the open, you’d be able to attack; when you were submerged in ink, you wouldn’t be able to attack, but you would be able to move more quickly and recover your strength.”

“Squids were actually one of the original candidates, but we couldn’t find a reason to choose one over the other,” Nogami said. “But once we thought of this ability to move quickly through ink as swimming, we discovered a strong reason to go with squids as our characters. To further distinguish between these two ability states, we decided to have the character take on a more human appearance while not submerged in ink. And so our characters were born — squids that can transform into people.”

“It might seem a bit strange to you, but as developers, nothing could make us happier than seeing the characters we created mean so much to people,” he said.


15 thoughts on “Nintendo Explains That Splatoon Was Almost A Game About Rabbits”

  1. Don’t see why everyone is running with this title, since it’s the only piece of information from the article that isn’t new.

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