This week’s GDC 2018 has been filled with fascinating developer talks and one of those was a panel hosted by Kosuke Yabuki, who is the game director of Mario Kart 7 and 8 and producer of ARMS. Yabuki explained how the two video games are linked.
“Using a behind-the-back camera allowed us to flesh out the 3D stages, something we’d been doing all along for Mario Kart,” he explained. The team put “a lot of effort and thought” into the characters’ clothing in order to get across that this is a serious sport in the ARMS world. “When working on Mario Kart 8 we made a lot of fictitious brand names and logos, and we were able to use that experience in ARMS.”
“ARMS also drew inspiration from Mario Kart in the way in which it introduced the element of luck into the competitive arena. “The luck element in Mario Kart is huge,” Yabuki said, in reference to the race-upsetting role that shells and other items present in the racing game series. “That element of luck is also present in ARMS”, specifically in the sense that players don’t know precisely where the punch will go, or whether it will land dependent on the opponent’s actions.”
“With such a variety of different character and arm permutations in the game, Nintendo used AI matches to ensure that no one particular combination was significantly better or worse than another. Balance has continued to be tweaked post-launch, he said.”
“We also spent a lot of time considering the characters’ athletic bodies,” he said. “That is, admittedly, a little different to Mario Kart.”