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Velan Studios and Nintendo discuss development of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Nintendo and US-based company Velan Studios recently took part in an interview with Nintendo Life and they shed some light on how the newly released Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch came to be. In the interview, the team discusses various aspects of development like the challenges they faced, how closely Velan Studios worked with Nintendo for the project, when the concept began and more.

Nintendo Life spoke with a number of people involved in the project:

  • Karthik Bala, CEO of Velan Studios, who’s worked on the Skylanders and Guitar Hero series
  • Yosuke Tamori, Project Leader in Production Group No. 4
  • Yuji Ichijo of Nintendo’s Production Group No. 2
  • Hiroki Ikuta, Platform Technology Dept. Group and Project Leader (hardware) on Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

On when the concept and prototype came to be:

Karthik (Velan): The team at Velan began development of the first prototype (hardware and software) in mid-2017. When we felt it was ready, we went to Kyoto, Japan to pitch the concept to Nintendo with a playable prototype. Lots of people came in to check out the demo and everyone was smiling. It was overwhelmingly positive so we began collaborating in 2018 to turn it into a true Mario Kart experience.

On the challenges of creating the product:

Ichijo (Nintendo): Game software like this – meaning ones that take on new technical challenges – tends to be a bit tricky for people without any technical knowledge. To ensure the game can be easily enjoyed both by adults and children alike, we included a number of ideas that are typical of Nintendo games, such as Lakitu providing tutorials or explanations in the game.

On how closely Velan worked with Nintendo:

Tamori (Nintendo): …we worked together extremely closely. We couldn’t have developed the game with just one side making the decisions, because the software, system software and hardware all influence each other. If we hadn’t communicated and remained respectful of each other to move the development forward, I doubt we would have been able to complete this project.

The whole interviews makes for an interesting read and you can view it in its entirety over here.


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