Now that The Wonderful 101 reached its crowdfunding target and is well on its way to meeting its stretch goals, director Hideki Kamiya revealed the design document behind the game in a new Kickstarter update. The design document is the “blueprint” of the game, listing out how its gameplay is structured and its appeal.
Siliconera has translated some of the text on the design document itself alongside appropriate comments from the update post, which you can read in full here.
Wonderful 100 (pronounced Wonderful One-Double-O)
Creator: Hideki Kamiya
Kamiya: “…Towards the end of development, when we had to decide on the official title, the client said, “We’d like you to get a little more creative with the title. For example…what about adding one more to the number?” So I changed the number to 101, in order to signify the player themselves joining the roster…”
Here’s a trailer showing off The Wonderful 101‘s name change:
The Wonderful 101 is a “crowd action game,” where you control a large group of heroes advancing along an open field to do battle and enjoy athletics.
Players will take on the role of Wonder Red, the leader, and lead 99 other members in order to overcome tough obstacles with their combined strength.
Aiming for the “fun in controlling” and “fun in watching”
- Having fun controlling a large crowd and seeing the dynamism brought about by group activity
- Enjoy each of the unique character actions
- Enjoy the fun in simplicity, where even if you don’t play too seriously, you’ll be assisted by your comrades.
Kamiya: “Wonder-Red’s name was already set in stone as well. Incidentally, I drew all the sketches you see here (LOL).”
The 100-man Special Battle Force ‘Wonderful 100’
In preparation for the invasion of Earth by evil forces, a secret defense organization, The Hundred, was established in 100 places across Earth. They developed new biometal fibers to create power assist exoskeletons, called Wonder Suits, powered by the new-age energy source Yaoroz Drive. Each division would entrust this suit to one person of special abilities, so that they could become the special battle soldier known as the ‘Wonderful One’.
And now, in preparation for the final battle against the aliens, a Wonderful One who painfully survived will now assemble a special battle team at The Hundred Far East Division Mt. Fuji base. In order to protect Earth, the Wonderful 100 will rise to the challenge!
The young leader, Wonder Red
The Wonderful One working at the Far East division based in Mt. Fuji. He has a strong sense of duty and fights against evil with an unyielding spirit of justice.
Quite direct with his feelings, but is prone to being overcome with emotion. Is very trusted by the other members.
Kamiya: “This page talks about the main character. We ended up adjusting the details a bit, but the main idea stayed the same. The design you see here is just what I came up with off the top of my head. (LOL)”
- If there’s a large boulder in front of you…
- Dash to surround it in a fell swoop.
- …Then you can pick up and carry the boulder.
Leading the team with different shapes will let you take appropriate actions depending on the circumstances.
*This will let you attack enemies as well (cont.)
Kamiya: “Here’s the “line action” page. It explains what the player can do with their team members. As you can see, the examples here were actually put into the game.”
The game’s stages will be belt-scrolling stages. Focusing on ‘leading a large group,’ while ‘solving stage gimmicks,’ and ‘performing athletics,’ you begin the game.
Stages are split into areas, and you clear them in order, aiming for the Stage Clear at the end.
Start -> Enemy Mobs placed in the middle -> Cross stage hazards with athletic actions -> Boss encounter at the end -> By reaching the goal, Area Clear.
*It might be appropriate for the game to be seen in quarter view like this image.
- The world is represented by the world map image. You beat stages that are lit up on the map.
- The point of the world map is not to create a complicated adventure, but to give the satisfaction of clearing each stage, like filling in a puzzle with a piece.
- Players can choose their next stage by choosing areas connected to cleared areas.
Kamiya: “I’d already imagined the POV to be “quarter view.” Here I thought up not just what enemies and gimmicks would be in the stage, but also how the player would progress through the world map.”
Team Action: Unite Morphing
- Turn into a boat! Cross the seas!
- Turn into a key! Open the giant rock door!
- Turn into wings! Pick up heavy objects!
- Turn into a punch! Defeat large enemies!
Kamiya: ” I originally got the idea of having a group unite together and form one huge thing from the picture books “Swimmy” and “Kaibutsu ni Nacchatta” (I Became a Monster). I always think up ideas as I create games, but I also often lose my way. In this case, I knew exactly what the core of the game would be right from the start, which is a rare case for me. (LOL)”
Kamiya: “Here you can see the initial designs for the team members. The mask shape looks a little different, but I pretty much knew how the design would look from the start.”
Rough Sketch of Red’s face before transforming
(Top right) Secret identity job rough sketches
- Primary school teacher
Kamiya: “Here’s a rough sketch of Red’s character design. I hadn’t decided on what day job he would take on to hide himself from the world and was still experimenting with different ideas.”
Kamiya: “Here is the very first game screenshot, which was created as a prototype. At the time, I wasn’t even sure about what style of graphics we’d go with, so at first they ended up as more of a classical comic book style.”
“In fact, we abandoned this graphical style right away, and came up with a new American comic-inspired design. These new graphics ended up in the final version of the game.”
Kamiya: “Here’s one last thing–a poster our designer created for fun. It was created to look like a movie poster, so the team thought up a catchphrase that we could use to express the atmosphere we were going for. Afterwards, we printed it out and hung it in a place where we could all see it.”
The Wonderful 101 will release in April 2020. PlatinumGames’ Kickstarter campaign for the game has made 1.40$ million in pledges so far. The game will target 60 FPS and 1080p.