pikmin design
Image via Nintendo

Shigeru Miyamoto Discusses Pikmin Design

In an interview with Hobonichi, Shigesato Itoi (Earthbound) sat down with Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario, The Legend of Zelda) to discuss how Miyamoto came about with the idea and design for Pikmin. The full interview is not on the website as of the time of writing.

Recommended Videos

The interview starts with Itoi reaffirming with Miyamoto his policy regarding making video games. Miyamoto had always wanted to create video games that would provide more fun and include more ideas than how much they cost. This is because it could cost thousands of JPY to purchase a game. He also stated that in a development team, people offer ideas to each other to help them make things they couldn’t have on their own. The Pikmin design is one of such collaborations.

While Miyamoto gave the general idea of what he wanted Pikmins to do and look like, the game’s designer was the one who actually came up with the final product, including the leaf on the head. Miyamoto liked it a lot because Pikmins looked so confusing that you had to wonder about it. Did it drink water from its mouth or its head? Or perhaps it sucked up nutrients from its feet, like a plant? The next logical step was to decide what would happen to the leaf and the Pikmin after they die. Though the design is simple, much thought and conversation went into Nintendo’s creation of the Pikmin.

Near the end of the interview, Miyamoto discusses how newer generations have affected Pikmin’s design. Since you can see a lot more of the game now with higher-quality graphics, some older developers think that a Pikmin’s eyes should move, or else it will look uncanny. While younger developers don’t seem to think that, Miyamoto says they have their own sense of what’s uncanny and what isn’t and that it’s interesting how you can see the generational gap here.

Pikmin 4 is now available on the Nintendo Switch.

Siliconera is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Stephanie Liu
Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a senior writer who has been writing for games journalism and translating since 2020. After graduating with a BA in English and a Certificate in Creative Writing, she spent a few years teaching English and history before fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a writer. In terms of games, she loves RPGs, action-adventure, and visual novels. Aside from writing for Siliconera and Crunchyroll, she translates light novels, manga, and video games.