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Splatoon Could Potentially Have Had Yoshi As The Main Character


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Splatoon series producer Hisashi Nogami was one of the speakers at GDC 2018 this past week, and he gave a talk on the various stages of development of the game series. [Thanks, @MysticDistance on Twitter!]


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In 2013, the Splatoon development team was formed based around developing a new type of game, not bound by existing genres. The game went through many prototypes, some of which had blocks of tofu shooting ink at each other:



The development team did not intend to make a shooting game, but instead the gameplay genre came about as a result of considering the desire to make a Nintendo-style action game.


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There were many potential designs for the main characters of Splatoon. Both Mario and Yoshi were considered as the main characters, but were dropped as the development team wanted a new world and characters to inhabit this new experience. Rabbits were also especially considered due to being territorial. However, they couldn’t justify rabbits using ink to shoot at each other.


Other character designs, including astronauts, were considered.


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The DAU trends of both Splatoon and Splatoon 2 were also revealed in a graph in the presentation. Splatoon does well during weekends, and summer breaks bring a spike as well. However, the game’s DAU count dipped during the release period of Super Mario Odyssey.


Apart from these facts, Nogami also revealed several other details:


  • One important aspect of Splatfests is how they bring people together, even if they don’t play the game. Nogami wants to see family and friends debate the topics.


  • Splatoon 2 began development during the update period for Splatoon. They fact that they didn’t know whether Nintendo Switch would sell or not was one of the challenges.


  • Each gameplay mode in Splatoon 2 is meant to be like a cycle, such as how Salmon Run rewards are useable in multiplayer. The game comprises a cycle in story, gameplay, and execution.


  • Nogami teases that there may be a Squid Sisters concert in the US.


  • Nogami’s goal is to show how great the video game medium can be, so creating lasting memories in games is very important to him.


Splatoon 2 is available for Nintendo Switch.

Alistair Wong
About The Author
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!