After earlier’s news of the reveal of hidden Bayonetta characters in The Wonderful 101 at PAX Prime, director Hideki Kamiya also shared many more interesting details about the game, specifically regarding the development process. He reveals that the concept of the game was inspired by a picture book he read as a child called “Swimmy”. It told the story of lots of small fish uniting to become one strong fish.
He went on to describe his design philosophy as “Crash and Build”. This involves making a fun idea, while breaking away any parts of it that aren’t fun. Originally, The Wonderful 101 was intended to be a lot darker, which is little surprise considering the mature themes running in the developer’s previous titles.
There were some heroes that didn’t make it into the final build of the game, including one called Wonder Giant which was one of Kamiya’s personal favourites. He created posters during early development to serve as inspiration for the team, and also displayed finished character designs on a board so that the developers could keep track of them all.
You may recall that we previously reported that The Wonderful 101 originally intended to feature a cast of all-star Nintendo characters, instead of the superheroes we know today. Kamiya elaborated on why this idea was shelved. Nintendo was presented with concept art of Peach, Luigi, Yoshi as bridge with Mario walking over them. In Kamiya’s words, Nintendo responded with “eh, we can’t make that”.
The Unite Morphs were not originally triggered by the drawing mechanic, but instead by selecting the appropriate icons. When the team decided this wasn’t fun enough, they decided to introduce the drawing system. The script also underwent 13 revisions. Kamiya wasn’t interested in a typical protagonist vs. antagonist plot, instead wanting to focus on the protagonists facing their own personal problems in the story.
It’s always fascinating to learn how a game progressed from early stages to its public release, especially from Kamiya and the team at Platinum. I hope the man never changes!
[Source: Nintendo Everything]