If you are a Sports Wii veteran, one of the first things you’ll probably notice while playing Nintendo Switch Sports is the new avatars. Although they seem like a natural evolution alongside Mii, when developing Switch Sports, Nintendo experimented with all sorts of different character designs.
In the latest translation of Nintendo’s “Ask the Developer” series, the Switch Sports team showed off some other character concepts that didn’t make the cut. Some proposals included student and university characters, round-shaped characters, and even robots with an avatar controlling them from inside!
Junji Morii (Artistic director): “Before we even decided to make a fresh start, we had offered different types of character illustrations. At first, we offered round-shaped characters without arms or legs, similar to the Mii characters in Sports Wii. We also created some college student characters that looked like this with a varsity sports theme.”
Takayuki Shimamura (Producer): I remember we had the wackiest characters that looked like robots. (Laughs)
Mori: Around the time we decided to restart the project from scratch and were told we were going to start from scratch to make the world’s most invite-friendly motion-based game, I asked : “Are you sure we can’t make this far?” (Laughs)
The player is inside the robot, but it’s the robot that moves when you rotate the Joy-Con controller. The robot is the one doing the bowling.
What? Do you use the robot?
Yoshikazu Yamashita (Director): Yes, you use this robot, and the robot throws the ball. I know that doesn’t make sense. You might also be wondering how big is this bowling alley. (Laughs)
Mori: At first, everyone was so excited about this robot idea that we all thought, “This could be fun!” We even made a prototype, but when we saw the robot on screen and moved it, a blanket of silence fell over everyone.
Okane: This would make the gameplay about operating a robot.
Yamashita: The player controls the character in the robot to operate the robot. Then the robot throws the ball. There are too many steps in between.
In the end, the Nintendo Switch Sports development team decided to play it safe and go with a design that resembled a human – also known as “Sportsmates”.
What do you think of the final character design in Nintendo Switch Sports? How about these concept ideas? Leave a comment below.
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