Iwata Asks: The Making of Wii Play Motion

By Mike Mason 19.07.2011

Iwata Asks: The Making of Wii Play Motion on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

In what is probably the biggest Iwata Asks session to date, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata gathered together representatives from all companies involved in the development of Wii Play Motion. Eleven interviewees appear in total, including members of Nintendo, Good-Feel, Chunsoft, Mitchell, Skip, Vanpool, Prope and Arzest. We're gonna need a bigger board room!

In an unusual step, it was actually Nintendo's sales division that requested development of Wii Play Motion, rather than the traditional scenario of sales following whatever the technical side of the company created. Never ones to back down from a challenge - nor the enticing scent of golden coins - Nintendo set about creating a new mini-game collection. Rather than do it all themselves, however, they asked several developers to submit prototypes, competing for slots in the game.

Each company came up with multiple ideas before narrowing them down into prototypes for Nintendo - Arzest mention eight ideas that became three prototypes, Vanpool four, while Skip had an insane and admirable 50 ideas that were rigorously sliced away until just five became prototypes. Nintendo then selected which games they wanted to use.

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Producer Toyokazu Nonaka had plenty of tricky ways to keep the companies on their toes and competing with each other for a Wii Play Motion appearance, such as not telling them how many slots were actually going to be available in the final title - between eight and fourteen were considered before Nintendo settled upon twelve. Nonaka-san would also play the teams off against each other to encourage friendly competition and boost quality; one instance of this is revealed as Mitchell's Hirosato Funaki mentions that they were pointed towards Chunsoft's Dolphin mini-game, only for Chunsoft's Yuichi Mizobe to reply that they themselves were told to look at Mitchell's Treasure Twirl.

Several of the developers also showed themselves up as ghost fanatics, with Skip, Arzest and Prope all coming up with ectoplasmic entertainment ideas before Arzest's Spooky Search was chosen. In fact, Prope were nearly out of the procedure altogether before they bounced back and came up with a new idea in the target shooting Trigger Twist. Prope's Yuji Naka took the opportunity to speak about an abandoned game concept that he had worked on for Wii: Haunted Tower, a MotionPlus game played by pointing the Wii Remote around the room to discover monsters.

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The games selected, Nintendo made sure there was a uniform style across the entire Wii Play Motion package, and instructed the numerous developers on how to adjust their audio and visuals. They also had Prope create a model of a UFO that appears in each game somewhere, and had the development credits hidden in each game's title screen; they can be found with some MotionPlus manipulation.

In total, around 200 staff members (including debug staff) were involved in the creation of Wii Play Motion. You can read the full interview, with details on how the games came together and ghost gabble galore, here.

Have you bought Wii Play Motion? Do you wish Yuji Naka's Haunted Tower concept had been brought to life?

Box art for Wii Play Motion
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Nintendo

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Nintendo

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4

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