Rough Transcript of Miyamoto Round Table

grybauskaite_roundtable_020407b_fullNo short hand or sissy blog updates for this one, straight from Miyamoto’s translators mouth.

Shigeru Miyamoto

I’m very lucky this year that I wasn’t up on stage. This year I am in a very relaxed mood, as I was able to sit in the audience and enjoy the briefing. I have just been so busy, just for quite a while now. From my Hotel I am sending e-mails to my programmers back in Japan. I am involved in a lot of games shown at the show, and our staff is a little smaller in number this year due to the fear of swine flu. It is okay if I get sick, but it is not okay if my guys [dev staff] get sick.

So yeah, I was again, busy in getting things down and walking the show floor making sure things were set up correctly; and actually there is another project that has been taking up a lot of my time lately, but it is enjoyable project. I think a quite a few of you own DS lites, but I don’t think you guys carry them around. Yea, I’m pretty sure a majority of you don’t. I kind of had an idea that people should carry their DS around with you. So if you go downtown, or a super market, you could download data about the areas you are visiting. This would be amazing especially in a place like a museum or something like that.

In Japan we have done a lot of testing and we have some programs like this in design. For example some elementary students are in school right now are using the DS in their daily studies. They use it to answer questions and quizzes. This is again creating a system where the DS is used in a similar matter. Once I am done with E3 I will go back to Japan and continue some of that work.

However, today that is what I have been working on. [a picture of “New Super Mario Bros” appears on screen.] Many of you have seen it in the media briefing, and you have seen some videos for New Super Mario bros and Mario galaxy. So we will be going more in detail about these titles, along with Wii Resort, and Zelda Spirit Tracks.

So as a lot of you know I have been working on Mario Titles for the past 20 years. There is something I have wanted to do for a long time. That is to make a Mario game where more than one person can play at the same time. With pretty much every Mario game we start we try incorporating some aspect of Multiplayer, but by the end we usually throw it out [cut it] and go back to Single player. I’ve wanted to do this since we have seen many people playing a Super Mario game together. They either take turns or pass the controller during game play.

The game play in New Super Mario Bros. is really balanced between competitive and cooperative. You are either trying to help your team mate out or throw them into an enemy or a hole. Again this is really depending on what level you are in the game, as sometimes you will naturally play cooperatively in some stages, or play more competitively. We also took into consideration that players play at different speeds and as they get separated the camera will pan out or zoom in.

[Someone got on a Yoshi]

So right here is a good example of cooperation. Yoshi can eat a fireball thrown by another player, then shoot out a bigger fireball, or yoshi can repeatedly eat that character. [Miyamoto is laughing at the person controlling Yoshi] There are also a bunch of new tricks and ideas we have incorporated with this title.

So one of the reasons why we were able to bring the new multiplayer aspect to Mario, we now have the processing power to make it happen on the Wii. [Later on during the event he explained that there will be no Wii Speak or Wifi due to the lack of processing power to handle all the different characters.]

One thing about classic Mario titles is that when you are beaten by an enemy, you lose a life, when you run out of lives the game ends. However, with multiple players you are able to continue along and rescue the other player who has fallen or been defeated by an enemy. [A character floats onto the screen in a bubble ”˜Yoshi’s island style’ after being defeated.] We also have included various multiplayer modes that you can play with friends. You can go back and play stages you have cleared in head to head to see who can get the high score. There are also roughly 80 courses so far. There are some really pretty stages that I like. [He grabs the controller and selects World 5-1 or World 6 an Ice/Snow World.]

There is a stage where you can get and use a new suit, the penguin suit. [Miyamoto tries to use the suit and ends up dying.] This is why we aren’t allowing photography. The penguin suit can freeze enemies with Ice Balls and even freeze them in mid air where you can use them as a step ladder. [Miyamoto says he isn’t going to cheat now and use some that dev to get the penguin outfit again after losing it from an enemy attack. He finds a suit in a brick block. He then fell into a pit hole on the stage and died. He stomps his foot in disgust.] This was a really fun game to work on and play. [People laugh]

This is a game that allows people who are new to games to play with people who are veterans to play together without a problem. [the screen transitions to Wii Sports Resort] This is similar to the idea behind Wii Sports. This too allows veteran gamers to play with new gamers. However, I am going to talk about Mario Galaxy 2.

[Super Mario Galaxy 2 appears on the screen]

Generally speaking we are speaking about the second Mario galaxy title on the Wii. With Super Mario Galaxy it was the first time we worked with Spherical worlds and had a lot of ideas how to work with gravity. However, when we finished Super Mario Galaxy we had a ton of ideas that we could not fit into the game. There were just so many game play options that we couldn’t have used and we felt it was a shame to not use them.

We started to talk about things we weren’t going to use with the last title so we decided to make Super Mario Galaxy 1.5. Once we started making this game, we started thinking up new ideas as well. So you will see that 90% of what we used in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is actually very new altogether. With New play goals and features. One of those new features included was Yoshi, and the drill bit used to drill through stages. This game contains almost the same amount of content that super Mario Galaxy did, and this game is really far along; but since we almost finished up with New Super Mario Bros for the Wii we are going to work on this some more. That is unless I flip the tea table. [A term used when he considers a game terrible and makes his staff start from scratch.]

However, after the announcements of Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus”¦ I bet there are some people going “yay, look”¦ another sequel”¦”; but I feel with both these titles, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus I don’t consider these traditional sequels.

I was a big user of Wii Fit; I was using it on a daily basis that I felt there were ideas that could make the game even more enjoyable and easier to use. I also wanted other features that allowed me to be able to weigh my dogs and cats. [Miyamoto laughs.] I also wanted to check with fitness doctors and have a better system to work with calorie counts. I think that Wii fit plus is really fun and will not only an accessible title, but it will make you pull the balance board out of the closet and dust it off for use again.

[Wii Sports Resort appears on screen]

When we are first designing the Wii Hardware we were designing Wii Sports to go with it”¦ And we were trying to decide what to do after it [Wii Sports]. We weren’t sure where we were going to go, motor sports? Or even water sports? So as we were looking at a bunch of sports titles, then Wii Motion Plus came along. You know of course the goal of Wii Sports was to get you off the couch and get people more active. To get them to feel like they were actually playing Tennis and using the back hand [something related to Tennis I missed it.] while playing Tennis. We thought that it [Wii Sports Resort] should be able to improve the way you actually play the real game. So that it was so similar to recreate the feeling of release a Frisbee at the right time. [Demo spins the Wii mote on stage and you can see the remote spinning around on the display.] As you can see it is very sensitive.

So basically what you are about to see is a game where you fight a wave of swordsman. If you are playing this game you will see that all the miis that will come out and attack you are actually those Mii’s you have created or in your Parade. The game also gets tougher wave after wave. You also have to anticipate where the opponent’s sword is going to be, and meet it with yours. Or attack your opponent in an unprotected area. When you start one of these waves you only have three hearts. [The person demoing got hit by one of the Mii’s on screen, there is approximately 10 different Mii’s attack him, he then quits and goes to the main menu.]

So you can see there are quite a few events in this game and I feel it would be good to show you how I play the game. [Miyamoto gets up and takes the controller again.] We have two events returning sports from Wii Sports, Bowling and Golf. Before I get started I want you all to know that I am not a golfer; however, I worked on golf games before. So right here I take a stance like I am going to hit the ball, and as I turn my wrist it will look like I am going to hook the ball or slice it. [The bar bends fluidly as Miyamoto twists his wrists, he then moves the Wii Mote back like he is going to swing] The back swing really depends on the force of how much you hit the ball. So if you put a lot of force into your swing you will either slice or hook. So the game forces you to be patient. You can also put a nice back spin on the ball and feel like an actual golfer. I’m probably not going to hit the ball straight and I’m going to either hook it or slice it. [he hits the ball almost perfectly and begins to laugh. He fails to make the ball roll backwards a bit]

No back spin”¦ [Miyamoto stomps his feat he then lines up his putter to hit the ball into the hole]”¦ this looks like a pretty straight approach to the cup. [He hits it too strong and misses the hole, and groans] The thing about this game is that I don’t look at the meters on screen I just feel it naturally. Also playing 18 holes doesn’t take a lot of time to play [virtually]. I think there is a tendency for many games to have a lot of tutorials or menus to explain what is going on. However, with this it allows you to focus on your ability to play the game, and encourages you to try it out for yourself.

[Someone goes up to demonstrate Table Tennis.] Table Tennis, this is a minor sport, but I think table tennis is really well done here. I would like to point out that the tree house group in Washington, and the development team in Kyoto, can’t stop playing it. There are also heated competitions that go on in the offices. As you know with the real table tennis, the paddles have a rubber grip on the surface that hits the ball. Depending on the way you hit it changes the way the ball goes, as you see the goal here is to follow the ball and pay attention to the way you hit it. I guess what is important here is the amount of spin you can put on the ball.

One of the modes in Table Tennis is return challenge, and the A.I. will constantly serve ball after ball and you need to return them. Another part of the Wii Sports Resort is the stamp system that will give you a stamp when you complete certain goals within the game. One goal is to get a bull’s-eye three times in a row in archery, or if you return a hundred balls in table tennis return challenge. This will get you a stamp. This game will appeal to a wide range of gamers, from experienced to novice gamers.

As most of you know we have this island called Woohoo Island which is in Wii Fit, and will be returning in Wii Fit Plus. [The Island is the same place Wii Sport Resort is at.] Something I have been thinking about was taking a location and treating it like a [game] character. So of course everyone knows Mario. We have various character licenses [for Mario]. I was thinking why can’t we do the same thing with a geographical place, like Woohoo Island? So all the games I am working on in the future will probably include Woohoo Island. [He laughs.]

So maybe in a future game we put a hotel on Woohoo Island and there is this murder and you would have to solve this mystery. Then you realize you are on Woohoo Island and are like “hey I been on this Island before, I played on it before with Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit.” If all goes well we may buy an island in the south pacific and transform it into Woohoo Island. However, I don’t think the stock holders would appreciate that”¦

Something that should be noticed is that when you are on different courses [in Wii Sports Resort] for example when playing Archery. If you pay attention you might be able to spot it when you are using the plane to fly around the island.

[Zelda Spirit Tracks pops up on screen]

Now Zelda Spirit Tracks, we are going to be looking at three modes, exploration [overworld map], train riding, and a dungeon. Here is a standard dungeon. Here as you see there is a Phantom, from the Phantom Hourglass, but here we are going to use it to complete this dungeon. Iwata has shown this at GDC so I am sure some of you are familiar with it. [Link moves to an area blocked off with flames] So as you see here the Phantom could go through the flames and trigger a switch, allowing Link to continue. These are familiar puzzle elements but there are different features to expect as well”¦

[My battery died on my laptop during the end of the transcript, but it’s nothing that was really that important. However, Miyamoto did announce that there is going to be a New Legend of Zelda game. It is still in the development stages, but the story and game art has been finalized. They showed the main cover to the new game. Since there was no flash photography I sketched it the best I could in my note pad. Expect it to be published tomorrow.]

An artist from New York. Will has been writing, designing, and loving video games since he was young. He has traveled across the United States, and parts of Canada in order to learn more about the world of gaming. After visiting E3 for the first time in 2009, he has vowed to return there and show off a game of his own. In his spare time he tinkers with electronics, programming, and of course collecting video games.