If you’re a Wii Sports veteran, one of the first things you’ll probably notice when playing Nintendo Switch Sports is the new avatars. While they seem like a natural evolution alongside Mii, during the development of 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 college characters, round-shaped characters, and even robots with an avatar controlling them from the inside!
Junji Morii (Art Director): “Even before we decided to make a fresh start again, we had proposed different kinds of character illustrations. In the early stage, we proposed round-shaped characters with no arms or legs, similar to the Mii characters in Wii Sports. We also created college student characters that looked like this with a theme of intercollegiate sports.”
Takayuki Shimamura (Producer): I remember we had the most outlandish characters that looked like robots. (Laughs)
Morii: Around the time when we decided to restart the project from scratch and were told that we would be starting over to create the world’s most easy-to-invite to motion-based game, I asked, “Are you sure we can’t go this far?” (Laughs)
The player is inside the robot, but it is the robot that moves when you swing the Joy-Con controller. The robot is the one doing the bowling.
What? You operate the robot?
Yoshikazu Yamashita (Director): Yes, you operate this robot, and the robot throws the ball. I know it doesn’t make sense. You might also wonder how big this bowling alley is. (Laughs)
Morii: 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 actually saw the robot on the screen and moved it around, 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 development team of Nintendo Switch Sports decided to play it safe and go with a design that resembled a human being – also known as “Sportsmates”.
What do you think of the final character designs in Nintendo Switch Sports? How about these concept ideas? Leave a comment down below.