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Iwata Asks: In Commemoration, Part 9 - And-Kensaku

And-Kensaku, Part 7: Reproducing the Staff’s Punchlines with Voice

by the NWR Staff - September 2, 2016, 1:05 am EDT

Part 7 of And-Kensaku.

7. Reproducing the Staff’s Punchlines with Voice

Iwata - Having thought up all of these different questions with phrase search, what was the deciding factor between which ones would get used and which would be thrown away?

Soya - For any other quiz game it would just come down to whether or not the question was interesting or funny, but because this game utilizes search you can’t separate the words selected from the number of hits. For instance, even if you have words that make up a really interesting combination, it wouldn’t be a very good question if it turns out the number of hits between the two only barely differ, so there were quite a few that we turned down because of that.

Nishimura - Furthermore, we decided to add explanations to make things easier to understand.

Yui - While this is a game where you’re competing to see who can find out which keywords generate the most hits, we figured it would be a better game if you’d find out why the difference in hits occurs after you find out the answer - to give you that feeling of, “Oh! I get it!”

Iwata - As of just one year ago there were no explanations at all, so after answering the question that was it - it kind of felt like you just got snubbed.

Yui - Right. The results would just display, so it felt kind of unfinished, like something was missing.

Iwata - That’s probably why some people felt it was hard to understand.

Yui - When playing multiplayer usually the other players would explain it.

Iwata - That would explain why some people felt the single-player was lacking.

Soya - Exactly. People that were both playing single player and didn’t have much familiarity with search finally started saying, “I see!” once this was implemented.

Iwata - I see… I feel so much better now that I finally know that.

Everyone - (laughs)

Iwata - You spent all this time travelling through this long, dark tunnel - how long did it take for this to happen, for the light to finally become visible?

Nishimura - Over half a year had passed since “that dark incident.” It took quite a bit of time to create the questions and implement that, so it must have been near fall of 2009, I think maybe around September.

Soya - That’s right. But at that time it felt like, “Now we have something solid.”

Iwata - How did you feel Nishimura-san?

Nishimura - We had a lot of interesting questions, and having added the explanations, for instance, it was all pretty easily understandable from a system perspective - but I did feel like there was just one more step we needed to take, there was just something lacking.

Iwata - In what way?

Nishimura - In the presentation. I also felt the worry that this game would get buried with everything else coming out, so I felt that I wanted to do something with this game that others hadn’t. That’s when I came up with the speech bubbles. I wanted people to feel that same fun that you get from multiplayer when playing single player as well.

Iwata - Soya-san, how did you feel when Nishimura-san proposed that he wanted to put speech bubbles into the game?

Soya - We finally had an idea of what the final product was going to look like, and we were in a period where we were trying to figure out how to bring it all together, so honestly I didn’t get it. I figured, it’s enough as what it is, no? (laughs)

Iwata - That’s what any normal person would think.

Nishimura - So I kind of forced everyone to go with it and had someone prototype it. I figured that it would definitely be fun for people to have the Wii say those things that other people would say, in their place.

Iwata - And? How was it having it prototyped?

Nishimura - It’s already a game with a lot of text, so now with even more text dancing around in the speed bubbles, I think there were some people that thought, “I can’t take this much text."

Iwata - It’s already a game that uses text, so adding even more text with speech bubbles just makes it even more text-heavy.

Nishimura - Right. So that’s why I wanted to go the extra mile and provide voice as well.

Iwata - (To the two members of Shift) See Nishimura-san, he really is greedy, isn’t he?

Yui・Soya - (laugh)

Nishimura - Furthermore, we were already right up against our deadline for development.

Iwata - Having approached the finish line, how did you feel being told things like, put in these speech bubbles, now put in this voice, Yui-san?

Yui - Actually, whenever playing vs. internally we had a person that would always have some punchline while playing that was incredibly funny.

Soya - They’d say these incredibly grating things, but they were hysterical.

Iwata - Could it be that that person’s voice is the model for this?

Yui - Actually, yes (laughs). So we were always convinced that it would be funnier if we put voice in.

Soya - Furthermore, once “And-Kensaku” was made to be a packaged title, I felt it was regrettable that we wouldn’t be able to help deliver that atmosphere from playing together. So, part of me lit up when Nishimura-san said he wanted to put in the speech bubbles and voice. “Ah, we can just put in what that guy says verbatim!”

Iwata - So he’s included in the package (laughs).

Yui - Yes. We’ve included what he said verbatim. We basically noted down everything he said.

Soya - We fit his words in per situation. Sometimes to get a rise out of people.

Yui - But he really hated recording it.

Soya - He would say that he didn’t like the game saying these things back to him that he was thinking (laughs).

Yui - So he’d get quieter and quieter…

Soya - In the end he couldn’t talk at all (laughs).

Everyone - (laughs)

Iwata - And then? Did you get the intended effect having his words in the game like that?

Nishimura - Yes, I’m glad I forced that through. First we did an internal play session with computer generated voice, and people reacted with, “Hey, it’s saying something” and “Oh no he didn’t!”

Iwata - People would actually talk back at the game’s punchline (laughs).

Nishimura - And in the end people said it was funny, so I was really glad we put it in. Another person doing a test play had a comment that said, “It feels like there’s a person living inside the game.”

Soya - Ah, that’s right.

Iwata - It’s like that guy was included in the game (laughs).

Yui - But he really hates it, so we’ll keep it anonymous (laughs).



famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)September 02, 2016

This game is crazy! (Overview video)

Awesome work with the translation as ever Matt!  :cool;

Thanks bro! Glad people are enjoying them. ^^

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