What kinds of other features are there? I heard that comments show up on the screen during gameplay.
Yes. The game displays Miiverse posts that show up during the game, which cheers people on.
You write those to cheer people on?
Yes, that’s right. You write them in advance. In Bowling, for example, if I’m playing alone by myself and I get a strike, I might get a comment from someone in the Kyoto club saying “Congrats on the strike!”
Even if you’re playing alone, people in the same club can compliment you.
Right. If you pick up a difficult spare, they might say, “Oh! Nice job!”
I like how the comments can change depending on the situation. Unlike with a computer, you can sense the real person behind it.
And they’re handwritten, so the fact that it’s using Miiverse really comes alive. Of course, you can use the Wii U GamePad to input messages using the keyboard, but it’s simply very pleasing to see a rough sketch of a bowling pin next to a handwritten comment like “Congrats on the strike!”
You can sense the feelings and the warmth of those rooting for you.
Exactly. If you connect Wii U to the Internet, people in your area will cheer for you even when you play alone. We also have a communication feature called Custom Callouts. You’re able to set messages you create in advance to the +Control Pad, and when you have an online game against someone, you can toss out brief messages during the game like “I’m going to get a strike!” or “Eat this serve!” But if it were in real time like chat…
It would interrupt gameplay.
That’s right. And someone might say something that strikes some people the wrong way. So first you submit them to Miiverse, and then you can use them about an hour later.
It’s set up so there aren’t any inappropriate comments.
Yeah. We did that because parents might worry about what people would say when their children play, and with Wii Sports Club we wouldn’t want people playing an online game for the first time to have a bad experience. Later, we’ll see Custom Callouts in action.
I can’t wait! (laughs)
Something else we talked about during development was how players move positions automatically in Wii Sports Tennis, so it would be a shame if people felt like the person they were playing against was actually the computer.
But with Custom Callouts, the fact that you’re playing a real person gets across much more.
Right. In addition to that, we put in some things so that it’s more obvious that you’re playing against a real person. In Tennis, for example, it’s now Wii Remote Plus compatible, so if you simply move the racket like this (spins hand), the Mii character on the screen will move the same way.
Oh, you can see things like that, too? (spins hand the same way) You can see your opponent doing this?
Yeah, it shows up. That way, the Mii character moves a completely different way than a computer would and you can tell your rival is a real person. If you smash the ball into the corner of your opponent’s court, you can even tell that your opponent is frustrated! (laughs)
You can see that your opponent is swinging around their racket and stomping in frustration! (laughs)
Exactly. In a game controlled by buttons the motions show only what has been programmed into the buttons, but in Wii Sports Club, the racket moves how you move the Wii Remote Plus, so you know when they’re annoyed! (laughs)
That’s how you can tell you’re playing against a real person.
That’s why we were always grinning as we tested online gameplay! (laughs)
We sure were! (laughs) Shimamura-san works at the head office, but the two of us were at the Nintendo Kyoto Research Center10, so we always played online.10. Nintendo Kyoto Research Center: The former Nintendo headquarters in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto. At present, it is used by part of the Software Planning & Development Department and Mario Club Co., Ltd.
We worked in different places, so it was a little hard communicating about work. On the other hand, it was a good environment for making an online game.
In most cases it would be better if the team was all in one place, but this is a rare occurrence.
Even playing in a different place where you can’t hear your opponent’s voice, I found out that when something is really fun, the location doesn’t matter. And with Custom Callouts…
We wrote all kinds of things.
Whatever we wanted! (laughs)
It was just fun thinking before a game about what kind of comments I would put in that day.
In that way, as you developed the same game from different locations, you were able to experience for yourselves what it was like to comfortably play against each other online.
As someone in my position, I could have asked you to show me the new Wii Sports Club much earlier simply by asking, and I didn’t have to wait until today. To be honest, I’ve been holding off.
I went out of my way to delay that moment until today! (laughs)
So I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it for the first time!
Well then, maybe it’s time we…
Yeah, I’m going to play for real! (laughs)
Watch Mr. Iwata play an actual online game .
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