Ask the Developer Vol. 10, Pikmin 4 – Chapter 2 | News

That’s quite the ability!

Kando:The new Pikmin have their appeal, but all the Pikmin types you’ve seen in the past games, including White Pikmin, Purple Pikmin, Rock Pikmin, and Winged Pikmin, return in this game’s story. We’ve expanded the overall volume of content, so you’ve got a much wider range of strategies at your disposal, like planning which Pikmin to use first to exercise good Dandori and proceed efficiently.

I see. So, having Oatchi and the new Pikmin not only adds to the ease of play but also deepens the strategic nature of Dandori.

Kando:Yes. We’ve had people say that we should make Pikmin games cute because the characters are cute, but I actually disagree. I don’t think being cute is enough to stand out from other games because there are so many other games with cute characters besides Pikmin.

Hiramuki:We thought it was more important to lower the barrier to entry for new players by implementing features that make it easier to play, and then let the fun of Dandori sink in naturally.

Let the fun of Dandori sink in naturally. I see. How did you go about achieving this?

Hiramuki:In the first concept document created by Kando-san, he wrote, “Eliminate the barriers between modes”. In this game, we’ve blended the story mode, which you can play for a long time, with a versus mode and mission mode, which demand a deeper level of Dandori.

Matoba:The Mission Mode in Pikmin 3, where you had to complete a task within a time limit, was popular among players who were really sinking their teeth into the game. We thought that the Mission Mode would be the best way for players to understand the fun of Dandori. Earlier, Hino-san described the Mission Mode as helping players clear the main story, but in reality, it’s considered a mode that’s well known only to those in the know. This time, we’ve incorporated this mode into the story, so players can find the fun in saving time by practising good Dandori.

Kando:The Mission Mode has also been renamed Dandori Challenge and added into the storyline to increase player motivation. Also, the versus mode in the second and third games required two players to play, but in this game, we’ve implemented a CPU battle mode so that it can be enjoyed in single player. We call it Dandori Battle, and we’ve integrated it into the storyline so that players can clear it naturally as they progress. Weaving these Dandori Challenges and Dandori Battles into the story is our way of sneakily training up players in the art of Dandori. (Laughs)

Miyamoto:And this time you have the option to start over, right?

Hiramuki:Yes. Pikmin and Pikmin 3 both involved repeated Dandori within a set period of time – 30 days in the case of the first game and three to four days, before the player’s food supply runs out, in the case of the third. In this game, players can go back in time and start over at any point with a feature called “Rewind Time”. Previous games only let you go back to the morning, no matter what time of day it was, but now you can go back to just a few minutes ago when you realise you’ve made a mistake. This makes it easier to quickly try out new strategies.

The feature of being able to rewind at any time is a nice help to players who find Dandori a little hard.

Kando:Until now, it was common for players to be in a situation like, “I’ve worked so hard to plan everything and get to this point, but I made a mistake on the very last move, and my Pikmin died… I have to go back to the morning and start all over again…”. It’s sad when that happens, so we’ve implemented this rewind feature to support players facing such a predicament.

If players make good use of the Rewind Time feature, it should help them figure out how to practise good Dandori in a short amount of time.

Hiramuki:Exactly. By reminding players in-game now and again that it’s OK to rewind time, we’ve been careful not to make them feel like they’re cheating by using this feature. Of course, players who thrive in challenging environments don’t need to use this feature. Also, by developing gear and items or letting Oatchi learn skills, you can do many more things to exercise good Dandori. When it comes to Dandori, there’s more than one approach. Players can do more things as they progress, and their Dandori skills will naturally improve.

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