Nintendo has revived its developer interview series
First interview focuses on Game Builder Garage
Nintendo has launched a new ‘Ask the Developer’ interview series in which figures behind the company’s games share their thoughts about the creation process.
Ask the Developer, which kicks off with a Game Builder Garage interview, brings to mind Iwata Asks, the series of in-depth interviews conducted by the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata with key figures behind the company’s software and hardware development.
“To kick off this Ask the Developer series, in which Nintendo developers convey in their own words Nintendo’s thoughts about creating products and the specific points they are particular about, we are talking to two people who were involved in developing the Game Builder Garage game,” Nintendo says.
Game Builder Garage is a Nintendo Switch title designed to teach users how to program their own games. It uses characters called Nodon to help players learn how to put together increasingly complex projects.
Like the Iwata Asks interviews before them, the first episode of Ask the Developer was conducted in Japanese and translated into English.
In it, Nintendo EPD’s Kosuke Teshima and Naoki Masuda discuss the motivation behind Game Builder Garage’s design, and explain how they attempted to make it a user-friendly experience that encourages players to complete their own games by rewarding them at each step of the creation process.
Critic Chris Scullion wrote in VGC’s Game Builder Garage review: “If you’re new to programming and want to see what it takes to make a game, this is a wonderful and humorous introduction. It does have limitations, though, and mastering its intricacies can take a long time.”
A Game Builder Garage demo is available on the Switch eShop. According to Nintendo, it lets players sample Lesson 1: Tag Showdown, “where you’ll create a one-on-one action game from start to finish and learn the basics of programming”.
Spanning the DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U eras, a number of the Iwata Asks interviews have been translated into English and can be read on Nintendo’s website.
Ask Iwata, a compilation of Nintendo’s Iwata Asks interviews in book format, was also published in the west in April. It’s the English translation of the book Iwata-san, which was originally released in Japan in 2019.