Sometimes, Nintendo does really charming things, and they don’t necessarily have to be games. Case and point: Iwata Asks, the interview series in which the late president of Nintendo and game industry legend, Satoru Iwata, would interview Nintendo developers about their games or Nintendo’s hardware. The series stopped following Iwata’s untimely passing in 2015, but it was a good idea and always shed some light on how Nintendo and its developers approach the art of making games.
Apparently, Nintendo thought so, too, because the company has recently revived the series under a new title: Ask a Developer. The new series kicks off with an interview with Nintendo EPD’s Kosuke Teshima and Naoki Masuda focused on their most recent game: Game Builder Garage, a game that teaches players how to make games and allows them to make their own titles, to boot. As before, interviews were conducted in Japanese and then translated into English.
Game Builder Garage, it turns out, was inspired by Toy-Con Garage, a VR portion of the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit. Masuda and Teshima noticed that a lot of players and developers were enjoying using Toy-Con Garage to develop their own games, but they’d often get stuck if they didn’t have proper programming knowledge. At that point, Masuda realized “that we might be able to expand that fun if we had a system that provides guidance on how to create games using Toy-Con Garage, making it more approachable for players,” and Game Builder Garage was born.
The entire interview is both lengthy and fascinating, and a must-read for anyone interested in Nintendo or game design. It evokes the best parts of the Iwata Asks series, which Nintendo has archived for those interested, and which was also partially collected in a book about Iwata’s life called Ask Iwata. Hopefully, Ask a Developer will continue to honor that legacy, and run for a long, long time.