Gamefreak has published a new video on their Youtube channel, wherein Director Junichi Masuda shares his experience working on the NES Yoshi game as well as the original Pokemon Red/Blue.
In the video, Masuda discusses various aspects of game development during the 90s era of gaming. This includes topics like difficulty curves, sound design, hardware limitations, as well as how he and his coworkers tackled those challenges back then.
You can check out the video below, along with some translations of the main highlights:
– Items on Yoshi‘s main menu will move accordingly to the music, which was programmed by Masuda
– Ken Sugimori came up with the gameplay for Yoshi
– Game Freak wanted to add in a realistic sounding Yoshi voice, but it got turned down by Nintendo
– Masuda learned about the “wave” design of difficulty curve during the creation of this game
– Wave design is where after a particularly hard stage, an easier stage comes after to let players bask in the accomplishment
– Masuda says developing and balancing them feels like taste-testing in cooking, where you can try it and tweak immediately
– For RPGs, the usage of time is different, as it takes maybe 3 hours before you really get into the groove
– Masuda remembers how shocked people were when finding out just how fast storage capacity limits would improve
– Masuda says there are some good things about having limited memory
– For example, if memory was infinite, devs would probably keep adding in new things and the game would never get done
– There were fun things that could be done thanks to memory limits
– This included thinking of Pokemon names that could be fit in the 5-character limit (in Japanese)
– In order to get the voices of the original 151 Pokemon done, Masuda had to use certain tricks in order for it to work
– Masuda says he would probably have been told off it he weren’t the main programmer on the game
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