In the first Nintendo Labo developer interview, Nintendo Labo Director Mr. Sakaguchi, Nintendo Switch Director / Nintendo Labo Producer Mr. Kawamoto, and Nintendo Labo Hardware Lead Mr. Ogasawara discussed about the difficulties they faced in making Nintendo Labo.
Sakaguchi said that during the development process, he believed creating Nintendo Labo would be a piece of cake as they were only dealing with engineered cardboard pieces. However things suddenly became very difficult after the team decided to design the Toy-Con in a way where players wouldn’t need any scissors or glue to assemble them.
Once the team had their preliminary designs ready, they conducted some consumer testing in Tokyo and the US. Things did not go well, since many people had difficulty making the Toy-Con as instructed. As the Toy-Con used during testing were essentially the final version of Nintendo Labo at that period of time, Nintendo Labo director Sakaguchi broke down and cried in his hotel room.
Thankfully, the Nintendo Labo team realized their mistakes. As the original designs looked more like cardboard, they made the Toy-Con look more like the objects they were modeled after (such as making the Toy-Con Piano more curvy), so players wouldn’t be confused in the making process. Simplicity was prioritized in both the construction of Toy-Con and design.
If you’re interested to learn more, read Part 1 of the full Nintendo Labo Developer Interview here.