Kirby: Planet Robobot Director Talks Tough Challenges And Inspirations
On Nintendo’s Miiverse, fans recently got the chance to ask Kirby: Planet Robobot director Shinya Kumazaki their questions about the newest title in the Kirby series during an “Ask-a-thon.”
Many of the questions dealt with the development process of the game, such as one which asked how the team came up with the title “Kirby: Planet Robobot.” Kumazaki replied with the following:
“Initially, we’d planned to call it “Kirby: HAGANE” (“hagane” is Japanese for “steel”), but as Popstar would be populated by robots, we then leaned towards “Kirby: Robot Planet”. As titles go, this was far too literal and lacked impact, so we changed it again to “Roborobo Planet”. One last tweak and the result was “Planet Robobot”, which is in keeping with the playfulness of the Kirby universe. The name for the “Robobot Armor” also came up around this time.”
Next, Kumazaki was asked what exactly had inspired the creation of Kirby: Planet Robobot, as well as how long it took to produce it, to which Kumazaki had this to say in response:
“Since we ended up developing two Kirby games in a row using the same hardware – the first being Kirby: Triple Deluxe – this time, we wanted to do a completely different take on the world. At the same time, we were also hoping to attract a new audience. We thought a mechanized world would do well, since then it would be the polar opposite to the previous game’s warm skies and lush scenery. The concept for the Robobot Armor was then proposed as a means of performing new copy abilities unique to the mechanized world. Regarding the length of development, we worked on Planet Robobot in parallel with other titles such as Dedede’s Drum Dash Deluxe, and it was completed in under two years.”
Another question asked Kumazaki if there was a specific part of the creation process that proved most challenging, and if there were any areas he would like to improve if given the chance. Kumazaki replied with the following:
“We were instructed by our producer to avoid any situation that might remind players of Triple Deluxe and I think that although this was a great idea, it was a nightmare to put into practice. We had limited development time and still had to make use of the assets from the previous game. Because we were using Triple Deluxe’s engine, a lot of the gameplay felt similar, so I was constantly fighting to preserve the Kirby series’ distinctive feel and yet produce something fresh and new. There were, of course, many things that I would have liked to refine or improve, but rather than regret not being able to address them, I try to use those shortcomings as motivation to look to the future and help myself do a better job next time. It’s a continuous process that never really ends.”
To cap off the first round of the Ask-a-thon, Kumazaki was asked if Susie was Haltmann’s real daughter, or if she was just a clone or a robot. Kumazaki explained with this reply:
“Allow me to explain: Susie is not a clone; she is Haltmann’s real daughter. I’d had in mind two story paths – one in which you finish the game and the story concludes comfortably even without knowing Susie’s identity, and one that reveals more answers after you sink a lot of time into the game. But in Planet Robobot, the story is designed with just a small twist to surprise you when you find out Susie’s last name. I initially considered making it so that Haltmann, in his loneliness, created a robotic Susie who believed she was alive, but that idea was discarded to avoid overcomplicating the story. At the time, I also considered a scenario with one final twist, where you discover that Haltmann was actually a robot all along.”
To read the rest of Kumazaki’s answers, you can go here.
Kirby: Planet Robobot is available for the Nintendo 3DS.