Kirby and the Rainbow Curse devs on the art style, missing copy ability, faster movement thanks to the GamePad

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse has just been released in America, and as per usual with releases an interview has been done, in this case a series of developers have been interviewed by Gamespot including Supervisor Kazuhiro Yoshikawa, art director Teruhiko Suzuki, director Kazushige Masuda, and HAL Laboratory’s Shinya Kumazaki each discussing different points about the game.

Below are some of the comments the developers have made about the game including the art style, the lack of a copy ability and faster movement thanks to the gamepad:

Yoshikawa on what role clay plays in the game…

“We weren’t really thinking about Kirby being made out of clay in his own worldview, but rather, we’re just using clay to express his softness and his ability to transform. So, you wouldn’t actually see him picking up clay from the environment, in the same way that you wouldn’t see him dissolve if he happened to fall in water in this game world. This was a very important idea that was defining some of the boundaries for designing the gameplay.”

Suzuki on how clay was a means of expression and not intended as a source of gameplay inspiration…

“We just wanted to find a way to bring some of the expressiveness of that clay animation and that stop motion animation style, not necessarily referencing the actual material. So you won’t, for that reason, find Kirby mixing with other bits of clay in the game for various gameplay mechanics.”

Masuda on how the clay-like visuals inspired the vehicle transformations…

“When we were thinking about how to use clay as an art style for this game, the way that we were connecting it to ideas for gameplay was from the direction of clay being soft and mutable, something that you could shape into a lot of different forms, and so we had these ideas for Kirby molding himself into the shape of a tank or a submarine, and that these kinds of animations would be easy for him because he’s made out of clay.”

Masuda on what happened to the copy ability at large in Rainbow Curse…

“I think you’ll remember that in Kirby: Canvas Curse, Kirby did have the copy ability, and that made sense in certain types of side scrolling action games, but it’s something that we really use only when we think that it’s really necessary. As you may recall in Kirby: Canvas Curse, there were only 10 copy abilities, whereas by comparison, a lot of the traditional Kirby platformers will have as many as 20 copy abilities. This time, in Rainbow Curse, because Kirby is rolling faster and that’s a little bit more the focus of the gameplay, we decided that it wasn’t as good a fit, you have a different function for the gameplay here, so the demands for gameplay mechanics were different. I feel like, in the kind of game this has become, this was definitely the right decision.”

Masuda on how it’s hard to compare this game to Canvas Curse in some ways due to the difference between the Wii U’s GamePad screen, and that of the DS…

“If you played the Nintendo DS game, Kirby: Canvas Curse, you’ll notice this game where you flick using the stylus on the touch screen to move Kirby through levels rather slowly. This time around, because the screen on the gamepad is larger than on the Nintendo DS of the time, the player can draw longer lines, and as a result of that, we can allow the character on screen to move faster, and we feel that really makes the gameplay feel a lot better. So this was something that was definitely on our minds as we designed gameplay and game worlds. You’ll also see a lot faster stylus movement, and we also think this affected game design quite a bit.”


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