Developing online capabilities to work with upcoming Wii U title Wii Sports Club was a challenge which involved a lot of trial and error, it was revealed on the latest Iwata Asks.
"But when we thought about how we want people to have fun with Wii Sports on the new hardware, the Wii U console, there was no way, given the expectations, that we couldn't prepare online gaming," said Takayuki Shimamura from Nintendo's entertainment analysis and development division. "So as we began development, we set online gameplay of Tennis — the representative sport of Wii Sports — as our first goal."
Shimamura pointed out that as people wanted to play online, they decided to "pour our energy into how we could make that fun." He said that the team went through a lot of trial and error for online matches of Tennis.
"In a typical online game, the information of the button presses are sent to your opponent, and the inputs are synchronized between the players," he went on to say. "But for this game you have to send complex information from the gyro sensor and accelerometer of the Wii Remote Plus controllers, in addition to information from the buttons, which was a brand new challenge."
Kozo Makino, from Nintendo's software planning and development department, said that they were initially uneasy about whether we could achieve online play, saying the Nintendo team workshopped ideas with Namco Bandai Studio collaborating on the game.
Ryunosuke Suzuki, also from Nintendo's software planning and development department, explained they sucessfully integrated an idea suggested by a communications programmer at Namco Bandai Studio.
According to the developers, Iwata's request that the Miiverse be "put to good use" inspired the upcoming game's name change from Wii Sports U to Wii Sports Club.
"So we thought about how that should work," Shimamura said. "But if we were to simply implement Miiverse to a sporting game, the winners would probably write cheerful comments like 'Yay! I won!' But I bet the losers would hardly write anything at all, like 'Oh I'm so frustrated I lost.'"
"We were concerned that Miiverse would become a cruel place," he continued. "We also thought many people who play Wii Sports would have never played competitive games online."
Shimamura explained that's how they came up with the idea to group players by regions, such as states, provinces and prefectures.
"Everyone has a hometown or someplace where they live, so we thought about setting it up in a way as if at first you join the sports club in the area where you live," he said. "And if we made sports clubs for the various states and provinces, each of the regions could compete."
Wii Sports Club will launch as download title for the Wii U on Nov. 7 in North America and Europe.