The Making of The Game
Trade & Battle: Card Hero

This series of articles will take a look at the development of Nintendo-published software. These Q&A sessions conducted by Nintendo Online Magazine, and transcribed to English exclusively by N-Sider staff member Anthony JC, come directly from the developers so as to give you a first-hand look at the amount of sweat and blood that goes into Nintendo's most celebrated releases.

August 2000

Yoshio Sakamoto
Nintendo Co., Ltd Research & Development 1

Q: Please explain your role in Trade & Battle: Card Hero?

Yoshio Sakamoto: My role was a directorial one. I wrote the script and was a lead game designer on this projevt. The first thing I was involved with was creating the card system that was going to be used. I had the development team consider various types of cards, and we sort of picked the best of the lot and threw them in the game. Around this time, card games were once again very popular in Japan. We also spent a majority of our time designing the battle system. The game was roughly in design stages for 4 years.

Q: Once the design was laid out, when did the game actually complete development?

Sakamoto: To be honest the project almost sat around for six months, and then I got involved in development of the Detective Club 2 remake for the Super Famicom (There are always so many fan letters requesting this game). Once I wrapped up development on Detective Club 2 for Super Famicom, I immediately returned to Card Hero's development. Development picked up and progressed quite nicely from that point.

Q: How did you expect players to memorize all the rules involved in the card game?

Sakamoto: Well we were very careful regarding that. I don't think the rules were too complicated, but still we included for an easy tutorial and instructions (manual) to further explain. In general, without reading any of that you could probably get the hang by just playing it enough.

Q: Do you think sales and popularity of the title arise quickly upon release?

Sakamoto: Well. It definitely will find a decent initial audience. Being a late release on the Game Boy Color perhaps may hinder it. We are still going to release individual cards for it.

Q: Tell us more of the card game?

Sakamoto: Yes. Although paper card-ization was also referred to as to whether we wanted to do it or not. We basically took photographs of the game characters and put them on the cards. Some of them i remodeled on clay.

Q: Other related goods are also being sold?

Sakamoto: Yeah a toyline and stuffed toys are being planned, However, those kinds of things are not exactly in my department's control but rather other sectors within Nintendo Co., Ltd. I do get to observe and object to the products if I have a serious issue with it.

Q: What if you're not into card games?

Sakamoto: Well you should always try. I think we have made an excellent set up to spark interest and patience for the user to adapt to the card game genre within this unique adventure.

Q: What about the sequel?

Sakamoto: Heh, You are getting ahead of yourself. We have just finished the first work and have no idea what kind of success or demand it will see. There are always new projects and ideas to be concerned with and to challenge us as developers, so it depends largely on the consumer demand whether we deliver a sequel or not.

Source: Nintendo Online Magazine # 24
Transcribed by: Anthony JC