The Making of The Game
Kirby Tilt 'n Tumble

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.

Kazuhiko Taniguchi
Nintendo Co., Ltd Research & Development 2

Toshiaki Suzuki
Nintendo Co., Ltd Research & Development 2

Hiroaki Sakagami
Assistant Director
Nintendo Co., Ltd Research & Development 2

Q: How did you come up with the idea of this game?

Toshiaki Suzuki: When we first came up with the idea on paper, everyone fell in love with it. We originally hoped to develop the game within half a year. By the time our original idea morphed into "Kirby Tilt N Tumble", the game was in development longer than we originally expected.

Kazuhiko Taniguchi: Creation started in the planning stages in April of 1999.

Q: So how did the development team decide to use Kirby?

Suzuki: Originally the game was going to be called "Koro Monkey" (Monkey Tilt' N Tumble) because we were using a monkey character. It was very interesting, but at the same time we were still pitching several ideas around. While the monkey was quite charming, the emphasis of the game was not very character oriented. We later decided Kirby would be a more suitable character for the game.

Taniguchi: We were still undecided. Our next idea after the "Koro Monkey" was using a racoon-dog.

Suzuki: I think we actually decided on Kirby after a discussion with Mr. Miyamoto, who happens to be one of the original creators of the Kirby character.

Hiroki Sakagami: It wasn't until June of 1999 that we stuck with the Kirby idea. In the meanwhile we collected a ton of ideas that we wanted in the game.

Q: So when game development takes longer than expected, does it become dull or stagnating?

Sakagami: It was a lot of work. A lot of blood shed. But I still think we had a lot of fun while developing it.

Suzuki: For me it was a great experience and a very nervous one. I was still considered a "freshmen" director. I had just finished my first game, which was as a director on Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, our remake of Mr. Miyamoto and EAD's classic title. While our department added several new things like a 2-player mode and a Yoshi coin mode, there was no pressure on my part as no matter what I did, the game was guaranteed to be fun and sell very well. In that sense, there was a lot of pressure for me to make this a good game.

Q: Your division was also working with Mr. Miyamoto at the time?

Suzuki: Our division was handling the deluxe remakes of Mr. Miyamoto Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for the Game Boy Color. Mr. Miyamoto's team was not making Game Boy Color games, so we were assigned to recreate them with a few additions. We worked closely with Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Nakago of EAD, the programming and design creators of those games.

Sakagami: We learned a lot from them.

Q: Closing thoughts?

Suzuki: We hope everyone enjoys our game. We worked very hard on it.

Taniguchi: Our department has plenty of more surprises. Hopefully, you will see them very soon.