Giles Goddard is a very important name in Nintendo history, as he was one of the first Western employees to join the company. He played an integral part in getting Star Fox off the ground on the SNES, and stuck around for multiple projects in the N64 days. That means he’s a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes Nintendo info from back in the day, and he’s shared some of that insight in a Eurogamer feature.

In one snippet of the interview, Goddard shares a rather disappointing look at how Nintendo created games back in the day. We’re not sure how Nintendo operates now when it comes to developers and the time they spend on games, but according to Goddard, Nintendo really pushed their employees hard in the SNES/N64 era. This included working on things until they were done, no matter how many hours that took.

“We were just told that we had to stay there until something was done,” he says, “or stay there until something was fixed. We couldn’t go home, kind of thing. And yeah, I think it did rub us the wrong way a few times, because you know, it was Friday night, you’re nineteen, all your friends are out in town, and then suddenly you’re told that you have to go and spend all weekend working on something. Sometimes you do flip and go ‘why am I here? Why am I doing this?’”

[Giles Goddard]

Goddard eventually left Nintendo to work on his own projects, leading him to found Vitei, which ended up becoming a second-party studio for Nintendo. This meant Goddard was still in close contact with Nintendo, and the studio worked on a few Wii titles. Some of that work was on a puppet-related Wii game that never came to be.

“Basically you used the Wii remote to control a puppet and you made puppet shows and stuff like that. And it just felt really really good. It looked really good. It sounded really good. And everybody was blown away by it. But the thing was Nintendo didn’t think there were enough people into that kind of thing to make it worthwhile.”

[Giles Goddard]

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Comments (2)


8M ago

The line this article misses

"If you're a foreigner in Japan, working in a Japanese company like that, you get to a certain stage where you can't really go any further," he says. "You're never going to become a manager or a buchou [department manager] or even a shachou [company president], because you're a foreigner. So I realised that was my job for the rest of time if I didn't do something about it."

Pretty much means that he didn't like the work culture in Japan. On the bright side, its not terribly as bad as most western companies do with double or triple shifts.

Atleast he's still in good relationship with Nintendo.


8M ago

Weird how Nintendo didn't wanna go with the puppet game, but then made Wii Music...