Shigeru Miyamoto is the man who came up with the concept for Pikmin from a gameplay perspective. He knew he wanted to have a game with little creatures that scurry about and explore the lands in search of strange trinkets, useful items and more. In order to bring that idea to life, Miyamoto worked with all sorts of Nintendo staffers to flesh things out. That collaborative effort very much played into the final design of Pikmin themselves.
Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi recently sat down with Shigeru Miyamoto to talk about game development in all regards, which led to a bit of discussion about Pikmin. In one part of the interview, Itoi started asking questions about the Pikmin franchise, including how the actual look of Pikmin came to be.
While Miyamoto doesn’t share a name, he does say that he worked with a Nintendo designer to come up with the visual style for Pikmin. Obviously, all sorts of ideas were tossed out, but Miyamoto zeroed in on one specific design as soon as he saw it. One of the Pikmin sketches showed a tiny character with a leaf on its head, and Miyamoto said that the instant he saw that aspect, he knew it was the design to go with.
It seems seeing the flower on a Pikmin’s head led Miyamoto to pondering all sorts of other questions. For example, he started thinking about how exactly the Pikmin drinks water. Does it do so through the flower on its head or through its mouth? Just this one simple question tickled Miyamoto and showed to him all the wonder Pikmin could provide.