Nintendo discusses the street culture and realistic passage of time in the Splatoon series
Always on the move
Splatoon is just a couple of days off, and fans the world over are eager to jump into the game and see what it’s all about. Without a doubt, we already know it’s going to pack in a ton of style and atmosphere, albeit with a different feeling for the third installment.
In a new ‘Ask the Developers’ feature from Nintendo, the Splatoon 3 dev team opened up about their approach to ‘street culture’ in the Splatoon series. All three installments in the Splatoon series pay great attention to the setting, culture, and zeitgeist of the times. Without that unique style, it just wouldn’t feel like Splatoon! Devs Seita Inoue and Hisashi Nogami elaborate below.
Nogami: We wanted players to feel that the time in the game passes with their own real lives. In that sense, we could say that this is a game franchise in which players and developers walked side by side over the seven years since the first release. In terms of design, we were conscious that the game is set in modern times, and we depicted the world based on street culture. The characters are also dressed in street-style wear, including t-shirts and sneakers.
Inoue: As I mentioned earlier, we depict the world based on street culture. This is an important aspect when designing the Inkling world. We chose street style partly because of its contemporary design, but the street culture is often derived from what we call counterculture. In other words, it implies some kind of rebellion against the mainstream.
Considering this, we depicted a world of simple, mischievous street culture in the first title. In the second title, we created a world in which urban sophistication is trendy, to counter the world in the first title. In the third game, however, we tried to express that “sophistication has gone stale but disorder is now fresh” to counter the world of the second title. In this way, we felt that we could depict the world of “Chaos,” which is the theme of this title, but also express the transition caused by the countercultural rebellion. This is how we reflected the results of the Splatfest to the trends in the Inkling world.
Along with that, the team opened up on the passage of time in Splatoon games. You most likely noticed that the years roll on in the world of Splatoon just as they do in our world. According to Seita Inoue, this is very important to how everything in each Splatoon game is presented.
This may be something a bit unusual for a Nintendo game. It is also the year 2022 in the Inkling world. In many other games, for example, the characters do not age even if time passes in the real world, or time moves forward in the game regardless of the time in the real world. But in Splatoon 1, 2, and 3, the same amount of time has passed in the squid world as in the real world. Therefore, the characters grow, and cities and cultures develop over time. For example, this character is called Murch, and he has grown so much taller in the five years between Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3.