Splatoon

Splatoon Part 3: Splatfest

Splatfest is a festival in Splatoon. There are three phases to Splatfest. I'll break each phase down and explain what happens in each phase.

Pre-Splatfest:

A week before Splatfest players are prompted to choose a side between two options. These can be anything between cats vs dogs to rock vs pop. Most recently it was Autobots vs Decepticons. Anytime between a week before to Splatfest players choose a side. Once a side is chosen they cannot switch. They are given a shirt upon choosing a side with something related to the team they chose on it. They have the week until Splatfest to level up the shirt to unlock abilities and generally prepare for Splatfest.

Which side would you chose?

Which side would you chose?

During Splatfest:

During Splatfest the entire game looks different it looks like a real festival. When a player is playing games during Splatfest they are playing for the side they chose. (Let’s say I chose the Autobots for this last past Splatfest, then all my matches will be against Decepticon players and I will always be red they will always be purple) Within my faction I can level up by gaining XP. And the game tracks my rank within my chosen faction as well as each faction’s wins.

Splatoon normally...

Splatoon normally...

Splatoon during Splatfest...

Splatoon during Splatfest...

Post Splatfest:

The higher status I rank in my faction the more Super Sea Snails I will be awarded. (Super Sea Snails are used to add additional slots for perks onto weapons and gear) If I chose the team that wins Splatfest in the end I will gain a few extra Sea Snails based on my level. So participating is beneficial to me even if I don’t win. But I still want to win so I can get more!

In case you’re curious this is the exact formula they use to figure out the winner:

Final Score = Popularity Percentage + (Win Percentage X 4)

I really like the Splatfest events because it is something silly that they make a big deal out of. It adds to the game’s charm and changes up some of the art assets to make the game look just different enough. The getting to level up within the faction I think is fun and easy to understand. Additionally Splatfest being a fun event draws me and many other players back in. Even if I have stopped playing Splatoon and moved onto something else a fun event like this (Which Nintendo makes a huge deal out of on their social media) is just enough to regain my attention towards the game. It helps to reengage players who have stepped away from the game. I only have 2 problems with Splatfest.

1.         The shirt we are given at the beginning of the week we do not get to keep post Splatfest. Which is really lame because I would love to get to run around with my Autobots shirt.

2.         It only lasts 24 hours. From Friday night to Saturday night. I wish it would last for at least 48 if not 60 hours. Ending Sunday would be nice. That way I have all weekend to try and squeeze a couple games in. Or if it started earlier on Friday. But I guess this goes along with the “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” point I made in last post. If it ran for too long players would get bored of Splatfest. So I guess it is better this way.

Thank you,

Scott

Splatoon Part 1: Making a shooter for a younger generation

**Real quick I'm doing a 3 part series on Splatoon they should be dropping within a couple days of each other. I broke it up in an attempt to make my posts shorter because they seem to get kinda long sometimes. Let me know what you think! Thank you! and please enjoy!**

Shooters have received a lot of flack for being overly violent. Shooters have also done typically poor in Japan. So how did Nintendo make a shooter that doesn’t take any heat for being violent and does well in Japan?

By making the first person shooter not about shooting each other. Splatoon is a game about painting as much of the floor as possible. Players gain points for shooting the floor instead of other players. Yes, they can shoot other players and make them pop causing the attacking player’s color to spread in the area, but the reward isn’t great enough to intentionally seek out players all the time. That’s part one.

Paint everything!

Paint everything!

Part two is the movement. Because Nintendo wanted the players to really focus on painting the floor they gave them the ability to move faster in squid form through their own colored paint. Additionally, if a player ends up in a pool of the enemy’s paint their movement is slowed down considerably. This gives the player more incentive to paint over the enemy’s color so they can more easily move around the battle field. They have further reason to paint the floor and not to focus on the enemy.

(You also don’t want to wade into enemy territory because you wont be able to reload. Players can only reload while in a pool of their own colored paint. But I felt this was less important than the movement because most players will shoot the floor directly below them the moment they realize they are being slowed so they can move full speed again)

 

And you can’t forget the beautiful amount of feedback: Player slowing, animation makes the avatar look like they are straining and the screen turns partially the color of the enemy ink as the player takes minimal damage

And you can’t forget the beautiful amount of feedback: Player slowing, animation makes the avatar look like they are straining and the screen turns partially the color of the enemy ink as the player takes minimal damage

This ink mechanic does something else too: It creates an escape route for players. When a player is standing in their own ink and they are under attack it is easier for them to pull back than for an enemy to advance on them. This is because the enemy will have to paint the area leading up to the player if they wish to pursue them.

Part three is that literally anyone can play and feel like they are contributing. Have you ever given someone the controller to play Halo or CoD and they don’t play video games. There is a good chance they had difficulty controlling the camera and looked at the sky and or the floor. In Splatoon the player can stare at the floor, run, shoot and they will be contributing.

In the case of any team based game it’s important that a player feels like they are contributing or they will more likely stop playing.

This is of course strictly on a mechanical level. The adorable creatures and charm definitely helped as well.

So what have we learned?

1.         To make a shooter which targets a younger crowd:

a.          Don’t focus on players killing each other

b.         Focus on something easier to accomplish so all players can feel like they are contributing regardless of skill

2.         Make sure to reinforce your mechanics further in ways players can understand

a.          Movement is always a safe bet because it is one of the first things players master in shooters and it is easy to tell if you have dramatically slowed down

b.         Don’t forget your visual cues to help the player understand what is going on (the avatar physically slowing, appearing to have a hard time pulling their feet out of the enemy ink as they attempt to walk through it and the ink on the screen are great indicators)

Thank you,

Scott