Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Design Doc: Wii Shit

Greetings to all developers in esteemed offices worldwide of radiant developer Nintendo company International! It is with many pleasings I tell to you our plan for innovating Nintendo Wii title. Every man rests on his toilet for each day that passes by! These are the fact of existing. What does he do almost never but seldom? Play Nintendo Wii game that makes excitement on his toilet! We draw this game with secrets complete. No firm that is not make Nintendo Wii thinks our thoughts and hence them all are commit massive seppuku. HA! Kiddings are in short order. Here in Nintendo we have made the erection of the most winning company eminently possible, so our new title is cast a hurricane on the world!
-Hiroishi Haruka

Give it up, everyone, for the big man! Mr. Hiroishi is the conceptual genius behind our next big project here at Nintendo of America. His team has drawn up the basics and as your Development Director I've taken the liberty of consolidating them into this document. It's not finished and it won't be for a month or so, but it's important for everyone to be on the same page with this.

Wii Shit!
Thus far we've been able to leverage the cutting-edge technology of the Wii entertainment system into games that cover elements of everyday living. From the mundane (Wii Cook) to the exotic (Wii Ski), we do it all. Last quarter's medical-focused title, Wii Gynecology, saw strong sales--though not in the demographics we intended. No less a success!

With this project we've laid those concerns to rest. Like Mr. Hiroishi reminded us, everyone gives birth to gremlins. Check out that happy Wii owner; she just got home from Taco Bell and she's ready to get this show on the road! We'll be putting together an assortment of mini-games that really get at the heart of pooping. What is it we really do on the toilet? What leads to the struggles we experience? In the case of our office, it is usually Hot Pockets out of the vending machine. These are a few of the mini-games we've concocted already:

Wipe Out
The objective here is simple: get clean using as little paper as possible. One square at a time. Using the Wiimote, the player simulates the wiping motion and tries to pick up everything she can. ESRB guidelines prevent us from showing most of the action, but we don't have to. Nobody can really see what they're going for when they wipe in real life, so we can obscure what we have to and it'll actually be more realistic. Both cheeks need cleaning, so this is about wrist motion and really maximizing the surface area with each wipe. After each wipe, we'll automatically load up the next square of toilet paper and use a UI to show the player how much came off on the last square. We don't have a working mock-up yet, but we're planning to display both visual and numeric indicators.

It may be possible to integrate the Wiimote's vibrating function here. If so, we want it to communicate to the user how much is really down there--how thick the brush is, if you get my drift. We plan on offering several difficulty settings that will govern consistency, spread and volume. These aren't final, but Easy might be Oatmeal and Insane might be Beer & In-N-Out.

Broken Seat
For those months on end when one screw on your toilet seat is broken, but you don't want to drive down to Wal-Mart and spend $10 to get a new one. The player's avatar (we'll probably just use the existing Mii functionality) will sit down on the broken seat and begin to drift. The seat, anchored by its lone surviving screw, will cause the avatar to slide around on the bowl constantly. The Wiimote and Nunchuck must be used in concert to balance the player and keep him centered. The sliding action will become more and more pronounced until failure becomes inevitable. Poor performance results in poor scores, and if the player slides far enough he'll fall off the bowl or break the seat completely. Higher difficulty settings will place the player in more hectic locations, such as the bathroom on a tour bus or airplane.

No word yet from Standards if we can make this work, but ideally we'd like to add an Easter Egg for male Miis. Specifically, if a male Mii fails at Broken Seat we want the small random chance for him to get his junk stuck. I live in mortal terror of getting it pinched between the plastic seat and porcelain bowl as they slide around, and I can't imagine how much it would hurt if that happened. Ugh...gives me the willies.

Push It
Part skill check, part endurance trial. The avatar is about to give birth to the mother of all turds, and the player has to guide him through the pitfalls of the experience. 'Cause that bitch is coming out, one way or another. We'll start with a rhythm game, like the player is just sitting down and centering himself for the trial ahead. Maybe he's at work and there are three other people in the bathroom and he needs to really focus before things can move. Whatever the premise, the rhythm game kicks things off.

We move from there to the main event. There will be different turds of various sizes, dimensions, consistencies, contents and descriptions. We'll build a UI that shows how much of the current turd is outside of the player's body. We're going for an iceberg effect here. What do I mean by this? Well, you can always tell basically how much you've gotten out. But you can't tell how much there's still to come. You're 8 inches in the clear? Could be twenty more back there! It's a mystery! This is what we're going for. The player will make furious use of the Wiimote's "Waggle" functionality to convey the sense of exertion, and we'll use another UI to make the player aware of his avatar's current energy levels. The sphincter can't go all-out all the time, so a meter will help the player decide when to pause and take a breather. During "rest" periods, he may optionally engage the rhythm mini-game to help him regain focus and Sphincter Energy quicker. We're not sure exactly how to integrate this: should it be the same rhythm game? Very similar to the first? Not at all similar? We'll hash this out in production meetings.

As with the other mini-games, we'll put together different difficulty settings corresponding roughly to eating habits. Difficulty will be an element of this, but we want to integrate it into the fantastic personalization that the Wii offers. The user should be able, if she desires, to play Wii Shit essentially as herself with her diet. This is a long-range idea and we aren't committed to it, but it's something we'll try to get done. Ideally the eating habits of the user will enable specific widgets--mini-games within mini-games--that we can attach to Push It or any other game. Have you been eating a lot of cheese? It's possible on any given turd that it'll become a Clinger, opening up the Clinger widget (HEAVILY Waggle-based) and throwing a fun new experience the user's way. If implemented properly, the Widget idea could dramatically increase the replay value of our title.


So that's what we're looking at for now. We have more ideas, of course, but they're not polished and the whole thing has a lot of iteration left to endure. The next few weeks will involve a lot of closed-door planning with our great production team, but once we know facts we'll post updates for all concerned. We've been doing great work here at Nintendo of America. Know that Mr. Hiroishi sees it all and appreciates it. Enjoy the breather now; we've got a lot of work to do!

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