Pikmin, Wii Fit, and Nintendogs. What do these games have in common? They were all related to a new hobby that Miyamoto had undertaken. In fact, when asked at an industry event last year what the gaming luminary was up to now in his spare time, Miyamoto had to tell anxious journalists that he’s signed a non-disclosure agreement about his leisure activities. So Miyamoto’s current hobbies may be unknown, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think up what new hobbies he should explore, or what games might come from them.
Nintendo has already shown that they’re interested in using the built-in camera from DSi and 3DS to create new gameplay. Just look at Photo Dojo and Face Raiders or even Game Boy Camera for a couple of simple examples of using pictures to create fun gameplay concepts. But it could use the Miyamoto touch. Maybe it’ll be a world building game where you have to go out into the real world and take pictures of things to populate your world. Either way, we would get some excellent promotional material from the scrapbooks that Miyamoto made.
Ok, this one probably wouldn’t lead to an original game in itself, but the cubist look that Miyamoto could adapt from a time doing papercraft could lead to an interesting art direction in a Mario or Zelda game. At the very least it could be fun to see Miyamoto put together blocky renditions of characters he’s created. Who knows, maybe it could lead to the return of Cubivore.
Scale Model Dioramas
It’s time for Miyamoto to reconstruct some of the battles of the warring states era using miniatures. What would be the benefit of this? Well, we could get an interesting take on the Dynasty Warriors formula. More interesting, though, is that this could lead to the development of the first in-house MMO from Nintendo. A persistent world set in a fantasy realm where players can interact with each other while trying to achieve some loftier goal could be a really exciting new formula for Nintendo, and Miyamoto, to tackle.
I don’t mean to suggest that Miyamoto needs to come up with the Nintendo version of My Aquarium. I’m also not saying that this should be anything like Endless Ocean, which is a much better virtual fish tank than that other title. What I really would like to see would be something similar to EVO: The Search For Eden where you take on the roll of one creature and learn how to deal with a chaotic and dangerous world. There’s plenty of interesting ways that the idea could be taken. I only hope that it doesn’t turn into another Wii Music.