Mii [NES – Prototype]


The development and history of the Mii avatar was a long and arduous process, taking about 20 years to reach fruition. Famed video game developer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed information regarding such a process during his keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference in 2007. He stated that the current Mii design is based on traditional Japanese wooden dolls (known as “Kokeshi”), and also highlighted several stages of the Mii’s development process. The idea first appeared for the Famicom Disk System, but confusion over how the idea could be a game halted development. The idea appeared again with the Nintendo 64DD, where the player could edit a 3D character with a wide variety of clothes. Again, however, the project was never furthered. With the release of the Nintendo GameCube the idea was incorporated into Stage Debut, an unreleased game which planned to make use of the e-Reader and a camera attachment, but this idea was also canceled, as those at Nintendo feared there was not really a game to make out of it. The build Miyamoto showed during his conference showed a virtual Miyamoto dancing with some Pikmin upon a stage.

Around the time of the development of the Wii, a separate team at Nintendo were working on a friend registering software for the Nintendo DS. Within the software they were also developing a program where, in a manner similar to the Japanese puzzle game Fukuwarai, the player had to place the different parts of the face onto a drawing of a face. This team, however, was completely unaware of Miyamoto’s Mii concept. Eventually the software evolved to allow the player to edit the parts of the face in terms of size and position, in order to make the character look more like a specific person, and was soon shown to Satoru Iwata, president and CEO of Nintendo. The software was then shown to Shigeru Miyamoto as soon as possible, and eventually the team working on it moved to work with the Nintendo division EAD on the development of the Mii Channel. – [info from Wikipedia]




Stage Debut [GC – Proto / Unreleased]

Stage Debut was a game planned to be published and developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Gamecube video game console. The game was intended for a 2004 release, but was indefinitely delayed, probably due to the cancellation of its sister peripheral for the Game Boy Advance, the GameEye.

Stage Debut was designed similarly to a game titled Mario Artist: Talent Studio developed for the Nintendo 64’s Nintendo 64DD peripheral. The player would take a picture of their face using the Game Boy Advance’s Game Eye peripheral (which was planned to be, in short, a spiritual successor to the Game Boy Camera). Then, by linking the GameEye to the Gamecube system via the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable, the player would be able to insert the image onto a 3D model within the game’s virtual world.

Stage Debut was widely assumed as either a canceled project or a project in development hell after no progress in development was announced on the title by Nintendo for quite some time. However, in a 2008 interview with Shigeru Miyamoto by the popular gaming news site IGN, an official answer was made. Not only did he cite Stage Debut as an inspiration for the Wii’s Mii Channel function, he also said that “In my mind, it’s still alive.” While this does not deny the cancellation of the project, it does not confirm it will never come to pass.

It seems that Tomdachi Collection, a new game for the DS will have some modes that were originally planned for Stage Debut.

Thanks to Matt Gander & sba sb3002 for some of these images and to Sdas for the contribution!