With Kirby and the Forgotten Land Coming out imminently, developer HAL Laboratory’s team recently sat down with Nintendo to discuss a variety of game-related topics, ranging from design to localization. In response to one of the questions, it was revealed that this is, interestingly, the first Kirby game that uses English as the basis for designing its user interface rather than the usual Japanese.
During the interview, director Tatsuya Kamiyama explained that English was the default language chosen when designing the UI, to ensure that the game’s menus and UI look more natural around the world. He said that while using Japanese would have been intuitive for them, it created a problem where the design of spaces for Japanese characters would leave other languages with overwritten text, making it difficult to read.
“Using Japanese for the UI would be more intuitive for us, but designing these spaces for Japanese characters has left other languages with squished and hard-to-read text,” Kamiyama said. “So we decided to design these sections in English rather than Japanese, which resulted in a much longer text than what we are used to.”
General Manager Shinya Kumazaki explained how this decision created a challenge for them during its development, where it was difficult to write the text, implement it, and verify it in the game since everything was in English.
“We think it’s important to make sure text in these areas doesn’t slow down the game for anyone, so we’ve tried to keep players around the world in mind,” he said. “We put a lot of effort into this part of the game.”
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is set to launch worldwide on March 25.