Writing the Pikmin 3 Strategy Guide

Guide author, Nick von Esmarch, talks about writing the Pikmin 3 Official Strategy Guide

I’ve spent the last several years writing strategy guides for Prima Games, and in all of that time, Pikmin 3 is the first title I specifically requested. Don’t get me wrong, I have been lucky enough to work on some really great projects. My work has not only exposed me to some fantastic games I might have otherwise missed, it has granted me incredible access to some of my all-time favorite video game franchises.

When Pikmin 3 was announced to the public, however, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I called the fine folks at the Prima Games office and let them know I REALLY wanted to write the Pikmin 3 strategy guide. Now, more than a year later, I’ve had the opportunity to do just that.

I spent weeks at Nintendo of America, playing through various builds and recording a massive amount of footage. I experimented with the supported controllers, explored each facet of the game, and developed what I felt were very effective tactics—then I had the chance to meet with even more experienced Pikmin 3 players.

After answering my initial questions, some members of the Pikmin 3 Quality Assurance team shared their own preferences and tactics. The earlier Pikmin games provided enough freedom to ensure that individual players can have wildly different experiences. I feel confident saying that—just like its predecessors—Pikmin 3 is versatile enough to accommodate any number of playing styles. This is good news for long-time fans of the series, because it seems many of us have developed some fairly specific habits over the years.

I tend to devote a great deal of time to increasing my Pikmin population, but I’ve met several players who prefer to keep the bare minimum number of each Pikmin type on hand. While I generally spend a number of in-game days clearing each area, many players will leave an area as soon as the next objective is revealed. Each Pikmin game has its own primary mission, but there are a number of tracked statistics that a player can use to set his or her personal goals. How many Pikmin did you cultivate? How many Pikmin casualties did you suffer? How long did it take you to complete the Story? Did you fully explore every area? Did you take the time to track down all of the collectable items?

When a group of Pikmin fans discuss their experiences, you’re sure to get a variety of answers to each of these questions. Because of this, we knew the Pikmin 3 strategy guide had to be flexible enough to accommodate a variety of tastes. We obviously wanted to answer any questions a player might have, but we didn’t want to discourage experimentation or force unnecessary spoilers on players.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that exploration and discovery are at the core of what makes the Pikmin series so enjoyable. Observing the unique behaviors of each Pikmin type can be a true pleasure, and as one experiments with various objects, obstacles, and enemies, new strategies and tactics can make short work of virtually any challenge.

In the end, we opted to design a guide for two distinct types of players. We wrote a full walkthrough for players who want a step-by-step path through game’s Story mode, but we also compiled basic information for players who just want to locate a single collectable item or key objective. The goal being, no matter how much information you want, you’ll be able to find it without stumbling across details you’d rather discover by playing through the game.

Now that the guide is finished, I honestly believe we’ve succeeded in what we set out to do. We’ve created an amazing guide to Pikmin 3. Hopefully you’ll feel the same way.

Pikmin 3 Guide

About the Author

Prima Games Staff

The staff at Prima Games.