E3 2014 Splatoon demo
The E3 2014 demo allowed eight players to play a test round similar to the current tutorial (but instead taking place in Urchin Underpass) and two rounds of Turf War in a LAN connection. One large monitor was featured in the center of the playing area, and seven other, smaller player monitors were present on either side. A monitor displaying the map was also present.
Each player was assigned a generic character and name, ranging from "Player 1" to "Player 8". Players 1 to 4 were always on a team, and players 5 to 8 were similarly grouped on the opposing team. Each player began as an Inkling wearing various articles of gear with no apparent abilities. They participated in a brief mode similar to the final tutorial which instructed them to locate and pop balloons on a pre-release version of Urchin Underpass. Once all players had completed the necessary tutorial components, a ten-second countdown began. Upon the countdown's completion, a black screen with text displaying "Round 1" would be displayed, followed by the traditional Turf War introduction showing each team spawning.
From this point, the round progressed as a typical match of Turf War, albeit with only the Splattershot (then called the "Ink Shot"), Splat Bombs (then called "Splatter Bombs"), and Inkzooka (displayed as "Super Weapon") available as playable weapons, and the only stage being the pre-release version of Urchin Underpass. When the first round was completed, Judd would determine the winning team and a player ranking screen would be shown. This ranking screen would list all eight players from the most turf inked to the least, and display their ordinal rank in the top left corner over a splat of their team's ink. Their total Battle Points were given next to their rank, and an animation of their Inkling looking around was displayed below.
Upon completion of the first round, another black screen would appear, this time displaying text that read "Round 2" and underneath it, "(final)." This round operated identically to the first, showing a similar ranking screen upon its completion.
After the second round was complete, the screen would fade to black, then display text that read "Thanks for playing!" before returning to the title screen.
- Main article: Urchin Underpass/Development
The pre-release version of Urchin Underpass was the only stage available. It was slightly different from the version included upon Splatoon's release, with different grated areas, two water towers, and two wooden planks for vertical travel.
The background decorations were drastically different as well, being made up of white, generic buildings.
Players were limited to the Splattershot as a main weapon, Splat Bombs as a sub weapon, and the Inkzooka as a special weapon. However, these weapons were given different names, with the Splattershot being called the "Ink Shot", Splat Bombs being called "Splatter Bombs", and the Inkzooka simply being referred to as "Super Weapon". The Inkzooka icon in the top-right did not exist back then and only an icon showing to activate the special appeared. Additionally, while activating the special, the screen did not show which button to press to fire the special and only showed "Fire at will!". The Splattershot and Inkzooka each had slightly different appearances to their current versions but had largely similar performances.
When an Inkling was splatted, the ghost that would appear out of their ink was elongated and thin. The player who splatted this Inkling would receive a notification that read "Splattered Player [number]!" rather than "splatted" as in the current game. Points were also awarded for splatting opponents as shown by a small icon; this icon now only shows a darkened icon of a defeated squid.
When an Inkling respawns after being splatted, they would lose points earned from inking turf, likely to encourage players to stay alive for longer periods of time.
The HUD has barely any noticeable differences in this version. However, the eyes of the squid icons of the team in "Danger!" of losing would display scowling expressions unless they were splatted. Additionally, there was no crosshair for aiming, instead, there was a series of arrows similar to those which rollers and brushes use and it was only visible when not using the main weapon.
The rankings screen was also vastly different, showing players' rankings among all eight players and their ordinal ranks, such as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. The winning team was awarded a small bonus point value, compared to the 300 Battle Points bonus for Turf War matches and 500 for Ranked Battles.
- Main article: Splattack!
For the E3 demo, an early version of Splattack! was used, having a much rougher emphasis compared to the final. This version was also heard in gameplay as well, and is included in the official Splatune album. The music used for the final minute of a match sounded completely different. This song went unused, and Now or Never! was used in the final version.
The Splatoon E3 2014 demo was met with an overwhelmingly positive reception. It received praise for being the first major intellectual property from Nintendo in ten years, and many commended it for being a kid-friendly, Nintendo take on a third-person shooter.
A notification that reads "Splattered by Splatter Bomb!" (Later renamed to Splat Bombs)
A notification that reads "Splattered by Super Weapon!" (Later renamed to the Inkzooka)
An example of early gameplay
Close up of the early design of a splatted Inkling's ghost used for the E3 2014 Splatoon demo.