Source: Gyakuten Saiban 4 official site
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All we need is IMPACT?
Hello. Planner Yamazaki here of the Gyakuten Saiban team.
We’re finally close to the release day. There’s a sort of tense ambiance around the Gyakuten Saiban team now.We all feel very conflicted inside us: both excited and afraid thinking that in just a few days, you all will be playing Gyakuten Saiban 4 (Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney). We just can’t geto to work.
What I’m doing now is “organizing the development documents.” I organize the gigantic volumes of materials we used during development and shrink-wrap them together with our memories. That’s the job (but it’s going slow…)
For this blog post, I dug up some “rejected ideas” from the documents I’m organizing now.
The 3D Witnesses Project?
At the very, very bottom of the pile of development documents, in the deepest depths, lies Gyakuten Saiban 4’s “original proposal” at rest.
There was not even a hint of Odoroki (Apollo Justice) back then, and we were still looking into all the possibilities of Gyakuten Saiban 4.
The document proposed “We need impact! Impact that befits the start of a new series!”
The 3D Witnesses Project
…That wasn’t the actual name, but it was an idea to have the witnesses in 3D (there was another reason for 3D besides impact, but that has to do with the contents of the game, so I can’t write about that.
Yamazaki: “So I guess the courtroom will also be 3D!”
Takumi: “And the judge’s beard and Auchi (Winston Payne)’s hair will also flutter in three dimensions!”
Yamazaki: “What if we do something with the camera, have the hammer go towards the screen!”
Endō: “Then we should also have the Objection! bubble come out in 3D!”
As the meeting went on, our dreams took on some wild forms. But for various reasons, the 3D idea was not used. In Gyakuten Saiban 4, we went even further with the 2D presentation that has developed throughout the series until now. The final game really uses all the Nintendo DS has to offer in terms of presentation, and it is an evolved 2D presentation, with a lot of impact.
On the other hand, we did use “the potential of 3D” in a “different form” in the game. Presentation that is only possible in 3D… I can’t write about that in detail here, so please check it out for yourself in the game.
Odoroki Rolling Up His Sleeves
I have a list here I dug up from the pile of documents. It’s a list of ideas for possible animations for our new protagonist, Odoroki Hōsuke (Apollo Justice).
How does he look when talking? How do we show his personality through his animations? It’s a list both planners and designers thought hard about. I too thought hard about this when development started. Thinking about an animation that could portray Odoroki’s personality, and which had impact.
It hit me then. “That’s it! What if we add an animation of him rolling up his sleeves?!”
There was a very special reason that connected Odoroki with “rolling up one’s sleeves”. In the final stages of Odoroki’s design, Mr. Takumi suddenly said: ‘Let’s roll his sleeves up’. When we tried that out…it looked really nice on Odoroki.
Rolling up his sleeves was what gave Odoroki life! I think that was the moment Odoroki was really brought to life. So I wanted an animation like that in the game. So I told Mr. Takumi about this idea…
Yamazaki: “What about him rolling up his sleeves when the trial starts? Like he’s saying ‘I’m going do this!’”
Takumi: “Rolling up…so you mean that at first, his sleeves are like normal?”
At that moment, the image of Odoroki just before he rolled up his sleeves appeared in my mind. The sleeves of his shirt hanging loosely… That didn’t fit him at all. And because he’s always rolling them up made them all wrinkled up! This definitely looked bad.
And when I considered it better, rolling up his sleeves made him look arrogant. That’s not how a rookie attorney looks like…
So that’s why that idea was rejected. A design of him with his sleeves rolled up, and the animation of him rolling up his sleeves, are different I guess. Coming up with animations isn’t as easy as you’d think….
Birth of the New Heroine?
I want to show you one last document I dug up from the development files. This happened during the meeting about our new heroine, Minuki (Trucy).
Takumi: “What kind of girl should our new heroine be?”
Yamazaki: “We definitely need impact.”
Designer: “What about a girl ninja-in-training?”
Yamazaki: That sounds kinda interesting!”
Endō: “A ninja…”
This is the Minuki Mr. Endō slowly started to draw.
It definitely has impact, but it has none of the things a heroine needs to have! This drawing was the reason the girl ninja-in-training was rejected in a second. How fearsome, Mr. Endō’s magic. I guess that impact alone isn’t enough…
That is it for this time. Next time is Mr. Takumi you have all been waiting for. Look forward to it!