Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban 6 Development Discussion - Part 1 (2016)

Title: Gyakuten Saiban 6 Development Discussion - Part 1 / 「第1回『逆転裁判6』開発座談会 」
Source: Gyakuten Tsūshin

Summary: The first part of an exclusive interview with the development staff of Gyakuten Saiban 6 (Ace Attorney 6 – Spirit of Justice) for the official fan website for the series: Gyakuten Tsūshin. In this interview, we have a variety of staff members commenting on all kinds of topics regarding the game, from what they themselves thought most special about the game to their favorite characters. Part 1 was first posted online on July 14, 2016.

Images are taken from the source article. Copyright belongs to the respective owners.

Gyakuten Saiban 6 Discussion - Part 1

All the people who participated in this discussion interview

Interviewer: Could you first introduce yourself to the readers? Please tell us about what you worked on for Gyakuten Saiban 6 (Ace Attorney 6 – Spirit of Justice) and how you came to work on the Gyakuten Saiban series..

Eshiro: My name is Eshiro Motohide and I am the producer of the Gyakuten series. I started as producer on the Nintendo DS Best Price! version of Gyakuten Saiban 2 (Ace Attorney 2 – Justice for All) and then worked as producer on Gyakuten Kenji (Ace Attorney  Investigation), Gyakuten Kenji 2 (‘Turnabout Prosecutor 2’), Gyakuten Saiban 5 (Ace Attorney 5 – Dual Destinies) and Gyakuten Saiban 6.

Yamazaki: My name is Yamazaki Takeshi. I’m the director of Gyakuten Saiban 6. My history with the Gyakuten series is about 12 years old. I started as a planner on Gyakuten Saiban Yomigaeru Gyakuten (Ace Attorney DS), and also did the same job with Gyakuten Saiban 4 (Ace Attorney 4 – Apollo Justice), and was the director for the Gyakuten Kenji series, and scenario director for Gyakuten Saiban 5.

Fuse: I’m Fuse Takurō. I’m the art director of Gyakuten Saiban 6, and also have the title of co-director for this game. I joined with Gyakuten Kenji 2, and also worked on Gyakuten Saiban 5.

Daigo: I’m Daigo Yoriki of Planning. I was the leader of the planners for Gyakuten Saiban 6. I also worked on Gyakuten Saiban 5.

Noda: I’m Noda Naotaka. I’m the main programmer of Gyakuten Saiban 6. I was responsible for the system of Gyakuten Kenji 2, main programmer for Gyakuten Saiban 5 and also helped around during the early stages of Dai Gyakuten Saiban (‘The Grand Turnabout Trial’). I then joined Gyakuten Saiban 6.

Horiyama: I’m Horiyama Toshihiko, of Sound Engineering. I started with Gyakuten Saiban 4, and also worked on the sound of 5 and 6. Right when Odoroki (Apollo Justice) joined the series.

Interviewer: You all have been working on the Gyakuten series for a long time, I see. What do you want to especially recommend about Gyakuten Saiban 6?

Daigo: I was also responsible for planning game mechanics, but a lot of effort went into the presentation. Especially on the Spirit Channeling Visions (Divination Séances) and Thought Route (Revisualization). This time we got someone especially working on effects, so the game looks even more spectacular than 5!

Yamazaki: Eh? And I thought you’d recommend something you yourself worked on...

Eshiro: He’s being humble.

Yamazaki: But Daigo was the one who planned the Spirit Channeling Visions. He could just praise his own work (laugh).

Interviewer: Yes, the presentation of the Spirit Channeling Visions look great too. I’d suspect that programming was also difficult. Mr. Noda, something to say about that?

Noda: 6 was only made because we had 5, so to be honest, it was not especially harder than 5. We spent quite some time getting the Spirit Channeling Visions on top of the foundation we had made with 5, so I’d be happy if the users would pay attention to new elements like that. Also, we worked hard on getting the DLC finished just in time, so it’d be nice if everyone would download them.

Eshiro: And you improved the script tool* too right?
(*A simple program to set the facial expressions etc. of the characters. See also the official blog)

Noda: Yes, I also worked on that.

Yamazaki:  Thanks to you, it became a lot easier to use.

Eshiro: Scripting lies at the heart of the development cycle.

Daigo: Yeah, when I think about it now, it did became easier to use.

Yamazaki: It’s evolved a lot compared to how it was with Gyakuten Kenji. At first, it was just a spreadsheet program. It evolved every time since then and it’s been made into a completely new script tool. Thanks to that, we can work on really special presentation

Eshiro: But Yamazaki always wants things that go beyond the evolution of the tool (laugh). Like with Potdīno.

Interviewer: His testimony as really surprising. Potdīno was all about music, so Mr. Horiyama, what do you want to recommend about the game?

Horiyama: What I want to recommend is the dramatic, thrilling scenario.

Yamazaki: He-hey, is nobody going to talk about their own work? (laugh)

Horiyama: No, but the story is really very dense, with turnabout upon turnabout, and once you start, it’s hard to stop until you get to the end. The scenario is really well-made and entertaining.

Eshiro: Horiyama here you know has a pretty sharp tongue. It doesn’t happen often he’s full of praise.

Horiyama: Hahaha. Oh, and then there was the perfect difficulty level of the Spirit Channeling Visions.  Those parts are difficult, but once you get used to them they are a lot of fun. Also, the Spirit Channeling Visions are strongly connected to the story. It’s really fun to see the mechanics and the scenario really become one.

Eshiro: By the way, Horiyama made a lot of songs too for this game. We asked composer Iwadare Noriyuki, who worked on a lot of the games in the series, for the music in the main parts of the game, but we also have tracks by Horiyama.

Horiyama. Yes. In terms of sound, there’s also sound effects besides music. This time, we have two settings: the Kingdom of Kurain abroad somewhere in Asia, and Japan. We have separate music, but also sound effects for both Kurain and Japan.  We made sure the effects are different, so it’d be nice if people would listen for that.

Interviewer: So even the sound effects are different! We really need to listen carefully for that. And what do you want to recommend, Mr. Fuse?

Daigo: Mr. Fuse’s choice is Reifa (Rayfa Padma Khura'in), right? I read that in a magazine.

Fuse: The producer and director have been spreading rumors while I wasn’t around (laugh). I love all of the characters.

Eshiro: Fuse has been working hard since 5. I too rejected some of his designs then. But thanks to that experience, the rough designs for 6 were already of very high quality. We also use character illustrations for promotional work, so once Yamazaki and Fuse have about decided what they want to go for, they’ll come show me, but even with those checks, there was little that needed to be changed.

Fuse: Yes. Take the rival prosecutor Nayuta for example, who took the most time, or the heroine Reifa, the images of them was already clear within my mind and within the scenario. We made them alongside the scenario, so that took time, but that designs really matched up with the story.

Yamazaki: Precisely. It was hard, of course, but we never went the wrong direction. And it also helped that I’m slowly beginning to understand how Mr. Eshiro thinks (laugh).

Eshiro: It appears you know what gets me. When they show me designs, I might think: “This is all wrong” or “This won’t catch on with the customers”. But the first impression I get when I take a look at the designs, that’s what the customers will also have as a first impression. I always look at the designs with the same eyes as the customers who will look at them for the first time, but if you don’t get them then, you just won’t at all. This time, the users say the characters really look unique. The reactions to the characters have been very good.

Fuse: I’m really happy about that. And it’s not just the main characters. All of the sub-characters all each have their own fans, without being too skewed.

Interviewer: I see. By the way, who are your favorite characters?

Yamazaki: They are all good, so I can’t choose…

Eshiro: I like the fake name of the victim in episode 3. It’s so straightforward it makes you laugh (laugh). I think that the names of the characters of the Gyakuten Saiban series are very important. We’ve talked about our favorite designs and so in interviews before, but I really like this character for his name. The way the characters are named also differ, depending on who was responsible for that episode. I love the sense of naming of the person who did the episode 3. Nanashīno Gonbei (Tentative), or Marumel Atām.

Interviewer: Oh yes, the priest victim’s name, Marumel Atām, comes from marumeru atama (TN: ‘shaved head’). And Mr. Yamazaki, who do you like?

Yamazaki: I often say Potdīno, but I think Reifa is good too. When I first wrote her in episode 1, she looks impressive as the “opponent of the protagonist”, but then I wrote her where you see her vulnerable when she’s cornered, and I thought: “Ah, she’s become quite cute.” I like her in that sense. A lot of things happen to her after episode 3, so I hope the users will play the game and check out for themselves.

Reifa’s true self is indeed cute. And Mr. Fuse is also a fan of Reifa…?

Fuse:  For this game, I’ve been able to make a more wide variety of female characters. From a teenager to a 40-year old woman. I like having done that.

Daigo: I think we have gyarugē in a way (laugh). We have a girl into science, a widow, a magician…

Fuse: I just went for all the types of women who interested me. All of them.

Eshiro: You like a lot (laugh).

Interviewer: Mr. Daigo, what character do you like?

Daigo: I like characters who hide their true selves. There are lot of characters who are hiding their selves in this game. I think this could only be done because of the work done by the scenario and character teams. Compared to 5, there are even more characters whose visuals don’t change just a little, but become something completely different.

Fuse: And not just the guilty ones. It used to be that only the murderers would change that much.

Daigo: it’s fun when you slowly reveal their true nature. “Eeeh! They were actually like this?” Please try unmasking them yourselves. By the way, of the characters officially announced, I like the leader of the Kingdom of Kurain, minister Inga. He looks grand, and looks like the typical evil person.

Eshiro: Like Karuma Gō* (Manfred von Karma). That line of his. “I can’t recommend you doing those little pranks of you.” Who says that? (laugh).

Yamazaki: And how he declares the death sentence like that. The person who thought of that is horrible. The one who designed the character (laugh).

Interviewer: Was that animation of Inga Mr. Fuse’s idea?

Eshiro: Yes. Scary stuff must going on inside Fuse. From his thoughts on women to men.

Daigo: Mr. Fuse also likes old men, right?

Fuse: Yeah, all of them (laugh).

Interviewer: How wonderful (laugh). And Mr. Noda, who do you like?

Noda: Errr…. I can only come up with [censored]. That perfect sense of slyness. I loved it. Of the main characters, I like Reifa. I love it when you can see her armpits during her dance.

Daigo: Now you’re getting dangerous (laugh).

Eshiro: What’s wrong with this team? (laugh)

Interviewer: [censored] is really cute, I agree. And Mr. Horiyama, what character do you like?

Horiyama: It’s hard picking out one character, but I’d say episode 3’s Sāra.

All: Oooooh!

Horiyama: She looks like she’s just naturally so out-of-it, but.., oops, can’t talk more about that. But she testifies with a portrait of her husband Malmer, and uses it like in kamishibai (‘picture-card storytelling’).

Fuse: I think Sāra was just barely safe in all kinds of meaning of the word.

Part 1 of the discussion ends here! How was it? Next time we’ll give you more probing stories we can only talk about because we’re here at Gyakuten Tsūshin. Look forward to it!

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