Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban 6 Development Discussion - Part 3 (2016)

Title: Gyakuten Saiban 6 Development Discussion - Part 3 / 「第3回『逆転裁判6』開発座談会 」
Source: Gyakuten Tsūshin

Summary: Part three 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. This part was first posted on July 28, 2016. While in part one and part two, the discussion was mostly about what the team liked best of the game itself, this time, the interview is mostly about the team itself. In most interviews, you only see producer Eshiro and director Yamazaki talk about their game, so it is quite refreshing to see other, less prominent members of the team being discussed, like the actual programmers of the game. They also talk about the special website for staff members, where they posted doodles and show off two of them.

Images are taken from the source article. Copyright belongs to the respective owners. It is recommended to read the first two parts first.

Gyakuten Saiban 6 Discussion - Part 3

Interviewer: Now I want to talk about the people of the development team itself. First I want to hear about things you can talk about now it’s all over.

Eshiro: Well, if you’re asking for happenings, I had to go to the hospital. Fuse also got sick, but I caught the same thing twice. Add in influenza, and you have going to the hospital once, and staying at home recovering twice, each time for about a week…

Yamazaki: And that during an important meeting…

Eshiro: Yeah, I couldn’t make it then. We had an important meeting where I had to present the game. I had to ask someone else to replace me in a hurry and really inconvenienced everyone.

Yamazaki: But we luckily never had really big happenings.

Daigo: Oh, Mr. Yamazaki, I only noticed this recently, but in Gyakuten 5, I prepared an animation where Kokone (Athena Cykes) slams the bench twice, but it was not used there. I actually saw users tweet about that they saw that animation for the first time in 6. “No, no, we had that in 5,” I thought and checked just to be sure, but it really wasn’t used in 5

Yamazaki: Eeeeeh!? I am sorry for that! I really want to say “Sorry, and thanks!” to everyone now.

Interviewer: Thanks?

Yamazaki: Whenever I write a scenario, I always tend to throw a lot of things in the story. The staff just creates everything like it’s written there, so I am really grateful for that. We really could have saved some costs on the bunny girl Mimi of Episode 2, but because I asked for it, it became actually more work. Yugami (Simon Blackquill)’s model of 5 also had to be changed here and there because of the story this time. But everyone always agrees to making all of that come true.

Daigo: Talking about throwing things in, Mr. Eshiro always asks for crazy things. But if he asks for “1”, we always give him “10” back. For example, it was Mr. Eshiro who asked us to upgrade KangeRoute (Revisualization) “ a bit”, but the team of course thought: “If we only change it a bit, the users will never notice.” So we said: “We want to change it so it moves into the background, but the costs will increase by this and this, is that OK?” and Mr. Eshiro replied: “I guess it can’t be helped.” He usually gives us the OK in these cases. But that is like preparing the noose for ourselves in a way (laugh).

Eshiro: I will say something about it when it’s definitely a no-go. Because getting back at me tenfold also hits the budget (laugh).

Daigo: But I am very grateful to Mr. Eshiro, because he allows the development team to do what they want to do.

Eshiro: When they explain their ideas, I just think it sounds interesting. So perhaps my homework is that I should be more strict (wry smile).

Daigo: Thanks to Mr. Eshiro, I have given my all to this game. With 5, I still had things left undone, but there’s really nothing left in me for 6.

Yamazaki: I do want to say thanks too to all the people in the staff.

Horiyama: I’d like to say thanks to Mr. Daigo. He always warms up the office.

Eshiro: Warms up?

Yamazaki: He’s big, so perhaps he means his body temperature is naturally high (laugh).

Horiyama: No, I don’t mean he generates heat. I mean that he makes light jokes and keeps the mood up.

Fuse: Light jokes (laugh).

Daigo: I’m not sure whether I’m being praised here.

Eshiro: Daigo sometimes talks as sharp as Producer Yamashino (laugh).

Interviewer: Let’s turn this around then, and just go all out with your praises for people or things you want to praise.

Daigo: Fuse’s pretty good at drawing!

Fuse: It’s my job!

Yamazaki: But I really think that the main artwork Fuse created is really wonderful.

Interviewer: The symmetrical illustration, right?

Yamazaki: Gyakuten 6 is set in two worlds, the Kingdom of Kurain (Kingdom of Khu'rain) and Japan, with two protagonists. And there are a lot of characters. I really think it’s fantastic how he managed to make such a nice composition with all of those elements clearly included. I think that only Fuse could have come up with that.

Fuse: Thank you. It was difficult coming up with an idea that included both settings in one illustration. I wanted to give meaning to the placement of each of the characters, and gave it a religious-like composition.

Yamazaki: You also considered the role of the characters in the game for the composition, right?

Interviewer: For those who haven’t seen it yet, here it is!

Fuse: I want to praise Mr. Noda and all of the programming team. The creative side, like the scenario and character designs, always takes it time because we want to come up with something good, but even thought we kept getting late in the schedule, the programmers were the ones who were always consistently on time and saved us all.

Eshiro: Yes, the programmers are the ones who have to carry the most weight.

Yamazaki: Because they are the one who actually finish the game.

Fuse: In the latter half of the development cycle, the schedule really became insane, but they always managed to be just in time with everything.

Noda: For this game, we had the youngest programmer on our team do her best on all the scenario revisions.

Yamazaki: I think she was still in her first year then? Yeah, every time we added something new to the scenario, the programmers have to add in those changes. Here at the Gyakuten series, we work on the scenario until the very last minute. So she would always complain about that, as she kindly added all revisions (laugh).

Fuse: I am grateful to Mr. Noda for leading such a team.

Eshiro: Fuse was also the co-director this time. To make a game of this scale, with this quality, without any big changes in time or plans is the proof you’re good as a leader. There are a lot of people working under you on the game. If a leader can’t have them work together and make the right calls, a game at this scale will always come out differently than planned. I am impressed you managed to do so good. There are few people like him, who do designs, but also have an understanding of everything in the game. Fuse is also good at communicating and getting the team to work. I think he can actually make a game on his own as a director. Maybe the day he’ll come to me and say he’ll make a game is already upon us (laugh).

Daigo: He’d die of all the work he’d need to do (laugh).

Yamazaki: Daigo also took over all the game mechanics, like the Spirit Channeling Visions (Divination Séances) and the scientific investigations. We have a lot of scenario writers on our planning team, so because Daigo did the game mechanics, the others could focus on the scenario. The game mechanics in the Gyakuten series are actually all unique. We don’t use the same system all the time, but customize them for each occasion. We also worked hard on the concept and the scenario behind the Spirit Channeling Divisions, but it was really hard to get it working as a game mechanic. Talking over the visuals with the designers and asking the programmers to make it like this or that, Daigo did all of that. He also made sure the game felt right down to the details. He looks like that, but he’s actually a very delicate man.

Daigo: Hahahaha. Mr. Noda and the programmers were the ones who worked hard on the game mechanics. Especially with mechanics like Perceive and the Kokoro Scope (Mood Matrix), which are different every time. I’d ask them: “I’d like to have a Perceive like this”, and they’d click their tongues, but still do the work (laugh).

Noda: Every time Akane (Ema Skye)’d appear, I’d get a bit depressive (laugh).

Yamazaki: Because she’s doing scientific investigations. It’s easy to just write down with letters about the scene and the circumstances, but it’s really difficult to actually translate that to a game.

Horiyama: But Mr. Noda is always very objective in his work, and very coolheaded.

Daigo: You too!

Eshiro: Yeah, I think you’re the coolest one around.

Horiyama: No, I think everyone will sometimes get a bit heated about something subjective, even me. But Mr. Noda doesn’t.

Noda: But I do get heated up about things?

Horiyama: But you never show it to other people and always talk to them nicely without making them feel uncomfortable.

Noda: I might be mumbling “Yamazakiiiiiiii!” behind his back for all you know (laugh). But I think you’re also very coolheaded… You always stay calm no matter what.

Yamazaki: Yes, yes, you never show reluctance. With Potdīno, it was never planned to have you do the song, but we asked you all the same, and you made more than a dozen tracks. It was only decided at the end of the development cycle to have a track go with the title screen, but you also did that. You made BGMs for both the Kingdom of Kurain and Japan, and a lot of them too. And you divided the work with composer Noriyuki Iwadare. The two of them know each other from 5, so they were already a good team.

Eshiro: Horiyama was also the sound director, so he was also the one who had the final call on the tracks Mr. Iwadare made. While he supervised that, he also worked on his own tracks.

Yamazaki: And on the sound effects. He worked on everything, so I am really grateful.

Noda: Sometimes I really thought why he’d agree to do all of that without saying one word.

Horiyama: It’s my job.

All: Ooooh, how cool!

Interviewer: By the way, I heard that on the special web page for the development staff, you all uploaded funny doodles?

Eshiro: We started doing those doodles with 5. We opened a page so the team could communicate there, but everyone started to post drawings there. But about seventy percent of those things can’t be shown outside the company. But that seventy percent were actually the funniest…  So I had them open a page again when we started with 6. I asked them to do things we could show to the users, but again, about seventy percent we have to keep for ourselves.

Fuse: I just thought of this now, but if people are forced to draw doodles, they just stop drawing them (laugh). With 5, everyone just drew things to relax a bit, so I always said: “Let’s draw things we can show to the outside world if we’re doing this anyway”.  As if we actually forced to make these things (laugh)...

Eshiro: Precisely… We have a pixel artist in our background team, and their love for pixel art is really something to behold. They recreated a scene from Gyakuten Saiban as sprite art. It was from the side, like some Famicom game, and even had a text window. It had a spoiler on it, but it was really funny.

Fuse: I love the one with Delacroix’s La Liberté guidant le peuple (Liberty Leading the People), with Minuki (Trucy Wright) as the goddess.

Daigo: When first I heard the theme of the game would be a revolution, I thought of that picture with a woman holding a flag and leading in front. So I made a collage with Trucy.

Eshiro: There were a lot of collages. But everyone used current news as the base, so we can’t show them. Like using a men’s fashion magazine’s catchphrase…. I didn’t really get that one (laugh). I don’t even know who posted that one…

Yamazaki: Also, our team has a rule there’s no overtime on Wednesday, and we had doodles about that. The programmers made it so that would appear on Wednesdays.

Eshiro: It was just a doodle with a catchphrase kids would come up with. It’d say “It’s Wednesday! Go home on time!” and a UFO would shoot a laser beam, and people would go: “Flee!”. And we had a karuta one. Or one where Kokone would be angry with you, telling you she had told you you’d need go home on time on Wednesday (laugh).

Interviewer: I’d love to see those!

Eshiro: We also had illustrations for Valentine’s Day and White Day. But we can’t show the White Day one… I’m afraid women would go crazy if they saw that one.

Interviewer: I really want to see it now…The team selected out us a few doodles especially for Gyakuten Tsūshin this time, so I’ll reveal them here.

 SU -  Wednesday (suiyōbi) / Let's Go Home On Time / And Eat Soba

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