Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban Entry 7: Breakdown At The End Of The Year (2001)

Title: Entry 7 – Breakdown At The End Of The Year / 「年末崩壊」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban official site (down)

Summay: In the seventh blog post for the original Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney 1 GBA) for the Game Boy Advance, Takumi tells about the time when the team presented their first playable demo to their bosses. The result was a complete drama, and the target of a lot of criticism. The game mechanics were also quite different from the game we now know.

Breakdown At The End Of The Year

It was late November when we first got a playable version of the game. We showed it to various people, like the producer and the division chief, but the result was that….

We lost the case completely.

'Being heaped with insults'. That’s a saying people invented to describe us on that day. Not one single person managed to point out a contradiction, they didn’t even manage to press anything, all they they got was an instant game over. 100% of the people present were dumbfounded. There came a storm of bad, and severe criticism.

By the way, the game mechanics back then were quite different from now. The concept was: “So tense you aren’t allowed to lose attention even once,” so we had:
  • A rigid time limit (in real time). The game ran from the start of the trial, all the way to end with no stops. Once you missed your cue, you’d get an instant guilty verdict.
  • All witness testimonies recorded in the Court Record. To point out a contradiction, you needed to go through all of the old testimonies.
This wasn’t “So tense you aren’t allowed to lose attention even once”, it was “So many things happening you don’t know where to pay attention to".

This was bad. Was a game about trials even really impossible? Everyone in the team looked gloomy. Everything we had made and prepared had been for that day…

“It’s not fun.”

I had not expected such damage. My head was spinning. There was the option starting all over again from zero, but where was zero? I didn’t what to do. And another head-aching problem followed right after this one.

It happened at the end-of-the-year party of Production Studio 4. I had promised to do a magic show in front of about hundred of drunken men. I’ll leave out why things had turned out that way, but I had said I would, and I have my own pride, so I’d definitely have surprise them.

“What am I supposed to do?” As I was thinking sadly about that in mind, I was making a silver orb float in the air, cut a beautiful woman in half and made the Capcom building disappear (partially exaggerated).

And so the twentieth century was about to end.

But, just as we were finishing our work for the year, one last incident happened. It had come to finish us off amidst the chaos: Of the mere seven people in the team, one had quit their job because of personal reasons.

The Gyakuten Saiban team was facing its greatest crisis.

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