Thursday, August 4, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban 6 Development Discussion - Final Part (2016)

Title: Gyakuten Saiban 6 Development Discussion - Final Part / 「最終回『逆転裁判6』開発座談会 」
Source: Gyakuten Tsūshin

Summary: The final part of an exclusive fourt-part 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 August 4, 2016. In the final part, the staff members are asked about things they experienced for the first time while working on the game. In the second half, the staff members are asking each other questions. The question asked by producer Eshiro to all members is perhaps the big one: whether they want to work on a hypothetical future Gyakuten Saiban game and what they think that game could be.

Gyakuten Saiban 6 Development Discussion - Final Part  

Interviewer: Continuing from last time, I’ll be asking you about the development team. The first question is “Your first time”. Could you tell us about the things you did for the first time, or other first-time experiences you had during the development process?

Yamazaki: I was present for the first time during the filming for motion capture. It was really fun. We asked a company called Katsugekiza, and had the actors come here for the recording.

Interviewer: That is the company that also handles the motion capture for the Sengoku BASARA series, right?

Yamazaki: Actually, I helped a bit too. Not with the motion capturing of course, but I was an extra on the set, to help set the mood for the others. It was really great to have been able to do that once. The actors, they really put a lot of effort in acting their characters and getting the feelings of the scene across. In scenes where their characters would be screaming, the actors would really be screaming too. Thanks to them, we were able to capture very lively motions. It was great we could use all of that for the scenes in the game.

Fuse: My story is about how development went, but this was the first time I worked in a structure where “the director was somewhere else.”

Yamazaki: Oh yeah. I had a transfer and moved to Tokyo, so I had to go up and down from Tokyo to Osaka in the second half of the development cycle.

Eshiro: You were staying in Osaka during the weekdays and returned in the weekends to Tokyo for months, I remember.

Yamazaki: That was one of the reasons why we had Fuse as the co-director on the development floor. I guess that made work quite hard for Fuse.

Fuse: You all said what I wanted to say (laugh). It was hard, but the two of us decided this together, so I have no regrets about it. In the end, this structure turned out to be good too, and I think that was reflected in the game.

Interviewer: So this cooperation had results for the quality. And Mr. Eshiro, how about your experience?

Eshiro: With Gyakuten Saiban 6, I finally got to do something with the Gyakuten series I wanted to do for a while now, but couldn’t. That was adding an episode that didn’t have anything to do with the main story.

Interviewer: Episode 4 of Gyakuten Saiban 6, right?

Eshiro:  Yes. I’ve always loved the way the story of Gyakuten Saiban 3 (Ace Attorney 3  - Trials & Tribulations) goes. By having the story with Très Bien, that doesn’t really have to do with anything, the scale of the whole game, or perhaps I should say the scale of the world of the Gyakuten Saiban series is widens. With Gyakuten Saiban 6, the story develops jumping between the Kingdom of Kurain (Kingdom of Khura'in) and Japan, but I wanted to have a story there that felt completely differently.

Interviewer: That episode was really refreshing, as it gave us a glimpse in the everyday life of the characters.

Eshiro: But episodes that don’t have a lot to do with the main story tend to be cut for various reasons as the development reaches its climax. That is why I really wanted to have this episode in Gyakuten 6. The staff worked really hard to make that true.

Interviewer: You also work on the marketing of the game. Did you try anything new there?

Eshiro: What was new in the marketing, were those television commercials that were like the Special Court skits. The TV anime Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) is on air now, so we tried out things like having the characters talking and promoting the bonuses. But that was pretty difficult…

Yamazaki: Hahaha (dry laugh)

Eshiro: I had them make materials for the commercial during the development. Even though they were also busy with the game…

Yamazaki: And you also made an animated prologue for the game…

Eshiro: In the planning phase of Gyakuten 6, I already said: “I want to have an animated prologue.” So back came: “And who is going to write the scenario for that?”, and I said: “Yama-chan, you do it” (laugh). I was asking for more ridiculous stuff than with Gyakuten 5. I’m pretty sure everyone in the staff is cursing me underneath their breaths.

Yamazaki: You can just read it from the faces of everyone present here.

Daigo: I’m not denying anything (laugh).

Interviewer: Did development go smoothly?

Eshiro:  Smoothly…it was not. No.

Yamazaki: We had some really busy periods. Err, and Mr. Horiyama? What did you do for the first time?

Horiyama: I guess it’d be making sound effects and BGMs together. Like with Potdīno’s testimony, I made the beep-beep-beep sounds to blend seamlessly with the music. I also did the same with the music and sound effects in cut scenes.

Diago: Getting Potdīno to sing with beep-beep-beep sounds was really difficult. First we had the beep-beep-beep sounds with a melody, but it just didn’t seem like he was actually singing. So as we were thinking hard about how to solve that, Mr. Horiyama here suggested we’d have the beep-beep-beep sounds over a melody line. But that would also mean an immense amount of work. But still, he said he’d be fine.

Eshiro: He’s a real man.

Daigo: He really is. We first made one part as a trial, but that really worked, so we decided to do it this way. So I thought, he was going to change the lyrics slightly to get it to go with the melody line, but it was the other way around. He’d make a melody to go with all of the lyric text.

Yamazaki: (to Horiyama) I really put you through a lot of trouble with that!

Interview: And now I want to ask you about the next topic. Is there some question you’ve always wanted to ask your fellow team members?

Fuse: Well then, I have something I usually can’t really ask Mr. Horiyama. I want to ask you as a  fellow creator. How do you get your inspiration when creating music? I think some just go out, while others go do research…

Horiyama: Well, there is something like fundamentals to creating music. Like you’d go with this tone after that one.

Eshiro: Oh, so there’s a whole theory behind that all?

Fuse: But the very first steps, how…?

Eshiro: Inspiration from the heavens?

Horiyama: Well, the melody is decided by the tone of the scene: is it fun, is it sad, is it intense, is it relaxed? And then there’s the question whether the melody should be obvious, or whether the track should just be like floating around. Each scene needs a specific track. This isn’t about just someone ordering a number of music tracks. A certain scene is looking for a certain song, that is what I think. So you’d naturally arrive at the conclusion that a song should start with a chord, for example. And you’d go on from that. I think about both the chords and the melody, but I’d for example think: “When I have this chord, the melody will go like this.”

Fuse: So that’s how you make that. Then let me ask you, what are you made of? What has influenced you? There’s all kinds of music, but what is really expressed in your work?

Horiyama: I also wrote it in the booklet of the soundtrack, but I like the British rock musician Keith Emerson, who passed away recently.

Yamazaki: Oh, Western music and rock are your basics? I didn’t know that.

Noda: This is what I have been wanting to know, but Mr. Yamazaki, you transferred to Tokyo now, but what do you usually talk about with Mr. Eshiro?

Eshiro: We don’t (laugh).

Yamazaki: Yeah, we don’t really talk with each other . I hear a lot about you guys though (laugh).

Fuse: Manzai duos are often like that too (laugh).

Daigo: Yeah, they usually don’t talk with each other in private.

Eshiro: Did you think we’d be communicating about everything usually?

Fuse: Your seats are next to each other.

Yamazaki: I’d often be called with “Yama-chan!” and then I’d go there with “Yeees?”

Eshiro: Usually, it’s just for checks. He can just come right away, so that’s convenient.

Horiyama: I had a feeling the two usually don’t really talk actually. With the music checks too, they’d each answer to my mails separately. Why couldn’t they just talk it over between the two and send me one reply together? (laugh).

Daigo: What a revelation!

Eshiro: Well, it happens, you know (laugh).

Yamazaki: Mr. Eshiro always replies to mails without talking it over with me (laugh). Well, a question from me for Mr. Eshiro. How far are you in Gyakuten 6?

Eshiro: I’m now at the end of Episode 3… Every time I made it to Episode 4, I’d get a new version of the ROM. And you can’t use old save data for a new ROM version. So I’d have a new save file and I’d needed to check everything from the start again. And every time I finished Episode 3, there’d be a new ROM ready.

Fuse: You haven’t even finished the actual product!?

Eshiro: Not yet. But, I of course know everything that’s in it.

Yamazaki: Oh yeah, you were also playing it on the plane to go to E3.

Daigo: Perhaps we should have Mr. Eshiro admitted to a hospital again (laugh).

Eshiro: At least then I can play the game.

Interviewer: So you are still busy…  Do you yourself have a question to ask.

Eshiro: I seriously want to ask everyone here whether they want to make a next game. Do you want to make a new entry in the series, or a completely different Gyakuten game?

Horiyama: Wouldn’t it be fun if we’d make a Gyakuten Saiban with VR? You’d be standing in court yourself.

Daigo: You’d be at the witness stand?

Horiyama: It wouldn’t really matter anywhere….

Eshiro: If you’re going to defend, you need to be at the defense’s bench.

Yamazaki: Perceive would be difficult to do in VR, perhaps.

Eshiro: Next is Fuse.

Fuse: I actually have been wanting to make an action game. But perhaps we could make an action game with Gyakuten (laugh).

Daigo: Shouldn’t Marvel VS. Capcom 4 be coming soon?

Eshiro: And you, Daigo?

Daigo: Like I just said, I really poured everything I had into Gyakuten 6, so I need to charge up on things I want to do for a while.

Eshiro: You’re probably all out of everything at the moment.

Fuse: I’d like to work on a new Gyakuten that isn’t part of a new series, but one that is a completely new game.

Eshiro: So the concept would be Gyakuten Saiban, but you’d be building it up from scratch again?

Fuse: Yes. With a new world, or something like that.

Eshiro:  The staff might change, but do you think the Gyakuten series will still go on in the future?

Yamazaki: Like Fuse just said, I think that one possibility could be the consideration whether now is the right timing to start a new Gyakuten, completely from zero. On the other hand, while there is nothing left in me that I wanted to have in 6, there are still things I want to portray if I look back at the whole series. Last time, we talked about characters we’d like to see back again and there are still characters in the series we can pull out from the drawer to see how they are doing now. We could also go with that.

Eshiro: I am of the opinion we also need to nurture a generation that can continue make the Gyakuten series. We can now have everything who gave everything to Gyakuten 6 go work on different titles, gain new experiences there, and then we can reassemble again to make a new Gyakuten Saiban. The experiences they gained from working on other games is bound to come in handy. That could be gimmicks for the plot, or designs, or anything.

Interviewer: I am relieved to hear the Gyakuten series will continue in the future.

Eshiro: Of course, as long as people keep asking for the Gyakuten series. Of course, it is also important to consider who makes the game, but in the end, it’s the public, the users who decide whether it’s is truly Gyakuten Saiban. It’s the same with films and books, the more amusing they are, the more you want to see and read. Now we have given everything we could to make Gyakuten 6, but I am sure there are fans who still want to see what happens after this, who want to play more. As the producer responsible for this game, it is my task to first think about what that future, what the next step will be.

Yamazaki: I really think we have a lot of possibilities now. We made Gyakuten 6 so we could go anywhere after this. We can make sequels with any setting, any character as the protagonist. We made the ending so it would open up possibilities for the Gyakuten series, not to close them up. What comes after this, is all dependent on what the users want, so I’d be very happy if the users could all tell the development team what they want.

Eshiro: I too am looking forward to the future.

Interviewer: Can we ask you for one last message for the readers?

Horiyama: This has been the sixth entry in the series, but we have only made it until this point because of the support of all the users, so I am really grateful. I think the Gyakuten Saiban series will also continue after this, so I hope you will continue to support the series in the future too.

Noda: I am really happy we managed to release Gyakuten Saiban 6. We also have DLC, so please try that out too.

Daigo: I don’t think I have anything left anymore to offer to this game. We got a lot of feedback about the previous game, so we added a lot more text whenever you present something. And because of that, the scenario writers and character modelers had to work really hard. We all did this for the users, so I really hope you can enjoy everything we put in the game.

Fuse: The Official Visual Book is scheduled to release in August. We got a lot of good feedback for the one of Gyakuten 5, so we did our best on the one for Gyakuten 6 too. I think you can also enjoy the contents after you complete the game, so I hope that those interested will pick it up.

Yamazaki: I don’t think it really came across in this discussion, but the whole team really worked wonderful together, and that is also reflected in the depth and quality of the game. Gyakuten 6 is a game where the whole team managed to pour everything they had within them, because the leaders of each team worked together with their staff. I’d be really happy if you could play Gyakuten 6, which was made with everyone here in the team. I’ve said in several interviews that Gyakuten Saiban 6 is the game where everything comes together, but I think now you understand what I meant with that. I think that with this game, the scale of the future of the Gyakuten series has widened, capable of brining even more entertaining developments. I hope you will also pay attention to this series in the future.

Eshiro: The users who are members of Gyakuten Tsūshin, where this interview is posted, are people who are already great fans of Gyakuten Saiban, so we could talk about quite some detailed things here. I think that people who have already played the game, can still find new things once they have read this interview. We also talked about future developments of the series, but for us, the development team, there is no meaning in making a game if nobody is going to play it. Creating games is for us our job, and something we have to do for a living, but you can’t do this job if that is the only reason. The team leaders here, and all of the staff, they all worked on the game because they had something they wanted the users who play the game to notice. For this game, we started with the concept we wanted to incorporate the feedback we got for Gyakuten Saiban 5 as much as possible. The feedback we got from the users has come to fruition here. As for future developments, there is nothing decided at this moment, but I will be thinking about the future. We will continue by considering the right timing and the needs of the users. And the Gyakuten series will be celebrating its fifteenth birthday this year, so we also need to prepare something for tall those people who have loved the Gyakuten series until. I hope you will keep an eye on this series in the future too.


  1. Thank you for your hard work Ash! I have only found this blog today, and I have been reading all day. I really appreciate all the hard work you're putting into this. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have been searching for a website like this for Ace Attorney content for a couple of years now. I'm really passionate about the series and always wanted to know all the details of the development, the opinions of the developers and even who worked on what game. This blog does exactly that and that is why it's amazing!

    About this specific developer blog, I'm surprised how passionate the developers were and how much they listened to GS5 feedback. It is odd that people that have already played GS6 aren't satisfied with the game, seeing how the developers say that this game brings the whole series together. It is also a bit scary that the future of series isn't decided. Anyway I'm looking forward to what both the GS series and this blog has to offer in the future. Keep it up!

    1. I'm glad you like the blog! There's still a lot of material I need to go through, both old and new, but as a fan, I too like going through this stuff, so I hope that others will enjoy it too.

      Yeah, I have to admit I was a bit surprised they are even (sorta) considering something what might be seen as a reboot of the series (then again, Eshiro also produced DmC). I do understand the idea, as the story and the characters have been going on for 15 years now, and that kinda limits what they can do (they need to do new stuff, but also use the old characters and continue their stories + etc.). Personally, I hope they can do something like what AA4 should've been: a new story about new characters, but set in the same world (and this time keep the links to a minimum).

  2. Take your time. There is no need to hurry. I'll do my best to spread the word.

    I felt that DGS was exactly what you described: a new story with new characters set in a similiar world with very few links, but that didn't work out so well. Unfortunately the game didn't sell that well and got quite the negative criticism (though not because it didn't feature Phoenix or Maya but mainly for other reasons). A part of me would love to see what Yamazaki's team could do with a new IP they want to make. Same goes for Takumi's team. Maybe we'll get more gems like Ghost Trick (best Takumi game!). I can see how Yamazaki is done with GS for some time, as he originally declined to work on GS6, had a really tough time coming up with the games concept and setting and put everything in the game he wanted to. I would love to see Capcom take the series into a new direction. Do something crazy with the GS name, crazier than the Gyakuten Kenji games, but keep the series charm in place. Maybe I"m the only one who thinks like that. There were people begging for Maya in GS5 and now they finally got that in GS6, but are still mad that *insert character from GS1/2/3/4 here* isn't in the game. I hope Capcom can make the right decision that can satisfy the most people.

  3. I remember reading some bits of this interview on Capcom Unity last year, interesting interview I must say. Also, thanks for the hard work Ash! :)

    I'm no VN expert so I dunno how common or uncommon reboots are in these types of games (visual novels I mean) nor do I know how Takumi feels about them but I for one would be glad with a reboot in the Ace Attorney series' current canon continuity for several reasons and I'am glad the AA team are at the very least considering it (even if its just one among other ideas). I just hope that Eshiro and the other DD and SoJ writers, assuming they will be involved (except for Yamazaki who is appearently done with AA, atleast for the time being) can hold the nostalgia pandering back. I got nothing against Eshiro but, and maybe its just me, in interviews it sounds like he is always the one concerned with giving fans what they've asked for when it comes to using characters, references etc. from the original PW saga. I'm also worried he, and most of the original saga fans, can't see the problem in continuing using Wright as the protagonist either.

    I always personally felt that if a reboot were to happen, first it needs to be developed internally by Capcom and not externally, like with the DMC reboot/reimagining game (I didn't even know Eshiro was involved with DmC until you mentioned it Ash) developed by Ninja Theory, I believe that is one of the biggest fears fans would have with a reboot, being developed by a an outside company. Second, it should be a reboot of the "Apollo Justice" timeline, as in the games 4 to six. One of the major problems I had with AJ:AA was that Apollo felt too much like a side character in what was supossed to be his own debut game, he felt like that again in DD and it wasn't until the very last episode (not the DLC episode) in SoJ that he finaly got the character development he deserved. When I first heard AA4 was gonna have a new protagonist and new cast I was actually glad because I imagined (among other things) that the AA series was probaly gonna go in a "trilogy saga" direction in terms of story and characters (like the original trilogy saga had Phoenix and co, the second saga would have Apollo and co. and a third would have a new protagonist and co. and so on, I would have liked that), I didn't think any of the major PW characters, with the expection of the judge and any characters from the Rise from the Ashes episode such as Ema, would be or needed to be in the game outside of references, flashbacks etc. but then of course the higher-ups at Capcom demanded that Takumi put Wright in and well, we know how things turned out.

    A rebooted AJ game should be what AJ:AA was supposed to be in the first place, new cast and story without any of the old characters, and it should also take place one year after T&T (for some reason, I really disliked the seven year timejump in AA4). Of course, all the new characters introduced in AA4, 5 and 6 should still appear in the rebooted saga, alongside new characters.

    Sadly, one of the many problems with a reboot is that Phoenix Wright (both the character and the subtitle) is too profitable at this point to be taken out so the games without him probably wouldn't sell too well but I still have hope.

    While I'm at it, I always thought a retelling of the original PW trilogy games would be good too, maybe even add in a extra episode for the second and third games (I was always a little sad the AA team didn't make any for the DS ports unlike the first game), and have the rebooted AJ saga take place after that.

    But in any case, it will be interesting to see where the AA team will go with the series in the future, I know I have hopes for a reboot that is close to the one I have in mind. Again, this interview was an interesting read, thanks again for the translation Ash!

    -Written by video game lover and big Ace Attorney fan, GreatMeat.

    1. Thanks for the detailed comment (and sorry for the late reply)! My personal hope for a possible reboot is to move away from any characters we already know to give the writer(s) all the room they can get, which is probably easier in Japan than elsewhere because the series has never revolved around actual character names, like in the West. Part of the reason both 4 and 5 felt a bit weird was precisely because they needed to carry the weight from previous games as well as be accessible for new fans, and still allow the writers to do whatever themes/plots they want, so that was definitely less than optimal for most parties involved.

    2. Thanks for the reply (and I'm sorry as well for my late reply, lol ^^') and Happy New Year! Yeah, I agree with what you said. I just recently read the news on Game Informer that Eshiro promises info for a new AA title next year (could very well be that Switch title that Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki reported on last month), I have sadly a feeling that its most likely a new (but hopefuly final) title in the 'second' PW trilogy. Still, sooner or later in the future the time will come when the AA team hits the limit for using Phoenix as the main character, adding back and keeping the 'old gang' and continue his and their stories. I'm positive and still have my fingers crossed for a reboot/retelling game(s), after the release of this new title, in the future.