Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yu Suzuki Addendum: We Love Him Anyway

Interesting news; I've made over 365 posts which means I've exceeded one post per day for the first year of my blog (started July 21, 2010) so that is AWESOME, BABY!!

This is a continuation to my Yu Suzuki Steps Down post.  I didn't want to clutter that post any further.  Check out this 11 minute video from 2005.  It's originally in French but has English subtitles.

* Sega was the only place that would hire, that's the Tom Brady story, no one loves me but I'll prove the haters wrong!!

* Hang-On (1985) was the first game he worked on.  Tilt the bike back and forth to steer.

* OutRun (1986) was a classic.  It used parallax scrolling which projected "3D scenery" with just 2D sprites.  This was also used in Space Harrier and After Burner.

* Virtua Racing (1992) was supposed to be a rally game but was made into a F1 game instead.  The animations on the tires and the pit crew served as the basis for Virtua Fighter.  Obviously, the models were low-polyand the tires were more like hexagons than they were actual circles.  EDIT: He also was able to implement multiple camera angles which were fascinating at the time.

* He talks about the differences between the developer and the average Joe player...he takes a cup for example.  If the character picks up the cup but his fingers clip through it (bad animation), then the developer cringes but the player is like "OH WOW THAT'S AWESOME!!"

* Yu Suzuki is satisfied that he was the first to make a 3D fighter in Virtua Fighter (1993).  Without it, the fighting genre may not have been the same.  He wasn't able to add textures to polygons just yet so he had to emit a certain level of detail through plain colors alone.

* Fast forward to Shenmue 1 (2000) and 2 (2001).  First, he wanted to implement Virtua Fighter's gameplay into Shenmue but that wasn't necessary.  The purpose of the game was to show the beautiful Asian landscape and to allow the player free-reign over the game (as oppposed to being funneled down the same path like many RPG's).  QTE's were inspired by the Simon electronic game and allowed you to do complicated things you couldn't normally do with a controller.  Brilliant game but it obviously didn't sell well.  A $70 million budget was put into Shenmue 1 (both the Saturn & Dreamcast versions) so when it didn't pay off, Sega was pissed.

* Finally, and this is weird, a developer shouldn't always take the advice of cohorts.  The game will turn out like every other a rose without any thorns is just a carnation.  Try to do something different.

Of course this video was in 2005 so people were probably expecting a Shenmue 3 at any moment but now it is 6 years later and no such thing exists...

Also be sure to check out Yu Suzuki's words of wisdom for the game developer's book I own.

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