Nioh director Fumihiko Yasuda gave a presentation at this week’s Game Developers Conference where he gave listeners a peek into the title’s development process. He detailed how he and the rest of the development team at Team Ninja approached the development of Nioh and how the game’s multiple demos affected its final version.
Yasuda revealed that when the studio restarted the development of Nioh sometime in 2014, he had to re-evaluate and re-determine the game’s approach and target audience. The result led to creating an intensely difficult and challenging “masocore” game targeted at hardcore gamers, a direction that played to the strengths of the company.
The studio then decided to take a different approach to the development process by interacting directly with its target audience through the release of multiple demos. Nioh’s demos were released throughout the middle and latter parts of its development and gave the studio a way to help them re-affirm the direction the game was taking.
The feedback gained through the demos also gave them insight on the game’s target audience as well as helped them determine which portions of the game may need to be changed or improved. Yasuda explained that while they accepted all the feedback given through the demos, they still determined which opinions were to be incorporated, especially when it came to subjective matters.
Yasuda noted that some opinions, like those asking for a simpler game or an open-world game, needed to be rejected as it steered away from the core direction they chose for Nioh. But feedback regarding the more technical aspects of the game such as the its camera movement, the inclusion of tutorial elements, as well as improving overall user performance were easily taken into account.
Yasuda closed by saying that the development of Nioh became a learning experience for the development team as they learned more about their audience and their opinions as well as more about themselves as a studio.
[Source: PlayStation Blog]