Shenmue III developer Ys Net posted a new video on their Kickstarter page where director Yu Suzuki talked about the game’s development. He reflected on the past two years of development, gave updates on characters and voice acting, and talked about his plans to overhaul the combat. It seems development is coming to a head, which is good considering the game is supposed to release later this year.
Below, you’ll find quotes from Suzuki addressing a wide range of topics.
On entering 2018:
“Time sure has flown by. Putting the team together took quite an effort, but I feel the team we have now is a good one. The real fight starts here.”
On development surprises:
“Using Unreal Engine 4 has been a first for me, but it allowed for more conventional techniques than I expected which in turn also brought with it completely new efficiencies. Along with those two points, it has allowed us [to] bring the graphics quality past what I had first envisioned.”
“The thing that has been harder than expected for me has been using the engine as is. Because as someone who used to write everything from code, I want to see and t ouch what’s inside, but can’t.”
“The graphics are certainly improved over what I had in mind. While there are of course things that would not compare to a triple A title, they are better than what I had originally planned for and have started to come into their own.”
On what has turned out well:
“One thing I do feel better about lately is Shenhua. You could say she is my life’s work, and along with her expressions for one, I know [I] must forever keep making improvements. It’s a work without end. Both Ryo and Shenhua. I think we are now at the point with Shenhua’s model that I can say it is finally is something I can approve of. Now it is a matter of getting the expressions and movements right.”
On character development:
“This month it looks like we’ll really be upping the character count. It will go up to around 100 characters. The character design studio, Lakshya Digital, is working with us now, and we are seeing some really great models. I know these characters will make an impact and leave an impression. They’ll have a personality, I can say. Look forward to them.”
“I want to do something a little different with the battles. When it comes to fighting, there are things that I want to make my own, so I was thinking of doing things a bit different from last time. We have been running some tests, and well, it’s not a game like Virtua Fighter that is about timing. So, I hope it will take the form of a puzzle game that anyone can play with a strong emphasis on choreography.”
“They may be influenced by whether you pick up some item, and so on, incorporating more puzzle-type elements. That’s what I would like to do. And QTEs, alongside some other things.”
On voice acting:
“Ryo had been decided early on, but we couldn’t find a Shenhua. That is until very recently. We had a lot of auditions. It was just two days ago. Most of the other parts have been cast and the voice acting auditions are almost finished.”
His message to backers:
“2018 has been the year we breathed life into the Shenmue characters. Daily life is vital to Shenmue, and is a major theme throughout. The most important part of Shenmue is how the characters go about their casual lives. This year we set ourselves up to accomplish that. I want to thank you all again for your continued support.”
Shenmue III is set to release in 2018 for PlayStation 4 and PC.