Tecmo Koei has begun a new developer discussion video series for Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, featuring project lead Keiji Inafune and Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi. Together, the two answer random questions from the Team Ninja staff about the Spark Unlimited-developed spin-off.
Watch the video below. We’ve typed up a transcript beneath it.
Inafune: “A zombie outbreak has to start somewhere. When we were thinking of where to set it, we wanted something that worked with the idea of using zombies as weapons. We wanted some place we weren’t familiar with and we decided on Ukraine.”
Hayashi: “The guys at Spark were the ones who proposed it. They thought it was best.”
Inafune: “Well, it starts in Ukraine. We don’t know where it ends.”
Hayashi: “Yeah, we’re trying to go to a bunch of places.”
Inafune: “They’ll have to wait for that part.”
State of Development
Inafune: “It’s coming along nicely.”
Hayashi: “Really smoothly.”
Inafune: “But it is hard to say what exactly ‘smoothly’ is in game development. I think the most important part is building trust. For that, you have to say what you really feel. America has a different culture, different language. You tend to hold back. But we’re talking pretty openly and even fighting sometimes. We get frustrated when they’re not getting what we’re talking about and we can see that they get frustrated when we don’t get what they’re trying to say. But when the two sides talk and finally figure it out, that feels great.
Hayashi: “Yeah, it does.”
Inafune: “That’s what we’re all trying for. Talking for three hours straight for that final ‘now I get it.’”
Hayashi: “So that’s what you wanted!”
Inafune: “Right! That moment feels really good.”
Inafune: “The cyborg arm aspect is really important.”
Hayashi: “Right. People can kind of imagine a ninja-zombie combination, but adding a cyborg element made our staff wonder what kinds of new chemical reactions would come out of that mix.
Inafune: “I think the cyborg arm turned out pretty cool. It’s kind of over-the-top, like anything’s possible. But it needs to be practical, too. You need a little comic touch when taking out zombies, and I think the cyborg arm does that pretty well too.”
Hayashi: “When thinking about new experiences, not just a ninja slicing down zombies, the cyborg arm is a concept that allows us to do pretty much anything. everyone involved has given a lot of ideas for what we could do. So this was just the first try at this thing, and we kind of felt our way through, but I think we managed to give some straight talk about the game. Absolutely. We’re trying something new, and we really are in the middle of development, so if anyone has anything they want to ask, maybe they should post the question to Twitter or something and we can answer later.”
Inafune: “That’d be great. It’d be awesome to feel like we’re in sync with gamers, and answer their feedback and questions.
Hayashi: “We’d probably get a lot questions we can’t answer.”
Inafune: “We can always say ‘Pass!’”