Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki shared new information and screenshots of Shenmue III during the “Beachside Chat with Yu Suzuki” panel at Reboot Develop Blue 2019 in Dubrovnik today.
Here is a summary of the panel, via @necrosofty:
- Suzuki believes in the diversity of game puzzles and wants to present various ways to solve the problem.
- Suzuki perceives reality as being something that gives you the feeling or idea of that place, rather than something real. It is the idea of “similarity” versus “reality.” He does not want to be the “simulation guy.”
- For example, in one of the screenshots showcased, there are familiar Japanese food stalls in a Chinese setting and mountains from a totally different location. It is about creating the feeling of being in a location. He put more work into the faces and animations to give off a “feeling” rather than “reality.” The music, for example, was recorded with real Chinese instruments. And while the boat showcased in one of the screenshots is not something you would actually see in China, it still has the flavor of China.
- Suzuki shifted the design of the game to meet his team’s strengths (such as his artist who enjoys making boats) as he realized the team needs to be engaged to make a good game.
- Suzuki is trying to do things in Shenmue III that he could not do in its predecessors, such as pawning an item and gambling the money away. While those systems existed before, they were not connected.
- The core fighting system is better integrated through a skill book which unlocks skills by collecting more items.
- The game’s Baidu Village setting is one of two main areas. Baidu Village is a countryside area that features items and prize winning, as well as skills that can be purchased with money or exchanged.
- Every game system is tied to the skill book.
- Suzuki is working towards more complex accessibility modes for battle. Rather than difficulty dip switches like back in the day, they let you set the battle difficulty, ranging from easy to “better not play this mode.” The complexity of control increases with your chosen difficulty.
- The dojo can be used to practice with a wooden man, spar, compete in matches, and increase your skills. Your can level up your dan in the dojo to clear matches that surface during the story.
- There will be a movie that summarizes Shenmue I and II for newcomers, but Suzuki recommends playing them before playing Shenmue III.
- Minigames include gatcha, crane games, a punching game, and an overall emphasis on physical or mechanical games. There will be electronic (video) games as well, and you can also win tickets that can be redeemed for prizes and more, which connect to the skill tree.
- The forklift will return, but its use is still a secret. The forklift in this game will be slower than the original, but it is better integrateed into the game and is connected to critical path-related things.
- The play style changed from Shenmue I to II, and has changed again with Shenmue III, but Suzuki thinks original fans will really like what the team at Ys Net has done.
Shenmue III is due out for PlayStation 4 and PC on August 27.