In the August issue of Arcadia Magazine, the development team for Tekken 6 was interviewed and they gave their thoughts about the upcoming game and why the changes were made to the current system. Click below and check out the full interview!
Our very own Masakun took the time to translate the interview which includes members of the Tekken team, Katsuhiro Harada, Yuichi Yonemori, and Hironori Ikeda. Also featured in the interview are two old school Tekken players Hameko and Takeyama!
A few tidbits from the interview:
- Tekken 6 is currently 60-65% complete.
- Can improve graphics by 20%, performance by 30%.
- Uses LCD display, but no lag.
- Sound system is the most advanced in recent history as well.
Arcadia: Why did you decide to incorporate the rage system?
Harada: We wanted to recreate situations that would feel natural. We didn’t want to make players use a system that forced them to play a certain way in a certain situation. We were looking to incorporate a system like the netsu system in TTT.
Yonemori: We tried adding a button, but it didn’t work out b/c the player would get distracted over when they should use it (to go into rage mode)
Harada: We wanted to work in a system that would keep the tension level high, like a dead heat. Sure, one aspect of Tekken is that you could have a lot more energy than your opponent and still lose, but that became pretty un-realistic if your opponent’s health was, say, 9 times as much as yours.
We wanted to tweak it so that it would be a little more feasible to pull off a big comeback, and to create a situation where advanced players wouldn’t be able to sit back and relax. After we were fooling around with the idea of your own health, the rage system came into play.
Ikeda: The basics of the game are still kept pretty much intact. We wanted to incorporate more tension into the game this time around. You could lose the round as soon as you decide to ‘go easy’ on your opponent. You aren’t going to give up if you see your gauge turn red. Everyone has more life now.
Harada: So in other words, we’ve increased everyone’s health so that the matches won’t be shorter (because of the rage system).
People will play differently before and after the rage system kicks in. People might be a little more conservative during the first half of the match; but in any case, people’s play styles will differentiate after the rage system, and that’ll be interesting to see.
Ikeda: If you get launched by a Mishima in rage mode, you’ll really get scared!
Harada: And the opposite is true too; Paul can deathfist you and tear off a huge chunk of life in rage mode.
It’s a fusion of that Tekken-like gameplay and a level of meticulousness that was previously unseen in the Tekken series. Basically like a shot of adrenaline to add some more tension to the gameplay
Hameko: Regarding the effect you have in place where the stage breaks… How does it effect gameplay? Seems like you’re just changing the stage in the middle of a match (and disrupting the flow).
Yonemori: Well we’d like to fix it so it’s more fun.
Harada: …without breaking the flow of the match
Yonemori: That’s the most important part. We’re trying to make the tempo (of the stage breaking) faster than before. Don’t want to make it seem like there are no advantages to breaking the stage, otherwise it’ll make the player feel like he lost out somehow. Frame advantage, damage points would be more important here…
Arcadia: How many places per stage will break like this?
Yonemori: Not too many – we just want it to add a little variety to the stages.
Harada: Three might be overestimating it. If you’re talking about seasoning in cooking, for instance, it would be like a dash of pepper; not something that’s ubiquitous to the game, but adds a little kick once in a while [wtf is he talking about–SDT]…
Arcadia: The stages just seemed to give when they broke.
Harada: Well we just added the feature to see how the response would be. It’s not the way we want it to look in the final product.
We can make the stages as hard as we want or give the player who slams the opponent through the stage some kind of advantage. Jack is heavy, so we can make the stage break when he walks over certain parts (laughs)…
Arcadia: Any more special effects for the stages? Any “day to night” transitions, for instance?
Harada: We’ve been doing that with things like eclipses, but we’d like to show more changes like that if we can.
Yonemori: We’re trying to have each stage have its own special effect.
Harada: We still have more stages in the works, so we’d like to show off other special effects… It’s kind of a catharsis of sorts, that we can show by contrasting light and dark in certain ways…
Arcadia: The characters look bigger in the screen than before.
Harada: Well we changed the dimensions to 16:9, so we want to give players something to be excited about visually.
Arcadia: Well a part of that eye candy would seem to be hit effects.
Harada: We’re adding more curves to them, and they look much different now. We tried using what we did in 5/DR or 3/Tag, but something was still missing. At first we just tried distorting the area where someone gets hit. You saw something akin to ‘strength’ or ‘power’ of the hit, but not the inertia that carries the blow. Added line effects like a comic book, changed the thickness of lines, curvature…
We incorporated some variation in the effects themselves (in terms of how the lines look) so it won’t get boring. We wanted to create the type of hit effect that would make players want to land hits on their opponent and feel good about it
Arcadia: Sounds like a visual effect that embodies what Tekken is.
Harada: That’s the kind of comment we’re looking for! The way I described it might have sounded a little weak, but what’s interesting from a technical standpoint is that we’re not using any fancy technology here.
We just did a LOT of trial and error to get the right type of hit effect. Distortion of air like a movie, hit effects like a manga, looks original but still something you’d see in a game
Ikeda: A lot of moves will have different special effects under rage mode
Yonemori: Moves that normally don’t have hit effects will also have them (e.g., punch strings that sparkle at every hit).
Harada: Jack’s moves that extend his arms are pretty cool too!
Yonemori: We really want you to see how awesome it is…
Harada: That’s something we really wanted to do this time. Regardless of how good or bad the move is, to have moves that feel great just by doing them.
Arcadia: Will each character have his / her own special effects?
Harada: Of course…
Also, we’ll make sure that people who played a lot in DR will get a little bonus, but we aren’t sure what that’ll be yet. Nothing that’ll change your character, but maybe something visually, like hit effects that are a little different (like a white flame).
Again we haven’t decided anything yet, but it’s an option we’re looking at.
Arcadia: What about this medal system?
(Note: this will probably be limited to Japan, as access to Tekken-net through a cell phone is required)
Harada: We have plenty of them in store. We want people to collect them on their cell phones and show them to their friends.
Yonemori: Even if it’s not something you can really brag about, we’d like to make as many as we can…
Harada: For instance, people who get multiple GREAT wins in a row, or people who lose multiple GREAT matches in a row; people who play at a bunch of different arcades; people who use unusual moves to finish off opponents…
Arcadia: There seem to be team emblems as well?
Ikeda: We’re trying to foster an arcade culture where people go and socialize with each other. We feel that incorporating a team-based emblem system is one way to get this done. It’s just another way to get teams to compete other than through vs matches.
Harada: It motivates you to play the game if you can do things like that w/ your friends.
If you get enough points as a team, you can customize your emblem, and there are items that you can buy only if you’re registered on a team. You can form teams w/ your friends, people who go to the same arcade, or just randomly over the internet — it’s up to you.
Ikeda: Some events will pop up if you’re on a team — some tasks will come up, and it’s up to the team to clear them and get bonus money. We’re also looking as using TEKKEN-NET to see if you can run a tournament within your team…
Arcadia: What will item prices be like?
Yonemori: The possible variations are much more than what we had before, so you’ll see a lot of variation in item prices as well.
Arcadia: Speaking of items, there are items that let your character do extra moves…
Harada: This was actually something that some players were talking about; it wasn’t an idea that we came up with.
We were going around Japan for a Tekken-related event, and listened to some questions like, “Is Lei going to be able to shoot his gun?” Of course these moves won’t have any effect on character balance, so we’re taking this issue very seriously right now.
Hameko: Bruce’s chick is a nostalgic item for a lot of old school Tekken players.
A lot of us liked how you could see it once in a while during his win poses.
Yonemori: Well the chick is just sitting there for now, but our programmers asked us questions like, “so are you going to have this bird actually attack people?”
Harada: It seems like Marduk’s metal club gets the most attention, with it being so obvious and all.
Ikeda: It would be nice to see someone win in a tournament after pulling out 6 chicks
Hameko: Some people have fun in this game by doing special moves while their backs are turned to their opponents. It seems like the same kind of mentality is behind these new types of items.
Harada: That’s an interesting way to put it. In any case, we’re taking in some player input and making sure it works with the game.
Arcadia: Any chance you’ll incorporate any new gameplay elements and run another round of beta testing?
Harada: It would be nice to do something like that, but time is definitely a constraint for us.
Of course we can improve the quality of what we have right now, but putting in a new gameplay element is a whole other story.
Ikeda: Also, we took out 8 frame jabs.
Takeyama: I didn’t notice that.
Ikeda: You won’t be able to put in as many jabs in air combos, but we’re making sure the gameplay doesn’t feel heavy or slow. We’re leveling out the playing field, so you can try to play with 8 frame and 9 frame disadvantages.
Takeyama: So does that mean characters who were already 10 frame jabbers have an advantage?
Harada: We’re of course making adjustments so that doesn’t happen…
Ikeda: Getup kicks are different now too, and low parries have also been changed…
Yonemori: We’ve made a lot of subtle changes…
Arcadia: So what kind of direction are you trying to take this game?
Ikeda: Well we’re not trying to ‘tone down’ the way the game is played…
Harada: Well, for really specific elements, we’re listening to a lot of what our users have to say, and asking ourselves what kinds of improvements we can make so that your arsenal of tactics will grow bigger (and consequently make the game more interesting)…
On the other hand, the rage system and the game’s hit effects are going to be as flashy as possible. This contrasts the types of changes I just told you about, which deal with the game more on a micro level.
Ikeda: It’s not something like how we adjusted DR from 5.1. We really want to lower the entry barriers for new players, so this means we’re looking to try to make a game that encourages people to play aggressively, even if they don’t know a lot about the game.
We’re trying to limit frame traps and instances where you get killed because you don’t know what your opponent is doing.
Arcadia: So there were 40 character boxes…
Harada: We have one more character up our sleeve…
Arcadia: Are you still keeping time released characters in Tekken 6?
Harada: We’re doing away with that.
Characters that do get time released are usually at a disadvantage, and it’s stressful for people who have to wait until their favorite character gets time released.
To compensate arcade owners for this, we’ll have events through TEKKEN-NET once in a while that will encourage people to go to arcades to play.
Also, we’re thinking about adding time-release features for some items.
Arcadia: How’s the ranking system going to change?
Yonemori: Well, for rankings around 1st dan, we might change it so you can also get promoted after playing a certain amount of games (regardless of whether you win or lose).
Arcadia: Finally, if you could say a few things to the Tekken players out there…
Harada: We’re finally at the point where we can release information tidbits about this game.
A lot of people gave us their opinions from Tekken 5 and DR, and we know how passionate people feel about this series.
In any case, we want to make a game that feels great to play, is fun to look at, etc etc… We’re putting everything we can into making a sequel that won’t disappoint.
…so please wait until this winter!
Thanks again Masakun for translating the interview!