Katsuhiro Hirada talks Tekken Tag Tournament 2

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Katsuhiro Hirada explains Tekken philosophy, catering to the full spectrum of fans and quite how you go about fitting 50+ fighters into one game.


We’ll be publishing our thoughts on our time with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 soon, but in the meantime here’s what producer Katsuhiro Hirada had to say about the latest to hit the Tekken series:

What can you tell us about the net code for the game? Obviously it’s always a key concern of any fighting game but with this it’s tag tag, with arguably twice as many characters on screen at a time? Has it been tricky to get it to the standard you want from day one?

Katsuhiro Hirada: It is difficult, as you mention for a fighting game, we were talking about this a lot as even compared to Street Fighter, the key data and sets that we have to transmit because of the number of characters and just because of the game system is roughly three to five times more than other fighting games which makes it very difficult but as you’re aware, Soul Calibur V came out recently and I think everyone was pretty surprised and happy with that so we’re basically borrowing that system and our technology staff have really done a good job of doing more data compression techniques, so I think people will be pleasantly surprised.

Do you think with 44+ characters…

KH: (interrupts) We’re up to 50 now!

…that you’re approaching kind of a critical mass of how many viable characters you can include? At one point does it become too many characters to handle?

KH: Good question. We’re probably OK up until about 60 I think (laughs). Realistically, people only use maybe four or five of their favourite charcters but since Tekken is so popular around the world popular characters tend to vary depending on region or the particular gamers, so it’s not about the overall volume, it’s just whether those characters that you like are in the game or not, so, yeah, we’re probably good until 60.

You mentioned earlier when you were talking about tag versus solo play, that in the arcades it had been roughly 50/50 in terms of who was coming out on top – do you still use how a game is doing in the arcades as a reference for how you create a home console version. Is that quite dangerous because arcade gamers are quite different from home gamers?

KH: Yes we do use the arcade data as a reference a lot of times but we don’t see it as a problem because it’s a good reference point and it’s empirical that when you have hardcore gamers in the arcade, you’re not going to get somebody’s grandmother playing it against a tournament level player (laughs).

They usually know what they’re doing with regards to Tekken so it’s good to know when this character faces this character this many times, this is the kind of outcome we can expect. It’s a good place to get data like that. That’s what we base the framework on in the kind of top of the pyramid of game structure but as far as light users are concerned, we go about that differently. Once the core gameplay is there, what kind of modes do we put in there for more novice players, what kind of characters do we want to add or maybe balance existing players so it’s easier to play for a certain group, so it all spreads downwards from that core base. It’s very useful data and there’s nothing wrong with using that to help balance the console versions.

There’s a lot of talk in general about making games more accessible to a wider audience, but to go to the other end of the spectrum, tournament play is becoming perhaps more popular than it’s ever been, almost a spectator sport in its own right. Does that level of tournament play feed into development at all?

KH: It’s a very difficult question to answer because we do place a lot of value on hardcore gamers and value their input into the game. That could be construed as a problem for some people, but if we say we don’t value it as much then we get slammed on the internet and spammed on twitter (laughs) so it’s very difficult.

The core opinions are important but when you’re developing a game, not even necessarily a fighting game, but maybe an FPS game as well, you automatically shift towards the opinions of the hardcore yourself, as you understand it and you actually have to be careful that you don’t go too far and leave all the other mid and lower level players behind when you’re developing your game.

Since we understand what the core players are saying we can really feel the same way about a lot of the issues, we have to make a point of listening to the lighter audience, or people who don’t currently play our game but look like they might – maybe they’d be attracted to it if we added this kind of mode or gameplay feature, and we have to try to make an effort to implement content that they would find attractive to the game. So it is an important balance.

Another example is, and I’m a big FPS fan, is it really irks me that a headshot is an automatic kill, so if I was talking to the development team of an FPS I’d say ‘Don’t make characters die unless it’s a vital area’, and they would probably be interested and understand why I say that. They might even want to use that as a chance to try out some new technology or something. But then if they did that, they’d leave other people behind. The more casual audience would be saying ‘Hey I hit the guy, that should be a win, right?’ You’d leave all of them out, and your game would not probably sell as well. (laughs) so it’s difficult.

Now that it’s been out for a couple of months, are you happy with the movie, Tekken Blood Vengeance? Do you think it reflects Tekken well?

KH: Well if you look back at the original Japanese animation series, or the Hollywood movie – now that we don’t really want to talk about (laughs loudly) – out of all previous incarnations I think they did pretty well and a lot of Tekken fans seemed to enjoy the movie and we even gained quite a few new fans that hadn’t played the game until they watched the movie, so in that regard I think it was a success. But once you do make something like that, you’re never really satisfied as it is, and everyone around me also had many ideas about what you could do to make it even cooler and even ideas from people who haven’t played Tekken but liked the movie saying ‘You should try this out’ so yes, we would try something like that again but something different.

Just to sneak in another question before we go: Tekken X Streetfighter, how’s your response to Capcom’s effort coming along?

KH: We’ve made some progress, a lot actually, not quite 10% but almost!

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003