Speaking of the graphics, obviously you decided to go with 3D characters. Obviously, Street Fighter IV did the same thing, but it's a different development team. What kind of challenges did you face?
RN: You could take the 3D graphics and make it really all out stunning and whatnot. I mean, that's what the style is nowadays, 3D graphics. But I think what the fans who've grown up playing 2D games like is the 2D playing, and I think Capcom, if I may, that's our specialty, making 2D fighters. So, taking these 3D graphics and putting them on a 2D plane, that was the main focus for us because we wanted to really nail that right.
Street Fighter has closer to realistic style graphics than we do, and because the property that we're using is an animation company, we wanted to get as close to that animation style, to make it like you're actually playing the cartoons themselves, so our development team really worked to bring that out in the game.
And in terms of the precision of control, did you have to do a lot of prototyping? How did that process go? It's been a challenge, I think, over the years. People have been making 2D games with 3D graphics since the PlayStation 1, but they have very only recently gotten to the point where it's responsive.
RN: Well, first, we wanted to match it to the Wii, the motion controls if you will, the button layout and whatnot. So, imagining it to what the Wii could do and what the Wii has setup, that was our first priority. After that, we wanted to make sure that we didn't have any inputs that were too difficult for players to use.
We really wanted to focus on simple inputs creating something big and awesome on the screen. It was kind of difficult because you don't want to make it so all the characters have the same movements. You want them to all react different but at the same time make sure that the inputs aren't too difficult and people don't have to remember so much and go all over the place.
Obviously for fighting games, and especially for a game like this, it's very fast-paced. The responsiveness of the command inputs is super important. Can you talk about the process of getting that nailed down and making it work?
RN: Well, you have the source material for both of these, the Capcom and the Tatsunoko side. So, from a design perspective, we wanted to capture those movements into this game. The problem is, like you said, when you press a button, you want it to do what you tell it to do right away.
And with a 2D game, you can remove frames, so it just goes into the motion right away. With 3D, you don't have that luxury so much, so we had to really focus on balancing it so that we can remove pieces but not so much that it wouldn't still be a fluid motion so when you press a button, the action just comes out.
You have multiple control methods like most Wii games. Obviously, compared to using motion controls, there's like a delay with motion controls, whereas button inputs are very instantaneous. So, how do you balance that when you're creating characters?
RN: Basically, by doing the same thing over and over again. So, we had to take each controller and look at it on an individual basis and see how that works, and test them all -- the GameCube one, Classic Controller, and Wii Remote. And just the physical limitations of each of them, find out where those were, and make adjustments accordingly.
Wow, that seems it adds a lot of work to the development cycle.
RN: But as you were saying, it's a fighting game, and if that's not fine-tuned, the game itself is not fun for people to play because like you said, a fighting game needs to be responsive. I guess you can say that's one of the areas we paid the most attention to, to make it fine-tuned so that it would be responsive like that.