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This applies to both games, actually. They're HD titles, but they retain not only the essence of the game design, but the simplicity of the graphics. It's easily understandable and lacks clutter. How did you approach that visual simplicity, especially now that the era of 2D sprites seems well behind us?
TI: One of the things we were doing when we were going through Galaga and trying to figure out what was the fun part -- the core mechanic that we wanted to really recreate and have everyone experience.
The Challenging Stage in Galaga was one of the things that people really picked up on. It was fun, challenging, and very game-like and easy to understand. We wanted to bring that to the next level with HD, kind of like, "Memorize the routes of the enemies, but also challenge yourself to destroy them all." We kind of took that to the next step and kept building on that whole idea, and that's how it became Galaga Legions.
NN: The pattern shooting was also one of the core fundamentals that I felt was very fun in the original Galaga and the Galaga series itself, with Gaplus and whatnot. All the enemies had patterns and reactions, and understanding those patterns was part of the fun of the game.
There were so many ideas and so many people who were very passionate about the past series and how they wanted to make Galaga Legions and what direction they wanted to go in.
We had some spats internally that I kind of had to break up, because people were so passionate about what they felt was the best, and how they should take the core fundamentals of the gameplay, and what direction they wanted to pull it in. I had to come in and break things up.
Pac-Man was very easy and everyone was on-board and into, "This is what we want to make." But with Galaga, a lot of people had, "I want to add this! I want to add that!" They just couldn't bring it together. That's where I came in, to sort of soothe everything and bring everything back to normal.
Namco Bandai's Galaga Legions
Wow. Do you think that that affected the design process of the game? It sounds like Pac-Man was straightforward, in a certain sense, but with Galaga, you had all these people who had different ideas. Did that affect the final product?
NN: Yes. I do believe that because of the very interesting development process that we went through and all the passionate people on the team, that is how the product was finalized and why it became what it is.
TI: A lot of people were very passionate about it, and you can really feel the passion while you play the game. You can understand that people wanted very specific elements implemented in the game. I feel that's why it does very well in Japan, because a lot of people feel the passion that a lot of the creators had when they were making it.
NN: Because there are so many different ways of taking the Galaga franchise and many different aspects that could be created into the core fundamentals of the game, we do want to look at Galaga again.
We could create a different sort of Galaga with a different spin or twist on the game mechanics and the core fundamental aspect of the game, and possibly in the future bring a different sort of Galaga to the players.
What was the number one thing you learned from making Pac-Man CE that you were able to bring forward into the development process of Galaga Legions?
TI: Probably the number one thing we really learned and took to heart when creating Galaga Legions was going back to the arcade game style of making a core experience for people to play and enjoy and really be entertained with, and the importance of doing that when developing the game.
NN: It's that essence that we're always trying to look for. One of the things that we want to do is make everything simple -- keep it as simple as possible. Because that's where the fun lies, in the simplicity.
"Simplify!" Just cut it down to the core fun. Don't overload it with all this extra stuff. That was the number one thing that we learned and brought to Galaga Legions.