Are you satisfied with that? When you launched the idea of doing a 3D game, did you expect more fundamental changes to the kind of game that you were making, or did that align with your expectations when you began the project?
MK: I don't think that, as creators, we'll ever be completely satisfied with any hardware that we get. There's always more that we would like to be able to do. However, in terms of the 3DS, it's a very satisfying piece of hardware, and what it presents is pretty much in line with what we expected. We were able to make the game we wanted.
Did you begin to work on the design of the game before you actually had the hardware in hand, or were you able to experiment with the hardware and then have a concrete understanding of what you're aiming for?
Tsukasa Takenaka: I guess you have to understand a little bit about how the mindset at Capcom is. Someone's always thinking about a new Resident Evil game, or something interesting that we could do.
So I would say that there was the idea for a Resident Evil game that ended up being the core of Revelations before we had the new hardware; then, as soon as we get it in our hands and see what it's capable of, all of those ideas really take shape. Yeah, there were ideas before we had the hardware, but, once we got it in our hands, that's when we really saw it come into form.
That doesn't go only for Revelations; it also goes for Mercenaries 3D and Operation Raccoon City, which Kawata is also producing. Once we see an opportunity to put one of our ideas and make it reality, we try to jump on it every time.
Obviously, in game development, there is always the process where you have to deal with the realities versus the ideas, and it's interesting to hear the ideas take shape on the hardware at the time you need to make that product happen.
MK: It's always a battle against the restrictions that the hardware imposes on you. You're always trying to squeeze every bit out of it that you can; that's always a tough hurdle that you've got to climb over. At the same time, those restrictions force you to be more creative. They force you to really execute on the ideas and make your ideas more and more interesting within those frameworks. The ability to work within those constraints and still make a really interesting game is one of the directives of a video game creator. If you can't do that, then it's going to be really, really difficult to make a video game.
That's a typical function of creativity, right? You always have constraints; you always have limitations, and you always have possibilities. So it's choosing the path that you want to go down -- that's the fundamental thing that you have to do.
MK: The limitations are often complex. They're not straightforward. Obviously, if you're making a film, if you can find a way to shoot something -- if you can find a way to set it up -- then you can get it in the can and put it onto the screen. When it comes to making video games, everything has to be programmed, and it makes everything a lot more complex. It's certainly always an interesting endeavor, but the limitations within which you have to work are very complex and do end up shaping the path that you take and the creative vision that you end up with.
TT: To all the other developers out there that read your website, Kawata mentioned that it's always a battle against the limitations; I feel like the form of the battle always goes to overcoming those limitations and doing a little more with the hardware. You always see the most impressive games come out at the end of a hardware's life cycle.
Right now, we do feel very confident that we've overcome some of the limitations of the 3DS, and we fully expect that, down the road, other developers will overcome even greater hurdles. We can't wait for that, because then we want to try and do even better the next time.