Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thoughts on Kickstarter Update #63 [Campaign and Progress Update]

Kickstarter Update #63 has been released, and includes some astonishing new images. Here are my thoughts on this latest update.

Game Development Status

A direct comment from Yu Suzuki reveals that he living and breathing Shenmue, and has been staying overnight at the offices more and more. His dedication to the project is evident.

New Work-In-Progress Images

Three new images are presented in the update, with the first showing an intricate temple gate illuminated by the glow of red hanging lanterns. Further in, a set of stairs leads up towards the dark interior of the temple and above, the moon casts a silvery light over the rocky mountains from a star-studded night sky.

Of the three this first image, entitled "Rising moon over the temple gate", is the one that captivated me most with its evocative atmosphere and lighting. It feels reassuringly "Shenmue" to me.

What intrigue lurks beyond the temple gate... [Click to enlarge]

The distinctive silhouette on the mountain peak is a clear tease to the return of a certain creepy villain!

If you feel as if you've seen this outline somewhere before...
... then you would be right: in the concept art for Chai.
Image detail: a wooden bench sits under the temple gate.

The location shown in the second image is a market, and in contrast to the first depicts an early morning scene, demonstrating the effects on the landscape under completely different lighting.

The image shows a fight scene, with Ryo in mid-kick fighting two men. Perhaps Ryo's action is part of the motion capture testing that the team have been carrying out. Blur effects can also be observed on Ryo and his opponent.

On examination, it can be concluded that Ryo's face in this image is not part of the character model, but rather has been sourced from elsewhere and overlaid, and as such looks rather unnatural. Detective work from Spaghetti from the Shenmue Dojo forums has identified the specific face image used, sourced from the era of the first two Shenmue games.

A reasonable assumption is that Ryo's in-game face is still being worked on so a temporary placeholder has been used instead. We will have to wait a little longer to see the new-look Ryo.

Ryo's character model in action. [Click to enlarge]

Bamboo foliage grows in the background.

Ryo's face has been "borrowed"
from this image.
The third image has quite a different feel from the first two. It shows Ryo's legs as he stands on a grassy lawn before a weathered wooden board inscribed with score-like numbers (0, 20, 30, 50). Nearby sits a rather battered fork-lift toy.

A hint at mini-game content to come? [Click to enlarge]
Knowing Yu's sense of humor (he has in the past included Ine-san at the end of in one of the demonstration videos), this image is probably intended to be a hint or tease at mini-games to be included in the main game. In a previous interview Yu has spoken of wanting to somehow include a forklift due to its popularity from the first games, so perhaps this is where one will make an appearance.

Overall it is exciting to view these latest screenshots - in particular the image of the temple gate, with its mysterious lighting and promise of interior locations to explore.

PC Version Now Available on Slacker Backer

The update also confirms that the PC version has been added as a reward option to the Slacker Backer campaign, as was anticipated from the recent Famitsu magazine preview.

A choice of digital of physical will be available, and even backers who have already contributed for the PS4 version will also receive a survey at this time to select/confirm their choice of platform. The survey is scheduled for summer 2017,

Official Link

Read Kickstarter Update #63 at the official site:
Become a Patron!


  1. Amazing switch, didn't even look that hard to see Chai there. You got a keen eye. So maybe knocking him off the boat into the sea in chapter 2 still wasn't enough to rid Ryo of Chai

    1. Apparently not! Got to give him credit though for his persistence. :) Still trying to please Lan Di-sama...