Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Submit Your Questions for Shenmue 3 Developers

Call For Interview Question Suggestions

Would you like to hear what members of the Shenmue III development team have to say about their work on the game?

Stemming from a proposal in a recent Shenmue Dojo forum thread, I reached out to Deep Silver to see if they could help assist with approval to interview some of the developers that worked on Shenmue III, and to my delight, approval has been received from YS Net.

The developers in question are from Tokyo-based Implausible Industries, of which they are also co-founders, and have a great deal of experience in the game industry. From the company website:
"Before starting Implausible Industries, our members worked on many games of well-known franchises such as Driver, Fatal Frame, FIFA, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, No More Heroes and Final Fantasy. Our strong experience with Unreal Engine allows us to quickly prototype and efficiently develop top quality games in what we believe to be the best games development toolset."
For Shenmue III specifically, the end credits of the game list their respective roles in the project as follows:
  • Christopher Willacy: Level Designer
  • Daniel Markiewicz: Level Designer
  • Cornelis E. (Kees) Gajentaan: Shader Artist
In view of them being in an extremely busy period, the plan is for the interview to be carried out by email.

This is an open call to the Shenmue fan community for interview question suggestions! Any topic will be considered, but obviously most focus will be given to their work on Shenmue III..

Leave your questions for consideration below, by February 26th.

What would you like to ask them about?

Question submissions are now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted!

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  1. If they are Shenmue fans, how painful it was to see bits of Shenmue 3's story during development which spoiled it for them?

  2. A question to the level designers: Since Niaowu was so heavily based on Fenghuang, what was the reason to abandon Shenmue's history of using real life (although modified) locations? Why was Niaowu simply not a fictional Fenghuang?

  3. my questions would be.
    How much of influence were the original games to creating the landscapes and structure of towns in 3?

    If your time was able to create shenmue 4 do you think it would be completely different in scale or scope since we walking on the great wall of china or similar to the outlook of 3?

  4. Being so bad the free fight not having counterattack or keys and being able to improve with fresh ideas like a new session of motion captures, because you do not make a new session of captures and sell it in DLC ?, not only I say it, the free fight is REALLY BAD

  5. Would the development team ever do Virtua Fighter cameos in Shenumue, since it originally was conceived as VF RPG, to introduce a side story for a possible VF RPG using the engine and timeline.

  6. I would gladly pay for new wrestling moves

  7. When can we expect an Xbox One version of the game?

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  9. Can we expect more emphasis on story development and resolving plot threads in Shenmue 4 versus Shenmue 3 where there seemed to be less focus on these areas?

  10. Did you know (or even play) Shenmue before you were approached to work on Shenmue III?

    Did you (re)play the first two games in preparation for the work on Shenmue III?

    Did you play through the finished Shenmue III?

  11. This is questions for the level designers. When designing levels how much freedom did you have? Was there a game design Bible given on how levels should be shaped or built? Or was there freedom with no direction?

    With certain areas there a many long walking sections. Was this a planned event?

    Talk about setting an environment for day and night?

    Is there a favorite environment you did and why?

    Question for the shader. What was the direction you went for as a shader? Was there a design philosophy given for shading and rendering?

    1. I forgot to say it. Great work on the games for level design and shading!!!

  12. Why was the story so incredibly short and the gameplay so very very grindy? We gained about 2 minutes of new story and about 50 hours of gambling and sparring so we could beat the game.

  13. Would like to know why Ryo doesn't have a drinking animation and why is there no darts?

  14. Who's decision was it to release the game at £55? This made no sense & inevitably hurt sales which could make the much needed Shenmue 4 less likely to happen. This was the 3rd game in a narrative heavy series that most gamers aren't invested in, and which those who are already bought it via kickstarter. When I saw Shenmue 3 sat on the shelf next to Death Stranding and they were the same price I couldn't help feel this was a big mistake. It should have been much cheaper to entice new players to the series.

  15. - Why was Niao Sun's design changed so drastically when compared to her design in the promotional material for the Dreamcast version? And was her role in Shenmue III altered during the development? (In the "chapter drawings" for the initial Saturn version, she seems to appear already in the chapter where Ryo meets Shenhua.)
    - In the final confrontation with Lan Di, there were a couple of characters who hadn't appeared earlier in the game (like the guy with white hair and black clothes). Were these characters originally supposed to have bigger roles in the game?
    - It was said in several interviews that Shenmue III would feature three big bosses - Lan Di, Niao Sun and "a third boss using strategy". When was this "third boss" supposed to appear in the game? Was he/she dropped completely from the story, or was he/she moved to a later chapter of the story? Or was Suzuki actually meaning that the whole Shenmue story (not Shenmue III as an individual game) would feature "three big bosses" (i.e. the third "boss" was never supposed to appear in Shenmue III)?
    - Shenmue III had a sub-title - "The Prophecy" - but this prophecy is not mentioned in the game. Was this prophecy something cut from the final game?