Thursday, June 15, 2023

Interview w/ Shenmue Main Designer: Masanori Oe, Dec 1999 | Dreamcast Magazine

In the December 24th 1999 edition of the Japanese Dreamcast Magazine, two short but insightful developer interviews were published as part of a 16-page special feature about Shenmue, serving to stir up excitement for the game's imminent release. The interviews themselves took place approximately 3 weeks prior to Shenmue's release in Japan at the end of December.

This post is a translation of the interview with Masanori Oe, who is credited as Shenmue's main designer.

Shenmue's main designer, Masanori Oe (also written Ohe)

The article translation begins below.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Poll Result: Patrons' Choice Topic for June 2023

Every month Phantom River Stone holds a poll among our patrons to choose a topic for the blog in the coming month. After tallying the votes (including accumulated votes from previous months), the winning topic that has been voted this time is:

"More tweeted anecdotes from former Shenmue developer Morio Ashizuka"

"Morio Ashizuka" is the pseudonym used on Twitter by a former developer who was deeply involved with development of the first two Shenmue games, in particular character animations and motion capture. He tweets prolifically about video games, SEGA and other topics - along with occasional fascinating insights and anecdotes from the day.

Last time, these were the topics we included in our original post:
  • Revelation #1: Dyeing Yuan's Hair for Muecas
  • Revelation #2: NPC Recycling in Shenmue II's Opening Scene
  • Revelation #3: Ryo Hazuki The Walking Legend
  • Revelation #4: Shenmue I's Opening Scene Polish
  • Revelation #5: Character Skeleton Changes from Shenmue I to II
  • Revelation #6: Round-the-Clock Debugging
  • Revelation #7: Reuse of Ryo Hazuki's Bowing Motion
  • Revelation #8: Shenmue I's Bad Ending Created In One Night
  • Revelation #9: Ryo's "Cola Face"
  • Revelation #10: Joy's Original Costume Design & Motorcycle Branding
  • Revelation #11: Fuku-san Avoided a Kidnapping
  • Revelation #12: A Comedic Version of What's Shenmue
  • Bonus Revelation: Yu's Favorite Character in Shenmue I
This time we'll be translating a whole new batch of Shenmue-related tweets from Ashizuka, again touching on his many experiences during the game's development.

Hiroshi Fujioka (voice and motion capture actor for Iwao Hazuki in the Japanese version) at the SEGA motion capture studio (Tweet source)

To be published in an up-coming post on the blog. Early preview available on Patreon!

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