Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Polygon's "Making of Samurai Shodown" Article Interviews 3 Original SNK Developers


Polygon put together a "Making of Samurai Shodown" article that every SNK fan will want to read. The article features interviews with 3 original SNK developers: Yasushi Adachi, Tomoki Fukui, and Norio Tate. The interview cuts through a wide variety of topics, including early design inspirations, artwork, sound design, console releases, and SNK as a company. Here are just a few excerpts from the interview, below:

Polygon:  OK so Fatal Fury was the Street Fighter equivalent at SNK, and Fatal Fury was hand-to-hand combat, but Samurai Shodown was weapons-based. [Why did you choose that approach?]

Yasushi Adachi: We wanted to illustrate the terror of fighting weapon-to-weapon, the impact of fighting with a sword in the game. That's why the damage of being cut by Haohmaru's sword is significant in the game. The player loses over half of their life gauge when successfully cut by a sword. There was a lot of internal criticism about deducting so much life gauge with one attack. SNK management said this design had to be changed, but I thought it was very interesting to have players fight under the risk and fear of fighting with weapons and feel the destructive force of the sword, so I ignored them and kept it in the game.

Polygon:  It actually makes sense to lose that much life. If someone hits me tomorrow with the business end of a samurai sword, I can tell you with confidence that my personal lifebar is going to go down by at least half.

Yasushi Adaci: Right, but it probably wouldn't pass in today's industry. As you know, today's game developers create the game, but then there's a QA division that tweaks that game based on market research and focus groups. The dev teams today have to take the market research into consideration when finalizing the game. We can't make a game today that is so inconsistent and unbalanced in the distribution of damage. Basically, it was a controversial design decision that probably wouldn't happen today.

At the end of the article, Adachi also states that he would like to "reunite the original Samurai Shodown dev-team and make a new game".

Polygon:  There are rumors that a new Samurai Shodown is in the works. Is your company Engines involved?

YA: No, we're not involved. However, one reason why we decided to do this interview is that the original Samurai Shodown team would like to get back together to make a new game. We wanted to get the word out that we're interested in re-grouping. The 25th and 30th anniversaries of Samurai Shodown are approaching, so we expect that people will be reaching out to us in some form or another. We don't want to make another Samurai Shodown game, but a new game with the original members of the Samurai Shodown team.

Polygon:  That's cool. Is this something you want to work with SNK on, or are you just trying to drum up general interest in this idea?

YA: No, we're not in talks with SNK. We just want to stimulate an interest.

Polygon:  Aren't a lot of the original Samurai Shodown members at Engines now?

YA: Yes, there are many of us here. Engines is a mix of former Samurai Shodown, King of Fighters and Mega Man team members.

Polygon:  And you want to bring them all back?

YA: Yes. Many of them are already here at Engines. It's my company, but I care more about the project and bringing all the members back together than about working with the company. I'd like to develop the project as "the former developers of Samurai Shodown."

The former Samurai gumi members still keep in touch and are still close friends. We would like reunite the original Samurai Shodown development team and make a new game together again. We imagine the game to be a combination of an action game, with swords and martial arts, and a spiritual theme that incorporates Buddhist and Shinto ideologies. We look forward to celebrating the 25th and 30th anniversaries [2018 and 2023 respectively] of the release of Samurai Shodown. It gives me a lot of pleasure to think that Samurai Shodown might have played a part in introducing Japanese culture to the world.

(Check out the full interview HERE.)

Worth mentioning... Back in November 2016, TEKKEN producer Katsuhiro Harada expressed that he'd love to work on a Samurai Shodown reboot. (A collaboration of some sort would be simply amazing.) In any case, everyone seems to be begging for a Samurai Shodown reboot. 

Sources:  PolygonTip From Alex Riady
Related News:  (11-11-2017): TEKKEN Producer Katsuhiro Harada Dreams of Rebooting Samurai Shodown,
(3-6-2017): Fighters_Gen Vlog #2: Counting Down F.Yagami's TOP 10 Fighting Games
Related TFG Links:  Samurai ShodownSamurai Shodown 2SS3SS4SS5SS5 SpecialSS6
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