Friday, June 10, 2016

Famitsu 23rd June 2016, Super Robot Taisen 25th anniversary interview with Terada and Satake

Famitsu 23rd June 2016

Super Robot Taisen 25th anniversary interview with Terada Takanobu (BB Studios, producer) and Satake Shinya (Bandai Namco Entertainment, producer)

V is the first time Satake is getting involved with SRW, but he's sticking to business stuff like advertising. Terada  says that as someone who has worked on various tokusatsu games, Satake is a reliable producer who has passion in handling characters.

Satake explains that V's Voyage comes from how this year is going to be a turning point for the series. Terada adds that it took them a long time to settle on this title.

Interviewer asks why V is a standalone. Satake says that it's because they considered how it's going to be localised for Asia. Terada says that he's felt the love of the fans whenever he participated in overseas events, and wants to make this a game that foreign fans will love. He also says that this doesn't mean that they're not going to make a long series again. Satake adds that OGMD and V's overseas releases were decided on before they even started development, and that Voyage also refers to SRW crossing the sea (Terada says that's the first time he's hearing this, and reiterates that it's a standalone so that new overseas fans can get in to the game easily).

Terada says that the localisation teams include not just people who love robot anime, but also fans of SRW itself, and says that when they announced OGMD's localisation at a Taiwanese event earlier this year the reaction was far greater than he'd expected.

The interviewer asks if checking the translations like names of units and characters is difficult, and Terada says that because of the massive amount of battle lines the translators' jobs are far tougher than what the Japanese side is doing. With V, they also have to get the rights owners of the various series to check and approve the translations as well.

The interviewer says fans are probably happy about the multi-platform release. Satake says that surveys say that a lot of the fans like playing games on portables, and that's why they're releasing on both Vita and PS4. He also says that cross save is in again.

When asked how they decided on the series in V, Terada says that it was different from usual this time, and that it took longer. He's sure that some of the series in V are surprising for the fans, and Yamato 2199 was surprising for him as well. He'd previously wondered if they could get Yamato in several times before, but this time Bandai Namco Entertainment told him that they wanted something surprising, and that led to Yamato 2199. As for the other series, they focused more on the requests in the survey postcards that come with the games while trying to get lineup that appeals to a wide audience. They focused way more on the surveys this time, spending more time researching, with BNE and BB Studio working together. He knows that it's still hard to get a lineup that would please every last fan, and considers that the eternal problem SRW has to face. He also wanted to put in new facets of crossovers in V, which is why there are more series from manga and novels in this time. They had to juggle answering users' requests while using series that would be surprising, but this is something they'd done before. Still, he wants to know what the reactions to V's lineup are like moreso than ever.

The interviewer asks if they're improving the battle animations and Terada acknowledges this. System-wise, it's mostly going to be the usual stuff, but with some new features, and they're also adding something like OGMD's beginner's mode for new players. Because V's the 25th anniversary release and a standalone, there might be people playing an SRW for the first time in some time. This mode is for them and the new players both in and outside of Japan. The mode isn't exactly the same as OGMD's, though, and has some new stuff.

Terada and Satake conclude the interview saying that they hope V will reach a wide audience, which includes people who haven't played the series in some time, and new players outside of Japan, and younger players who've never touched the series before, and that they'll learn of the appeal of the series from it.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dengeki Playstation vol. 616, SRW 25th anniversary Terada interview

Dengeki Playstation  vol. 616
Super Robot Taisen 25th anniversary interview with Terada Takanobu

Terada's favourite seishin is kiseki/miracle, his favourite part is mega booster, the robots he'd like to pilot in real life are "first Gundam, then an AT, then Combattler V", and he's been playing Gundam Breaker 3 at lot lately, using only Katoki designs repainted in Titans colour schemes.
He says that while you might not be able to tell from the outside, a lot has changed on the inside for SRW in the past five years.

F and F Final were the biggest turning point for the series. F Final was supposed to really be the final SRW game, and they put all their effort into it, but it ended up doing so well that the series continued. After that was Alpha, where they restarted the story from scratch, which also became a turning point for the battle animations. 2001's A was pretty big too as it marked the start of their portable releases which continue up till now, so it could be considered one of the pillars of the series.

Outside of the games themselves another thing that stands out to him is the commercials, especially the one for OGs where they made him run through Akihabara. It wasn't his idea.
The reasoning behind the series choices for a game change from game to game. How they choose series has changed a lot from before, though, because since the series has been going for 25 years the age group of the user base has spread out as well, so now they have to go through several meetings when choosing series.

They used to first decide on what the story would be like, and then choose the series that would fit in. Now they choose the series first, and then look for ways to connect them (through similar settings).

The plot for Alpha was done before they even started development. This was Terada's idea. But because the series for the final game hadn't been decided on when they first came up with the plot, Alpha 3 ended up completely different from what they had planned.

They try to mix up the game systems (platoons or single units, etc.) with each release so that users can choose what they like. In series like OG though they try to stick to the same system.
The idea for OG came from Cybuster. They thought that having an original enemy would be the best way to wrap up the story, and had plans to make a separate Cybuster game from the beginning (Lord of Elemental). After that they started making original characters the protagonists from 4 and on, and they got the idea to make a game with only originals.

One thing they constantly try to achieve is pleasing fans of the series used in SRW.

JAM Project approached SRW before they were formed, telling Terada of how there was going to be a group made of numerous anison singers, and he felt that it had a similar concept to SRW. He hears that since JAM is popular overseas, a lot of foreigners first learn of SRW through JAM's music. When making the theme songs, they give JAM a summary of the story and keywords to use as lyrics.

At the end he mentions again that a lot, including the market, has changed around SRW in the past five years, and he's been constantly been thinking of what to do in the next five years. He looks forward to doing another interview for the 30th anniversary.