Author Topic: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)  (Read 4280 times)

Offline adverse

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Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« on: October 07, 2008, 12:37:40 AM »
Hey JPJ requested this, so I went ahead and translated it.  Hope people find it interesting.

GP, please if you want to post this on Gamengai feel free!

Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda, Development Department Chief
(On creating ?Dodonpachi-Daioujou? and ?Daioujou-Black Label)

Q: First I?d like to ask you about the development concept you had for ?Dodonpachi-Daioujou Black Label?.

A: Originally, our concept was to find out what an ?ideal, fixed version of Dodonpachi Daioujou (hereafter, Daioujou) would look like.?  There were some issues with the game that started to bother me after we put it out.  We had also gotten complaints and requests from users and operators at the time which included some balance adjustment and improvements that I hadn?t thought of, so I started working on it half on my own with the idea of an ?ideal version? of ?Dodonpachi Daioujou? which would take those issues into account as well as the changes I was aiming for.  Right at the same time, we had been approached to produce an overseas version of the game (named ?Dodonpachi III?), so I decided to include all these changes I had started to make in the overseas version.  You could call this overseas version of the game a prototype for the Black Label.  Afterwards, when I?d found some free time as we were developing ?Ketsui?, I had an idea for a prize for one of the Arcadia score trials.  I decided that we should use the game to give away prizes to the winner of the contest, and the game we produced for that contest was the ?Dodonpachi Daioujou Score Trial? version.  While we were programming it, I just sort of imagined that ?the kind of players that would win this contest would definitely want a regular version to explore?, and so I decided to put both the initial program and the black version program onto the board.  Now I was thinking this would be the final version, but after working out some finer points and polishing it until I was satisfied, I showed it to the higher-ups to propose distributing it and they told me ?we should sell this thing!?, and here we are.  Oh, we were talking about the concept huh?  Well basically I was just making it because I wanted to.

Q: Why did you decide to name the game ?Daioujou? (?peaceful death?)?
A: Personally I?m no fan of sequels, and I wanted to end ?Dodonpachi? with this game.  Now, if I?m going to kill it, I want to do so with my own hands (laughs), and I put that in with: ?go die a peaceful death? (daioujou suru ga yoi).

Q: What class of users were you imagining as your main target for the game?
A: Well, for Black Label it was basically those users who said ?personally, Dodonpachi Daioujou?s flavor was a little hard on me.?  For that reason, users who liked the initial version may have found that Black Label is a bit lacking.

Q: Was there anything that was really hard about creating ?Dodonpachi Daioujou? and ?Daioujou Black Label??

A: While we were making ?Dodonpachi Daioujou?, we had neither time nor people.  Our hardware had also changed and this gave us a very thin development environment, so in many ways we were struggling.  In fact it got to the point where the amount of problems we had while developing ?Progear? seemed inconsequential (laughs).  In terms of the hardware, our machine?s graphical power was pretty poor for the previous installment, ?Dodonpachi?, and so this led to many days of questioning myself: ?if I really can?t surpass the previous game, why am I working on this one??  We also had Treasure unveiling Ikaruga at the same time, and so in addition to that question I was also struggling with the dilemma of ?I know that we can?t do better than Ikaruga, so why are we making a game for the same platform, and of the same genre??  I really worried about this.  But finally, I resolved it by rephrasing the problem: ?the hardware?s graphical power is not going to improve no matter how much I struggle with it, and I?m never going to be a genius that can make a game like Ikaruga, so worrying about it is just a waste?? (laughs).  Making Black Label was in a certain way meant to give me a higher sense of personal satisfaction, and I?ve got really great memories of putting it together.

[On the Game?s Setting]
Q: The game is full of a certain ?Chinese atmosphere? such as the character?s names as well as the background of the first stage; tell us about your decision to go with this design.

A:  I?d like to hand this question to ?Daioujou??s chief designer Mr. Wakabayashi.  Go ahead.
?Hi there.  This is ?Dyne Iguse? Wakabashi.
  In a word, we wanted to express a certain sense of chaos in the game.
  ?Dodonpachi? is known for all these jumbled up danmakus and artificial mechs.  Although we were making a new series, this did not change.
  So we looked and it said ?how can we give it something new??, and we started with the calligraphy of the title, which gives this new Dodonpachi some color.
  Yes, we wanted to sum up the game in its kanji.  The fact that the enemies? names are all in kanji is new too, right?
  By throwing ?chaos? into those elements of the game which fill the screen with color, i.e. the bullets, enemies, explosions, setting, enemy names as well as the title calligraphy, we were able to give the game a beautiful sense of unity despite the fact that these elements do not all come together in one neat package.
  Now hold on.  Some people would probably notice that the ship names and element dolls have katakana names.  N, no look!  Those names are there to emphasize the sense of opposition between the heroes and the enemies, so these are actually English names.?

Q: Three element dolls appear in the game, namely Shotia, Leinyan and Exy, but which one is your favorite?
A: I like Exy.  Her shot and laser are powered up right?  And personally I don?t need bombs.  We?re talking about her specs right?

[About the Game System]
Q:  In Dodonpachi Daioujou Black Label, it feels like the rank just keeps climbing.  Is there a limit to the rank?

A:  Yes of course.

[On the Future of the Series]

Q: Are you planning to make another sequel to the Dodonpachi series?
A: At the moment not particularly..
[About this Superplay DVD]

Q: Did you have the feeling that you would see scores exceeding 3 billion?  Tell us your reaction to this score.

A: Of course I never imagined a score like this.  I can only react with ?wow, I think that?s an incredible score!?  But I myself understand that when it comes to score, once you see it, and hear about it, you can?t really express the process behind getting to that score with such boring words.  So if anything I?ll just stick with ?Incredible!?

[Other Questions about Mr. Ikeda?s Games]
Q: The systems change with every game you put out.  How do you come up with these systems?

A: We take into account the current situation and trends in the market, then try to imagine the system from the visual image we have come up with for the game, and then determine an overall direction for the game we have to make.  At that point we determine the framework for the system which matches this direction and begin creating the game?s basic underpinnings.  However, in some cases we find while building the game that the direction and system that it should follow do not match up, or that they do match, but when we actually play the game it?s not any fun, and we really struggle with that.

Q: After you put out Dodonpachi, your games have had the ?danmaku? image strongly associated with them.  Could you give us your thoughts on that and if you have plans to change that?

A:  Personally, I?m not really insisting ?hey, let?s use danmaku!?  For a little bit, I was really tried to get away from danmaku and there was even a period where I tried to stop using them.  However, this led me to understand again the advantages that the danmaku model has.  Now of course there are disadvantages to danmaku, and over the years I?ve searched for something that gets rid of these disadvantages while keeping what danmaku offers.  If I can find that something, my games will probably change in that direction.

Q:  I was reading some older interviews you had done, and you had brought up Konami?s famous ?Salamander?.  Could you tell us your reasons for talking about that game and what inspiration it gave you?

A: At the time the game was visually lacking in graphics, sound and whatnot, but although it seemed at first glance they were following in Gradius?s gameplay footsteps, actually they had made a lot of changes.  For example, they had these really impressive sequences, like when these abominable monsters, the Eye and the Big Core appear at the end of the game.  But really what attracted my interest was the gameplay in the second loop.  The maps would change depending on whether the loop number was odd or even, and the bullet-firing enemies would change according to how many loops you?d done and I remember thinking ?this game is amazing, they?ve gone into such detail for parts of the game people may never even see.?  Another thing about Salamander that was really incredible was what I saw as the inverse relationship between its visuals and its difficulty.  In Salamander, at certain points enemies will fire a ton of bullets at you, and even though it was difficult to dodge these bullets it was also a lot of fun to do so.  The ?emotional flow? of the game would go from that stress which came with the tough bullet dodging to the release when you didn?t actually hit a bullet and that in turn connected to the game?s fun factor.  And it really surprised me that you could have a lot of fun in the more or less non-stressful parts of the game.  At the time I hated dodging bullets, so I definitely can?t forget that feeling of fun I got from dodging them in Salamander.  This led me to think that maybe you could program the game in a way that people who hate dodging could get into how fun it is, or in other words we could lower the threshold on bullet dodging.  I think this connects to how the danmaku genre developed.

Q: Of all the games that you have worked on, which one is your favorite and why?

A: You know I?d have to say ?Dodonpachi.?  I think that of all the games I?ve worked on, I had the most time to do adjustments on ?Dodonpachi? and in terms of the game balance it is far and away nearly the best I could have done at the time.  To put it another way, if all the work I?d put into the game had been ignored by players, I think I would have had to wash myself of the whole industry.

Q:  Of all the games that you have worked on, what is your favorite ?character? (humans, ships, enemies, anything) and why?

A: Hmm, that?s a tough question.  All of the characters in the games I?ve worked on have been memorable, but if I had to pick one I guess?Seseri?  She?s a character that I like for a variety of reasons but in particular from how we designed her when she re-appears in the fifth stage of the game, and the way (you could say) we went overboard with the character designs in Espgaluda 2.  On the production side of things, she?s the only boss in Galuda II that I was in charge of, so I really put a lot of energy into her.  But I put too much energy into her and wound up giving the attack patterns of two bosses, which we had never done before so we had to change the specs to give her the two patterns and allow for a split in conditions that allow players to access the second pattern.  Then later Mr. Ichimura gets mad at me saying: ?Seseri?s pretty tough, maybe even tougher than the last boss?  What?s the point of my last boss here?  Is Seseri so important to you?  ?Leave Seseri to me?? you say, think about the rest of the bosses!?

[In conclusion?]
Q:  Lastly, please say something to people playing ?Dodonpachi Daioujou Black Label? and ?Dodonpachi Daioujou?.

A: Something brief?  Well then??dying is good? (shinu ga yoi).
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 12:31:50 AM by adverse »

Offline EOJ

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 12:50:07 AM »
Excellent, thanks so much. I've been thinking of opening a "translations" section on the site, basically it would consist of translations of interviews, guidebooks, and any other CAVE material. I would be happy to put this up there so it gets more attention. Also,

Quote

And personally I don?t need bombs.


Well that explains Power style.

Quote
I know that we can?t do better than Ikaruga

Well, he's honest. It's hard to top Ikaruga.
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Offline Shalashaska

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 02:34:28 AM »
Wow, thanks for the great read adverse! :righton: Guess I missed the discussion about translating this interview.....how old is it? I like the bit about how he may have put a little "too much" effort into Seseri/Seseli.  :laugh:

Offline lowemark

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2008, 02:42:07 AM »
interesting reading.
thanks a bunch for translating it.

Offline EOJ

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 02:59:01 AM »
It's interesting to read the tidbits in interviews like this about how the games are developed. For example, I never thought Ikeda only programmed the Seseri boss in Galuda 2. Apparently Ichimura did the other ones. I wonder what the programming duties were on Futari and Daifukkatsu, in terms of the bosses.
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Offline adverse

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2008, 03:49:31 AM »
Wow, thanks for the great read adverse! :righton: Guess I missed the discussion about translating this interview.....how old is it? I like the bit about how he may have put a little "too much" effort into Seseri/Seseli.  :laugh:

The DDPDOJBL DVD was published in 2007 so last year. 
By the way this DVD is absolutely amazing, I don't think I've ever seen higher level play.
The player, HFD, intentionally does not destroy certain enemies so he can jack up the combo counter for 20 hits or so as the enemy sinks to the bottom of the screen in an invincible state.  Full chains on all levels and nearly no-misses Hibachi at the end. Phenomenal.
Shame I only found it after the competition last month. :laugh:  Now where can I find a Deathsmiles superplay... :cool:

Offline Shalashaska

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 04:19:26 AM »
Yah I just read the thread title again. My brain cut off the DOJ booklet part before. :rolleyes: I actually bought the DVD when it first came out but haven't watched it yet.... :-[

jpj

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2008, 05:28:33 AM »
awesome adverse   :righton:

what are the chances of getting a translation of the HFD interview (when you have the time)?  =D

and yeah, it's cool he realises that ikaruga is pure genius.  but that said, the black pachi is an awesome game.  glad you got the dvd now, HFD is indeed one crazy motherfucker...   :o


Offline markedkiller78

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 06:49:02 AM »
Many thanks adverse,

I love reading these interviews & would never get the chance if people like you didn?t take the time out to help all of us ignorant Westeners :)

Offline gcjae

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2008, 12:08:35 PM »
Thanks so much much for the translation adverse!

I also think that the is the most impressive display of shooting skills that I have seen in s Superplay DVD, it was worth every penny and this makes it even better.

Great work  :righton:

Offline GaijinPunch

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2008, 12:03:17 AM »
Nice.  I'll whip it up and put it in the database, where it will be immortalized. Thanks.
The only edit I would think of for people w/o the booklet (or those that can't read it) is the use (once again) of "shinu ga yoi".  Although he says, "Daioujou suru ga yoi", in answer to Q2.

And one last thing.  Does anyone know if it's Seseri or Seseli?  She's named after a type of butterfly.  I always thought it was Seseri but never looked it up.  And am for some reason too lazy too now.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 12:13:19 AM by GaijinPunch »

Offline adverse

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2008, 12:24:36 AM »
Nice.  I'll whip it up and put it in the database, where it will be immortalized. Thanks.
The only edit I would think of for people w/o the booklet (or those that can't read it) is the use (once again) of "shinu ga yoi".  Although he says, "Daioujou suru ga yoi", in answer to Q2.

And one last thing.  Does anyone know if it's Seseri or Seseli?  She's named after a type of butterfly.  I always thought it was Seseri but never looked it up.  And am for some reason too lazy too now.

Changed it to Seseri.  Not sure what the official name is.  Was thinking of picking up the EspII DVD but it's 12,000 yen over here for some reason.  :o

Changed the translation of shinu ga yoi to 'choose to die' which...may be controversial.  Not sure how people feel this should be translated.

I would be open to doing more translations, especially when my work is slow, but I can't promise regular stuff.  GP, what stuff do you have on your list to translate?  jpj, I might be down to translate the HFD interview, but to tbh it's not nearly as interesting as IKD's was.

Offline EOJ

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2008, 12:27:20 AM »


Changed the translation of shinu ga yoi to 'choose to die' which...may be controversial. 

It means "dying is good". Nothing about "choose" in there.
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Offline adverse

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2008, 12:31:22 AM »
Hmm, that is simpler.  I always saw it as: you're overwhelmed by all the bullets around you and it's better to just die.  So IKD is telling us to just die.  I guess I got this impression from mihara-san saying shinde kudasai (please die) in Ketsui DS interviews.  Anyways, "dying is good" works better.

Offline EOJ

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2008, 12:38:27 AM »
I was just going by what the words mean. /shinu/ before the nominative suffix /-ga/ is a nominal form of the verb "die", /yoi/ means "to be good".  ;)
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Offline GaijinPunch

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2008, 01:40:23 AM »
Quote
It means "dying is good". Nothing about "choose" in there.

Colloquially, it simply means, "Die".  It is commanding (old), but also can mean "okay to do something" depending on nuance.  I'm sure there's something in one of your fucked up Japanese books. Wink Strangely enough, it's not in the Advanced or Intermediate Grammar Dictionaries.

Quote
Anyways, "dying is good" works better.

As a translation, you'd need to think of a commanding form of "die" that is preferably longer than one word.  Good luck w/ that.

Offline EOJ

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2008, 02:43:19 AM »
I'm not aware of any old /-ga yoi/ imperative form (I think this is what you mean by commanding). /ga yoi/ can mean "you'd better", which is probably what you're thinking of. So /shinu ga yoi/ can mean "you'd better die", which is a kind of command.
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Offline GaijinPunch

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2008, 03:35:34 AM »
When I confirmed w/ my wife, she said it's indeed a "命令".  But we all know (well, a few of us) that the Japanese use of "better" is not really directly interchangeable between the two languages.  "It's better" = "It's the only way, fuck face".  "Difficult" = "Impossible, whitey", etc. 

I do find it disturbing that it's not in either (or at least I couldn't easily find it) in my two high level grammar books.

Offline EOJ

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2008, 04:04:46 AM »
I do find it disturbing that it's not in either (or at least I couldn't easily find it) in my two high level grammar books.
The "you'd better" command-ish meaning is listed in one of my Japanese dictionaries under yoi (used w/ -ga), but it's the last entry.

Having a Japanese wife would be handy for these sorts of things.  :)
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Offline markedkiller78

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2008, 07:01:41 AM »
But we all know (well, a few of us)

 =D

Offline GaijinPunch

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Re: Interview with Tsuneki Ikeda (DDPDOJBL booklet)
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2008, 01:46:16 AM »
Quote
Having a Japanese wife would be handy for these sorts of things.

And very little else, it would seem.   >:D

But we all know (well, a few of us)

 =D

Me and some guys were playing cards at a place that usually closes at 12:00.  They had an arrangement w/ another room (which was occupied) to stay until 1 or so.  The guy just couldn't get it. He spoke some horrible English. He couldn't just tell us we had to get by 12:00.  It was, "Yes.  We close at 12:00.  You should leave then.  It is better".  Of course, by better, he meant "you must".