So, the plot is very important to you then?
ST: I love mystery novels. Father Brown, Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen, John Dickson Carr – you name it. My motive for becoming a game creator was to make a game full of adventures that has the same essence as those mysteries. So in Ace Attorney and Ghost Trick I have included the maximum amount of mystery as possible. Unfortunately, this particular genre is not the most popular in Japan but I will continue to thrive on creating these games and converting as many people as possible into liking this genre.
Are there multiple solutions to the puzzles?
ST: There is normally one answer, but there are some puzzles that have several solutions. The variation will depend on the player’s imagination and observation.
Where did the game’s striking look come from?
ST: We wanted to differentiate the style from that of the Ace Attorney franchise, so in a way it stems from Ace Attorney. The protagonist is a ghost and he is an external existence – this view is what the players will see and I very much focused on this theatre style.
Three-dimensional polygon graphics had begun to bore me lately and so I deliberately pursued the more intricate, 2D style choreographed to perfection. Seeing the characters move around full of life is very refreshing. This was only possible by chance at the start, that I met the right staff to realise what I had in mind. The main staff for the animation are very talented and as soon as the sample clip – a scene of a girl eating a doughnut while a dog is running around beside her – was shown to me I knew this was the way to go.
Sissel shares Phoenix Wright’s snappy dress sense and angled haircut. Is this Mr Takumi’s doing?
ST: I am the decision maker of all character designs so yes, you could say it is my doing. What I find important when deciding on a character design is the silhouette. I believe a character without a distinctive silhouette leaves no impression and thus I never approve. This time it was especially important because the game is primarily about small figures moving around, and all the characters ended up being very unique. I think that creates more warmth and fun banter.
Capcom are one of few developers making puzzle-driven adventure games right now – Phoenix Wright, Zack & Wiki, Ghost Trick. What draws you to the genre?
HT: The reason I focus on puzzle games is because they have a wide audience – male and female, young and old, casual and hardcore. One fact about Shu Takumi is that he is trying to create a game his mother would enjoy playing and this leads to the game style of puzzle and adventure where it can be enjoyed by people with any background.
Feb 4, 2010