GR: A lot of the game’s scenarios have twist endings or surprises that might be difficult for players to predict or deduce on their own. How does the team test the stories so that certain puzzles or mysteries aren’t too hard to figure out and how does it affect the stories?
ME: Well obviously it’s not just written once and then it’s done, it requires many rewrites and revisions that have to be put into the gamed, tested, removed and re-written again. Basically what it comes down to is a lot of trial and error. The director comes up with the idea and leads people in the right direction, and they gather opinions and let a bunch of people try out the game to see if people are having a hard time understanding it. Some people may say “this is a little hard to understand,” or “I didn’t understand where this came from.” After getting all this feedback, the director sits down and sees what people found difficult and rewrites a few things, changes the order of things around, adds a hint here, it’s essentially a lot of trial and error and listening to what people have to say ad reworking around that.
GR: Sounds time consuming!
ME: It definitely is! But the most important part of making these games is writing the scenarios and making sure that the story works.
GR: Are there any plans to incorporate some of the Ace Investigation features into future Ace Attorney games, or will they remain mostly separate?
ME: The game system for Ace Attorney Investigations was really only developed to be used with this title. A lot of it was made from scratch and it was made to be different from the Ace Attorney series. For example the Ace Attorney series is very first person, but for Ace Investigations we made it third person on purpose so that we could really show the environment and you could really walk around and investigate everything yourself. So a lot of these features will definitely stay exclusive to the Investigations series.
GR: Does the Ace Investigations series plan to be exclusively about Edgeworth, or will other characters get some spotlight?
ME: Well right now we’re not thinking about making a sequel yet, it’s speculation, but if we’re going to make one we want to look at what people want, whether the fans would want a different character or if they would want to stick with Edgeworth, so we continue to monitor the feedback we get from the Japanese fans. The game is not on sale yet in America, but once it is, we would like to hear from the fans there as well to see how they feel. Would they like to stick with Edgeworth? Or would they perhaps want a different character? If people want a different character we’ll definitely listen to what the fans want and take it into consideration.
GR: Given the recent WiiWare remake of Ace Attorney and the franchise’s serialized nature, are there any plans for DSi episodes or content in the future?
ME: Right now we really don’t have any plans for DSiWare going on. Of course if the demand is high enough we’ll have to consider it, but we have to also consider the memory limitations for DSiWare and technical things aside from what the fans want. There’s a lot to think about unfortunately.
Feb 2, 2010