Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere (1999) - Hiroyuki Onoda
What are your feelings on Ace Combat 3?
Ace Combat 3 was really about new challenges. Even now, I remember how everyone on the staff poured their heart and soul into creating and integrating mountains of original content. There were times during the production I would honestly stop and ask myself, "Can we really do this?" Despite the hardship, our efforts forged a spirit of challenge that remains with the Ace team to this day. Ace 3 was a fantastic experience because we achieved so many breakthroughs, and at the same time created a lasting impact.
What aspects of Ace Combat 3 were unique to the series?
Ace 3 brought so many new ideas to the series. As far as the gameplay system is concerned, it added branching missions as well as the ability to control the camera. The combination of traditional cell animation and CG used for the story pieces also created quite a stir. The inclusion of neo-futuristic original aircraft and characters, as well as the painstakingly detailed game setting, all lent a cinematic air to the dramatic flight shooting theme; a first for the series.
Now that it's over, is there anything you think could have been done better?
Nothing in particular.
What are some things you tried to do, but didn't quite work out?
Ace 3 takes place in a futuristic setting, so I remember we had the idea that the body of the aircraft would be covered with a non-metallic outer skin layer material known as a "nano-skin". In order to get this feeling of a skin across to the player, we attempted to create aircraft models without joints or seams on the flaps and variable geometry wings. We had a lot of other ideas on how we could differentiate our aircraft from those of the present, but in the end it was just too much for the hardware. Now that I think of it, we were working really hard to create things people would consider next generation.
Are there any features you would like to have included, but couldn't because of time constraints?
No, there were none in particular that I recall.