Author Topic: An Interview With AM2  (Read 188 times)

Offline Shun-Di

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An Interview With AM2
« on: May 19, 2017, 11:40:34 pm »
(From the June 1995 issue of Diehard Gamefan Magazine)

Interview by Special K & TJ
Sega AM R&D dept. #2
Interviewees: Mr. Kurokawa, Ms. Higashi

This interview was held at Sega Enterprises in Japan and it was before the release of Daytona USA.

Game Fan: have you finished Daytona?
Sega: No, we're not quite done yet.
Game Fan: The release date in Japan is April 1st, isn't it?
Sega: We'll be done with the master copy in March.
Game Fan: In our last AM2 interview with Yu Suzuki, he mentioned that it's hard to do a 100% translation of an arcade game.  What do you think?
Sega: I think it's really close to 100%.  When work began on Daytona, we thought it would take more memory.  When we look back on what we did, however, memory was very important.  The arcade version of Daytona runs at 60 frames per second, so we could never do a perfect version, but the gameplay is identical to the arcade.
Game Fan: Will it contain the courses of the arcade version?
Sega: Of course.  we even have 39 opponents in the Beginner course.  It has been completely translated.
Game Fan: Even the slot machine?
Sega: It is all in the Saturn version.  We've even added some new options as well.
Game Fan: Really?  Like what?
Sega: I can't tell you at this very moment, but we'll reveal them later.
Game Fan: How much of Saturn's hardware potential have you used?
Sega: Since Virtua Fighter was the first title released at launch, we didn't utilize the full capacity of the hardware.  After Virtua Fighter, we had a meeting and reviewed our work on it and used our newfound knowledge for Daytona.  The Saturn does possess the hardware power to create better games, so there are many possibilities.
Game Fan: We're not sure yet, but Sega Of America says they might pack in Daytona with the American release of the Saturn.  Will there be any differences between the American version and the Japanese one?
Sega: There shouldn't be any differences since the arcade version had no differences.
Game Fan: Since you already developed two titles for the Saturn, can you tell me if it was difficult or easy developing the software? Since the development staff had previously been making Sega CD and Genesis games...
Sega: I cannot answer technical questions, but I haven't heard any of the programmers complain about our development tools.  The Saturn development system has so much untapped power, everyone is saying that it's actually easy to program for.  Since this is already our second title, most of our programmers knew what they were doing.Within a month we will be supporting our third parties with CG libraries at little cost.  Our third party support is actually better than it is for in house Sega teams.  In the beginning, we were left behind.  We do regret that we couldn't support the others enough.  AM2 is willing to create a new operating system for CG libraries.  The CGs will include Virtua Fighter and Daytona data, so the third parties will be able to program Virtua Fighter style games utilizing the library.  I'm sure that the new tools will be better than our current ones.
Game Fan: Lately, I have been seeing CG everywhere, especially from Sega.  Is the goal for the Saturn to be CG based?
Sega: I don't think that's what we're planning to do.  When I went to the recent AOU arcade show, I noticed a lot of CG 3D games.  Since there are so many on the market, it will all come down to gameplay itself.  I'm pretty sure the reason CG is popular is because it has a "fresh" and "new" look to it.  But in the end, everyone will seek gameplay instead.  If people ask me if the Saturn is for 3D games only, the answer is "No".  We are using bit mapped graphics a lot, as well.  Since the Saturn has high powered specs, popular games will be built around playability.  We are not just concentrating on 3D images.
Game Fan: Since you released the 32X, are you thinking of an upgrade for the Saturn as well?
Sega: We are not releasing actual hardware, but we will be releasing system discs for video and photo CDs.  But since the Saturn has a fantastic future as a home system, I can't deny it 100%.  We may schedule one in the future.  We have to use the full capabilities of the hardware before we would even consider releasing one, of course.  We do not believe the Saturn is an exclusively 3D system.  Since it has well rounded specs, it can run good 2D games as well.
Game Fan: Are you going to be translating Sega Rally Championship?
Sega: Since a lot of consumers want to play popular arcade games at home, we will be translating them.
Game Fan: How is Sega Rally Championship doing in Japan?
Sega: There aren't many "rally" type games on the market.  We were actually the first to come out with a textured map rally game.  The arcade goers are accepting it with surprise and interest.
Game Fan: Let's talk about AM2.  What is your next project for the arcade?
Sega: We are currently working on Virtua Fighter 3 for the arcade.  We have already started the basic research, but we're not sure what kind of game concept we want to implement.  Since so many consumers are expecting a lot from us, we would like to include brand new features in Virtua Fighter 3.
Game Fan: And for the Saturn?
Sega: We have already started to translate Virtua Fighter 2.  Since we are finalizing Daytona, the whole staff of AM2 is working around the clock.  We are also working on Virtua Cop for the Saturn as well.
Game Fan: Are you planning to release the gun with it?
Sega: As you know, we released the Racing Controller for Daytona.  So we'll most likely be doing a gun as well.  The steering wheel is analog, so it will be pretty much like the arcade except for the resistance.  It's stable so it offers better control than the pad.
Game Fan: Since the Virtua Stick is compatible with most games, will the steering wheel be as well?
Sega: All I can think of is using it for third party flying or racing games.  Since we have the responsibility of releasing this product, we will be developing games for use with it.
Game Fan: I've noticed that Sony is planning to release a network cable for their system.  Let's say I want to race other people in Daytona.  Does Sega have a similar idea?
Sega: We may offer a link up option in the future.  But really, how many kids have two TVs and two game systems, and are willing to go through all the hassle just to play with each other for a couple of hours?
Game Fan: Was there any trouble developing Virtua Fighter or Daytona?
Sega: The most difficult part of Virtua Fighter was that it was the first title.  The original arcade version was not programmed to be released for a home system, so that's why it was so hard.  The most difficult part of Daytona was the programming itself, since a lot of other racing courses in other games have ups and downs and also a lot of turns that can hide pop up.  But in Daytona, there are straight courses which we have to show on one full screen.  Since we had to map a long stretch after a turn, the calculations for that part were tedious.  We wouldn't have done those courses in the arcade if we knew Daytona was coming out for the Saturn.  (Laughs)
Game Fan: If you were to rate this game, what would you give it?
Sega: Gee... That's a hard one... HMMMM.  I give it a 98%.
Game Fan: How about Virtua Fighter?
Sega: Well, maybe I should give it a lower score... actually, I'd rather not.  I've been through the long and tiresome nights when we were programming it.  That's why I'd like to give it a higher score. (Laughs)
Game Fan: Did you analyze any other racing games to do Daytona?
Sega: No, I don't think so.  To tell you the truth, we did play Ridge Racer but we didn't use it as a reference.
Game Fan: Which part of Daytona did you put the most effort into?
To do a full translation of the arcade game for Saturn.  With Virtua Fighter, we wanted to bring the feeling of the intro and the speed of the game to the home.  With Daytona, our focus was to reproduce 40 cars racing against each other.  Making the CPU control 39 cars requires some pretty hellish calculations!
Game Fan: Are there going to be any differences between the U.S. and Japanese Daytona?
Sega: If there is a difference, it would be the difficulty... The U.S. version may be harder.  Also, the latest versions of the Daytona arcade machine in the U.S. feature an attract screen for the Saturn system.
Game Fan: Sega of America will be announcing the Saturn in the U.S. at E3.  What position would you like for it to take in the industry?
Sega: That's a hard one to answer... If someone said "the next generation system" I'd want people to think "Sega Saturn!"  Right now, all anyone is talking about is bits.  Whether 32 or 64 bit, we just want to create next generation games.
Game Fan: How about the 32X?
Sega: It's doing rather well.  Another magazine publication had an interview with the developer of Space Harrier and After Burner.  Everyone said it looked like we ported the arcade code directly.  They were amazed!  Whether it is suitable for the market or not, the quality of the 32X is really high.
Game Fan: Can you tell me if Virtua Fighter 2 will be similar to the arcade, and how confident are you to assure this?
Sega: We are 100% confident!  Like I mentioned before, there were a few chips in the Saturn that we didn't use.  Most of the programmers have gotten used to the old development techniques.  But at the time of Virtua Fighter 2's release, we will prove what can be done on the Saturn.  Honestly we were worried about it before, but we are confident now.
Game Fan: Last question...  Any comments for the U.S. consumers?
Sega: Wait until September... And experience the true power of the Sega Saturn!
Game Fan: Thank you very much for your time.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 01:56:00 pm by Shun-Di »
Be like water.

Offline Berto

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Re: An Interview With AM2
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 11:49:10 pm »
Ahh.. Good old GameFan... The most colourful and eye catching gamezine ever...  ;-D

Game Fan: Are there going to be any differences between the U.S. and Japanese Daytona?
Sega: If there is a difference, it would be the difficulty... The U.S. version may be harder.  Also, the latest versions of the Daytona arcade machine in the U.S. feature an attract screen for the Saturn system.

Thanks to rentals being legal in the US, some games are harder US Version so that player won't defeat it in a week.
I remember how hard US version of Streets of Rage 3 and Contra:Hard Corps.
I played both Japanese (bootleg) version of those games first, so when I got my hands on U.S. version I was kinda like WTF....

Offline Shun-Di

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Re: An Interview With AM2
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 05:59:34 am »
Ahh.. Good old GameFan... The most colourful and eye catching gamezine ever...  ;-D

Thanks to rentals being legal in the US, some games are harder US Version so that player won't defeat it in a week.
I remember how hard US version of Streets of Rage 3 and Contra:Hard Corps.
I played both Japanese (bootleg) version of those games first, so when I got my hands on U.S. version I was kinda like WTF....

I always thought it was the other way around when I was a kid, but then I never played an import as a kid either.  :p
Be like water.