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Oddworld (1997) and F-Zero AX/GX (2003) Developer Interviews
Oddworld (1997) and F-Zero AX/GX (2003) Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2020-03-26T14:43:50+00:00
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Oddworld (1997) and F-Zero AX/GX (2003) Developer Interviews 2020-03-26T14:43:50+00:00close

I've got two interviews for this update, since Oddworld ended up being on the shorter side. Enjoy!

http://shmuplations.com/oddworld/

This short Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee interview from 1997, with American creators Lorne Lanning and Sherry McKenna, was originally featured in The Playstation magazine. It mainly discusses the design inspiration behind Abe, as well as the way the character and game have been received by Japanese audiences.

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http://shmuplations.com/fzero/
(Translated by Andrej Preradovic )

In these interviews, members of Nintendo and Sega’s Amusement Vision studio, including long-time F-Zero designer Takaya Imamura and Amusement Vision head honcho Toshihiro Nagoshi, discuss their collective vision for the 2003 Gamecube racing game F-Zero GX and its arcade counterpart, F-Zero AX.

Born from Nintendo’s “Triforce” initiative, which saw them team up with arcade veterans Namco and Sega to produce externally-developed arcade games using Nintendo IP with the eventual goal of securing much-needed third-party software for the Gamecube, these games represented both Nintendo’s long-awaited return to arcades and Sega’s first genuine collaboration with their long-time rival, with the end result being a pair of games that are considered by many to be the series’ apotheosis.


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Sonic CD – Developer Interview Collection
Sonic CD – Developer Interview Collectionmore_vert
2020-03-24T15:03:37+00:00
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Sonic CD – Developer Interview Collection 2020-03-24T15:03:37+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/soniccd/

This collection of interviews—two conducted immediately prior to the game’s initial release in 1993, and another in commemoration of the series’ 20th anniversary in 2011—offer some insight into the conception and development of Sonic CD from many of the game’s developers, including composer Naofumi Hataya, character designer Kazuyuki Hoshino and director and original Sonic designer Naoto Ohshima.

While Sonic CD went relatively underplayed in its day compared to its cartridge-based siblings, the game’s surreal aesthetic and Toei-animated intro/outro videos were highly appreciated by the Sonic faithful, with their influence being particularly felt on recent Sonic media like the animated web series and Sonic Mania.


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Comments (1)
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User #6635599 - 24 Mar 20 16:27
Thanks a lot! If only stratefox wait a little longer, he could have put this info in his Sonic CD retrospective video. Keep it up, and I hope we do get another Sonic interview for next time's new vote. Don't forget to tag these guys: @NaotoOhshima, @nakayuji (Yuji Naka), @Yasuharah (Hirokazu Yasuhara), @hatayatoday (Naofumi Hataya) & @UTOKU_KEIKO (Keiko Utoku) The other members who worked on the game, I couldn't find them (Either they don't have Twitter, name account is different or it's in Japanese characters). Yuji Naka may not worked on Sonic CD, but he is the creator of the series. Keiko Utoku was only mentioned very little in this interview, but she may answer some questions about her work on Sonic CD. And even comment on other things, like what she feels about her lyrics being removed on Sonic CD (2011).
Michiru Yamane – 2010 Composer Interview
Michiru Yamane – 2010 Composer Interviewmore_vert
2020-02-27T21:21:15+00:00
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Michiru Yamane – 2010 Composer Interview 2020-02-27T21:21:15+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/michiruyamane/
(direct video link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTHJR0k88RU)

This charming 30 minute documentary interview with long-time Castlevania and Konami composer Michiru Yamane was originally featured on a bonus DVD included in the massive 18-disc “Castlevania Best Music Collections BOX” released in 2010. Although it’s relatively light fare in terms of development/composition trivia, it offers a cozy look into Yamane’s home studio (and beloved cat) and shows her working with a jazz group on an arrangement of Beginnings.


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Comments (6)
user avatar
User #296595 - 28 Feb 20 06:11
That's incredible, thanks!
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User #4151675 - 11 Mar 20 20:51
Hi, new patreon here. Do you have the Japanese transcript of the video easily available? If so I can try to add real Japanese subtitles to the video (instead of the auto-generated). I'm a student of Japanese and would do that for my own use. Anyway, very cool video.
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User #6635599 - 14 Mar 20 07:25
Will that include the rest of the videos he uploaded? BTW, don't forget to vote for any interviews you want Blackoak to translate.
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shmuplations - 14 Mar 20 08:33
Thanks! Unfortunately I don't have a written transcript or anything, but the auto-generated youtube Japanese subtitles should help you piece together most of it, I'd think. I'm happy to help clarify any sections (provided its not too long, hehe) if you e-mail me questions--always down to help someone learning Japanese.
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User #4151675 - 15 Mar 20 14:58
Cool, thanks.
user avatar
User #4151675 - 15 Mar 20 15:04
There are many videos for which I would like to have the Japanese transcripts (actually all of them). I'll try to work from the automatic transcripts, it'll be a good listening exercise. Let's see how it goes.
Game Designers: The Next Generation
Game Designers: The Next Generationmore_vert
2020-02-25T13:45:19+00:00
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Game Designers: The Next Generation 2020-02-25T13:45:19+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/nextgen/

These six developer interviews first appeared in the 5/93 edition of Famicom Tsuushin, in a special feature focused on new up-and-coming game designers (the original tagline was “Move over Horii, Sakaguchi, and Miyamoto! It’s our time now!”). Famicon Tsuushin also adorned each short interview with a photo of the developers at their desks, which I’ve included as well.

While some of the designers did indeed find massive success later, equally interesting to read now are the lesser-knowns like Ryoji Amano (Super Soccer) and Noboru Harada (F1 ROC / Exhaust Heat).


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Comments (2)
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User #6635599 - 25 Feb 20 17:05
Is this the end for this month's translation interview, or there's still more to come? Could you please tweet this to @Takashi_Tokita, please?
user avatar
shmuplations - 26 Feb 20 21:39
I've got one more to post in the next couple days (the Michiru Yamane video most likely)
Streets of Rage – Composer Interview Collection
Streets of Rage – Composer Interview Collectionmore_vert
2020-02-17T12:57:36+00:00
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Streets of Rage – Composer Interview Collection 2020-02-17T12:57:36+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/sormusic/

These four Streets of Rage composer interviews were originally featured in the 1991-1994 issues of BEEP Megadrive, Megadrive FAN, and Marukatsu Megadrive magazines. Beginning with the first game, composers Koshiro and Kawashima discuss the influences and process of writing these beloved and seminal OSTs.

As the early 90s saw “traditional” chiptune music starting to give way to CD-ROM media and PCM music, the conversation occasionally veers into more conceptual “what is game music?” territory, with both composers eager to share their thoughts.


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Comments (3)
user avatar
User #740557 - 17 Feb 20 13:07
This is a must read for me... Thanks so much :D
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User #6635599 - 17 Feb 20 17:28
Unbelievable, I thought you'll translate the first game, but you did all of it! Thanks a lot! It's great that you did them all, considering that Streets of Rage 4 is coming out this year. Don't forget to tweet it to the dev who made the series. Edit: @SEGAForever & @GamingHistorian liked your tweet. @dvorak (Motohiro Kawashima): https://twitter.com/mvorak/status/1229549124237705218 (Koshiro-San & Kawashima-San talked about the nostalgic interview.) @yuzokoshiro (Yuzo Koshiro): https://twitter.com/yuzokoshiro/status/1229730970179256321
user avatar
User #19688546 - 17 Feb 20 20:21
I JUST watched Streets of Fire two days ago.
Dragon Quest 30th Anniversary Special
Dragon Quest 30th Anniversary Specialmore_vert
2020-01-16T21:26:12+00:00
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Dragon Quest 30th Anniversary Special 2020-01-16T21:26:12+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/dragonquest30th/
(direct video link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0rRgdQ1kK0 )

This documentary special, featuring interviews with main Dragon Quest creators Yuji Horii, Koichi Nakamura, Akira Toriyama, and Koichi Sugiyama, originally aired on NHK at the end of 2016 to celebrate Dragon Quest’s 30th anniversary. In addition to the interviews, there’s behind the scenes footage of DQXI, plus a re-telling of the making of the very first Dragon Quest.

This video is also shmuplations’ first real foray into video content, an area I hope to explore more regularly in the future!


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Comments (5)
user avatar
User #506610 - 16 Jan 20 21:30
Yes videos! Yes Dragon Quest!
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shmuplations - 16 Jan 20 21:41
hope you guys like it! this one honestly tipped the scales a bit at 7000 words + all the subtitling work, but I think I can manage shorter ~30 minute videos, depending on the density of the text, for single updates in the future.
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shmuplations - 16 Jan 20 21:45
to that end, i'm planning to comb through and archive some of the good video content on youtube for voting (but don't wait--if you know of something you'd like to see subtitled there, feel free to suggest it now in the voting thread comments)
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User #18419876 - 2 Feb 20 14:09
This is relevant to my interests.
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User #6635599 - 17 Jan 20 00:04
Good work, but what happens if the video gets taken down? Shouldn't you write it down on the site, just incase? Although, I really like the idea of making sub videos. I don't suppose you could add this to your 1,126 collection of interviews? Dino Crisis CG Movie Collection DVD: https://youtu.be/aR5pwU9qatY
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User #6635599 - 17 Jan 20 00:04 - revision 2
Good work, but what happens if the video gets taken down? Shouldn't you write it down on the site, just incase? Although, I really like the idea of making sub videos.
 Ghouls ‘n Ghosts – 1988 Developer Interview
Ghouls ‘n Ghosts – 1988 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-12-31T18:02:08+00:00
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Ghouls ‘n Ghosts – 1988 Developer Interview 2019-12-31T18:02:08+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/daimakaimura/

In this interview, conducted at the 1988 AM Show arcade trade event, Makaimura/Ghosts’n Goblins creator Tokuro Fujiwara and greenhorn Hiroshi Yamamoto discuss the making of Daimakaimura/Ghouls’n Ghosts, the impending sequel to Capcom’s 1985 smash hit arcade game, and how both an influx of new blood and new arcade hardware allowed the team to more fully realize the concepts established in the original game.


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Boktai – 2003 Developer Interview
Boktai – 2003 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-12-28T15:21:46+00:00
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Boktai – 2003 Developer Interview 2019-12-28T15:21:46+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/boktai/

In this 2003 interview, former Konami creative Hideo Kojima discusses the production of, and inspirations behind, the Game Boy Advance title Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand, an isometric vampire-hunting adventure game with stealth elements that makes heavy use of both a photometric light sensor and a real-time clock chip to simulate the in-game presence of the sun.

Boktai would spawn two sequels and a successor game for Nintendo DS, as well as a handful of highly-celebrated in-game crossovers with Capcom’s Mega Man Battle Network series, but Kojima would later state his dissatisfaction with the overall reception of the series, which he attributed to his lack of direct involvement past the original game.


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Comments (1)
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User #6635599 - 29 Dec 19 09:20
Interesting, I was curious to know about this series, because of the Easter Egg references in MGS4. On Twitter, you might want to hashtag it to Kojima and his fans about this interview (He would favourite it out of nostalgia, and his fans would want to know more about his past work).
The Illustrators of SNK – 2001 Developer Interview
The Illustrators of SNK – 2001 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-12-17T14:58:45+00:00
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The Illustrators of SNK – 2001 Developer Interview 2019-12-17T14:58:45+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/snkartists/

In this 2001 interview, conducted at the very peak of SNK’s original tenure, designers Hiroaki and Tonko (along with an unnamed SNK rep) discuss their history at SNK, their influences as illustrators, the nature of their day-to-day work and their contributions to now-classic games like Garou: Mark of the Wolves, The King of Fighters and The Last Blade series, as well as the forward-thinking 3D MMA fighting game Buriki ONE.

While SNK would shutter soon after this interview was recorded, both artists maintained a strong relationship with the company’s successors as freelance artists, with Hiroaki contributing art to many future KOF titles (including as primary illustrator for KOF11) and Tonko producing key illustrations for most of the main-line Metal Slug games.


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Comments (2)
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User #6635599 - 19 Dec 19 05:51
Thanks. This will be useful. I'll contribute it to VGFacts/DYKGaming. Did you know that 'Matt McMuscles' liked your translated SNK Illustrators 2001 interview on Twitter?
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User #370560 - 17 Dec 19 15:45
Awesome. Thanks very much for this!
Dec/Jan/Feb Voting! 2019-11-30T08:36:58+00:00

Greetings to all patrons new and old. It's time again to offer suggestions and feedback re: what you'd like to see translated in the next few months. I'll still be referring to the previous voting posts, but it's never a bad idea to post again what you'd like to see translated. Also, if multiple people suggest the same interview, it's more likely to get translated, so feel free to second other people's suggestions. And as always, don't hesitate to ask questions about the interviews if you're curious about their content/length etc.

To vote, please take a look at the list here: http://shmuplations.com/patreonlist/ and leave a comment on this post letting me know what you'd like me to translate.

Hey everyone! Thanks for your patience with the voting this month; I'd meant to post this earlier, but busyness got the better of me. Well, I'm happy to have finally gotten some long-awaited interviews scratched off in this last cycle (Final Fantasy XI, Fatal Fury, Vagrant Story) and will be looking to clear up more holdouts this time, too. In other news, I've been doing more research at the library this month--focusing especially on the 2000-2004 era--so there should be a new crop of interviews for voting added soon. I also did a short interview for a podcast that will be available sometime soon, if you want to hear me ramble on about translation and the site's history, hah. Thanks once again for all your support!

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Comments (22)
user avatar
User #18419876 - 8 Dec 19 16:33
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - Developer Interview Masanobu Endo x Kenji Terada MOTHER 3 (GBA) - Developer Interview
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User #6635599 - 19 Dec 19 06:10
I love Oddworld games! Sorry I didn't choose it, but I might consider choosing it next time. It is likely that the interview will contain information about regional difference of the game, mainly about the Mudokon Pops and the Mudokon's hand.
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User #370560 - 30 Nov 19 11:56
Any of the 1999-2002 era Capcom stuff. But since you recently did that big Akiman interview, maybe Crusader of Centy or some of the SNK
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User #81022 - 30 Nov 19 21:43
Just chiming in on Crusader of Centy, yes please!
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User #6635599 - 19 Dec 19 05:37
I was thinking of choosing a Capcom game (Street Fighter), but you suggested SNK, instead of Capcom. Thanks to you, I decided on both by choosing Capcom vs. SNK. It'll be interesting to know, how they manage to collaborate.
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User #259403 - 1 Dec 19 03:35
The more SNK the merrier, as far as I'm concerned.
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User #5294550 - 30 Nov 19 19:24
Tour of Konami '86, please! These were the golden years!
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User #8338375 - 30 Nov 19 22:52
"Valkyrie Profile 2 - Developer Interviews", please! Would love to learn more about tri-Ace.
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User #12251258 - 2 Dec 19 12:15
+ Power Drift - Developer Interview Sega Development Staff 1988 + Hang-on - 1991 Developer Interview - Yu Suzuki + A Visit to Sega Sega Development Staff 1987
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User #374740 - 16 Dec 19 17:23
- Streets of Rage - 1991 Composer Interview - A Visit to Sega Various Sega Sega Development Staff 1987 - 1989 "Success Story" Developer Interviews - Various - Fantasy Zone - 1997 Developer Interview - Fantasy Zone - 2002 Developer Interview
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User #5489740 - 6 Dec 19 07:43
-Wonder Project J2 - 1995 Developer Interview Thank you for your hard work! I would love to listen to your podcast.
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User #505345 - 30 Nov 19 18:05
Metal Slug 2 - 1998 Developer Interview Mr. Heli - 1987 Developer Interview Undercover Cops - 1992 Developer Interview Fukio Mitsuji - Game Design Series The 7 Secrets of Darius - 1987 Developer Interview .please :)
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User #14045662 - 30 Nov 19 09:00
Anything phantasy star (rpg) early sega or fantasy zone. Also sunsoft.
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User #2442226 - 2 Dec 19 02:53
- Next Generation Game Developers Part 1 - 1993 Developer Interviews - Next Generation Game Developers Part 2 - 1993 Developer Interviews - Next Generation Game Developers Part 3 - 1993 Developer Interviews - Soul Blazer - Developer Interview - STG in 1995 - Developer Interviews Thanks! :)
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User #4802013 - 1 Dec 19 21:42
I'm still down for any SNK or Castlevania stuff, or the Fukio Mitsuji - Game Design Series would be very interesting.
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User #10096008 - 18 Dec 19 17:41
Romancing Saga 3 - Developer Interviews SaGa Frontier - Designer Interviews I'd love for Tomomi Kobayashi to get more love. Your currently translated articles helped so much!
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User #6635599 - 11 Dec 19 21:29
Title: Kenji Kataoka - Capcom Designer Interview (Spawn: In the Demon's Hand) Title: Capcom vs. SNK - Developer Interview (Capcom vs. SNK) Title: Streets of Rage - 1991 Composer Interview !NEW! (Streets of Rage) I chose Spawn, because Todd McFarlane won the Guinness World Record for his 300th issue of Spawn comics. Q: When we enter to Jan, can we refresh and choose other interviews than our previous choice that didn't make it?
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User #4689274 - 30 Nov 19 16:22
Hello! Phantasy Star and Crusader of Centy sounds interesting for me too. As for SNK, I'd love to read the Shock Troopers Developer Interview! (Saurus, but still)
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User #204884 - 30 Nov 19 08:48
Anything early Dragon Quest + the 1983 pre-DQ Horii interview. Anything Sakura Taisen, Tengai Makyou, Vagrant Story, Laplace no Ma and with the studio Love-de-lic. Plus that 1985 Tsutomu Fujisawa x Tatsuro Okamoto interview.
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User #20740279 - 2 Dec 19 11:22
Hi, I'd be interested to see the Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - 2005 Developer Interview or any of the Streets of Rage interviews. Peace !
user avatar
User #3019478 - 30 Nov 19 22:21
The "Final Fantasy Adventure - Developer Interview" would be great! Thanks for the amazing work :)
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User #20172345 - 30 Nov 19 16:24
I'd be interested to see the Square Enix Merger Interview Collection. Thanks!
Success Stories – 1989 Developer Interviews
Success Stories – 1989 Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2019-11-30T08:28:37+00:00
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Success Stories – 1989 Developer Interviews 2019-11-30T08:28:37+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/success1989/

This “Success Story” feature originally ran in the 3/89 issue of BEEP magazine, and as the name suggests, offered interview profiles of twelve different game designers. It’s light fare overall, but their candid and sometimes critical advice for aspiring game developers makes for some interesting reading now.

In addition to big names like Shigeru Miyamoto, there are lesser known designers and composers, such as three early Nihon Falcom luminaries and Nobuyuki Ohnogi (whose recent passing in August was actually the impetus for translating this small time capsule). Today I’ve included six of these profiles and will probably translate the remainder at another time.


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Zanac – 2015 Developer Interview
Zanac – 2015 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-11-29T15:12:04+00:00
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Zanac – 2015 Developer Interview 2019-11-29T15:12:04+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/zanac/

In this lengthy 2015 interview, Compile alum Takayuki “Jemini” Hirono discusses the making of their popular vertical STG Zanac, a game that made waves with its use of dynamic auto-adjusting difficulty, relatively wide variety of weapons, and high-speed scrolling. Zanac also cemented Compile’s long and fruitful association with shooting games.

For as much popularity and success as Zanac found on Nintendo hardware in particular, Compile was unable to produce an immediate sequel due to ownership disputes with the publisher; the eventual sequel, 2001’s Zanac x Zanac for the original PlayStation, ended up being Compile’s final STG and one largely developed by newcomers, many of whom would form the STG-focused studio Milestone upon Compile’s closure.


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Final Fantasy XI – 2002 Developer Interview
Final Fantasy XI – 2002 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-11-25T13:07:42+00:00
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Final Fantasy XI – 2002 Developer Interview 2019-11-25T13:07:42+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/ffxi/

These pre and post-release Final Fantasy XI interviews were salvaged from the GSLA archive, and offer a broad look at the early evolution of Square’s pioneering console MMO from conception to launch and beyond. Naturally, these interviews do not address the game’s continuing legacy: the game outlived its own five-year roadmap by over a decade and is still online to this day, with the 2013 expansion pack Seekers of Adoulin bearing the distinction of being the last officially-released Japanese PS2 disc software.


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Legend of Valkyrie – 1991 Developer Interview
Legend of Valkyrie – 1991 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-10-31T10:47:16+00:00
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Legend of Valkyrie – 1991 Developer Interview 2019-10-31T10:47:16+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/legendofvalkyrie/

This interview with Legend of Valkyrie character designer Hiroshi Fujii and main designer Koakuman originally appeared in the 1/91 issue of Hippon Super, and was later republished (with additions) in the World of Valkyrie illustrated book. Fujii discusses his early days at Namco, how he got involved with the first Adventure of Valkyrie game, and his sophisticated approach to designing the characters and world of Legend of Valkyrie.

I’ve also included a large selection of Fujii’s lush concept art, much of it depicting unused characters and stage ideas that didn’t make it into the final game. I would also recommend refreshing your memory by re-reading the wikipedia plot summary of Legend of Valkyrie to get the most out of the interview.


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Comments (1)
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User #5489740 - 6 Dec 19 07:31
There doesn't seem to be much info online about these artists, so it's great to learn about the design of this iconic character! Thank you.
Secret of Mana – 1993 Developer Interview
Secret of Mana – 1993 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-10-29T11:34:37+00:00
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Secret of Mana – 1993 Developer Interview 2019-10-29T11:34:37+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/secretofmana/

These lengthy Secret of Mana interviews with creators Hiromichi Tanaka and Koichi Ishii were originally published in Hippon Super magazine. The questions cover all aspects of the game, but focus especially on the team’s desire to break the mold of conventional RPG gameplay. The origin and inspiration behind the characters, Flammie, and “mana” itself are all touched on as well.

[[Sorry for the wait everyone! Had an annoying medical condition earlier this month that made work very, very slow-going (thankfully all ok now). I should have one more translation to share on Halloween! I'll also be opening up a new round of patron voting the first week of November.]]



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Comments (4)
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User #46358 - 1 Nov 19 03:55
Hope everything is good with your health! This was such a great read. I've been fascinated by an obscure Square Satellaview game called Treasure Conflix, which was a Mode 7 shooter RPG hybrid. Reading this interview I wonder if these guys had anything to do with it? I can hardly find any info on Treasure Conflix -- the final credits are on YouTube, but they're in Japanese so I can't figure out if they're listed somewhere. I would love to find out!
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shmuplations - 3 Nov 19 02:38
thanks! yeah, was a difficult 2-3 weeks of recovery but things are moving along again. as for Treasure Conflix, i've never actually heard of that... but it does sound like it was based on that airship stg idea! The programmer, however, looks to be Koji Sugimoto, and his first listed project is Chrono Trigger. Meanwhile, the visual design is Yusuke Naora, who apparently worked on V-V at Toaplan, and then FF6 and Chrono Trigger as well. So it's hard to say if there's a more concrete SoM link there, but seeing how much intermingling there was between the design groups at Square, it's probably likely.
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User #46358 - 3 Nov 19 05:06
Wow, interesting -- thanks for looking into it! Take your time healing up, it's always a treat reading these :)
user avatar
User #46358 - 1 Nov 19 03:55
Hope everything is good with your health! This was such a great read. I've been fascinated by an obscure Square Satellaview game called Treasure Conflix, which was a Mode 7 shooter RPG hybrid. Reading this interview I wonder if these guys had anything to do with it? I can hardly find any info on Treasure Conflix -- the final credits are on YouTube, but they're in Japanese so I can't figure out if they're listed somewhere. I would love to find out!
Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji – 1988 Developer Interview
Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji – 1988 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-10-08T13:38:18+00:00
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Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji – 1988 Developer Interview 2019-10-08T13:38:18+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/bubblebobble/

In this 1988 interview for BEEP! magazine, the late Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji discusses his start at Taito and the conception of many of his early works, including the extremely popular Bubble Bobble and its spiritual followup, Rainbow Islands. Despite MTJ’s enduring reputation as a Taito mainstay, his tenure was relatively brief; less than a year after this interview took place, he left Taito to establish a career as a freelance game designer and would later establish a formal school of game design where he taught until his passing in 2008.


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User #14045662 - 9 Oct 19 06:43
À gem of a vintage interview. Great info about bubble Bobble. Keep up the good work. !
 Fatal Fury 3 – 1995 Developer Interview
Fatal Fury 3 – 1995 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-09-30T07:53:24+00:00
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Fatal Fury 3 – 1995 Developer Interview 2019-09-30T07:53:24+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/fatalfury3/

This informative Fatal Fury 3 interview was originally featured in Neo Geo Freak magazine. The first half covers mechanic and system changes from the previous games, including the addition of an additional plane and oversway moves. The second half centers on the characters themselves, five of which were new for this entry. Finally, a nice collection of concept art showcases the early and rejected character designs.


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User #4802013 - 1 Oct 19 01:16
That was great, I loved all the extra concept art. Thank you!
Vagrant Story (Part II) - 1999 Developer Interviews
Vagrant Story (Part II) - 1999 Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2019-09-26T13:33:53+00:00
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Vagrant Story (Part II) - 1999 Developer Interviews 2019-09-26T13:33:53+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/vagrantstory/

Hey guys! I've added the rest of the excellent Ultimania Vagrant Story developer interviews, this time with the Sound, Programming, Planning, and 3D Graphics teams. I've appended them to the Yasumi Matsuno interview I translated last month. I actually have a couple more Vagrant Story interviews from magazines in my archive (the mid to late 90s was a good time for this kind of video game journalism in Japan), so hopefully I can get to those in the future as well.


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User #46358 - 26 Sep 19 21:21
Oooh I'd love to see those additional interviews. Thanks so much for these!
Short Cuts – Assorted Developer Interviews 1990-1994
Short Cuts – Assorted Developer Interviews 1990-1994more_vert
2019-09-17T13:06:11+00:00
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Short Cuts – Assorted Developer Interviews 1990-1994 2019-09-17T13:06:11+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/shortcuts/

There are a number of interviews in the shmuplations archive which, while too short or slight to be featured on their own, nonetheless contain interesting tidbits of information that merit translation. In many cases, these are the only developer comments that exist for these games. In the future I’ll be aggregating these shorter interviews here, beginning this month with Soul Blazer, Crusader of Centy, Final Fantasy III, and King Colossus!


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User #20847038 - 20 Sep 19 11:21
Very cool! Thank you for your work!
Lufia – 2016 Composer and Developer Interviews
Lufia – 2016 Composer and Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2019-08-31T11:02:39+00:00
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Lufia – 2016 Composer and Developer Interviews 2019-08-31T11:02:39+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/lufia/

These Lufia developer and composer interviews come from three sources: a 2016 interview with composer Yasunori Shiono celebrating a live orchestral performance of the Lufia II soundtrack; liner notes from a 2006 Lufia cd compilation; and finally, a series of questions asked to director Masahide Miyata at two fan events in 2012/2013.


...sorry for the last-minute updates this month everyone! I'll be responding to everyone's new votes soon and should be back on the typical schedule for September.


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User #8926835 - 31 Aug 19 19:16
Thanks for this! Lufia 2 was a game I found as an adult, and I really loved it and its music. I think there's a word missing in the bit about Arty's bow toward the end, after the ellipses.
The Story of Sonic Team – 1997 Developer Interview
The Story of Sonic Team – 1997 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-08-31T11:00:07+00:00
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The Story of Sonic Team – 1997 Developer Interview 2019-08-31T11:00:07+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/sonicteam/

This interview with Naoto Oshima and Yuji Naka was originally featured in the January 1997 issue of Sega Magazine. While it was titled “The Story of Sonic Team” there, it is really more an account of Naka and Oshima’s early days and the first Sonic the Hedgehog development.

I’ve also included a selection of design commentaries on all three Megadrive Sonic games, which was included in the July edition of Sega Magazine to promote Sonic Jam. Some now-familiar ground is covered, but there’s also plenty of new insights and anecdotes about their development!


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sonicteam00.jpg (129.9KiB)

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User #2709166 - 2 Sep 19 16:50
Awesome
Vagrant Story – 1999 Developer Interview
Vagrant Story – 1999 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-08-20T14:52:28+00:00
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Vagrant Story – 1999 Developer Interview 2019-08-20T14:52:28+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/vagrantstory/

These two Vagrant Story interviews from 1999 were originally featured in the Ultimania guide, but have (surprisingly) remained untranslated until now. After modestly disavowing his “auteur” reputation, Matsuno is gradually coaxed by the interviewer into an interesting discussion of Vagrant Story’s conception and design, with humorous anecdotes about Ogre Battle and FFT thrown in for good measure.

I’ve also added a small interview with the Akihiko Yoshida and the graphics team; in fact, there are four more short segments like this (with the planning, sound, programming, and 3D polygon teams) published in the Ultimania guide which I hope to add soon.


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User #46358 - 23 Aug 19 13:47
Vagrant Story is one of my favorites -- thanks so much for these translations! Definitely some nice tidbits I haven't read before :)
August/Sept/Oct Voting! 2019-08-01T06:09:08+00:00

Greetings to all patrons new and old. It's time again to offer suggestions and feedback re: what you'd like to see translated in the next few months. I'll still be referring to the previous voting posts, but it's never a bad idea to post again what you'd like to see translated. Also, if multiple people suggest the same interview, it's more likely to get translated, so feel free to second other people's suggestions. And as always, don't hesitate to ask questions about the interviews if you're curious about their content/length etc.

To vote, please take a look at the list here: http://shmuplations.com/patreonlist/ and leave a comment on this post letting me know what you'd like me to translate.

There's still a number of "long" interviews I'd like to work on (in fact, the Pokemon interview with Ken Sugimori has a first half that talks about his background as an artist, as well as the earlier Game Freak games like Pulseman and Quinty). I also have a Skies of Arcadia interview series that was commissioned this summer, which the client has given permission to publish here, so that'll be coming too (posted for free, of course). Thanks once again for all your support!

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Comments (24)
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User #306225 - 1 Aug 19 07:11
The two Technos interviews! (Double Dragon Neo-Geo and Voltage Fighter Gowcaiser), the Ghouls'n Ghosts interview with Fujiwara, and the RE2 Developer Interview with Mikami and Kamiya!
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User #13742011 - 1 Aug 19 13:34
I need some TG-16/PC-Engine goodies to tide me over until the new mini console ships! Please consider "Hudson pc engine reflections" or "pc engine in 1989". Thank you!
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User #81022 - 2 Aug 19 16:53
I found the perspective shown in previous PCE interviews on the game industry at the time really interesting. Definitely interested in more.
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User #14045662 - 1 Aug 19 07:40
So much new good stuff. Please Clone yourself. Sega Consumer History: Rieko Kodama x Noriyoshi Ohba - Developer Interview [!new!] The Story of Sonic Team - 1997 Developer Interview !NEW! Ghouls and Ghosts - 1988 Developer Interview !NEW!
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User #748186 - 1 Aug 19 17:03
Capcom Designer and Illustrator - Roundtable Interview! What can I say? I'm a sucker for Bengus.
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User #505345 - 1 Aug 19 07:13
Undercover Cops - 1992 Developer Interview
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User #14045662 - 1 Aug 19 07:40
And i second those : Mitsuji Fukio - Developer Interview (Bubble Bobble) 32min Fukio Mitsuji - Game Design Series
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User #2497240 - 1 Aug 19 08:44
I second anything Vagrant Story related, e.g. Vagrant Story - Developer Interviews.
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User #4689274 - 1 Aug 19 15:59
Thanks for your work! Some picks from me: Crusader of Centy - Developer Interview Dynamite Heady - Developer Interview Final Fantasy III - 1990 Developer Interview Harumi Fujita - Composer Interview Hitoshi Sakimoto - Composer Interview Any Masato Maegawa Interview Looking forward to reading ^_~
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User #81022 - 2 Aug 19 16:48
Seconding any and all Treasure interviews, especially long ones. :) I think you mentioned the Heady one was pretty short (back when there was a forum for questions on interviews) but if it's interesting, I'm interested, ha ha.
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User #81022 - 2 Aug 19 16:58
Oh, and my mandate also includes Crusader of Centy :)
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User #505345 - 1 Aug 19 07:11
Fukio Mitsuji - Game Design Series
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User #505345 - 1 Aug 19 07:12
Legend of Valkyrie - 1990 Designer Interview
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User #15629329 - 1 Aug 19 06:10
Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced - Developer Interview Collection!
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User #506610 - 1 Aug 19 19:27
- Yu Suzuki x Yoichi Miyaji - Developer Interview 1997 & - Developers on the Cutting Edge Yoichi Miyaji; Hidenobu Takahashi; Manabu Daishima; Hideo Minaba 1997
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User #4802013 - 1 Aug 19 06:51
Fatal Fury - Developer Interviews Fatal Fury 3 - Developer Interview Fukio Mitsuji - Game Design Series Any of these would be wonderful, thank you.
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User #14032667 - 1 Aug 19 06:18
Yasuhisa 'Yack' Watanabe - Composer Interview
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User #3019478 - 1 Aug 19 17:38
The "Hironobu Sakaguchi x Yasumi Matsuno (Square)" interview from 2005 would be great!
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User #566887 - 1 Aug 19 07:16
Thanks for the MTJ roundtable! I'd love to see one of his game design essays soon. Mitsuji Fukio - Developer Interview (1988) Fukio Mitsuji - Game Design Series (1989) I made that! The Creators Speak (1991) Kazutoshi Iida - 1996 Developer Interview (1996) Tail of the Sun - Developer Interviews (1996) Looking Back At Compile - Developer Interview (1998) Famous Puzzle Game Developers Speak (1998) Flicky - Developer Interview (2002) Polarium - Developer Interview (2004)
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User #5066737 - 1 Aug 19 20:02
Hironobu Sakaguchi x Yasumi Matsuno (Square) Castlevania: Curse of Darkness - 2005 Developer Interview !NEW! Capcom Design Works - Developer Interviews Cheers!
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User #194616 - 1 Aug 19 10:24
Anything game music related, but these ones specifically interest me now: - The 90s Game Music Band Boom - The Black Mages Interview Collection (Uematsu's Square music band) I also second anything Vagrant Story related.
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User #81022 - 2 Aug 19 16:46
I'm still interested in 90s Game Music Band Boom as well.
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User #505345 - 1 Aug 19 07:08
Mitsuji Fukio - Developer Interview (Bubble Bobble)
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User #259403 - 1 Aug 19 11:34
Anything related to SNK and/or Final Fantasy XI - there are multiples in the list, but since there was another vote here for Fatal Fury articles, I guess I can back those for now.
Talking Game Design with Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji
Talking Game Design with Fukio “MTJ” Mitsujimore_vert
2019-07-30T14:56:04+00:00
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Talking Game Design with Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji 2019-07-30T14:56:04+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/mtjdesign/

This 1989 feature, originally published in Gamest magazine, captures a discussion between some of Japan’s most accomplished arcade game designers, led by fellow Taito developer and regular Gamest contributor Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji (1960-2008). While it ostensibly broaches the general topic of game design, the discussion tends to focus on the individual and shared work histories of the interviewees and the conception of popular games like Kazutoshi Ueda’s Mr. Do! and Michishito Ishikawa’s Wonder Boy.

In addition to this interview, Fukio Mitsuji actually published 10 other essays on game design in Gamest from 88-90, I believe. They're mostly related to arcade action/puzzle design (with occasional insights in Mitsuji's own games like Bubble Bobble), but I'm happy to translate them if there's interest (I'll be opening voting again in a couple days!).


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mtj00.jpg (139.6KiB)

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User #14045662 - 31 Jul 19 07:04
Oh my. This picture alone explains the greatness of this site. I Want a shirt with that.
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shmuplations - 31 Jul 19 14:56
its from another interview with MTJ alone, actually... from BEEP magazine. focuses on Bubble Bobble and his earlier work iirc
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User #566887 - 30 Jul 19 19:33
BOOM. Thank you!
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User #4802013 - 31 Jul 19 04:55
I'd love to see some of those essays eventually!
Pokémon – 2000 Developer Interview
Pokémon – 2000 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-07-30T14:50:46+00:00
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Pokémon – 2000 Developer Interview 2019-07-30T14:50:46+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/pokemon/

In this 2000 interview, Pokemon veteran and art director Ken Sugimori outlines the genesis of Game Freak’s perennially popular monster-collecting franchise, the struggles he faced designing and rendering the early games’ extensive cast of creatures, and adjusting to life after delivering an explosive, ubiquitous hit.

Also included is an article by Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto on his relationship with Pokemon’s co-creator and Game Freak founder, the somewhat elusive Satoshi Tajiri; as explained in the article, the “mentor/student” relationship often ascribed to them isn’t necessarily one rooted in reality.



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User #13742011 - 1 Aug 19 14:33
Loved this. I remember as a kid being blown away by how great these sprites looked compared to the (few) other carts I had like Flipul or Alleyway.
Yasumi Matsuno Interview Round-up!
Yasumi Matsuno Interview Round-up!more_vert
2019-07-19T15:20:25+00:00
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Yasumi Matsuno Interview Round-up! 2019-07-19T15:20:25+00:00close

Hey guys! As requested, I've got two Yasumi Matsuno interviews to share today:

Yasumi Matsuno x Hideo Kojima (1999) - http://shmuplations.com/matsunoxkojima/
Yasumi Matsuno x Shigeru Miyamoto (2003) - http://shmuplations.com/matsunoxmiyamoto/

I was originally only planning to do the Kojima interview, but I thought it was a little on the short side, so I've bundled these two together for one update. Both cover the more "top-level" side of game development, but still contain a lot of fascinating insights and thoughts from Kojima, Miyamoto, and Matsuno alike. Enjoy! I'm a little late on updates this month but I am still planning to do two more interviews before August, as well as holding another round of voting in the next couple days.

Comments (1)
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User #10096008 - 19 Jul 19 22:26
Thank you very much for those interviews. It's so fascinating because there is not a lot of history of Matsuno interacting with other famous designers and see what they have in common or what are their differences in philosophy. I love how Matsuno followed through on the idea of genes, though Kojima seems a bit more fixated on "superior genes" haha. Thank you for all your work I really appreciate it
The History of Nintendo Game Music (1983-2001)
The History of Nintendo Game Music (1983-2001)more_vert
2019-06-27T14:18:07+00:00
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The History of Nintendo Game Music (1983-2001) 2019-06-27T14:18:07+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/nintendogamemusic/

Veteran Nintendo composers Koji Kondo and Kazumi Totaka expound upon the ever-changing world of video game audio in this interview published on Nintendo’s Japanese “Nintendo Online Monthly” website in 2001. As this interview sought to outline the day-to-day work of a videogame sound designer, there’s relatively little discussion about the conception of particular tunes, but there’s still plenty of insight into how Nintendo’s approach to audio has evolved in tandem with their hardware.

Akira Yasuda – 2003 Developer Interview (Part II)
Akira Yasuda – 2003 Developer Interview (Part II)more_vert
2019-06-18T11:56:41+00:00
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Akira Yasuda – 2003 Developer Interview (Part II) 2019-06-18T11:56:41+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/akirayasuda/

Here is the long-awaited conclusion to the Akira Yasuda interview from a couple months back! Akiman discusses his frustrations with managing new talent at Capcom post-SFII, his work on Turn A Gundam, and the unfortunate fate of the original Red Dead Revolver project.

Data East – 2004 Developer Interview
Data East – 2004 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-06-18T11:46:28+00:00
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Data East – 2004 Developer Interview 2019-06-18T11:46:28+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/deco/

In this roundtable interview, originally published in 2004, the mysterious “D”, “E”, “C” & “O” share their insight on the inner workings of Data East a.k.a. DECO, a company that intrigued and confounded audiences with a near-constant barrage of original and very peculiar arcade games from the late ’70s until formally dissolving in the early ’00s. It’s hard to get a grasp on the interviewees’ role at the company, much less their personal relations to the games discussed, but they nevertheless offer plenty of gossip, and more than a few Wikipedia corrections, about some of DECO’s most memorable titles.

Comments (1)
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User #46358 - 18 Jun 19 16:21
Delightfully strange!
Seiken Densetsu 3 – 1995 Developer Interview
Seiken Densetsu 3 – 1995 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-05-30T12:38:06+00:00
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Seiken Densetsu 3 – 1995 Developer Interview 2019-05-30T12:38:06+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/seikendensetsu3/

This 1995 interview covers the development of the Square action-RPG Seiken Densetsu 3, the sequel to the beloved Secret of Mana and a game that was famously denied--and has still yet to receive--an official overseas release. Over the course of this discussion, director Tanaka, designer Ishii and composer Kikuta outline their initial concepts for the game’s cast, the realization of ideas that couldn’t be implemented in the previous game, and the points of differentiation between Seiken Densetsu and its sister series, Final Fantasy.

Comments (1)
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User #9951044 - 30 May 19 16:47
amazinngggggggg thanks
 Women and the Famicom – 1991 Special Interview
Women and the Famicom – 1991 Special Interviewmore_vert
2019-05-27T12:02:24+00:00
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Women and the Famicom – 1991 Special Interview 2019-05-27T12:02:24+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/womenandthefamicom/

In this breezy discussion, first published by Famitsu in 1991, three Japanese women (ostensibly readers of Famicom Tsuushin chosen at random) discuss their introduction to video games, their tastes and preferences, and their experiences with a hobby that was viewed by many as dominated by, and exclusively targeted towards, boys and young men. By their comments, it’s quite apparent how the image of the average video game player has broadened over almost three decades, and while the sweeping statements about women may sound hopelessly out-of-date today, many of their stories and anecdotes will be familiar.

Comments (2)
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User #20986004 - 8 Jun 19 10:25
Really enjoyed this piece, it's cool to get an idea what gaming was like in Japan in those years and there's a lot of great lines in there.
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User #5489740 - 31 May 19 07:48
Thank you so much! It's an interesting cultural time capsule.
Castlevania – Developer Commentary
Castlevania – Developer Commentarymore_vert
2019-05-10T12:29:54+00:00
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Castlevania – Developer Commentary 2019-05-10T12:29:54+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/castlevania/

The development of the three Famicom Castlevania games has long been shrouded in mystery. Recently, a developer who was mentored by Castlevania director/creator/programmer Hitoshi Akamatsu in the 90s began sharing memories of their conversations in a series of tweets. This developer, who worked with Akamatsu on the Playstation fishing game Tsuridou in the late 90s, happened to be a huge Castlevania fan and talked with Akamatsu at length about the series’ design and development, sharing bits and pieces over the last few years.

While I usually stick to formal interviews for shmuplations, given the dearth of info on the early Castlevania games, I felt like this merited special consideration. I’ve organized the tweets roughly by subject matter. Finally, I’ve also appended an anonymous (but credible) commentary from someone who worked on the Castlevania III development, likely planner Urata.

Comments (1)
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User #370560 - 10 May 19 12:44
This whole post confirms that Konami was a terrible company to work for all along
Darius I&II – 1986/89 Developer Interviews
Darius I&II – 1986/89 Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2019-04-30T09:47:59+00:00
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Darius I&II – 1986/89 Developer Interviews 2019-04-30T09:47:59+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/dariusii/

These two interviews cover the development of Taito’s high-spec ultra-wide shooting game, Darius, and its hotly-anticipated sequel, Darius II. In both interviews, the developers outline their ambitions to wow players with a combination of indomitable audiovisual finesse and hordes of unique, show-stopping bosses, many of which weren’t able to be realized in the original game.

I’ve also translated and appended a scan of the first chapter of the promotional “Darius Story” comic mentioned in the interview, which ran in the April 1986 issue of Gamest – click each image to view at full size. I'm not aware of further chapters being released in Gamest, but if I ever find more, I will be sure to add them!

Super Smash Bros. – 1999 Developer Interview
Super Smash Bros. – 1999 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-04-26T14:56:19+00:00
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Super Smash Bros. – 1999 Developer Interview 2019-04-26T14:56:19+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/smashbros/

In this interview with the short-lived Nice Games magazine, Kirby series creator Masahiro Sakurai discusses the inspiration behind the newly-released Nintendo 64 4-player fighting game, Super Smash Bros, and the challenges that faced him both before and after release: game balance, marketing, critical reception and the surprising liabilities that came with adopting a Nintendo All-Stars conceit.

Comments (1)
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User #740557 - 26 Apr 19 15:00
Really appreciate your work mate
Akira Yasuda – 2003 Developer Interview
Akira Yasuda – 2003 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-04-14T04:17:09+00:00
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Akira Yasuda – 2003 Developer Interview 2019-04-14T04:17:09+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/akirayasuda/

In the first half of this lengthy 2003 interview, legendary designer and illustrator Akira “Akiman” Yasuda looks back at his origins as an artist and the early titles to which he lent his talents as a Capcom employee, including the popular and influential brawler Final Fight and the era-defining and canonical fighting game Street Fighter II.

Comments (1)
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shmuplations - 14 Apr 19 04:19
hey guys! just a quick note: this is one of the "long" interviews from the archive. I'm experimenting with a system where I'll translate one half of each of these per month. They contain some of the best, richest content, but to translate them all under one patron-funding isn't really feasible (the usual shmuplations interviews is around 3000~4000 words, which the site can financially support, but many of these longer interviews run into the 10k-15k word range).
April/May/June Voting! 2019-04-02T13:19:38+00:00

Greetings to all patrons new and old. It's time again to offer suggestions and feedback re: what you'd like to see translated in the next few months. I'll still be referring to the previous voting posts, but it's never a bad idea to post again what you'd like to see translated. Also, if multiple people suggest the same interview, it's more likely to get translated, so feel free to second other people's suggestions. And as always, don't hesitate to ask questions about the interviews if you're curious about their content/length etc.

To vote, please take a look at the list here: http://shmuplations.com/patreonlist/ and leave acomment on this post letting me know what you'd like me to translate.

In the coming months, I'm going to focus on translating more of the in-depth "long interviews", with a previously requested Akira Yasuda interview already on the slate. I also want to make sure I get some music/composer interviews in this time too. Other than that, I'll continue to select interviews from the ones you've listed here and in previous months. Thanks again for all your support!

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Comments (39)
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User #259403 - 3 Apr 19 07:26
The one about Final Fantasy XI interests me a lot, as does anything regarding SNK.
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User #17542045 - 2 Apr 19 13:24
Some interviews about Animal Crossing or Pokémon would be cool. Also the one about PaRappa the Rapper ! Miyamoto is a big fan of it. thanks for your work !!
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shmuplations - 2 Apr 19 13:38
Pokemon is definitely one I've been meaning to get to eventually, and there's a lot of PaRappa content left to translate (that mid/late-90s era is sort of a golden age for developer interviews, especially Playstation games)
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User #14045662 - 2 Apr 19 14:01
And anything about the Phantasy Star (RPG) series !
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User #2330711 - 3 Apr 19 01:02
Designing Female Characters - 1992 Developer Interview sounds both interesting and troublesome, a combination I'd love to see.
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shmuplations - 16 Apr 19 04:09
Haha, it is both those things indeed. Part of it has already been translated (the Undercover Cops design comments about Rosa came from that feature, though I didn't know it at the time as I was working off an excerpt). There's a large amount of concept art for each character too, which I haven't seen elsewhere.
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User #2497240 - 2 Apr 19 14:20
Anything Matsuno related (e.g. Hideo Kojima x Yasumi Matsuno, Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen - Developer Interview or Shigeru Miyamoto x Yasumi Matsuno). Very, very interested in Vagrant Story - Developer Interviews though (is it new? haven't seen this one before :)).
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shmuplations - 2 Apr 19 14:30
The March of the Black Queen interview isn't as in-depth as I'd like it to be, but the Kojima and Miyamoto one-on-ones are both great. Vagrant Story is one I've been meaning to do for awhile. I'm actually spoilt for choice there: multiple magazine interviews plus the still-untranslated ultimania interview...
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User #2497240 - 2 Apr 19 14:36
I'm actually curious about those one-on-ones; in any case, just keep up the good work!
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User #3019478 - 2 Apr 19 21:51
I would love to read about the "Hironobu Sakaguchi x Yasumi Matsuno (Square)" interview from 2005!
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User #14045662 - 2 Apr 19 13:59
Irem: History and Future - Round Table Developer Interview Data East Arcade Retrospective - Developer Interview Fantasy Zone - 1997 Developer Interview
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shmuplations - 2 Apr 19 14:23
Both great choices--the Irem piece is from Gamest, and the Data East one is from a book, very substantive. As for that Fantasy Zone interview, its a surprisingly solid addition to the 2014 one I already translated, with some extra info (little tidbit: the title originally was going to be used for Space Harrier, but the dev chief saw both games in-development and thought "Fantasy Zone" fit Yoji Ishii's game better).
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User #14045662 - 2 Apr 19 14:30
Wow, thanks, great info! Fingers crossed ;)
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User #81022 - 4 Apr 19 18:59
Seconding for Fantasy Zone! :)
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User #506610 - 2 Apr 19 17:29
The "Yu Suzuki x Yoichi Miyaji - Developer Interview" sounds intriguing.
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User #676680 - 2 Apr 19 20:55
The 7 Secrets of Darius - 1987 Developer Interview !NEW!
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User #81022 - 4 Apr 19 18:54
Seconding. Would definitely read any article with a name like that, ha ha.
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User #301126 - 2 Apr 19 13:40
Bumping my picks from the last round of voting. Toru Iwatani - 2005 Developer Long Interview Nobuyuki Oonogi - Namco Famicom Music Interviews
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shmuplations - 2 Apr 19 13:42
Nice, those Namco Famicom music interviews are on my radar for some upcoming music pieces. There's a great roundtable from STG Gameside (i think?) with older Namco composers too.
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User #553013 - 2 Apr 19 13:36
I'd like to vote for the Shining Force II development interview and the Shining Force Gaiden/CD one!
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shmuplations - 2 Apr 19 13:44
haha, i literally (like 2 hours ago) just finished Shining Force II for the first time, and understand your name now! I want to translate these, though I might wait a bit since I just did the Shining Force interview a couple months back. :)
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shmuplations - 2 Apr 19 13:29
Oh, and I forgot to add--I've added about 70 new interviews to the archive, which you can filter through by searching for "!NEW!" Most are from the missing Gamest issues that the Diet Library recently acquired.
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User #204884 - 2 Apr 19 13:28
Any of the Shoji Matsuda interviews. The Culdcept interview. The Donpachi and Dodonpachi interviews. The Horii and Nakamura early (1-2-3) DQ interviews. The Designing the World of Metal Gear Kojima interview. The Final Fantasy II - 1988 Developer Interview.
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shmuplations - 2 Apr 19 13:50
The FFII and FFIII interviews are pretty short, so I'll probably bundle them with something soon. Culdcept and Shoji Masuda interviews are both really good, though super niche. Horii/Nakamura interviews are good and I (surprisingly) still have quite a few nice ones left, though I might try covering V or VI next. Finally, that Metal Gear Kojima interview is great, though I'll need to do some research and make sure it hasn't been translated by the Metal Gear fanbase yet. :)
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User #717283 - 3 Apr 19 21:38
I second getting more Horii and Nakamura content given how important the DQ games are to Japanese video game history. You still owe us part two of that Chunsoft anniversary extravaganza too. ;)
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User #194616 - 3 Apr 19 05:23
I vote for "History of Nintendo Game Music" (but anything related to game music would be great!).
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User #13720323 - 2 Apr 19 13:26
So much material! :D This time I'd like to vote for: · Thunder Force VI - Developer Interview / Tetsu Okano / 2009 · Stellar Assault - Developer Interview / Kouji Tsuchida / 1998
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shmuplations - 3 Apr 19 07:36
The Stellar Assault interview is great. It's from Used Games, the late 90s forerunner to Gameside, the people who have been responsible for a lot of great dev interviews and "retro" game journalism in japan. That TFVI interview, incidentally, is also from Gameside. It probably won't change anyone's mind about the game but it does give Okano a chance to explain his choices in the game vis-a-vis the other TF games.
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User #4689274 - 2 Apr 19 19:17
Hi! Either "The Story of Sonic Team - 1997 Developer Interview" or "AZEL Panzer Dragoon RPG - Developer Interview" would be great reads I think! Thanks for your work.
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shmuplations - 3 Apr 19 08:06
The Story of Sonic Team is one of the newer interviews I've added... it and the new Sonic Retrospective are really nice. I've been meaning to get some more Panzer Dragoon up too, either AZEL or Zwei.
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User #12251258 - 2 Apr 19 13:24
Sega Arcade History: Hiroshi Yagi Thanks! :)
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shmuplations - 2 Apr 19 14:01
This one is entirely focused on Sega arcade pcb hardware, starting with the Model 1 and going up to the Naomi 2. Lots of detailed talk about the specs, why certain features were added/compromises made, etc.
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User #12251258 - 2 Apr 19 16:57
Ah thanks for the summary! I haven't seen much in English about the arcade hardware side of Sega. Are there any older interviews of this nature? I'm guessing no, as they were pretty secretive about this stuff.
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User #566887 - 2 Apr 19 16:50
I'd love to see the Fukio "MTJ" Mitsuji series of articles on Game Design from GAMEST issues 30—41 (1989/03—1990/02). Cheers!
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shmuplations - 3 Apr 19 07:39
Yeah, I'll have to take a closer look through these and see which of the 12 is most appropriate to translate first. #5 features a chat with other developers from Westone and Tehkan, so that might be a good start.
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User #4802013 - 3 Apr 19 01:08
Bumping my votes for "Fatal Fury - Developer Interviews" and "Fatal Fury 3 - Developer Interview" from last time. But I'd also love to see "Data East Arcade Retrospective - Developer Interview" and "Sega Arcade History: Hiroshi Yagi", so seconding those!
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User #15915908 - 2 Apr 19 23:18
Women and the Famicom; Rembering Gunpei Yokoi; any interview with Satoshi Taijri or Ken Sugimori would be interesting
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User #81022 - 4 Apr 19 18:57
Seconding here for Game Freak, especially interviews covering games besides Pokemon (Jelly Boy, Pulseman, Quinty, etc).
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shmuplations - 16 Apr 19 04:14
Sounds like Women and the Famicom is going on the short-shortlist, haha. I should clarify though, in case people are curious... the interview is actually with three female gamers, not game developers. It's one of the rare non-developer interviews in the archive, but that said, the interview questions are actually pretty good and not offensively condescending or insipid, imo. Excellent cultural time capsule piece fwiw
Treasure and the Megadrive – Developer Interviews
Treasure and the Megadrive – Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2019-03-29T02:11:19+00:00
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Treasure and the Megadrive – Developer Interviews 2019-03-29T02:11:19+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/treasureroundup/

This assortment of interviews shows the newly-formed studio Treasure promoting their earliest Mega Drive games: the critically-acclaimed run-and-gun action game Gunstar Heroes, the cult classic platformer Dynamite Headdy, and the somewhat forgotten licensed romp McDonalds Treasure Land Adventure.

From their inception, Treasure established themselves as a company with an eye for detail and a penchant for technical wizardry, to which the core Mega Drive audience and Sega themselves responded with overwhelming enthusiasm; sadly, their craftsmanship was rarely rewarded with commercial success, on the Mega Drive or elsewhere, but many of their titles including Gunstar Heroes have since become staples of Sega’s legacy catalog.

Comments (2)
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User #4802013 - 29 Mar 19 02:37
I'm going to say this completely unironically: This is the McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure interview I craved. Thank you.
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User #81022 - 29 Mar 19 02:56
Thanks for doing this one! As for BaraBara, the "ultimate character" has got to be this miniboss from near the end of the game, right?? https://youtu.be/LNbmJyL872c?t=3487
 Final Fantasy VIII – 1998 Developer Interviews
Final Fantasy VIII – 1998 Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2019-03-25T15:14:08+00:00
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Final Fantasy VIII – 1998 Developer Interviews 2019-03-25T15:14:08+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/ff8/

How does one follow up a zillion-selling, standard-setting smash hit? Square’s Final Fantasy team leads discussed that and much more with Famitsu as part of the press tour for Final Fantasy VIII, the second 3D Final Fantasy title and one that sought to break new ground in terms of cinematography, graphical fidelity and narrative pretensions—why it’s been routinely passed over for remastering, we may never know.

Aria of Sorrow – 2003 Developer Interview
Aria of Sorrow – 2003 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-03-13T23:26:57+00:00
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Aria of Sorrow – 2003 Developer Interview 2019-03-13T23:26:57+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/ariaofsorrow/

These two interviews cover the conception and development of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, the third and final Castlevania game developed for Game Boy Advance and the second of six handheld titles helmed by former franchise stalwart Koji Igarashi. From the setting, to the protagonist, to the voluminous soul acquisition system, IGA and his team outline the balancing act between pushing the series into new territory without alienating their core audience, with a lighthearted jab or two thrown at future Bloodstained comrade Shutaro “Curry the Kid” Iida for good measure.

Comments (2)
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User #4802013 - 14 Mar 19 01:00
Thank you! This interview rules.
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User #18419876 - 18 Mar 19 23:24
One of my absolute favourite games, looking forward to reading. Also want to say a massive thank you for all the work you've done over the years. I think I first found your via a Gradius 2 interview on the shmups.com forum. That stuff is usually hidden by a curtain because of the language difference, and that peak behind really contributed to my interest in videogame history. I used your articles extensively in a thing I've just finished about where Dragon Quest came from (link below if interested), so I'm really happy to finally become a backer and give a little back. Keep up the good work. My article: Enix Origins: The Story Behind Dragon Quest
A Visit to Konami (1987)
A Visit to Konami (1987)more_vert
2019-02-27T23:28:18+00:00
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A Visit to Konami (1987) 2019-02-27T23:28:18+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/konamivisit/

In the late 1980s, BEEP! magazine ran a series of special features on major developers (Namco, Sega, Konami) and their workspaces. They make for a great “time-capsule” read, and also include some rare (and low-res, unfortunately) pictures.

Konami was riding high during these years, which saw the start of several classic franchises like Castlevania, Gradius, Contra, and Metal Gear. These successes, as well as the general abundance of the 1980s bubble economy in Japan, are reflected in Konami’s relatively opulent offices. In between the jocular sexism and creepy stalker vibes, there’s some neat details about Konami’s development process, albeit filtered through a definite PR/management lens.

Shin Megami Tensei – 1992 Developer Interviews
Shin Megami Tensei – 1992 Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2019-02-19T21:56:21+00:00
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Shin Megami Tensei – 1992 Developer Interviews 2019-02-19T21:56:21+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/smt/

These three short interviews cover the conception, development and post-release thoughts of several of the key members behind the original Super Famicom version of Shin Megami Tensei, the cataclysmic demon-negotiation RPG that would amass a hardcore following, spawn a multitude of spin-offs and sub-series and even eventually find an audience overseas, despite the concerns of some of the developers at the time.

Comments (1)
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shmuplations - 19 Feb 19 22:00
(glad to finally get some more SMT content up on the site--i believe Soul Hackers was specifically requested, but that one was a little short, so I'll add it into a "short interviews" roundup feature sometime in the coming months)
Tetris – 1993 Developer Interview
Tetris – 1993 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-01-31T19:38:54+00:00
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Tetris – 1993 Developer Interview 2019-01-31T19:38:54+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/tetris/

Although the history of the Tetris development is fairly well-known now, these two interviews from 1993 and 1989 feature comments from creator Alexey Patjinov on a range of subjects, including his thoughts on other puzzle games, future video game technology, and the notorious Tetris copyright disputes. I’ve also included an extra interview from BPS developers of Tetris Battle Gaiden, a criminally unknown SFC descendant of Tetris.

Comments (1)
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User #5489740 - 3 Feb 19 02:45
Patijnov sort of predicted virtual reality was the next step (for tetris)!
Shining Force – 1992 Developer Interviews
Shining Force – 1992 Developer Interviewsmore_vert
2019-01-29T13:03:24+00:00
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Shining Force – 1992 Developer Interviews 2019-01-29T13:03:24+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/shiningforce/

In these two interviews, several members of Sonic! Software Planning (now Camelot Software) and Climax Studios, led by producer, game designer, president and self-confessed jock Hiroyuki Takahashi, discuss the making of the 1992 Mega Drive strategy-RPG Shining Force, the sequel to dungeon crawler Shining in the Darkness and one of the first Japanese strategy-RPGs released in the post-Dragon Quest era, where accessibility, pacing and presentation were of the utmost priority.

Subsequent to the release of Shining Force, Sonic! Co. and Climax would part ways, with Sonic! Co. developing several additional Shining titles across multiple genres before cutting ties with Sega after the release of their ill-fated three-part Sega Saturn opus, 1998’s Shining Force III.

Comments (4)
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User #6635599 - 19 Dec 19 19:03 - revision 2
Glad you translated this, thanks! I'm going to vote for Shining Force II. That is, if you guys will back me up?
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User #6635599 - 19 Dec 19 19:03
Glad you translated this, thanks! I'm going to vote for Shining Force II, next time. That is, if you guys will back me up?
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User #373783 - 29 Jan 19 15:44
I hope all the patreon money gets funneled to you somehow so we get unlimited interviews!
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User #553013 - 29 Jan 19 13:37
Oh my gosh, thank you so much!
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User #6635599 - 12 Jan 20 06:58
Hey Kazin, I want to ask you something.
Dragon Quest IV – 1989 Developer Interview
Dragon Quest IV – 1989 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2019-01-21T01:01:57+00:00
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Dragon Quest IV – 1989 Developer Interview 2019-01-21T01:01:57+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/dqivroundtable/

In this lengthy interview from the 11/89 issue of Famicom Tsuushin, Dragon Quest creators Yuji Horii and Koichi Nakamura talk about the challenges of making Dragon Quest IV, with a particular emphasis on the AI system.

Although the later ports of DQIV would add a manual control option, for its time, the party AI system was an impressive new addition to console RPGs—and something of a programming challenge given the speed and memory constraints of early Famicom hardware.

Rayforce – 2016 Developer Interview
Rayforce – 2016 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2018-12-31T05:28:05+00:00
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Rayforce – 2016 Developer Interview 2018-12-31T05:28:05+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/rayforce/

This lengthy and fascinating interview with key developers of Taito’s Rayforce was originally featured in the “game gene” mook. What I have presented here is actually an edited version of the longer interview, which goes on to discuss Raystorm and Raycrisis in turn; hopefully I will be able to translate those portions at a later time!

Comments (1)
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User #5489740 - 3 Feb 19 02:47
Thank you! I didn't know about Rayforce before, but I appreciate reading about the developer's passion and innovation.
The Roots of Compile – 1998 Developer Interview
The Roots of Compile – 1998 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2018-12-31T05:25:52+00:00
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The Roots of Compile – 1998 Developer Interview 2018-12-31T05:25:52+00:00close

http://shmuplations.com/rootsofcompile/

This compilation of interviews from 1998’s Complete Compile book sheds light on the early days of the prolific, now-defunct software house Compile and the origins of several of their most memorable titles, including the comical RPG series Madou Monogatari and its falling-block puzzle game spin-off, the wildly successful Puyo Puyo.

Comments (3)
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User #566887 - 31 Jan 19 19:50
What's the "Compile book"?
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shmuplations - 31 Jan 19 19:55
(added a link there for you, i had mislabeled it "All About Compile" when its actually "Complete Compile", in case that's why you were having trouble finding it)
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User #566887 - 31 Jan 19 21:21
Thanks! That'll be why :)
Dec/Jan/Feb Voting! 2018-12-04T06:11:18+00:00

Greetings to all patrons new and old. It's time again to offer suggestions and feedback re: what you'd like to see translated in the next few months. I'll still be referring to the previous voting posts, but it's never a bad idea to post again what you'd like to see translated. I've got a nice big Rayforce interview coming soon, but besides that, I'm hoping to dedicate the next few months to these patron-voted interviews exclusively (still a minor backlog to work through).

To vote, please take a look at the list here: http://shmuplations.com/patreonlist/ and leave a comment on this post letting me know what you'd like me to translate.

You may have noticed, but if multiple people suggest the same interview, it's more likely to get translated, so feel free to second other people's suggestions. And as always, don't hesitate to ask questions about the interviews if you're curious about their content/length etc. Thanks again for all your support!

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Comments (22)
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User #9951044 - 4 Dec 18 17:53
Id like to read any of the Seiken Denetsu 3 stuff
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User #370560 - 4 Dec 18 12:36
-Any of the Akiman interviews would be nice -The Capcom Design Works interview -The Matsuno/Kojima Vagrant Story interview Thanks so much!
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User #2529044 - 4 Dec 18 07:40
Wow, what a backlog! How to choose just one... So You Want to be a Game Designer - Satoshi Tajiri - 1993
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User #301126 - 4 Dec 18 16:19
Toru Iwatani - 2005 Developer Long Interview Nobuyuki Oonogi - Namco Famicom Music Interviews
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User #42209 - 4 Dec 18 08:39
Akira "Akiman" Yasuda - 2001 Designer Long Interview
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User #5489740 - 4 Dec 18 07:20
Women and the Famicom - 1991 Tetris 1989 Developer Interview - Alexey Pajitnov - 1989 Wonder Project J2 - 1995 Developer Interview please! I love your work. I think Tetris would be timely for Tetris Effect.
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User #12251258 - 4 Dec 18 09:39
Hello! Thanks again for the awesome Space Harrier translations. One that I think might be interesting from the list: Sega Arcade History: Hiroshi Yagi He designed the Game Gear and a lot of the classic Sega Arcade Hardware PCBs :-)
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User #373783 - 4 Dec 18 13:14
Alpha Lyla Strider/Ghouls n Ghosts!!
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User #307817 - 4 Dec 18 06:50
Elemental Gimmick Gear - Developer Interview AND Blue Stinger - Developer Interview
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User #490655 - 4 Dec 18 16:28
Copy/Paste : Always the same stuff for me : Darius 2 – Developer Interview & Metal Black - Developer Interview (2006). STG forever and ever :)
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User #2345543 - 4 Dec 18 17:23
· Masato Maegawa talks Programming · Masato Maegawa- Developer Long Interview Metal Black - Developer Interview (2006)
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User #81022 - 4 Dec 18 06:52
I know you got Treasure interviews, you know I want Treasure interviews. ;)
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User #259403 - 4 Dec 18 16:23
Anything related to SNK and Final Fantasy XI works for me.
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User #3019478 - 4 Dec 18 07:57
Final Fantasy VIII - Developer Interview Collection would be cool especially as we're approaching the 10th anniversary of the game next year!
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User #566887 - 4 Dec 18 23:11
It's my 42nd birthday next week. Maybe I'll discover the meaning of life in the next translation? (spoiler: it's videogames) Mitsuji Fukio - Developer Interview (1988) I made that! The Creators Speak (1991) Kazutoshi Iida - 1996 Developer Interview (1996) Looking Back At Compile - Developer Interview (1998) Famous Puzzle Game Developers Speak (1998) Flicky - Developer Interview (2002) Polarium - Developer Interview (2004)
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User #13720323 - 4 Dec 18 08:15
· Masato Maegawa talks Programming · Masato Maegawa- Developer Long Interview · Bangai-Oh - Developer Interview Notice a pattern there? :D Hehe
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User #81022 - 4 Dec 18 18:11
Daniel gets it. ;) Seconding the Long Interview in particular! Though after the Puzzle interview I think Programming might be really interesting, too..
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User #306225 - 4 Dec 18 16:22
I'll second Michael's request for the 2005 Iwatani interview. Also, both the D and D2 Kenji Eno interviews and the two Developer vs. Publisher roundtables from 1996.
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User #4802013 - 4 Dec 18 07:54
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - Developer Interview Fatal Fury 3 - Developer Interview Either one is good! And as always, thank you for your hard work.
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User #4689274 - 4 Dec 18 12:23
Final Fantasy III (NES) - 1990 Developer Interview
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User #204884 - 4 Dec 18 07:48
Any of the Shoji Matsuda interviews. The Culdcept interview. The Donpachi and Dodonpachi interviews. The Horii and Nakamura early DQ interviews.
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User #717283 - 13 Dec 18 19:59
I second some early DQ action
Yasunori Mitsuda – 2003 Composer Interview
Yasunori Mitsuda – 2003 Composer Interviewmore_vert
2018-11-30T04:39:11+00:00
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Yasunori Mitsuda – 2003 Composer Interview 2018-11-30T04:39:11+00:00close
http://shmuplations.com/yasunorimitsuda/

This thoughtful interview with composer Yasunori Mitsuda from 2003 was originally featured in game hihyou. Mitsuda discusses various aspects of his creative process, including his studio setup, his inspirations and favorite pieces of music, and how he approaches composing for video games. Game hihyou was known for asking good questions, and Mitsuda offers some candid comments on most of his work up to that point.

P.S. - That wraps up November--sorry for the lateness! :) I'll be doing another "voting" post in a couple days, for December/January/February, so be sure to take a look at the archive of untranslated material here: http://shmuplations.com/patreonlist/
Comments (2)
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User #11362123 - 2 Dec 18 23:10
This is fantastic! Thanks so much for this!
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User #9951044 - 4 Dec 18 17:53
amazing
Yasuhiko Fujii - 2007 Developer Interview
Yasuhiko Fujii - 2007 Developer Interviewmore_vert
2018-11-30T02:16:10+00:00
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Yasuhiko Fujii - 2007 Developer Interview 2018-11-30T02:16:10+00:00close
http://shmuplations.com/yasuhikofujii/

This interview with Super Metroid and “Kaeru no tame ni kane wa naru” programmer Yasuhiko Fujii originally appeared in game shokunin volume 1. The first part of the interview looks back at Fujii’s programming and “hacking” origins, while the latter half covers his work at Intelligent Systems and includes design insights into Super Metroid and Kaeru. I've also appended an extra section of Super Metroid design trivia which Fujii originally posted to his mixi.jp site.
Ikari Warriors, Guerilla War, and The SNK Golden Age
Ikari Warriors, Guerilla War, and The SNK Golden Agemore_vert
2018-11-21T22:01:34+00:00
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Ikari Warriors, Guerilla War, and The SNK Golden Age 2018-11-21T22:01:34+00:00close
http://shmuplations.com/snkgoldenage/

In this long and candid interview from 2001, SNK alum Koji Obata describes the company’s early-’80s struggles, their re-emergence as an arcade powerhouse, the self-proclaimed “SNK golden age” and his own role in the production of several of SNK’s most cherished and innovative products including TANK, Ikari Warriors, Guevara and the humble “loop lever”.

Also discussed is SNK’s transition away from discrete arcade PCBs and towards the Neo Geo, a move that brought them massive profits and market penetration at the arguable expense of developer freedom, be it freedom of creativity, freedom of subversive expression or simply the freedom to copy another company’s game if one felt like doing so.

This interview was translated as research material for the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, a carefully-selected anthology of pre-Neo Geo SNK games spanning both arcade and consoles that contains a massive museum of behind-the-scenes documents, promotional material, trivia and info on every game made and released (or not!) by SNK from 1978 to 1990.

[[note: this interview was a commissioned translation, but the client has given permission for it to be posted free here for all to enjoy]]

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