Keiji Inafune to Reddit: 'Ask Me Anything!'

"Ask Me Anything" was the challenge laid before the users of Reddit, and ask they did. About Capcom, Comcept, becoming a game developer, and more.

Of course, not every question could be answered during this session-- not even with the help of Mark and Hiroko from 8-4, who provided translation and typing assistance, respectively. Still, he did get through quite a few, and we've gathered the ones most relevant to this site's interests here for your convenience.

Andronian: Which Mega Man game would you say that you are the best at?

Keiji Inafune: 1 or 2... Probably 1. Even though it's probably the hardest, I played that one the most.

 KHDTX13: How do you feel about Mega Man being in Smash Bros. and him being excluded from Marvel vs. Capcom 3?

Inafune: I'm really happy to see Mega Man in Smash Bros. -- I want to fight as him myself! I just wish I could have made it happen while I was still at Capcom... I know fans would love to see him in his own new game, ideally, but it's great to see him getting so much attention just the same.

On MvC3, I really don't know anything about how or why that decision was made, but I'm sure there is some reason behind it, so I can't really say one way or another.

Phazeta: Mr. Inafune, it's an honor to be able to speak to you. Here's my question: besides Mega Man, are there any other specific games or series that influence(d) Mighty No. 9?

Inafune: Well what I've been influenced by is actually not games so much, but other media -- like the show "Heroes," the Peter Petrelli character who could absorb powers. In Mega Man you took weapons from the bosses, but in Mighty No. 9 you take their abilities -- part of this idea came form that show.

Also the anime Cyborg 009 -- it had nine cyborgs, all of whom were great characters, all with distinct personalities. That was a big influence as well, since I want to make the robot bosses less disposable in this game -- I want to give them more personality, and make them more important and memorable.

 corbindavenport: What do you think is the greatest advantage and greatest disadvantage of crowd-funding a game?

Inafune: Greatest advantage is probably not having to worry about unnecessary or unrelated things getting between the creator and the user (company politics, etc.) -- I'm really excited about that.

Greatest disadvantage...there aren't many that come to mind, but there is some risk and investment just in getting your crowdfunding campaign up and running; a good amount of the design has to be done to be ready to show to get fans excited, but at the same time, the reason you are crowdfunding in the first place is because you don't have the money to make the game. :)

 KarizmaLion: Of all the numbers you could have picked, why 9, specifically?

Inafune: Hmm... It's got a kind of a cool image, doesn't it? It's one of my personal favorite numbers.

Also, if it's 10, and you get into double digits, it seems a little too big -- I was thinking 9 is about as high as you can go and still feel like a close, tight-knit group.

Gcjones216: Hello Mr. Inafune,

I've been in awe with everything that I've seen come from Mighty No 9 so far and I've pledged at the 250$ right now (I can't wait to get my signed hardcover book!). I just have a single question:

Did you expect such huge fan reaction to Mighty No 9 and the kickstarter campaign?

I also want to say thank you for all your games throughout your career a lot of them shaped my childhood.

PS: I hope your hand can withstand all those sketches and autographs!

 Inafune: Well, I did hope for some good fan reaction -- I had heard the voice of the fans asking for this type of game many times before, which is why I went to Kickstarter. But the amount that we've been able to get has been overwhelming -- as a creator I feel more united with my players than ever, which is a great feeling.

 CombatCall: I'm new to IAMA. So I hope my questions aren't wildly inappropriate or many.

  • How do you feel about the warm reception for Call?
  • How do you feel about the massive support playable Call has gotten?
  • Does it conflict with your vision for Mighty No. 9?
  • How did you originally envision Call and her characterization?

Sorry for the Call obsession and the bombardment of questions.

Inafune: Call (our female heroine in Mighty No. 9) has been hugely popular -- and her design isn't even final yet! I'm really happy about that; what little the fans have seen, they have put a ton of love into thinking about her and creating ideas for her. It puts a lot of the good kind of pressure on us to come up with some good designs for her going forward for the fans to choose from.

 BluBomber88: Hey Inafune-san,

First off thanks for doing this and congrats on all the Mighty No. 9 success. My question is that since the Mega Man series is known to have some of the best music of all gaming, what's is your personal favorite Mega Man soundtrack?

 Inafune: Hmm... It might be 1 -- I really like the Cutman music, maybe because I listened to it so many times while checking my work on that stage! I had that music as my ringtone for awhile.

2 is a close second, and might be better in a lot of ways objectively, but for music that really stuck in my head, I'd have to say the very first game. It brings back a lot of memories and emotions even today.

jbo034: In your opinion, what makes a games plot good?

 Inafune: Well, I've often said that a game's concept is the single most important thing -- a pure, core idea. That applies to plot, too -- no extraneous stuff, no wasteful extra tangents.

In reality it's hard to remove all of those kinds of things and have a plot work as a story, but trying to do that as much as possible is still a good guideline I try to follow.

 retrobrigade: A more professional question:

How has your love and understanding of video games evolved or changed over the years, as you've witnessed the age of the NES become the age of, say, the PS4 and XBOX ONE?

A more personal question:

How do you feel about the way Mega Man has changed as a franchise over time? It started out as a relatively simple platformer on the NES, and since then, games like Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX have added complexity in several areas to the basic action-platformer formula. Do you still prefer the more simplistic style of game, or have the mechanics of these newer titles piqued your interest as well?

 Inafune: As for how my love and understanding of games has changed...I'm not sure it has? I actually try to keep it from changing! I always try to remember the pure feeling I had while I was first working on the original Mega Man.

Of course my situation has changed and my environment has changed, but I don't want it to affect my work...I don't want to become some guy at the top of the company, high up and out of touch with what is going on down on the battlefield of development.

That's a big part of why I wanted to make Mighty No. 9 -- I wanted to be on the frontlines, down in the trenches of development.

 _alraz: Hi, Inafune-sama

What advice would you give to a person wanting to get into the game designer industry, but have no professional experience in the area?

 Inafune: I say this a lot, but everybody has to have a first time doing everything, so definitely don't worry much about not having experience. The more important thing is having the courage to take that first step -- if you don't have that courage, even if you were able to start making a game, you would soon hit a wall that would stop you.

Also, being a game designer, you don't need to necessarily be able to program, you don't need to be able to draw -- you need to have a good idea. The key skill is being able to show and communicate that idea to other people, so whatever you can do to use or develop that ability will serve you best.

And last, but not least... 

DaveSW777: 2 things that I think need to be settled once and for all:

1: What is X's full name?  Is it Mega Man X, or just X?

2: Is Wier Dr. Wily? 

 Inafune: "X" is just "X" -- not "Mega Man X" :)


 *cue TMMN staff just throwing their papers behind them*

Sure, why not? It's not like they ever specifically called him "Mega Man X/Rockman X" in any of the games... oh, wait. 

Anyway, that's all we've got here, but there are still many other questions he addresses here, such as what he thought of Shaun of the Dead, where the inspiration for Dead Rising came from, his thoughts on Capcom, what he's currently playing, talk about Soul Sacrifice and Kaio: King of Pirates, his first job, and even his favorite beverage, among other things!