Following the release of Mega Man 11, producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya has been kept busy with promoting the game through various interviews, and as one might expect, some interesting information has come out of it.
One such interview comes to us from none other than Capcom itself (via TweakTown, GearNuke), the first in a series of 2018 Developer Interviews found on the company’s Investor Relations page. There, Tsuchiya talks about joining the company and working on Mega Man 7 and other games before finding himself in the role of Producer for Mega Man Legacy Collection and eventually Mega Man 11.
Regarding the development of Mega Man 11, one of the more interesting things noted is that in this day and age of teams of hundreds of people working to create a game, Mega Man 11’s was only 40 people strong. He also describes the mix of new and old, working together to create something that would appeal to both new fans and old alike.
In addition, he addresses the challenges of bringing a game like Mega Man into the 2.5D world:
Bringing side-scrolling action properly into a 3D engine required precise adjustments. When viewed directly from the side, characters appear to warp as they run towards the edge of the screen, similar to the way that an image is warped as it approaches the edge of a lens—the coordinates are distorted. If the viewing angle of your character and the enemy you're firing at are different, it feels strange and fails as an action game. We had to make careful adjustments to ensure this didn't happen.
Q: What kind of adjustments?
If the plane is completely flat, any sense of depth is entirely lost. We tried out dozens—hundreds of different depth settings until we finally achieved the right one, such that it held the effect that the bridge on which Mega Man was standing and the wrecked one in the background were on different planes. This is less of a cutting edge technology and more of pure handiwork.
Tsuchiya also describes their efforts in making the weaknesses of Robot Masters apparent to new players:
The interactions between elemental weapons. As the series went on, creators often tried to avoid having the vulnerabilities spoiled by previous games, and so it all became quite complicated and you couldn't tell how things worked at a glance anymore. This time we told the developers that we want every elemental weapon to be something that even a child could understand. A new animated TV series began airing in the USA in August 2018, and we wanted children who watched it to think "Oh! Using an ice weapon would win out against fire, right?" if they tried playing the game. It may have been used in a previous game, but even so it would be part of the games appeal for them. Or so we hope (laughs).
And speaking of the new Mega Man cartoon, Mega Man: Fully Charged:
Q: You mentioned the animated TV show in the USA. Mega Man really does turn up in a lot of places outside of video games, doesn't he?
Well, the Mega Man brand has just seen its 30th anniversary, and so there are all kinds of licensing deals involving clothes and other things. I think it appeals to a wide range of ages. We wanted to further expand our younger audience, those who will support Mega Man in the future, and that's how the TV show came about. We made the TV show to stand on its own, so that you can enjoy it even if you don't know anything about Mega Man. We've also made an array of merchandise with our longtime-fans in mind. With limited rereleases and special events like July's concert, we've planned a number of ways for our fans to join us in celebrating the 30th anniversary.
Elsewhere, Tsuchiya had an interview with none other than Ucchi-san of Rockman Unity, which has been helpfully translated by @koumashiki (via ComicBook.com, Nintendo Everything) on Twitter. Here, we learn about his introduction to Rockman, and what some of the most memorable things from the series are to him.
The most interesting thing here, however, may be that Mega Man 11 did not start as Mega Man 11:
Tsuchiya: Out initial plan wasn’t Rockman 11 actually. But I want this to be released in another form eventually, so details about it will be kept a secret for now. (laughs)
Ucchi: Oh no, he can’t talk about it! (laughs)
Tsuchiya: Until I can actually do it, I must keep it a secret! (laughs)
The pair also go on to talk about the inclusion of a young Wily (and presumably Light) as being due to this installment acting as a new starting point after eight years of hiatus, and Ucchi noting he’d previously called the game a “second first installment,” or “Rockman Double 1.”
There’s more to both interviews worth taking a look at, so if you’re interested, please check out the source links above.