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Back to translating, letting go of the 3DS for 30 minutes... Enjoy!
Setbacks during development of Gyakuten Saiban
- How do you feel looking again at these confident-filled design papers?
Takumi: I think they're written very well (laughs). It's because at that time I wrote down everything about the "detective game where you proceed by pointing out contradiction" I wanted to do. It's just that it doesn't have the simple control system Gyakuten Saiban ended up with, so it's still not there as a game. In this design paper, you attack testimonies with other testimonies you collected, in a sort of battle of words. Your gradually file testimonies and use them to attack your opponents - it was a bothersome system.
- It wasn't the same as presenting evidence.
Takumi: Figuring out the game system was very difficult. At first, it was "the testimony has a contradiction in it, and if you don't point it out in real time it's game over", but no one was able to solve it.
- It was difficult.
Takumi: It also wasn't interesting (laughs). If you didn't understand the timing that the game expected you to think, it was very easy to read past the contradiction. At December, soon after development began, we had this kind of prototype no one could understand in our hand. It was a huge failure, and I thought that it was probably all over.
- That early.
Takumi: That early. It's because I'm weak (laughs). But I understood the problem was players not understanding when they should be thinking, and was they should be thinking about, so I made it very clear when the game wants you to put your thinking cap on with the "cross-examination" system, and put the "press" and "present" commands on screen to show players what they can do. In addition, to make it easier to understand, I changed what you can present from testimonies to evidence... This was the only real setback during the development, but it sure was a big one.
- Was it easy to come up with the "Objection" line?
Takumi: It was. After all, I didn't just make up that phrase.
- But you still didn't have it in the early stages, right?
Takumi: No, it was there since the beginning. We also had the "Hold it!" and "Take that!" lines, but at first we didn't have a good distinction for their usage. As the system gradually solidified, it became clear how to use them.
- By the way. as the voice of Phoenix Wright, how do you feel about the voice after ten years?
Takumi: I can't do that high-pitch voice anymore.
Even now, Gyakuten Saiban is the ideal mystery game
- After ten years, what are your thoughts regarding mystery games?
Takumi: As opposed to movies and novels, games are interactive, so it's important to have the feeling where "me, as the hero, gets involved in a case and solves it". Up until now for a long time, mystery games achieved that by using a multiple-choice selection system. Gyakuten Saiban changed that, and by not letting you proceed until you present the correct contradiction, achieved the sense that you're solving the case with your own reasoning. In that way, I feel that even now Gyakuten Saiban is the ideal mystery game.
- I see.
Takumi: Because we made the system easy, and puzzle solving is something everyone can enjoy regardless of age or sex, I wanted to make a game for everyone that fits those universal elements. I aimed for a game people of different ages can enjoy no matter when they play it.
- Looking into the future, can we look forward for the same kind of thing?
Takumi: You never know about the future. But I am very thankful for the excitement of the last 10 years.
- There must be some surprises planned for the 10 year anniversary.
Takumi: I didn't ask so I don't know the details, but the anniversary is October, and it seems they just started working on the 10th anniversary project.
- So you may be busy because of the anniversary. Last year you flew around the world for "Ghost Trick".
Takumi: Maybe I will (laughs). But I had a good experience traveling for Ghost Trick. Last year I traveled to Spain and America, and though I was interviewed about Ghost Trick, they also asked about Ace Attorney. Everyone said how fun it was to play. Up until now I only knew some people played the games abroad, so I was happy to hear their voices first hand. I simply thought how great it is I worked hard 10 years ago. I am really filled with thanks for everybody.