Ridge Racer 3D allows players to enjoy battles against ghost data gained through StreetPass and it has a massive amount of content. It was first announced at E3 201017, right? 17E3 2010: Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010. A video game-related trade show held in Los Angeles.
This may be a little direct, but I felt like some people may have been disappointed when they saw the first screenshots you released. I thought they got the wrong idea.
But the closer we got to the end of development, the more the visuals improved. Even I wanted to say, “If you could make it look this good, why didn’t you do it sooner?” (laughs) And I’ve thought that about the other games in the series sold on other hardware as well. The Ridge Racer team really takes off in the latter half of development. Why is that?
Well, to put it bluntly, the staff members are humble folks. They’re no good at bluffing.
You mean they don’t want to release a screenshot they may not be able to deliver on?
Oh, they’re honest! (laughs)
Yeah. Too honest. Even I get mad about it. The Ridge Racer team tends to want to release something right from the midst of development. Like it’s a progress report! (laughs)
(laughs) They release screenshots like they’re reporting the project’s current state. But your explosive progress toward the end is really incredible. How can you make something like this in such a short time?
The first thing that we do when developing a Ridge Racer game is make a solid game system environment to serve as a foundation. Then we’re like, “We can do this,” and “Let’s put in this.” At the same time, we prepare for the visuals and so on, and then towards the end we put it all together at once.
But doesn’t that make you nervous as the producer?
Of course! I’ll ask how it’s going and they’ll tell me to wait and see the last three days. I’ll think, “Nothing’s going to change in three days!” but then three days later, there will be a clear difference. That happens a lot.
I’ve heard from people in the Licensing department that the same kind of thing happens right before shows.
Yes, it does. (laughs)
I guess that’s just a characteristic of the Ridge Racer team. (laughs) So you packed everything into Ridge Racer 3D at the end of development. What do you recommend to players?
This time, we got back to basics in developing Ridge Racer 3D.
What exactly are those basics?
As mentioned earlier, we want a game that will sweep you up in its speed. There are other racing games, but most are driving games or simulation games, and they have their own appeal, but...
Ridge Racer isn’t an exactly accurate and true-to-life physical simulation, but rather it puts the sense of speed first. You dare to pursue that aspect in order to strengthen the sense of immersion and the enjoyment by, for example, intentionally applying unrealistic graphics where you could actually make them look photorealistic.
Right. Ridge Racer began as an arcade game, and I view it as the origin of racing games. I’ve tried to pack in everything that’s fun about racing games, so I want players to fully enjoy the sense of speed that is the basic component of a genuine racing game. I also hope they’ll use StreetPass to race ghost data at their own convenience and gather up lots of points. We tested StreetPass at the company, and it was incredibly pleasing when the green light of the Nintendo 3DS system came on. So pleasing, actually, that it was mystifying. (laughs)
I suppose it’s exciting to know that there’s someone there whose face you can’t see, but you were with that person at the same place at a certain time.
Yes, I really think so. And you know that person likes the same thing that you do. It’s pleasing simply to know that such a person is there.
And there’s something I’ve been wondering if I should bring up.
Yes, what is it?
A little while back, I was talking with someone who was involved with the music for THE IDOLM@STER, and we started talking about Ridge Racer for the Nintendo 3DS system. And that person was such a fan that he said he was going to buy it right away. When I asked what he liked about it, he said it’s because he can play Ridge Racer even with his eyes closed!
With his eyes closed?
Yeah. He’s involved with music, so after he’s been over the course a few times, he can memorise the course by its background music.
For example, when certain music plays, he knows there’s a corner. That’s an extreme way of playing, but you can play the game that way, too. But then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the 3D! (laughs)
(laughs) That’s why you hesitated to mention it.
Exactly. So first get your fill of the 3D world and then try other ways of playing it!
And you want players to see how substantial the cars feel in 3D.
I feel better having talked with you today, because now I know how the same person can produce both Ridge Racer and THE IDOLM@STER! (laughs)
Thank you! (laughs) When I was in high school, I wanted to become a manga artist. I even had a part-time job at an anime studio. I suppose that’s another reason I came to work on such an anime-style game.
It’s all connected. Nothing in life goes to waste. (laughs)
Yeah. (laughs) But when I was doing those things, they weren’t much use to me.
But it all proved handy in the end, right?
Even though it took forever! (laughs)
Thank you for the fun conversation today.
The pleasure is mine.
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