PS3Clan Interview: VANQUISH producer Atsushi Inaba


Last week we visited the Dutch SEGA headquarters in Amsterdam for an exclusive ‘Behind Closed Doors’ session (Click here), followed by an interview with Vanquish Producer Mister Atsushi Inaba. Time to get some burning questions about this fast paced, futuristic shooter answered.

PS3Clan: The title of this game is Vanquish. How did the name “Vanquish” come about?
In an initial state we were calling this game by a codename, “V”. We took the V from Victory. We wanted to make this a successful game, which leads to V for Victory. Since we called it V for a long time we kind of got attached to that letter. When we started looking for an actual title we started thinking of words that starts with the letter V. That is basically how we came up with Vanquish. Vanquish means something like Conquer and that is something that really fits the game.

PS3Clan: Does the game have the same title in Japan?
Yes. We use the name Vanquish in Japan as well.

PS3Clan: The game was developed with the PlayStation 3 as leading platform. What made you decide the PlayStation would be leading platform?
The game started out to be a multi platform title to come for PlayStation and Xbox360. At first we started on PC but wanted to go multi platform and we like to have the game equal in quality. We couldn’t make any compromise in quality or graphics. We did have the knowledge about Xbox360 but weren’t so confident with PS3 so we wanted to start with something we felt comfortable with so we would we able to accumulate the ‘know how to do’ for PS3 and Xbox where PS3 is lead platform. We did make prototypes on a PC because we didn’t want to make compromise, again, between the machines specs and lack in know-how. So therefore we had the PC as a resource and to set-up the ideal state of the game which we wanted to achieve.

PS3Clan: So you could say neither PS3 nor Xbox was leading platform, but PC was actual leading platform for this title?
No, PS3 would still be the leading platform. The stage where we were using PC as a platform was very early stage. That was when we played with graphics and decided what things should look like. After that short period of time we moved on to the PS3. For the most of the part we had used the PS3. So I would say PS3 is still the leading platform.

PS3Clan: Does this mean the Xbox360 version is ported from the original PlayStation 3 version?
It’s a bit hard to explain. How it works, we build up an engine that would work on both PS3 and Xbox360 and in the final stage of the development for Xbox360 we had a bit of final tuning for the unique settings and specs. As mentioned earlier, we started out on PC in the early stages and moved on to the PS3. In the final stage we assigned people to fine-tune the Xbox360 version.

PS3Clan: The graphics were partially inspired by the television series, Casshern. Casshern was some sort of an Anti-Hero in a dark science fiction – yet classic – setting. Vanquish however is much brighter and more into futuristic setting. In what way did Casshern inspire Vanquish?
The influence from Casshern is very partial. We wanted to create the game after Casshern influence but it came up in the later stage after we decided on the character who wears the battle suit. We took a look at how the battle suit worked, the personality of the character, and then we started looking at Casshern. The initial idea of this game was to make a futuristic warfare held in a great space station with all superior enemies are breading up the human species where only one person was able to out-power them all. So that was the idea, we didn’t have Casshern in the early stages.

PS3Clan: The demo is played with a couple AI Team-mates. Though, Vanquish seems to have a Single Player mode only. The game looks like it could be a fast paced multiplayer co-op as well. What is the reason it doesn’t support multiplayer or co-op?
We did think about making the game multiplayer. But in the end, there are so many unique features like boost, time manipulation, air modes. We couldn’t imagine if someone was boosting or using different time modes, what the other player might be doing during that period of time. This brought many questions to us. Will the other player be able to fight normally, will the gameplay stand still during time mode? We didn’t want to remove the features like they are now and ruin the gameplay, so we focussed on high quality single player instead.

PS3Clan: Are there any plans for Downloadable Content, like co-op?
For this game in particular, for Vanquish, we have no plans for any possible DLC. But since this was our first attempt for this type of game we really hope it will be a success. We do have a clear goal, a clear idea of what we can do in this kind of shooter, action genre. Maybe in the future we might be able to do something that will support multiplayer.

PS3Clan: People are able to play the Vanquish Demo and notice a very thin story line. Some people even doubt if there is an actual story at all (Inaba gives short laughter). What can you tell about the Vanquish Story line and how it fits in the whole Campaign?
The story can be seen from various cut scenes. The story shown is very simple and between America and Russia. Russia drops the weapon on America, there’s a war and you fight back. So probably many people feel like some movies where there’s a war, people fight, and there is a happy end. In fact, Vanquish has a bit more of a twist, a bit more variation that’ll make it more interesting. The main goal of the game was not to create a big, complex story. We wanted to introduce this invented gameplay and the story comes along with the experience.

PS3Clan: So you could say that gameplay was more important then an actual story behind the gameplay?
: In this game, in Vanquish, it’s all about the gameplay and the experience.

PS3Clan: Once a player has finished the game, what replay value does Vanquish offer to the player?
When the player has finished the game, there is an opportunity to access a Tactical Challenge Mode. This mode is some sort of side mission, apart from the main game/mission. The levels that you’ll be using are basically from the main game but is pretty separate from the main game. What you will see in this mode is wave after wave of enemies which you need to destroy to survive. The number of enemies you’d see in a single level is much more then you’d see in the main game. That’s why we called it “challenge”. It’s quite hard to do. It constantly makes you think about strategic move, how to overpower by speed or power, which weapon to use, which wall to take cover. This is really a place to challenge your skill you have build up from the main game.

UPDATE: De Nederlandse versie van dit interview vind je hier (klik!)