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Old 07-15-2003, 11:00 AM   #1
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Tomonobu Itagaki Talks DOA Online

GMR: So both DOA1 and 2 will be playable online?

Itagaki: Yes, the same service.

GMR: Which version of DOA2 is going to be on the disc?

Itagaki: It's based on the latest version of DOA2 Hardcore, the Japanese version. This is very difficult. Some people say the DC version is better than the PS2, but we've recreated, reprogrammed and redesigned DOA2 for online 100 percent.

GMR: How did you use the Xbox to maximize DOA2?

Itagaki: The character modeling, the environment is done from scratch. We threw all the original DOA2 data out the window, and we created it from the ground up for Xbox.

GMR: But the Saturn version is exactly the same, but the DOA2 port is totally improved.

Itagaki: Yes. The reason why we decided to bring DOA Online is because we love Xbox. We're very pleased that with so many DOA3 and DOAX fans that so many people are playing and enjoying our games. And that's why we wanted our fans to be able to play the entire history of DOA on Xbox, and that's the reason for having DOA1 and 2 online.

GMR: So are the DOA2 characters up to the DOA3 standard?

Itagaki: The graphics of DOA2 Online are better than DOA3 because its graphics engine is different from DOA3. DOA2 Online is using DOAX as the base engine. So hardcore gamers should look at the screenshots carefully and you will notice it's quite different. More pretty, more beautiful, but more precise.

GMR: What about people who are used to playing as DOA3-specific characters, like Brad and Hitomi?

Itagaki: Like Hitomi and Christie and Brad Wong? DOA2 is DOA2, but don't be disappointed, because we plan to show the truth of the Dead or Alive world. I am working with other people to create a new graphics and movie called the World of Dead or Alive, this is the maximum bonus for fans.

GMR: So these movies will help elaborate on everyone's story?

Itagaki: The heroine of DOA is, as you know, Kasumi, and Ayane. I want to describe, precisely, their blood-relationship problem. It's a story movie. When the player, the DOA fan, sees it, they will understand the DOA world. If Ayane hates Kasumi, they'll know why she hates Kasumi, and they'll understand the mystery behind Kasumi's ending, with the flower, and so on.

GMR: Please explain the difference bettween what was DOA Code Cronus and what is now Code Cronus, and what is DOA4, etc.

Itagaki: At first DOA Code Cronus and DOA Online were quite different titles. Second, rumors are rumors, and very funny rumors were running on the `Net, but they are quite different titles. DOA Online is a fighting game, DOA Code Cronus is not a fighting game.

GMR: So are you still planning a game called Code Cronus?

Itagaki: Yes.

GMR: But it's not DOA Online.

Itagaki: Yes. But DOA Code Cronus is not Dead or Alive 4 either. I have many ideas for the DOA franchise. I want to create many DOA titles, but I am only one man. So I always watch the situation and decide the order in which we create these games. I'm interested in first fighting games, then sports games, and then action games. DOA Code Cronus is something else (makes hand gestures). DOA Online is this. And then there's Ninja Gaiden.

We've already started to plan Ninja Gaiden 2. And we're always thinking of the next step, even while we're working on our current projects. And I'm already thinking of the sequel to DOAX.

GMR: So then in the future of DOA is Code Cronus and DOA4. Are you planning on making DOA3 online as well?

Itagaki: Yeah, but I'm thinking of making DOA3 Online compatible with Xbox. I think that DOA3 is still a good game, and that many people want to play DOA3 online, but DOA1 and 2 is first. DOA3 already exists on Xbox, so my first job is to bring the original titles to Xbox fans. DOA1 is a love-based game, we're doing this out of love for our fans. DOA2 is a fighting spirits-based game, we want to show our determination to drive the machine with our power.

I'm very sad, the power of the Xbox is very different from other machines. But many game makers do very easy, very cheap ports on the machine. So I feel bad and saddened for the Xbox because people aren't utilizing the full capacity of the Xbox just to be multiplatform.

So DOA Online is such a game, not a port, but a recreation for Xbox. This is a very important message from Team Ninja.

GMR: So with DOA2, are you going to make it a graphical showcase for Xbox?

Itagaki: Of course, again, those visuals are not just CG. Our visuals are very interactive. Beauty is a simple matter, and of course it's important. But it's important to have interactivity. DOA2's environments have great interactivity like DOA3, but is quite different in graphic style. For example a snowman is standing in one of the snow gardens. Do you have DOA2 Hardcore from Japan? The game has a stage named Kokua, Japanese Garden, based in a Japanese house. In DOA Online the stage has changed to a snowy stage, lots of snow, falling snow, and the snow builds up. The snow is interactive, and a snowman is standing up. But you can throw your enemy into the snowman and make him explode. So many ideas are in our minds. So DOA2 Hardcore is harder hardcore.

GMR: How are you making the online experience special for people who play online? A ranking mode, or saved stats perhaps?

Itagaki: Now, today, in this day we are studying Xbox Live very carefully. Xbox Live is a very good system, so we want to have our title fully compatible with the network system. Many ideas are in my mind. Of course I want to make rankings, peer-to-peer matches, but now we're still in the planning stage for our network features. So unfortunately I cannot tell you the precise features yet.

GMR: Can people use whatever costumes they want? The costumes they unlock in the offline mode perhaps?

Itagaki: Of course offline mode is very important also. We plan to make many costumes, more than the original game had. The player can get many new costumes through offline play and use them online. Finally, I understand that our fans always want new costumes, so that's what we are doing. Of course there won't be as many costumes as DOAX had, but more than DOA2 Hardcore had. Our designers are, as we speak, drawing new costumes. We have two female designers now.

GMR: Does that keep things more conservative?

Itagaki: I'll tell you something just because it's you. The female designers are the designers of DOAX's swimsuits. Surprisingly, the female designers came up with more radical, more sexy designs than the male designers. They were having fun, laughing while they were designing the costumes.

GMR: Like the Venus?

Itagaki: That was actually my design. But the ones that were sexy and had the most originality, these were mostly designed by the female designers.

GMR: So the original DOA (the Saturn version) will be a pixel-perfect port? This means that Raidou will be back, correct?

Itagaki: Yes, he's Ayane's father.

GMR: Was I supposed to know he's Ayane's father? Especially since Ayane isn't in that game?

Itagaki: Of course Ayane didn't exist in the Saturn version, so you wouldn't have known it, but this will be revealed in DOA Online.

GMR: But will she still be "available" as the training partner?

Itagaki: Toreco-chan. The helmet girl? Her name is Toreco-chan. "Tore" means training, "co" means girl.

GMR: But Ayane is available as the training girl in the PlayStation version of DOA1, right?

Itagaki: Yes, that's her first appearance.

GMR: Okay, it should be interesting to see how Raidou is Ayane's father.

Itagaki: Yes, Raidou is her real father, but Ayane didn't know that he was her father until she was nine years old. But of course Raidou died at the end of the DOA tournament, killed by Kasumi.

GMR: Do you think most people will play DOA2, though, because of its more sophisticated fighting system?

Itagaki: Yeah, I think so. But if you do play DOA1 you'll discover that it's still really fun.

GMR: What was it like being the first third-party developer to create a game on the Model 2 hardware? Did it bring extra attention that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise, or did it give the project extra scrutiny and pressure.

Itagaki: At the time I started working on DOA, the veteran programmers that were above me all shrunk and ran away and hid when they heard the word "Model 2". That's the only reason that the project was passed down to me. I did it because I decided that I had to, that's all. As a result, there was no pressure and no wavering of my resolve. But, I think in a way I was able to do it at that time in part because of my youth.

GMR: Is it still your intention to put the original Saturn limited-edition art on the Saturn-version of the disc?

Itagaki: This is something we absolutely must make happen. I will definitely do it. But, I won't be putting the Saturn logo in there! (smiles)

http://www.gamers.com/i/zd/random/doacd.jpg
And we can see why...

GMR: Since the Saturn version is on a DVD now, are you planning to do anything with all that extra space?

Itagaki: Once again, another interesting question! (smiles) Other than the network code necessary for Xbox Live compatibility, we're not planning on adding anything special to the DOA1 disc. At least, that is what I'm feeling like right now.

GMR: Although the Saturn version of the first DOA game is the purest experience, could you not have also found room to include the original Model 2 version? Or is the Model 2 hardware so different from the Xbox hardware that a perfect emulation would have ended up different anyway.

Itagaki: The Model 2 version is incomplete in my eyes. This is mainly because of problems with the motion engine and motion design. I have said this publicly in the Japanese media countless times, so I think the Japanese gamers know my feelings on this. The Sega Saturn version is the first time in my life in which I've been completely satisfied with the finished product. That's why I chose to include it in DOA Online.

GMR: You've already mentioned that you're having many new costumes designed for the DOA2 Hardcore characters. In hindsight, realizing how much DOA fans look forward to this sort of thing, do you regret not having created many costumes for DOA3?

Itagaki: Because our strategy was to support the Xbox launch, the amount of costumes in DOA3 was sort of beyond my control. I did feel sorry for the fans a bit, but I don't regret it. We'll make it up to them with DOA Online!

GMR: By that token, do you now feel an obligation to create lots of extra costumes in every DOA game you make now?

Itagaki: Well, we're not exactly Banana Republic, but we try to give the fans what they want. By the way, I wonder how many gamers there are in the U.S. who have collected all 328 swimsuits in DOAX? Having fans that respond to what we are trying to do makes us even more willing to provide service to the fans.

http://gamers.com/news/1419917
---------------------------------------------

I didn't read it all word for word but I did find several parts of this interview pretty funny to questionable when you remember some of his past interviews.
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:28 PM   #2
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Good find!:cool guy:
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Old 07-15-2003, 03:13 PM   #3
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Oh in how many ways i hate this guy? Let me count, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19... 284 ways.

good interview though, if it would have been given by someone else.
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Old 07-15-2003, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: Tomonobu Itagaki Talks DOA Online

Quote:
Originally posted by Reality
GMR: By that token, do you now feel an obligation to create lots of extra costumes in every DOA game you make now?

Itagaki: Well, we're not exactly Banana Republic, but we try to give the fans what they want. By the way, I wonder how many gamers there are in the U.S. who have collected all 328 swimsuits in DOAX? Having fans that respond to what we are trying to do makes us even more willing to provide service to the fans.
What a strange comment. I mean, I shop at Banana Republic =\


but, reading this interview makes me feel dirty. Itagaki is one strange dude.
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by NiN
Oh in how many ways i hate this guy? Let me count, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19... 284 ways.

good interview though, if it would have been given by someone else.
What don't you like about Itagaki, NiN? I think he gives some of the best interviews in the industry and I find his interviews refreshing and very informative. Most developer interviews are rather bland and they seem to be too worried about what the Suits and PR people will think if they say something wrong.
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by AtariX
What don't you like about Itagaki, NiN?

Pleeeeeeeeeease, call me NiN

Anyway, I just dont like his attitude, his pets/lack of them, his personality, his arrogance, his holier than thou-act...

1,2,3,4,5...

Well maybe there isint 284 reasons, but its mostly the comment"There is no one who can compete with us, we are our only enemy" or whatever he said, i just dont like the guy.

Stupid arrogant b@stard....
And the fact that Ninja Gaiden is not coming on cube dosent help. ;)
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Old 07-15-2003, 08:03 PM   #7
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great info Reality! some good info on doa online that ive been searching around for.... thanks!

i like itagaki, he comes across as someone different. pretty in-your-face and down to earth, which can be refreshing for some interviews.
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Old 07-16-2003, 08:11 AM   #8
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Did you just not read what NiN quoted?! How can he be down to earth when his head is up stuck up in the clouds?

Just throught I'd point that out...

Now that I'm here though, am I hearing correctly? Are DOA1 AND 2 going to be remade into online fighters now? Why both of them?
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Old 07-16-2003, 02:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kid0_oIcarus
Now that I'm here though, am I hearing correctly? Are DOA1 AND 2 going to be remade into online fighters now? Why both of them?
So it be more worth your $50. One thing about this guy though is HE REALLY loves his Xbox. But like NiN I find the guy....weird. IN a past interview he said he look at all the DOA girls like his daughters but he made the Naked Clone girl in DOA2 and the venues suit in DOAX??? What father do that to his daughters?
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Old 07-16-2003, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kid0_oIcarus
Did you just not read what NiN quoted?! How can he be down to earth when his head is up stuck up in the clouds?

Just throught I'd point that out...

Now that I'm here though, am I hearing correctly? Are DOA1 AND 2 going to be remade into online fighters now? Why both of them?
"Itagaki: Yeah, but I'm thinking of making DOA3 Online compatible with Xbox. I think that DOA3 is still a good game, and that many people want to play DOA3 online, but DOA1 and 2 is first. DOA3 already exists on Xbox, so my first job is to bring the original titles to Xbox fans. DOA1 is a love-based game, we're doing this out of love for our fans. DOA2 is a fighting spirits-based game, we want to show our determination to drive the machine with our power."

It's all about the fans, love, fighting spirits and power.
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Old 07-16-2003, 06:36 PM   #11
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Hahaha, I'm sure money has nothing to do with it. I mean it's be given out for free from the love right?
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:34 AM   #12
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heh, i agree he gives the best interviews

Yu Suzuki interviews are also very nice to read

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