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AusGamers Street Fighter X Tekken Developer Video Interview
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:16pm 23/02/12 | Comments
AusGamers had a chance to catch up with Capcom's Seth Killian, master of combos for the Capcom fighting game stable, while he was out here in Australia and chat to him about the team's latest project, Street Fighter X Tekken. Read on or watch for the full interview...

Watch the full video interview embedded above, or click here for a direct link.

AusGamers: Hi Guys, welcome back to AusGamers. We’re actually at AusGamers headquarters in Sydney, Australia. You’re here with Stephen Farrelly and I’m here with Seth, who is the special combat advisor for a number of Capcom fighting games, but we’re here to talk about Street Fighter X Tekken. A lot of Street Fighter fans looking forward to it; a lot of Tekken fans looking forward to it.

The Tekken guys have been quiet about their project [Tekken X Street Fighter] for quite some time, but you guys have been actively talking about this. Let’s go over... one of the questions I wanted to bring up before but didn’t want to waste the answer until I had you on camera is: pitting the Tekken guys against the Street Fighter guys -- and I know you’ve been trying to stay as true to the Tekken characters as possible -- were there any balance issues in that in and of itself?

Seth Killian: There are always balance issues right. It’s a question of basically... to me, since the Tekken guys tend to not have projectiles -- there are plenty of Street Fighter characters who don’t have projectiles either -- but that was one of the core issues, is how easy do we make it for the Tekken guys to dodge projectiles?

So that is going to vary by character, but... I’m trying to think if there’s a short way of describing the balance answer, and in some ways, not really, it’s just been on a character by character basis to try and find what works for the character, what’s faithful to their historic interpretation and what makes them able to handle fireballs without making it too easy and as well as having good character variety.

You don’t want all the Tekken guys to have the same answer to fireballs, so many of them have a dash or a dodge or sort of a side-step equivalent of a move that allows them to dodge. The recovery on those is different -- what those options lead in to -- because in true Tekken style, a dodge is never just a dodge, it usually goes and does something else after that as well. Or we have the possibility to sort of chain that into different kinds of moves on the Tekken side.

Trying to find that balance is definitely difficult, but that’s the challenge right? That’s the job. So we’re on it.

AusGamers: Algorithmically, how difficult was it to take 3D fighting characters and put them on a 2D plane?

Seth: Again, that sort of goes right back to the same kind of thing. So challenging, but actually I think -- in sort of the game theoretical sense -- 2D and 3D are not as far apart as we think they are. You talk about side-stepping in Tekken and things like that and of course you can do it -- it does have true 3D motion -- but it’s a reletively smaller part of the game. So if you think about historically in Street Fighter, Cammy has the ability to do a spinning back-fist and that will actually -- if you time it correctly will -- pass through a fireball or something moving along the 2D plane.

So in that sense, what Cammy is doing from a game theoretical standpoint is basically the same as a sidestep in Tekken. So we’ve got those elements in Street Fighter and obviously you’ve got a lot of straight forward combat kind of mid, low, overhead thing that you’ve got in Street Fighter as well -- that’s the core gameplay of Tekken. So in some sense, it wasn’t as hard to integrate that as I thought that it might be, just because they do have those sort of affinities from before.

AusGamers: Did you guys actually come across any move sets or anything like that from the Tekken characters that you thought “we should probably apply that down the track to some of the Street Fighter guys”?

Seth: Hmm. Yeah, it’s interesting actually, because once you get away from the fireball thing and start looking at much more up-close play with high/low/mid/overheads... and the other thing, specifically from the Tekken characters I become interested in, is the ability to every time you do a move, that move just leads into a branching tree of other follow-on moves. So I think Tekken, when you look at the special moves, often has like five/six parts in them on up to the ten string which is a bit different. Street Fighter’s moves tend to be more standalone.

You have guys like Fei Long who has sort of a Rekkaken where he’ll do one, two, three kind of followup, but most Street Fighter moves are just a move. A Hadoken doesn’t go into a second part of the Hadoken or the Hurricane Kick doesn’t... there’s no second act to the Hurricane Kick, it just is as it is. So that’s got me thinking about different possibilities. Maybe not necessarily for our core characters, but maybe a new Street Fighter character or something like that is one of the possibilities there.

AusGamers: How much influence has Harada [Tekken Lead] and his team had in dealing directly with you guys and their property with this and vice-versa? Have they been coming to you guys for their project?

Seth: I’ll say this in the nicest way possible. The good answer, or the happy news, is no. Those guys have had almost no impact at all on this game and I say that that’s a good thing, not because we think they’re not talented game designers or they don’t have good ideas, it’s just because we knew from the beginning we were going to be creating two games. We knew we were going to be doing the Capcom take on Street Fighter X Tekken and they’ll do the Namco take on Tekken X Street Fighter, we didn’t feel the need to have every element of Tekken present to the same degree that every element of Street Fighter is present. We could do a more Street Fighter facing version of Tekken characters, expecting them to do more of a Tekken version of Street Fighter characters.

So karmically, we think the balance is going to be evened out by their team, and then as far as their actual input goes, the happy part about very little or almost no input, is that we’re free to do our own thing and we trust them to do their own thing. They can make the best game that they know how to make without having us do a trial-by-committee or too many cooks in the kitchen, that sort of stuff.

Because we were first out of the gates, we did talk to them about the characters we were planning on using and thinking about and showed them some early wire-frames and mentioned some of the gameplay, but it was more as a courtesy. Like “here’s what we’re thinking about doing”. There really is a huge amount of trust from Namco and Harada-san and similarly we’re trusting them with our biggest characters.

AusGamers: Obviously quite recently there was the revelation that the PlayStation 3 version would have some extra characters. A lot of people are comically wondering why the Megaman version looks the way he does (I actually think he looks quite cool). But the inclusion of Cole from inFamous and stuff is kind of cool. Will there be anything similar for the Xbox 360 version that you can talk about?

Seth: At this time no. Frankly most of the characters on the PlayStation side tend to be in a little more jokier camp. So you’ve got Namco’s Pac-Man riding around on Mokujin which is a bit silly, obviously the version of Megaman is more than a bit silly -- that joke was funnier at a time when things were going a bit better for the Blue Bomber, so I wish that hadn’t come at a sort of a sensitive time, but still a fun character -- mascot versus mascot corporately.

And then Kuru and Toro, these cute little felines from Monster Hunter -- sort of silly characters. Cole’s a little more serious with some good work in him, hopefully the Xbox players will understand why he’s not coming to Xbox 360 [laughs] -- Sony exclusive character. But right now, it does skew towards the Sony side as far as extra character content goes. The core game characters will all be of course on both, but Sony’s just been very active on this title -- they’ve been a big believer in it and so that’s been sort of the deal, is that they get that extra content.

AusGamers: Ok and I’ll let you go soon, because I know you’ve got to see as much of Australia as possible before you go back to our sister city, San Francisco, but from the Tekken camp, in your game, who’s your favourite character to play with?

Seth: I still really like Yoshimitsu, so right now Yoshimitsu is probably going to be one of my all-time favourites, just because he’s sort of insane and just sort of an oddball. But right now, I’ve been having a little love affair with Law. Because he’s not just a cool character, he’s just sort of a particularly insane version of Law. Our Capcom animators really seem to enjoy the challenge of Law. Obviously he’s got some similarities to Fei Long -- Bruce Lee character archetype -- but I’ll let you judge for yourself.

When you start looking at some of his animations, he’s really over-the-top. Not quite Drunken Master style, but he sort of looks like maybe a Chinese Burt Reynolds almost. He’s really got the crazy eye and I think they’ve done a great job on his animations.

AusGamers: I dig the mo. A lot.

Seth: [laughs] Yeah he’s definitely got it in spades. So check out some of his animations when you get the chance to go deeper with this game. He’s just good fun.

AusGamers: Right. Well we’ll leave it there. Thanks so much for coming out and visiting us today Seth. You guys heard it here first on AusGamers. Look out for the game! Cheers.
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