Granzella's Kazuma Kujo talks R-Type Final 2…🇯🇵 this is a long one, so forgive me for skipping over stuff
Final 2 was made with a different motivation than Delta or Final: for Delta, the brand was still fairly big and they spent a lot of time pondering how to proceed—whether or not to adopt 3D graphics, arcade-style vs. console-style design, etc—and for Final 2, they felt like...
...they were making a swansong not just to Irem's STG but to the genre, so they felt like they had to throw in everything they could, but for Final 2, they didn't feel that same sort of pressure to shock people or catch them off guard, so they could proceed more naturally
one reason there's less pressure is they're able to tweak and update the game post-launch in accordance with user feedback and their own ambitions

Kujo thinks of Final 2 as a platform; they already have a roadmap for this year & he's prepared to keep working for two years
crowdfunding was a big help, not just financially but in terms of being able to proceed with the security of knowing there's a sizable audience that genuinely wants what they're making, without having to second-guess whether there's still interest in games like R-Type
Kujo was not particularly interested in crowdfunding, and those early "teasers" really were just him coming around to the idea, and even then he didn't really intend to actually do it... but, when Granzella relocated their HQ in 2019, one of the contractors on the building asked:
"you're Granzella the game dev, right? why haven't you tried crowdfunding?", and then when they looked further into it & found that a lot of ppl had also been waiting for them to try it, they figured they should give it a real shot

even then, Kujo was hesitant to the last moment
he was also very pleasantly surprised that it went so well

as for the staff, many were Delta/Final veterans who had their own unfinished business; Kujo was more concerned that the newer staff wouldn't care or get R-Type, but he had them play the old games & saw that they got it
re: the sporadic updates, basically, he only wanted to update when he could visually show something that demonstrated obvious progress but most dev is behind-the-scenes & not that evident to the layperson; he also wanted to avoid spoiling content for the players, and so...
...that meant they didn't share as many updates as expected

he's also upfront about how they weren't really keeping the community team up-to-date once dev started in earnest, so that's on him; once he realised how behind he was, he started doing apology streams with their HR rep
R-Type Final 2 was consciously designed as a console-style STG; ofc he wasn't dismissing or disavowing the arcade style of design but it doesn't map 1:1 to the home experience, so he focused on giving ppl their moneys' worth with something they could clear & play for a long time
back when he was making Delta, Kujo thought the appeal of STG—seeing how far you could get with 1 coin, showing off to other ppl & watching others' runs—was something that could only exist in arcades & didn't really work on consoles, but now he's come full circle
nowadays, games (particularly story-heavy games) are designed for players to steadily chip away at every day, so he thinks games like STG, where you can turn them on and clear the entire thing in a sitting, rather than having to laboriously make progress, are suited to the times
where console-style design differs from arcade-style design is u can give players different reasons & incentives for playing daily, either via unlocks or stuff like Final 2's Course Edit, which lets u create a custom 7-stage run using previously-cleared stages & even rename them
basically, you can give ppl the pleasure of clearing a game in one sitting but also find ways to make it fresh every time, and that's how Kujo sees STG design in 2021

they're very conscious of streaming, and features like being able to arrange stage order, customise ships and...
...rename stages were in the service of allowing players & streamers to create more of a personal narrative as they play

they're also thinking about adding more stages beyond the homage stages, both free & paid, to let ppl individualise even further
the whole performance aspect of arcade STG disappeared when they moved to consoles but things have come back around thx to streaming culture, so they were able to refocus on that aspect but modernised, and that's where ideas for increased customisation, course edit, etc came from
once u beat the game, u can even change the title itself: that was Kujo's idea, & when he wrote that in the specs the devs were like "whaaa?" but he figured that ppl thought R-Type Final 2 was a weird name so they should be able to change it to R-Type 5 or Final Final or whatever
on the original R-Type Final: Kujo had been campaigning for someone else within Irem to make it but when development on OG Disaster Report had wrapped up & nobody had put their hand up, he ended up doing it himself

at the time, there was still a certain audience for STG, but...
...the number of dedicated devs, interested publishers & media outlets willing to give them adequate coverage had obviously declined; Kujo genuinely thought this was the end of the road for STG and thought it was his responsibility to draw a line under the genre & move on
(he does acknowledge the cementing of danmaku in the '00s, if only to say that he practically considers it a different genre)
while the '00s were a dark era for STG, he noticed interest picking up once Hamster started reissuing old games in the '10s & ppl started sharing 1CC videos online and so on, and so it felt like today's modern play environments had finally become suitable for a STG revival
instead of having to worry about market trends like they & other STG devs were in the early '00s, they could proceed with Final 2 without feeling like the genre had been written off, and knowing that the vintage nature of the design could be a selling point & not a demerit
he also acknowledges that the indie scene seems to be picking up for STG, in Japan & abroad: there's something fun about the simplicity of shooting & dodging that's universal and easy to grasp, and the level of presentation is going up, so he feels the genre's not going anywhere
after Final, Kujo figured the door was closed on STG so he didn't really follow the scene after that; that said, ~10 years ago while he was still at Irem, a Taito producer was pushing to make a new Darius and organised a three-way STG roundtable between Taito, Irem & Konami
at the time, the three producers were like "getting our company to approve internal STG dev is extremely difficult"; afterwards, all three producers ended up leaving their respective companies, but that Taito project did eventuate years later under another producer as Dariusburst
(this isn't the first time that meeting's been discussed publicly, it was mentioned by Taito or someone a few yrs ago, I'll have to dig it up later

btw, this seems to offer one explanation for the death of Gradius VI, which was announced early on for PS3 & never mentioned again)
on how dev has changed since Final: using UE4 means the initial hurdles in constructing a dev environment have decreased considerably, so you can start much quicker, and because making & prototyping things is a much simpler process, you can more easily experiment & fix things
that said, they still have to worry about performance (although they now content with frame-skip rather than slowdown) as well as concerns as establishing min/max spec for PC

making stuff is easier than it once was but the required volume & scope is much broader, so it evens out
on recommended ships: Kujo like the R9-F, one of the three initial ships—everyone said it was too strong, but he kept it the way it was bc he can't clear the game without it

he's also into ships with quirky/very particular attacks, which are fun to make but harder to recommend
even now, the staff are discovering new tactics & tricks to clearing certain stages with certain ships, so a lot of the fun comes from trying different strategies with different ships, and there's generally a combo that can make a stage very easy once you figure it out
on the elements needed to push & evolve STG in 2021, Kujo identified them as parts that encourage the player to express their individuality (like allowing for unique strategies per player, visual customisation, etc) as well as old-fashioned score attack, which fits current trends
on whether we might ever get a cockpit-view R-Type a la Final 2's cutscenes: a talented intern produced a VR prototype last fall using Final 2's cockpit & enemy assets; a good amount of work went into it & Kujo does want to release it somehow but it's not currently release-worthy
Kujo's not really thinking about his next project: he's focused on post-launch updates for Final 2, which include more stages and ships but also features like 2P co-op & leaderboards; he aims to update the game for 2 years based on both dev desires & fan feedback
Kujo says Image Fight is his favourite STG; the interviewer mentions how ppl online were comparing the Final 2 demo to Image Fight due to the size of the hitbox, but Kujo says he wasn't directly mimicking Image Fight & if ppl think the hit box is too big, they'll adjust it
on streaming guidelines for R-Type Final 2: Kujo's happy for people to do as they please and isn't going to chase people down about monetisation or whatever, and they can go ahead and stream the entire game, no restrictions
on whether Kujo would like to port or remake any of his old games: he's generally more interested in making new games than old ones, but given the chance, he would like to remake Steambot Chronicles as a double-pack with the unreleased sequel, as well as R-Type Tactics 1+2
in closing, Kujo says the launch of R-Type Final 2 is basically the halfway point, so please play the game and share your opinions on what you'd like to see added or improved, and let's work together over the next two years to make it happen

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with GSK |

GSK | Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @gosokkyu

27 Apr
here's the official announcement for Cotton Guardian Force Saturn Tribute🇯🇵 icymi, this is a collection containing ports of the Saturn versions of Cotton 2, Cotton Boomerang & Guardian Force with save states, rewind, slow-mo, online leaderboards, etc
digital info is TBA, but the physical version of Cotton Guardian Force Saturn Tribute will be out in Japan on September 30: ¥4980 for the standard version, ¥7980 for the LE with arcade card reprints, dev interview booklet & the first-ever Guardian Force OST
the page also specifies that the JP physical version's English support only pertains to the menus, not the in-game dialogue and what have you—they've clearly paid attention to the importers' reactions to Cotton Reboot
Read 5 tweets
25 Apr
City Connection's talking Deathsmiles I+II on stream right now 🇯🇵
...or they will be at some point, right now their president's going into a surprising amount of detail about the different divisions and machinations of the overall company
someone asked and they obliged: here's the Deathsmiles training mode menu
Read 4 tweets
25 Apr
G-MODE Archives' producer is on stream atm, they're gonna announce some new G-MODE Archives+ games 🇯🇵
announced for G-MODE Archives+: Dodonpachi Daioujou DX!
these are spec sheets for Dodonpachi Daioujou DX's sound data, showing how much capacity the data was allotted across various hardware/services, measured in bytes(!)
Read 4 tweets
25 Apr
day 2 of Shooters Fes 2021 is live 🇯🇵 schedule in JP time:

16:00: ex∀ showcase
17:00: G-MODE Archives+ reveals
18:00: Raiden IV x Mikado Remix + Heavy Metal Raiden
19:00: City Connection on Deathsmiles I+II
20:00: R-TYPE Final 2
21:00: closing
Heavy Metal Raiden's the name of Mikado's band, they did the new Raiden IV arrange soundtrack

idk if I'll be around to cover this in real time but I'm sure the first segment in particular will be EN-friendly
turns out I am around and the moment I opened the stream I was greeted with P-47 ACES KAI

trap's gotta trap
Read 4 tweets
24 Apr
dengeki spoke to Puyo Puyo producer Hosoyamada & Puyo Quest planner "Harigane Skeleton" about Puyo Quest's 8th anniversary🇯🇵 they're teasing "Super Puyo Quest Project", the 2nd of their two Puyo Puyo 30th projects, as something beyond anything seen before
as for why they're doing the Precure crossover now, apparently it's just something people had been requesting

Hosoyamada also acknowledged the overseas demand for the Arle/Carbuncle nendoroid

one other tidbit: they've apparently sold over 10 million Puyo Puyo gummies
oh and in case it needs restating, Hosoyamada's fairly straight about how we probably wouldn't have gotten Puyotet, Chronicle, the eSports initiative, etc if not for the sustained success of Quest
Read 5 tweets
24 Apr
City Connection's Psikyo rep has been kinda rambling about all sorts of stuff, but he's talking & showing slides for Strikers 2020 atm
platform's still not confirmed for Strikers 2020 btw, but let's see if it remains that way by Monday
among the other stuff, he (re?)announced the Psikyo STG collections for PS4/XB1 and talked more generally about their porting process and the challenges of porting from scratch (including stuff that goes way back, like the circumstances behind the Assault Suits Valken PS2 port)
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!