In December 360Monster was invited as part of the Microsoft Xbox Community Network (XCN) to submit a selection of questions, which would be answered in a Q&A session with Jun Takeuchi, Producer of Lost Planet at Capcom. We put this to our community via our forum and in return we received some pressing questions from our members. The most interesting and inventive questions were selected and submitted towards the Q&A interview.
What follows an in-depth Q&A exclusive to XCN members with Jun.
With Dead Rising, you had the advantage of “coming in under the radar” so to speak and ending up with a huge hit with gamers and critics alike. Now that everyone is watching, does this put more pressure on you for how Lost Planet is received?
Actually, the success of Dead Rising showed us that a well-made game for the Xbox 360 by a Japanese company has a chance to do well overseas, so if anything it gave us a sense of hope. In the past, it was often the case that only certain games with name recognition would sell well, but Dead Rising proves that a solid, new franchise can sell.
How lengthy is the single player mode? recently games have been having trouble with getting over the 6/7 hour mark (eg Gears of War)
The length will likely depend on which difficulty setting the player chooses when starting the campaign, but it should take an average of around 10 hours to clear the single player campaign.
Will there be any further titles in the Lost Planet franchise?
We want to see the gaming community’s reaction to Lost Planet when it releases before judging on a sequel. If there’s enough fan support for a sequel, then that’s something we would definitely look into making.
Dead Rising can be considered the first exponent of a new video-game genre. Did you have the same objective for “Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions” or did you take inspiration from other games? In the latter case, which games?
In the beginning of development, Halo inspired us. We considered it a challenge and wanted to prove we were capable of creating a satisfying action game experience like the one Halo provided to players. I think we have succeeded and Lost Planet will be a solid game experience within the shooting genre.
What multiplayer modes can we expect to see in Lost Planet: Extreme Condition?
There are four multiplayer modes. The first is Elimination which is similar to the classic deathmatch style of play present in many multiplayer shooting games, the second is Team Elimination, the third is Post Grab, where teams fight to activate and control data posts scattered around the map, and the fourth mode is Fugitive, where players team up to hunt down a single ’fugitive’ player.
Guns, guns, guns… everybody loves guns; what are some of the most deadly weapons in the game?
One great thing about the guns in Lost Planet is the availability of rocket and missile weapons in the game. They are very destructive and very fun to use. My personal favourite among the different weapons is one designed for the VS, the Homing Laser. It consumes a type of energy in the game called Thermal Energy in order to fire out four lasers that slam into a locked on enemy. This gun is so powerful, that it will be a key piece of equipment in some multiplayer games. I can imagine some maps where players will make a run for the Homing Laser in order to get to it first.
Is it possible to play the SinglePlayer in Coop mode via Xbox Live?
We do not have support for Co-op mode over Xbox Live, but if we find that it’s something the fan base really wants, it’s definitely something we can keep in mind for the future.
Jack Symon said last week that Lost Planet was originally planned for the PS2. Why did they change to XBOX 360? Will the game be released for PS3?
The Lost Planet title is exclusive to Xbox 360. The original idea was first tossed around in the days of the PS2, but the idea grew beyond what the PS2 was capable of at the time, so when we received the Xbox 360 development kits, we knew the 360 was meant to be Lost Planet’s new home.
Recently, your multiplayer demo has hit Xbox Live Marketplace. Many have liked this ’teaser’ of Lost Planet’s online aspect, but some have complained about its rather limited lobby system. For starters: you can’t see how many people are in a room before you join it and the demo does not allow us to host a private room so we could invite friends. Knowing that the retail version is still at a couple of months away, will you take advantage of the remaining time and expand the lobby?
Many users gave us some great feedback after the demos were released. The online lobby mentioned in the question is one area where user feedback influenced us to change the final game. We will display the number of players in a hosted game as well as offering a rematch feature, something else that was requested in user feedback. Expect the lobby to have experienced some changes from the demo. I really want to thank all of the users who downloaded the demo and provided us that great feedback.
In order to create a so-called buzz or hype for Lost Planet, you have released a single-player demo of the game well before release, is this a strategy you want to follow for future games as well? Have you included anything you’ve learnt from feedback on the demos to improve the final game?
Buzz was certainly one reason we wanted to get a demo out early, but the primary reason was user feedback. Lost Planet was a new challenge for us, and we wanted to get as much feedback with time to incorporate it as possible. Many things have changed since the days of the single player demo because of that user feedback including the controls themselves and the addition of a melee combat option. In future projects I produce, I would definitely like to continue using this style of releasing the demo early in order to hear from the users and change parts of the game that need to be changed.
How much time did you spend developing this game ?
Altogether it took about three years to develop Lost Planet.
Thank you for your time Jun!