One Piece Unlimited World: RED developer Ganbarion (who you may know from Pandora’s Tower) have shared a few thoughts on the development of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS game—specifically on the implementation of the game’s controls—on their blog. It’s a fascinating read for anyone interested in how games are developed.
Ganbarion begin by saying that there are essentially two forms of “synchronization” between when a player hits a button on a controller, and what happens on screen. They called these “Coordinated Synchronization” and “Pad Synchronization”. They then note that they have attempted to develop One Piece Unlimited World: RED with a blend of both.
Coordinated Synchronization takes into account lag and minute reaction speed differences between players by showcasing the action on-screen with a delay of a few microsecond. This smooths out lag and presents a cleaner game for all players, especially notable in multiplayer. Pad Synchronization, on the other hand, is linked straight to your controller—hit a button and it is immediately reflected on-screen. Fighting games like Street Fighter are almost always Pad Sync’ed, for example.
There are obvious pros and cons to both in games which see crossovers between precise button mashing combat and free-roaming multiplayer moments. To balance them out and give players the best experience they could, Ganbarion decided to blend both systems of controller input.
While traveling around the world or playing mini-games such as fishing, for instance, the game will be in Coordinated Synchronization mode. This allows players to have the maximum fun, while limiting the problems of laggy connections. However, once battles ensue and players have to correctly time button presses to guard and counter enemy attacks, One Piece Unlimited World: RED switches over to Pad Synchronization, allowing quick-fingered gamers to benefit the most.
One Piece Unlimited World: Red will be out for the Nintendo 3DS on November 21st in Japan.