Previously, Capcom went into the making of Mega Man’s 3D model and Mega Man 11’s stage design, and this time Capcom asks its developers to talk about how the bosses and mid-bosses were designed from a gameplay standpoint, as well as the making of special effects.
Planner Takafumi Goto went into detail about how originally when discussing how the boss characters should play out, everyone agreed that Mega Man bosses should revolve around several clear patterns that players learn to avoid in order to beat the boss. However, they felt that it wasn’t enough in terms of impact, and came up with various boss proposals in the process.
Designer Ryota Fuji elaborated on this point, talking about how they wanted fights to be more dramatic and hotblooded, like a shonen manga. They even considered adding in button mashing QTEs to the game, but started to feel that it wouldn’t be Mega Man if fighting bosses weren’t completely hands-on at all times (as opposed to mid-fight cutscenes).
The next proposal was to increase the number of actions a boss could make to around 10 different patterns, but then they realized that the fight would probably end before the boss could show off every pattern, thereby completely missing the point.
The developers also discussed how difficulty was balanced, and how after the game would get harder and harder by the day – a result of daily testing by the devs, who would deem it too easy. However, they would send the game off for review, but then a reply would come back saying that it was completely unfair. They would then change it bit by bit back to its original difficulty.
According to Effect Designer Atsushi Yamada, the game effects were also something that had to be carefully balanced, and so many of the prototype effects ended up being deleted or unused. However, he stressed that the game effects are essential to the gaming experience, and affects how the player feels as well, such as giving a boss an impression that they are really strong.
The first effects created would usually end up being too ordinary or uninteresting, while the next batch would end up being too dramatic, and end up affecting gameplay as well by accidentally obscuring Mega Man or make timing hits more confusing.
Apart from things like explosions, Yamada’s job as an Effect Designer includes things like making the ‘Start’ button flash on the title screen. They also add in things they think are funny or interesting, like how the pickax enemy can be seen after the mid-boss is defeated. Usually, the effects team become more busy towards the end of development.
As an aside, the developers talked about animators, and how they would always cause effect designers trouble by tweaking animations. The timing of effects would be off, and the effect designers would have redesign the effects to match up as well. This was why the animators were always scolded by the effects team. On the other hand, sometimes animators would be really proud of their work, but then find it completely obscured by the special effects, so animators would also have a bone to pick with effect designers as well.
You can find the full video below here:
Mega Man 11 will come to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on October 2, 2018.