Capcom has unveiled a developer interview with Mega Man 11’s producer, Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, who has worked on the series since Mega Man 7. In particular, he talked about finding the balance between appealing to old fans and a new audience.
Here are the highlights:
Is there anything in particular you had to keep in mind while making Mega Man 11, the first new game in quite a while?
Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, Producer: “The series has a long history overflowing with rich scenarios, however, we made sure to avoid creating something that directly relied on this history. We couldn’t allow the project to become a game made by us old guys for other old guys. We told the development team that this was a clean slate, and that we were going to rebuild it from the ground up with that in mind.”
Was that a difficult task?
Tsuchiya: “We told them that as long as they held to that condition, they were free to interpret it and tweak it as they saw fit. We didn’t want to restrict them too severely—everyone on the development team is a professional, after all, and they all have their own unique methods of approaching a problem. I had high hopes that they would find interesting solutions that I hadn’t imagined.”
Can you think of any specific things where you thought “wow, this is more than I could have hoped for?”
Tsuchiya: “There were numerous examples, but the one that stands out the most is the new Double Gear system. I had said something about placing old fans and new players on equal footing, and one developer took my simple words and created this new gameplay mechanic from it.”
Are there any other measures in place for new players?
Tsuchiya: “The interactions between elemental weapons. As the series went on, creators often tried to avoid having the vulnerabilities spoiled by previous games, and so it all became quite complicated and you couldn’t tell how things worked at a glance anymore. This time we told the developers that we want every elemental weapon to be something that even a child could understand. A new animated TV series began airing in the USA in August 2018, and we wanted children who watched it to think “Oh! Using an ice weapon would win out against fire, right?” if they tried playing the game. It may have been used in a previous game, but even so it would be part of the games appeal for them. Or so we hope (laughs).”
You mean that you hope that the original, core appeal of the series will hit home with a new audience?
Tsuchiya: “We considered this to be of utmost importance; we told everyone that we must design bosses which don’t rely on cultural or age-based knowledge, or even on language, so that even children could understand. We hope that longtime fans will say “oh yeah, this is legit Mega Man!” and that newcomers will say “I always thought Mega Man was only for hardcore fans, but this is really fun!””
Mega Man 11 is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A demo is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.