In recent weeks, Capcom have been translating and publishing old development blogs from Shu Takumi, the creator of the Ace Attorney series. A new blog post uploaded this week touches upon Takumi’s tight deadlines while working on Ace Attorney: Justice for All.
Takumi says he was asked by producer Atsushi Inaba (now a member of PlatinumGames) to write the entirety of Justice for All’s script within three-and-a-half months. To put this in perspective, it had taken Takumi a month on average to write each episode of the first Ace Attorney game. Additionally, Justice for All was to have one more episode, making the workload that much more heavier.
“I figured if I dedicated half a month per episode to writing just the dialogue, five episodes would take two and half months,” Takumi says in his developer blog. “That would leave me with just one month to draft the entire game’s story ‘prototype’. Breaking that down even further, it meant that I only had one week to sketch out the plot and tricks for each episode.”
These “prototypes” would dictate how each episode would play out, complete with the hints that would need to be conveyed to players, in order to help them solve the mystery. When Takumi did finish his script at the end of two-and-a-half months, it amounted to 1,500 pages, filling up roughly six binders.
Note that, although Takumi says Justice for All was to have five episodes, the final game only ended up with four. It sounds as though Capcom intend to expound upon this in the future.