Sure, DmC isn’t the first time Capcom worked with a Western developer, but each time East meets West there’s a little cultural exchange. When Siliconera spoke with DmC director Hideaki Itsuno and producer Motohide Eshiro we asked what they learned by working with Ninja Theory.
Motohide Eshiro, Producer: Largely what Ninja Theory has been known for is what we’ve been impressed – the quality of visuals, the cinematic camerawork, facial animations, and their tech is really good. We learned some things there. Also, in this particular game, there is the deformation of the environment itself. The Malice mechanic makes the background twist and turn, from a technical aspect it’s really cool and something we’re happy they came up with.
Hideaki Itsuno, Director: One thing I’ve taken away from the experience is it comes to opposite approaches compared to Capcom Japan. At Ninja Theory, they do a good job of presenting they are paying very close attention to the schedule, but when you look under the surface they are empowering key team members to be responsible for different aspects of the game and that ties into the quality of the end product.
At Capcom, we take the opposite approach. We like to look as if we have given all of these people different responsibility, but in reality we are very, very concerned about the schedule. It actually makes it difficult to get one man or one woman’s work tied that closely with the product on the Japan side. I think I can learn a lot about their management style from that way.
I followed up and asked Itsuno what kind of feedback Capcom gave to Ninja Theory.
"I think this speaks to the differences in the core of how Western games are developed compared to games in Japan. Well, at least at Capcom because we can’t speak for everyone. Given our experience, it seems like with the West and Ninja Theory they focus on the visuals stuff at the beginning and then build the gameplay on top of that," Itsuno answered. "Whereas at Capcom Japan, we focus on the game logic and getting the systems down in the beginning then we gradually build the visuals on top of that. The key to the feedback and the kind of advice we’ve been giving is we’ve been trying to find a hybrid system where we take a best of both worlds approach. It hasn’t been easy, but I think we’re happy with the results we have."