Sin & Punishment: The Successors of Earth
This series of articles will take a look at the development of Nintendo-published software. These Q&A sessions conducted by Nintendo Online Magazine, and transcribed to English exclusively by N-Sider staff member Anthony JC, come directly from the developers so as to give you a first-hand look at the amount of sweat and blood that goes into Nintendo's most celebrated releases.
Supervisor & Scenario
Nintendo Co., Ltd Research & Development 1
Nintendo Co., Ltd
Q: How was the development process?
Hitoshi Yamagami: I'm a very big fan of animation so I really was excited about the games visual direction. In my younger days I was a very avid collector but since I became married the situation has become a little different (smile). I was not only responsible for working with the internal staff of Sin & Punishment in the development 1 section, but I was also very involved with the exterior development taking place at Treasure. Although co-developing software was very rare at Nintendo, it became a very efficient way to develop software in the later years of the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color. One of my biggest responsibilities, was deciding who did what, and how we could piece it all together. We decided to partner with Treasure because we knew we could work very well together. We both share very similar philosophies when it comes to game design.
Takehisa Yutaka: My main role was to serve as mediator between our development team, our marketing executives and Treasure.
Masato Maegawa: We were surprised how much fun we had developing this game. It was very nice to work with Nintendo and Mr. Izushi (R&D1 Producer and General Manager).
Q: How did you break into the industry?
Yamagami: I started out doing some minor programming. I then moved on to design and wrote several scenarios. I still managed to be involved in some technical works like the Pocket Camera.
Maegawa: Not too many people can program for a long duration.
Yamagami: Yes. There is always some younger employee who seems to have a better grasp of the technology.
Q: Favorite part of the game?
Yamagami: Definitely the speed and action. It reminds me of the games my department used to create during the origin of the Famicom. It's very easy to pick up and play.
Yutaka: The explosions!
Q: The Sin & Punishment comic book?
Yutaka: Well it's no different than what happened with Fire Emblem. Although Nintendo Co. Ltd is the creator and developer of the series, when we make games there are several people who become inspired by the characters. Those fans start creating their own scenarios and stories for those characters. That is why we receive enthusiastic offers for comics and animation with our franchises. I believe the Sin & Punishment comic book is scheduled for sale in late February, where it will continue as a monthly mini-series.
Yamagami: Sin & Punishment features a very open storyline which can be taken in many different directions in the future. In many ways I thought it was good enough for someone to make a film from it, we've already endorsed a Sin & Punishment comic and novel.
Maegawa: It's quite flattering.
Yamagami: I will buy it!
Q: How long was the game in development?
Yamagami: The game was actually completed around the end of May, 2000. Roughly in development for about two years (most in the planning department). It was completed ahead of schedule, but we never showed or announced the game in any capacity. Because it was a completely original project, we had to figure out a way to sell it to our consumers before we released it. Also, since the second-half 2000 release schedule was very sparse, we had to make sure we spread the games in the most effective way possible.
Yutaka: We then decided we would sell it on November, in between The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Pokemon Stadium 3.
Q: Closing thoughts?
Yamagami: I would like to work on a sequel. However, this is a business and if ample profit isn't generated than the realization of a sequel diminishes, and we go back to the drawing board. The game will definitely appeal to any fan of Nintendo or Treasure games. So I hope everyone will give this game a try.
Maegawa: Eitherway it was fun.