Yu Suzuki Interview (IGN Japan): Reflections on S3, Plans for S4

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In Shenmue IV, I want to make the side quests more in-depth. Through side quests, the relationships of the townsfolk will be portrayed more deeply… that’s something that’s quite Shenmue-like, wouldn’t you say?

There are still hints of that in III as is though. Granted just a little more superficial. Example, the dude who wanted to date Wei Zhen. Or Mr Su's tall tales. There were still hints of that in III that I found charming as hell if not superficial. More would be welcome. Especially stuff that is integral to the story. Just imagine if you had a side quest in III with Master Feng and the more you bugged him, the more he let his guard down and the more he would divulge about Iwao. I would gladly have done that.

Give me more stuff like that.
 
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Fantastic interview and amazing translation job Switch! Thank you!

This time, rather than being hung up on making an open world, it might be interesting to instead have confined areas.

The way I understand it, Yu's idea here is an open world with a lot of detail and density in a very confined space. Less something like Bailu rather than something like the Boat chapter. He mentioned this aspect in a previous interview.

Yu Suzuki is frequently asked about Shenmue III's open world: questions like how many kilometers the playfield is, or how many towns there are. However, Suzuki doesn't think that things like the playfield area or the number of areas are important.

"I'd like to show a game that takes place only inside a train that is more expansive than your average open-world game," he says.

As for Shenmue IV… I guess it will all depend on finding a publisher/budget to make it real!
 
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I would love to feel as confident as you about this, but I really feel there isn't any guarantee yet that Shenmue IV will happen.
In other words, I'll believe it when I read about an official confirmation.

I'm also confident Shenmue 4 will happen. Now, whether it's a game to full AA spec or a mobile game is the question.
 
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I would love to feel as confident as you about this, but I really feel there isn't any guarantee yet that Shenmue IV will happen.
In other words, I'll believe it when I read about an official confirmation.



I dont think Shenmue IV happening or not is something we should worry about. As far as I'm concerned, it's happening. People keep thinking about the situation about Shenmue III but these were far different time.
- YS was still working at SEGA
- SEGA was very cautious with their IPs
- Making a game was harder back then because tools were both expensive, hard to use and not widespread.

Shenmue III took that long to happen for those reasons:
- YS was still at SEGA when it was obvious SEGA didn't want anything to do with SHENMUE.
- SEGA was unwilling to do anything with their dormant IPs and was against licensing them.

Shenmue III finally happened because:
- YS left SEGA and was free to work on what he wanted.
- SEGA softened their stance on licensing hence why Wonderboy, Panzer Dragoon, Street of Rage and Shenmue all saw new installements without SEGA's involvement.
- There are tool such as Unity and Unreal Engine which are documented, with support from their providers, easy, fast, inexpensive and powerful to use.

But it took until barely 6 years ago for those things to happen.

Now the question about Shenmue IV is: What are we getting ?
 

spud1897

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I would love to feel as confident as you about this, but I really feel there isn't any guarantee yet that Shenmue IV will happen.
In other words, I'll believe it when I read about an official confirmation.
We've been in this game long enough to know anything can happen with Shenmue. Cautiously optimistic mind.
 

Sergeynest

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Same, quest markers are an awful idea, we risk to lose all the uniqueness of the series, since this is basically what other open world games do, by treating the players like some babies who can't do anything on their own without showing everything at their faces.

Hopefully, if Shenmue 4 becomes a reality, it should have an option to toggle it ON or OFF, otherwise, it will seriously angry the hardcore fans of the series.
 
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Some days ago, I heavily criticized lack of authenticity in both Bailu and Niaowu locations in Shenmue 3. So the narrow world make S4 definitely exciting to me. South Asia has the densest cities in the world so obviously it's something Suzuki isn't underestimating. It's an impossible challenge he was thinking likely from the very beginning as Kowloon streets ended to be way larger than the Project Berkley CGI.

His idea of "pride" about creating his own technology rather buying a licence is strengthening the hypothesis he doesn't need ton of money to make Shenmue 4 and some ambitious wonders inside. Making Shenmue a bankable game seems part of his strategy to attract investors and/or make his company a definitive structure.

Also, he looks motivated to fix the faults committed on Shenmue 3 and mark a split with fan service conception. S4 is going to have many weak points nonetheless but Suzuki is looking ahead, in every sense of the word and that's the Yu I prefer.
 
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Thanks for the translation Switch :love:, now the interview feel more positive overall (while the google translation made lots of mistakes, to the point of YS not caring about Shenmue IV lol).

My stance about "quest markers" and "smaller world" remain.
But it all depends on how those will be implemented.

For example I'm totally against quest markers that appears in-game "floating" on objects, npc and shops like in Yakuza, and ruining all the illusion of being inside in the world and not in front of a simple game (story driven games should have no HUD) but I'm totally fine with some kind of optional maps (like Shenmue 2) when the same info appear.as a point marker after being discovered.

Same for the "smaller world", if it means a Telltale like limitet spaces than NO, even if denser.
BUT if he means something like Yokosuka, Hong Kong or Kowloon (or even Languishan but just for some smaller parts of the story), than I see no problem, for me S1, 2 and 3 are all open world games, well the kind of SEGA's Open world at least.
 

Hiki

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Interesting interview. He really did Shenmue III with a lot of love for the fans, i respect Yu-san and i am grateful that Shenmue III exists. Really nice to see Yu-san wanting to try new things for Shenmue IV, If Yu-san makes changes he will probably do it in a way that the essence of Shenmue remains intact, about the quests markers i really think it should have a option to toggle it ON or OFF.

I agree with danielmann861 "So I'll take a smaller but more densely filled world any day of the week. I'll gladly take another Bailu or Wan Chai or Dobuita over a massive but generic open world."

Really nice to see that Yu-san wants to do other games besides Shenmue, I look forward to seeing.:D

Yu-san seems really positive about Shenmue IV, i really think Shenmue IV will happen.

Thanks Switch. :giggle:
 
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Thanks @Switch! This is the best news I've seen regarding S4 yet.

After all, take Shenmue III, which had a lot of changes. That turned out to feel like Shenmue, right?
Rpi4aohg.jpg


A lot of fans say they want to be able to sit down in the game, so I think it would indeed kill two birds with one stone.
Jesus fucking Christ. It really sounds like what is broadly considered a "Shenmue fan" would really get a kick out of VR games.

For example, making movement within a narrow space smoother than games to date. Narrow places actually feel more immersive, but narrow paths can cause various problems such as getting stuck, so the paths in games are always wide, right? I don’t think any developer has yet achieved smooth movement or exploration within narrow areas.
He mentions games he's researched several times in this interview, I'd be interested in knowing what they are, because this quote is ridiculously out of touch. Has anyone actually had problems navigating narrow areas in games in the last, like, 15 years?

I want to be able to move through narrow places more smoothly than other games, or display lots of characters at the same time and have people say “This is technology!” [laughs]
maxresdefault.jpg

This is Assassin's Creed Unity. It came out 6 years ago. No one is going to be impressed by crowd size anymore.

Through side quests, the relationships of the townsfolk will be portrayed more deeply… that’s something that’s quite Shenmue-like, wouldn’t you say?
Yes and no. Shenmue is all about learning from unexpected sources, so that bum on the street? He's actually a marital arts master. That guy with the sweet abs who tried to stab you and stole $500? He's your best friend. It's never been about the relationships between townsfolk, Ryo doesn't even care about the bevy of beautiful women who want to bang him because he's so single-minded.

Of course, regarding the main story, the backstory will be rapidly filled out, for example I’d like to shed light on Shenhua’s background and about what kind of person Ren is, and resolve the mysteries that have been created until this point.
I'm all for that. I'm pretty sure you missed a golden opportunity to show what kind of person Ren is at the end of S3, but still cool. Ren giving up the mirrors or treasure to save Ryo? I'm getting misty just thinking about it.

Absolutely nothing in here suggests he doesn't want to make IV, or that he's lost interest in it. Imagine that!
Depends how cynically you want to interpret his line about "responsibility". It's very possible that he's only making Shenmue because no one is going to give him money for a new IP. He mentions wanting to make a new IP and explore different genres (totally understandable btw) but he clearly doesn't have that option right now. I tend to think he wants to make Shenmue (if not necessarily finish it) and I view this interview as the best possible news regarding the future of the series, but I'm still cautiously optimistic because of how S3 turned out.
 
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Depends how cynically you want to interpret his line about "responsibility". It's very possible that he's only making Shenmue because no one is going to give him money for a new IP. He mentions wanting to make a new IP and explore different genres (totally understandable btw) but he clearly doesn't have that option right now. I tend to think he wants to make Shenmue (if not necessarily finish it) and I view this interview as the best possible news regarding the future of the series, but I'm still cautiously optimistic because of how S3 turned out.
This is the thing. I do think Suzuki wants to make Shenmue, otherwise he wouldn't be doing it, but I question how much of it is because he wants to tell this story he's been working on for 25 years and how it feels like his life's work.

He had a 15 year gap between Shenmue 2 and 3 and didn't make any games (not for lack of trying I know he had unrealized projects like Psy-Phi etc.). He's clearly keen on doing new things, even if it is within the scope of Shenmue, but it does feel more like he wants to make new games but doesn't have the opportunity. I think Suzuki just wants to continue making games in general but atm the only one he can realistically make is Shenmue so that's going to be his canvas.

As a fan I can't complain because it means I'll likely get S4 but it does seem like a red flag to me concerning what kind of game that's going to be.
 

ShenSun

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Not worried about shenmue 4 in the slightest.

The foundation for shenmue was laid with Shenmue 3. Suzuki now has all those assets, character models, textures, logic, animations, scenery, quests, and fighting engine at the tip of his fingers. There's no need to start from scratch. He can just add to it as he sees fit with minimal spending.

Shenmue 3 was really good in the gameplay department. It was the story and character development that was lacking. Most of Shenmue 3s budget clearly went on gameplay, but now thats taken care of, he can focus on the weaker areas from Shenmue 3 in Shenmue 4

I wouldn't worry about the story progression going forward. There's two shenmue games left, so the story will progress regardless, even as a byproduct should suzuki choose to focus on other areas. However, im assuming he'll go hard on the story, given the feedback and because we're at Shenmue 4.

I cant stress this enough, we are in a very good position for the series.
Everything is already made and the team is in place. That is a much more attractive prospect for a publisher, than suzuki on his own saying he wants to make Shenmue 3, give me money like before the kickstarter days.

Hopefully sega will pick the series back up

Now if big Corona could just F*k off, everyone could get back to work properly and make the dream a reality.
 
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The foundation for shenmue was laid with Shenmue 3. Suzuki now has all those assets, character models, textures, logic, animations, scenery, quests, and fighting engine at the tip of his fingers. There's no need to start from scratch. He can just add to it as he sees fit with minimal spending.
This depends. I don't think he can reuse as much assets as you think especially if S4 is going to be next gen. Imagine the blowback of a PS5 era game reusing Shenmue 3's assets.

There are some of the systems in place that could be tweaked and built upon that would save cost, but overall making S4 will still require a lot of new capital.
 

spud1897

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This depends. I don't think he can reuse as much assets as you think especially if S4 is going to be next gen. Imagine the blowback of a PS5 era game reusing Shenmue 3's assets.

There are some of the systems in place that could be tweaked and built upon that would save cost, but overall making S4 will still require a lot of new capital.
You can do as most unreal assets transfer over I think. Should save hassle
 
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