One of, if not the most outspoken people in fighting game development today is none other than Bandai Namco’s Katsuhiro Harada. The Tekken producer is no stranger to giving out his opinion on social media, especially when it comes to his own game.
Gaming industry site Gamasutra has gotten a chance to sit down and conduct a massive interview with Harada. The interview covers a large number of topics — almost too many to list, really. However, some of Harada’s answers do stand out. The one that may interest competitive players the most is what he says about how they changed frame data for online play. According to Harada, around a decade or so ago, not just the addition of online play — but the change to LCD based hardware itself — meant that it became harder to react to fast pokes due to the additional delay. With this in mind, they made a conscious effort to change the frame data and slow down the pokes, increasing their frames from around 8 for the fastest attack, to 10 or more in their later games.
Of course, he acknowledges that this doesn’t fix everything, and that online play is affected by the network infrastructure of a region. That said, he does state that he would like to continue to tailor the game to “absorb lag.” Though he does admit that there is a limit to how much he can do so, as it also affects the game’s tempo.
Another interesting topic he comments on is the growth of fighting games in esports. Harada states that “esports” for him is simply another term that the fighting game community is using to help communicate what they’re doing to other people. The community itself has been doing competitions and tournaments for fighting games for a long time now, long before “esports” entered into the scene.
Harada also talks about crossovers, including adding guest characters into Tekken 7. Surprisingly enough, he doesn’t really expect a large amount of players from the characters home franchises to cross over to Tekken (though admits that that does happen). It’s more about promotion and granting awareness of Tekken itself. These crossovers, he states, can create a lot of buzz around the game online. He also talks about the process of actually adding these characters into Tekken, stating that the goal is to make said characters play like they did in their home series, while still fitting into a 3D system.
Of course, this is just a small taste of what Harada talks about in the interview. Head on over to Gamasutra to read the rest of what Harada has to say.