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Offline Tuffty

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Shenmue
« on: June 21, 2015, 12:24:22 AM »
Shenmue



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Shenmue (シェンムー 一章 横須賀 Shenmū Isshō: Yokosuka?, lit. "Shenmue Chapter 1: Yokosuka") is an open world action-adventure video game, developed by Sega AM2, produced and directed by Yu Suzuki, and published by Sega for the Dreamcast in 1999. Suzuki coined a genre title for its nonlinear gameplay, "FREE" (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment), for the game, based on the interactivity and freedom he wanted to give to the player. Suzuki intended to achieve this by simulating aspects of real life through the game, such as the day and night system, real-time variable weather effects (unheard of in a game of this kind at the time), fully voiced non-player characters with their own daily schedules, quick time events, and various other interactive elements such as vending machines, arcades, and convenience stores.[3]

Shenmue borrows gameplay elements from several different genres, but largely consists of open world 3D adventure segments with occasional real-time brawler battles interspersed throughout as well as role-playing game elements. It was the most expensive video game at the time; Yu Suzuki initially stated the production budget was $70 million[4] (equivalent to $99 million in 2015) but later stated it cost $47 million[5] (equivalent to $67 million in 2015).[6] The game was followed by a 2001 sequel, Shenmue II, with at least one more planned as a Dreamcast series. Shenmue III was revealed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015 as a Kickstarter project.[7]

Shenmue received critical acclaim and has since been featured in several "greatest video games of all time" lists.[8][9][10] In 2013, readers of German magazine M! Games voted Shenmue as the best game of all time in an online poll.[11]

I figured rather than keep talking about Shenmue in other topics then most of the discussion can be had here in it's own topic! Like I mentioned, Shenmue 1 and 2 are special games to me so I was overwhelmed with joy when I learned about the kickstarter for Shenmue 3 and that it is on it's way to breaking kickstarter records.

Shenmue 3 Kickstarter


Yu Suzuki also did an AMA on Reddit which you can fine here. I'll talk a bit more about this in more detail in another post but it must be stressed that the budget for Shenmue 3 will mainly be through the Kickstarter. Sony are funding it but it doesn't appear to be as much as people had thought. That may change depending on the success of the Kickstarter but you have to assume that we'll get the Shenmue game that Yu wants to make within the budget of the Kickstarter. Which is why it's incredibly reckless of sites like Polygon to post articles saying the Kickstarter fund isn't worth donating to as Sony is footing the bill (this gets me so mad, fuck Polygon)

Anyway, that's for later. Let's talk about Shenmue! One hell of a game huh? It's why, 14 years later, you get reactions like this on hearing Shenmue 3.


Offline Jul3

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2015, 07:48:29 PM »
YEAHHH!!!! Shenmue!!!

I was a hardcore Shenmue fan back in the day so this news is just incredible to me. Apart from donating, I haven't kept up with all the updates the kickstarter emails out, including that reddit you linked, so I'll check that out now...

Maybe I should take pics and post my Shenmue collection in here...

But for now, it's worth noting that datadiscs in the UK are releasing a Shenmue soundtrack on vinyl. They actually announced this a month or two before the Shenmue 3 announcement.



Looks like originally there was a marbled vinyl, but that's sold out, but you can still order a blue one or a boring black one.

I'm getting the blue one! I love the Shenmue music  :)

http://data-discs.com/products/shenmue

Chihiro

Offline vlinorman

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2015, 09:15:45 PM »
On one hand it's great that platforms like Kickstarter allow for long-awaited sequels to be made, on the other hand can you truly get the budget needed to make the game the developer wants to make through such a platform?

Apparently Suzuki needs 10 million to make the Shenmue 3 he envisions, and the highest funded videogame project so far got around 5.5 million.

Also don't forget the game is being developed in Japan, a very expensive country to live and work in. I can think of a few great looking open world indie games that were made on shoestring budget compare to AAA, but they were made in Eastern Europe.

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2015, 11:57:54 PM »
$2m was the necessary amount of money that Yu needed in order to make a game that would continue the story. Considering that I would have been happy this time last week with a visual novel or a comic that continued it, getting a sequel made by the original team is a gift. The figures of $5m and $10m are ambitious yes, but better to start low and work your way up. Otherwise you'll set too high a target to reach and Shenmue 3 might not be made at all, which nobody wants. At this point it's at $3.5m wil 26 days to go. Activity has slowed down a bit, but supposedly that's just how Kickstarters go. If past examples are anything to go by, then a slew of backers will come in at the end of the project and bump it up further. I think $5m is possible, but $10m could be a stretch. Maybe Sony will provide more funding considering how successful the Kickstarter has been thus far but we can't count on that. Yu Suzuki clarified that the majority of the budget will come from Kickstarter and we have to believe him on that. I do think there needs to be more higher tier rewards between the $500 and $10,000 ranges in order to get more people interested, but apparently these will come. Opening a paypal funding page is also a consideration, for fans to continue to donate after the Kickstarter has ended. This happened with Star Citizen, which went on to make another $50m or so after the fact. Yu Suzuki has said he's considering the option.

The figure will certainly not be as high as it took to make the first two games, but we already know that because they're using Unreal 4 rather than the all new engine they used for Shenmue 1 & 2. I think it's ok to ask questions, but some are mislead by inaccurate reporting or outright baseless assumptions from game journalists who should know better that Sony will do the majority of the funding, even when Yu Suzuki and Sony representatives stated that is not the case. Articles like that spread misinformation and damage the Kickstarter campaign. I've been following the debate a little too closely and I have to step back from it as it just bums me out lol. I have to remind myself that whatever happens, Shenmue 3 is being made and if $2m is happy with Suzuki, then I'm happy. Besides it's even more than that, the game's getting bigger as more money comes in so we're already getting more of a game than promised at $2m which is nice!

There's something of a campaign going, started from the Shenmue Dojo forum, where they're trying to ask existing backers to pledge an additional $30 on the 3rd July. If enough backers do it, we could really bump up the budget by another million or so. I think that would be worth it for the sake of foregoing a few Starbuck's drinks. Of course, don't do it if you're not financially stable enough!



I used to be a regular on Shenmue Dojo back in the day. Had to leave a few years ago though, the place got incredibly toxic. Nice to see it active again after all this time but I dunno if I'll ask to go back.

On a more positive note, one of the questions asked to Yu Suzuki in his Reddit AMA was which was his favourite song from the soundtrack. Is it the sweeping orchestral version of the main theme? Shenhua's theme? Memories of Iwao? No, it's the Tomato Convenience Store song (it is pretty good in fairness!)

« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 12:21:43 AM by Tuffty »

Offline vlinorman

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2015, 02:00:00 AM »
Well, if that Ouya console thingie can make almost 9 million...  :doh:

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 08:56:59 PM »
A new update on the Kickstarter page today involving a survey. The first question asks who your favourite character is out of a list. Supposedly the most popular one will get some kind of extended cutscene, a flashback or a cameo in the game. You all better vote for my boy Ren!

Secondly is interesting as it asks how much you would be prepared to spend based on a set of new reward tiers, giving a list of what we can expect to come later. No PS4 physical edition or an Xbox port sadly but instead, there are things as low as stickers, all the way up to a physical replica of Ryo's watch, a replica of Ryo's journal, a replica of the Dragon and Phoenix mirrors, voicing an NPC in the game etc. Some nice stuff in there which all being well could make people up their pledges a bit.

Lastly is a list where you pick your favourite mini game from the series like billiards, lucky hit, darts etc Interestingly, there's no mention of any of the SEGA arcade games so I guess don't expect those for Shenmue 3. In context I suppose it makes sense, you are visiting more rural villages in China which likely wouldn't have arcade machines.

So yeah interesting stuff, the funding seems to have trailed off a bit, unsurprisingly, but I hope more updates keep coming to the Kickstarter, need to keep it coming and I hope it at least reaches the £5m mark. But as we wait, how about a game of Lucky Hit?

Offline Jul3

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2015, 12:12:24 AM »
^ I voted for Nozomi and QTE Title.

I loved QTE Title.

Some of those things they could make would be cool, but... I'd prefer staggered payments over time rather than having to pay everything at once in July. So, I dunno about that really.



Oh yeah, I read this the other day, which was fairly interesting and included info from Yu Suzuki: http://kotaku.com/getting-the-rights-to-shenmue-was-easier-than-you-d-thi-1712037863

Also, Kaz Hirai (Shenmue programmer)'s video talk was pretty interesting, too https://player.vimeo.com/video/130940385

Chihiro

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2015, 09:25:44 PM »
If it was ever in any doubt, Yu himself speaks out about the funding of the game

Quote
There have been many questions concerning Shenmue 3’s budget and what outside sources will be added to the money collected through Kickstarter. I apologize for not having been more forthright in this area and would like to take this opportunity to help clarify the situation.

Ys Net and I have been putting in many long years trying to find a way to bring back a sequel that so many fans have waited so long for. After learning of Kickstarter, I knew it would be possible to get Shenmue 3 started. Wanting to make the best game possible, I also knew that I would have to look to more traditional means to obtain all the funds that would be needed to create the game I had envisioned.

Sony and Shibuya Productions have been wonderful partners because they believe in Shenmue and want to see the best for the fans and the game. Their investment in (and support of) Shenmue have helped to realize a sequel that will stand proud with its predecessors. While it is not business practice to discuss the specific details of such arrangements, I can say that with their assistance on the production and marketing end, and in Sony’s case with some publishing support as well, Ys Net is able to use more of the money we collect through Kickstarter purely for Shenmue 3’s development. It is also important to note that your funds are going strictly to Ys Net for development of Shenmue 3 – Sony and Shibuya Productions are not seeing a cent of your Kickstarter dollars.

The outpouring of support from all of you, the backers, has been so inspirational. I cannot thank you enough. Having reached our funding goal, I am excited to say that the Shenmue story will go on, and our journey with Ryo and Shenhua will continue. Fans will be able to enjoy the sequel they have waited so long for, and newcomers to the series will be introduced to a unique gaming experience.

Of course, like with any Kickstarter, additional funding will only help us make a better game. On top of everything Shenmue 3 will already bring, the Stretch Goals that I have laid out will add extra quests, events, and new gameplay systems that will make the game even more immersive and take the series to the next level. At the $5 million mark, there will be an all new gameplay feature I would be excited to be able to add to the Shenmue legacy. If we should make the $10 million Stretch Goal, a much larger, completely open world will be yours to explore.

Even if these Stretch Goals are not reached, Shenmue 3 will already be a sequel true to its name, and one we can all be proud of. It is my hope though, that together we can make this Shenmue just as revolutionary as the first two were.

I understand this statement may by late in coming. Going forward, we wish to be as open as possible concerning the game’s development. I would like to again ask for your cooperation and support in helping make Shenmue 3 the best that it can be.

Sincerely, Yu Suzuki

I've seen Gamespot and the like pick up on it, let's hope people read it and understand it because if not then I can't help but feel they're looking for any controversy where there is none.

Also, Yu Suzuki will be doing a Twitch stream on Friday, June 26 at 7:00PM PDT (Saturday, June 27 2:00AM GMT). Why does it have to be so late for me? :(
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 09:33:34 PM by Tuffty »

Offline Jul3

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 09:51:45 PM »
^ They've put a list of the stretch goals out to $11m now as well:



Link --> https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ysnet/shenmue-3/posts/1275663

Video explaining them --> https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ysnet/shenmue-3/posts/1275663

It's kindof a spoiler for the areas in the game and the scope of it, maybe.

Hmm, and not sure whether to stay up for the twitch stream either, would be easier if we were still on GMT not BST!


Chihiro

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 11:23:04 PM »
Interesting goals. I don't think $11m is feasible, but perhaps they will set up a paypal afterwards to keep donations going. Who knows.

If you wonder why Shenmue3 is breaking kickstarter records, this is a good video to explain briefly why the series is so beloved



Watching that video made me seek out that bit of music that plays when night sets in. Beautiful. It really does have one of the best game soundtracks.


Offline pikapikapika

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2015, 04:23:03 AM »

Offline vlinorman

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2015, 04:32:58 AM »


heh

so yeah, that 11 million will probably not happen.

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2015, 08:34:05 PM »
The Q&A stream was a bit embarrassing to watch, I couldn't even see it all. It's also silly to introduce new high reward tiers but only limit them to a few people. They're already sold out, you would have thought the people running it would catch on and introduce something else at that range which doesn't limit people. I'm guessing the merchandise is limited but they should be adding more reward tiers at this point and watch a big rise. People want to give money to this, but they've literally sold out of any incentive. Needs to introduce more reward tiers on the lower end side of things too. I did see that a PS4 physical release was what Yu was wanting to provide more than anything so fingers crossed that comes true. Also I hear Corey Marshall is wanting to come back as Ryo :lol: Not knocking it, I think he should! The more I think on it, the more I think Sega would be insane not to release Shenmue 1 & 2 again.

An update on the stretch goals


Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2015, 08:14:55 PM »
Great news to hear that the PS4 physical copy is now confirmed! Any pledge that is $60 or higher will have the option to have it. Very nice to see one of the most requested reward tiers coming to fruition and it seems like with 1,533 backers of the physical copy and rising, we're fast on the way to reaching over $4m in a moment.

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2015, 08:45:51 PM »
This couldn't come at the worst time because I can't afford to back it and time is running out ^^;

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2015, 12:39:36 PM »
Was really pleased to see Kavinsky showing the Kickstarter some publicity.



It's been a great 24 hours really. Over $300,000 raised, over a 1000 new backers, the Kickstarter page is more readable, apologies from Awesome Japan which shows they're listening, great new tiers with limited ones selling out and it's on it's way to being the 2nd highest funded game on Kickstarter with 2 weeks to go. The PS4 physical copy seems like a game changer. Even when a journalist on Kotaku ran an article on how the placeholder art for the PS4 physical box looks bad (seriously, it's placeholder art, I'm not going to link to that trash article and give it the advertising money), the response to that article was overwhelmingly negative that even the editor said it was bad (apparently all of Kotaku stuff were off for 4th July holiday and it was a freelancer). Over $4m now so we got our additional mini games at least!

Here's a full list of Q&A answers from Yu Suzuki which was also raised yesterday. Some interesting answers in there

Quote
Q: Can you please explain why there are two different statements about how many chapters (11 / 16) Shenmue has?

YS: It is 11 chapters, but with branched story line, it will be more than 11.

Q: I have a #YouaskYu question. Suzuki-sama, at $5 million, exactly HOW open world will Shenmue 3 be, compared to Shenmue 1/2? Arigatou!

YS: I'm expecting something similar to Dobuita in terms of scale.

Q: Now that we know Shenmue 3 will not end the Story, do you have a backup plan if it won´t succeed to tell the end?

YS: Gonna have to find a successor I think.

Q: Hello Yu-San will Shenmue have online functionality for example Online arcade Highscores or Online 70 man fighting battles?

YS: It will be a lot of fun, but depends on budget, so still under consideration.

Q: Will you be disappointed if the kickstarter doesn't raise $10mill for that 'open world experience'?

YS: No I won't. I am greatful I have another chance for a new Shenmue. I will do everything I can within the budget.

Q: 'm away on friday so if I could ask my question now please Yu-San. Will the Tiger scroll translated by Guizang in 1 be in 3?

YS: Great idea! I will look into it.

Q: Hi Yu is there any chance we can carry on Pledging after the Kickstarter date has closed?

YS: Thanks for the question, we will look into it.

Q: Ryo Hazuki's model and others, are you going to reuse models and generally assets from Shenmue 1 and Shenmue 2?

YS: I don't plan on recycling them, but will use the good parts as an reference.

Q: Would love to hear Mandarin voice acting alongside Japanese in #Shenmue3, could we make it stretch goal?

YS: Thank you, it is under consideration.

Q: Why do you think Shenmue didn't appeal to the mass audience back then? Would it need to be 'modernized' for today?

YS: One reason may be there were so many new challenges. New challenges this time too. It's the most important thing.

Q: Can we expect the return of lottery prize in Shenmue 3? May be the first prize can be a figure of Yu Suzuki! I Love Caramel ;)

YS: Great idea. Thanks. I will need to think about something more appealing than a figure of me.

Q: Will u research latest tech in AI so u can include it in shenmue 3 to make it a pioneering game like its predecessors?

YS: Yes. I would like to take on some new challenge in terms of technology.

Q: Is there a possibility to film a production process for example motion capture or dubbing, during development of Shenmue 3?

YS: Yes, we have it and I would like to feature it in an update.

Q :Will Coca Cola join the Party ?

YS: I'm considering collaborations with companies like Coca Cola

Q: Do you have any idea if Sega's planning on doing a Virtua Fighter 6?

YS: I have not heard about it from SEGA.

Q: What can you tell me of the three blades?

YS: Jobs using scissors, razor and knife- barber, cook, and sewer. Skills for jobs with steady demand in any era.

Q: Although a little hint is left in the video Tak Hirai, Ryo he will now be able to jump into Shenemue 3?

YS: Yes. I am researching the new technology to have more natural motions in Shenmue 3.

Q: My ten year old daughter wants to know if she'll be able to use the phone at will in Shenmue 3 like she does in Shenmue?

YS: Look forward to it. There will be many nostalgic scenes. Maybe a tin can telephone as well?

Q: If future installments of Shenmue become a possibility will we have the option to bring over save data from 3?

YS: I have not decided it yet.

Q: Can we expect epic fights like in Kowloon in Shenmue 2 and a similar battle fight system?

YS: There is "Battle System Expanded" Stretch Goal. It will enhance the battles, better than Shenmue 2.

Q: Will we start Shenmue 3 with some items/skills/scrolls from Shenmue 1+2?

YS: The platform is different, so unfortunately we can't do it.

Q: Should we expect any Sega related stuff in Shenmue 3 like arcade games or toy capsules?

YS: There is a possibility.

Q: Were there any gameplay elements for Shenmue 1 and 2 that had to be cut due to budget constraints?

YS: Yes. I wanted the ramen noodles to get soggy and yucky, but couldn't. I wanted to get that real.

Q: Will the "Shenmue Trial" be used for feedback to improve the game like Square Enix have with the FF15 demo?

YS: I would definitely want to get feedback, so I'm looking into how to put a system like that in place.

Q: Will there be official kickstarter/Shenmue 3 forums to discuss and give feedback throughout the development process?

YS: I of course would like that and am looking into it.

Q: Will everything be voice acted the same way as 1 and 2? or will budget constraints not allow 100% VO all the time?

YS: Full voice will be possible if we have enough funding.

Q: What's the I.Q. score of Fukuhara-san?

YS: Maybe something like 86?

Q: I was wondering did you get Ryo Hazuki name from Ryudo Uzaki that was a Japanese musician?

YS: Nope.

Q: My question is why is not possible to use (Shenmue Passport) models for the Shenmue 3?

YS: I'm considering about adding some functions from Shenmue Passport.

Q: Also can we expect custom clothing for Ryo Hazuki it would be great feature to able to style Ryo Hazuki as we want Shenmue3?

YS: There's a feature on the $250 tier and up to change Ryo's jacket. Other customizing under consideration

Q: Why the Dragon Mirror was hidden under a cherry tree, a not so safe place like the basement?

YS: Iwao thought the place under Cherry blossom tree was safer.

Q: Why Iwao Hazuki loves the carrots so much?

YS: Yes! Iwao's most favorite food is carrots! *jokingly*

Q: Where did Ryo got his band aid?

YS: It didn't appear in Chp.1, but there was a martial arts event. The scar is from the final match.

Q: What is your favorite movie?

YS: My favorite 3 are: The Hustler, Casablanca, Roman Holiday. I love Billiards, and I still play it sometimes.

Q: Will Shenmue 3 be compatible with the project Morpheus VR headset for the ultimate second life experience?

YS: I feel that VR offers great possibilities.

Q: Will in Shenmue 3 be a dog to pet call look and feed?

YS: Depends on the budget.

Q: Shenmue's core plot is basically Hamlet - are you a Shakespeare fan & has that been an influence?

YS: Sorry, but I have not read Hamlet. I know Hamtaro.

Q: Always wondered how ryo , being Japanese, could communicate so easy in China. Can ryo speak Chinese?

YS: Let's not go there...

Q: Will there be any more dinners offered for the $10,000 tier? I hope more can be added! If not that's ok. Thank you Suzuki-san! (Peter from Shenmue Dojo)

YS: We just added them today!

Q: How was your day?

YS: It is Shenmue Day, so on Twitter with everyone. So many participating, I couldn't be happier. Rewards sold out! Thanks all!!!

Q: What did YU name the kitten?

YS: I think I named her with dog names, like Pochi or Gontaro.

Q: Will we see a shenmue soda (can be just a can) and what would it taste like?

YS: If there is any interested beverage firm out there, please contact YS.net.

Q: Suzuki-san, can you please tell us some little info about Shenhua that the fans don't already know yet?

YS: The Shenmue tree's flower is named Shenhua. She is named after that flower.

Q: Will Ryo learn the value of forgiveness in Shenmue 3?

YS: Please play Shenmue 3 for that answer!

Q: Hello Suzuki-san, do you have a rough idea how many people will be in the development team for Shenmue 3?

YS: It will vary depending on the KS budget.

Q: Since relationships between characters will be more prominent, will we see something like a multiple choice conversation system?

YS: I am thinking about a dialogue selection system.

Q: Please confirm that guns will never be a part of Shenmue gameplay, not for Ryo or any other playable character?

YS: I am not thinking about including guns as a weapon at the moment.

Q: Will Ryo finally eat and do other bodily functions?

YS: I don't have plan on implementing it for S3.

Q: Why does Ryo have a Saturn under his tv in Shenmue 1 but no games? Was Iwao using the promise of a game for it to focus Ryo?

YS: That sounds about right. Let's go with that.

Q: Mr. Suzuki, what is your favorite music to listen to?

YS: I like Jazz and Rock.

YS: Thank you so much everyone! More happy announcements to come. Hope I can count on your continued support!

EDIT:

Now at $4.2m reaching another stretch goal. and just became the second most funded game on Kickstarter. Good stuff.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 05:12:19 PM by Tuffty »

Offline vlinorman

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2015, 06:36:32 PM »
"Branched storyline" is not a mistranslation? The story will develop differently depending on choices?

I think the story is still linear, but you'll take control of different characters?


Offline Jul3

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2015, 07:44:16 PM »
That was a great Q&A! Learnt some stuff. And yeah, seems they are listening to fans reactions which is good. I really wanted to know about the 11 or 16 chapters as well, but seems we didn't get a good answer...

There's loads more stuff with different people involved in the game on the kickstarter updates, I should check it out sometime...

Glad more stretch goals are being met, I'm not interested in the battle systems, but more stuff to add to the world and fun activities to do would make it more "Shenmue-like" to me.

Chihiro

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2015, 08:54:26 PM »
"Branched storyline" is not a mistranslation? The story will develop differently depending on choices?

I think the story is still linear, but you'll take control of different characters?



I think your assumption is what he means. I read that at $5m he will offer up to play as other main characters. I won't say which ones for fear of spoiling.

I was skeptical at first but I'm now kind of glad Yu said that Shenmue 3 won't conclude the series. Doesn't compromise his original vision in any way.

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Shenmue
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2015, 01:57:04 PM »

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