Q&A: Virtua Tennis 3 with Mie Kumagai / SEGA AM3

Kirjoittanut: Livegamers


Interviewed via Xbox Community Network.
How difficult has been the experience of creating one of the first two games with 1080p resolution for Xbox 360 and PS3?

To tell the truth, there it was not such a great trouble. In the sense of a multi-platform title, we started the development of VT3 by building the arcade system board. We adopted pixel shader technologies we can set up flexibly at the early stage of the development, assuming the hardware specs of PS3 and Xbox 360 to the best of our knowledge. As a result, we could secure 1080p resolution within a load range of a certain degree.

What are the biggest changes between VT2 and VT3, excluding graphics?

I suppose it would be variation of game modes. With new multiplayer mini-games added, the singleplayer “World Tour” mode was also added with more depth and a story nature.

The Dreamcast Version of Virtua Tennis was incredible! What have you learnt from that day till this?

In terms of graphics, we have learned pixel shader technologies and new animation techniques. Moreover, we re-analyzed the sport of tennis, and we studied again what “heated match development” or “breathtaking rallys” were composed of.

To what effect does Virtua Tennis differentiate itself from the big competitor TopSpin 2?

With VT3, we had never been conscious of differentiation from other tennis titles, but always been thinking about what we should do for a new title of the VT series.

Why does the 360 version have an online mode and PS3 not?

The priority for the Virtua Tennis 3 development team on PlayStation 3 console has been to maximize the known strengths of the console. We wanted to ensure players experience the quality they have come to expect from a Virtua Tennis title.

Talking about Virtua Tennis 3 mini-games, what’s your favourite one and why?

I love “Count Mania” in Training of the World Tour mode, and “Avalanche” in the Multiplayer mode in Court Games.

The franchise seems to take a more arcade approach in bringing the tennis sport to gamers instead of the deeper tennis simulation of its competitors. such as TopSpin, is this still apparent in Virtua Tennis 3?

One of the VT series’ concepts, “Super play with Simple control”, is inherited in VT3.
Experience and new ideas are necessary to strike a balance between simple controls and the depth of tennis gameplay. As a result, we could re-create the best parts unique to genuine tennis, such as putting the opponent off balance back and forth and around on the court, or flexible expansions of matches. One of the professional tennis players who cooperated with this title, said that “VT can provide image training for actual matches”, so VT3 can be described as “designed for professionals” in a sense.

What have the developers done in this game to make it different from the rest of the tennis games? Top Spin 2 and Table Tennis were both enjoyable for 5 minutes then the whole knocking the ball back and forth got tedious. Does this title provide anything different from those two titles that will want me coming back for more and more?

An abundance of new game modes and content give the user pleasure. In the new “World Tour ” mode you create your own player and watch him rise through the ranks, you can compete with your fiends and family in various mini-games, and become friends with, for instance, Federer or Nadal. You get encouragement and gifts from the stars and your coach, Training (mini-games) that offers as many as 72 variations and practice in a new mission style, you will never get bored.

How complex is your Create-A-Player mode?

The “World Tour (Raise-Your-Own-Player)” mode has communications with real players that occur in various situations. “Familiarity” is gradually achieved by playing a match against a real player or choosing him/her as your doubles partner. If Familiarity gets high, you will start to be offered practice matches, or receive encouraging mails. Moreover, the game’s attractions also lie in the player making intellectual decisions like occurrence of injuries and accidents due to radical training, or a time frame set for retirement.

Is there going to be a fully licensed selection of players, tournaments and locations featured?

A team of 20 players from all over the world including Federer, Nadal, Sharapova, or Mauresmo are featured under their own names and likenesses in VT3. Although ingame tournaments and locations are fictious, since we obtained collaborations from global brand companies we were able to decorate stadiums with their logos, the user can develop an illusion as if those stadiums were real.