Hi. My name is Tetsuya Sasano, and this is the first time that I’ve ever blogged, either professionally or privately. I was one of the background designers on Vanquish.
While I’ve been involved in creating stage backgrounds on numerous action titles, this is my first time working on a shooter, so I started out by playing many of the famous shooters out on the market.
After this research period, we entered into production, and Mikami-san had a few things he wanted to make sure we accomplished. The one of the most important of these requests was that the game feels good to play. Alongside the concept of having a speed-infused shooter, this element was something that was an absolute must, and it was also the most difficult request Mikami-san made of us.
The background team at first tried to up the visual quality by devoting large portions of memory to polygon and texture data. However, when we tried to add large numbers of enemy troops on to the screen, the game would slow down (as expected?), and it would degrade the feel of the game.
We also wanted to up the intensity of the battlefield by including plenty of allied characters fighting alongside of you, thus there was no choice but to go back to the drawing board on all of the stages so large numbers of these characters could be on screen.
Luckily, we were able to do our best to cut the fat off the stages without dropping the graphical quality, leaving them lean and mean, and making sure that we didn’t do anything to harm the way the game feels. (Of course, each member of the team had to go through hell to make this happen.)
There is literally a mountain of stories regarding how much work it was to get the stages into shape, but we will have to keep them secret for now, because I don’t want to spoil the fun. Hopefully there will be another chance to give you the inside story.
There are quite a few different stages in the game, so I hope you look forward to what we have in store with Vanquish.
You can expect some battles in the dark, like this one pushing through a tunnel section of the colony.