Pro Evolution Soccer director Shinji Enomoto has revealed the extreme perfectionism his team brings to development, and commented that the series is not “even close” to capturing the real feel of football.
“Our ultimate destination is to experience through a video game all the things that you’d find in real football,” Enomoto said in the latest Iwata Asks.
“And our ultimate goal is to express in the game everything that happens in the stadium.”
When asked which aspects of the sport the PES team felt they had mastered, Enomoto answered: none.
“Even though we’ve been doing this for 10 years, I don’t feel as though we’re even close to capturing real football,” he said, highlighting opposition and teammate AI s a particularly troublesome challenge.
“I think computer AIs today are still far from their ideal form in all current video games throughout the world.”
The director said the team would never produce a perfect football game, because the sport itself keeps changing – but that doesn’t stop some pretty exhaustive attempts.
“First of all, the production staff watches all sorts of football matches, particularly European matches, over and over. Unless we understand what sort of actions football itself is composed of, we can’t render them in the game.
“… During the planning stages of production, we watch videos of matches that we’d like to recreate, and we do it exhaustively,” he explained.
The developer’s perfectionism is so extreme that the series’ character animations are derived from motion captures of the development staff themselves, rather than professional athletes.
“We have asked J. League members and professionals for help before, but we can’t have them do things that are too dangerous over and over again, and we can’t do retakes the way we’d like to,” Enomoto said, adding “Since the goalies dive many times, it may be dangerous for a pro to do it as they might get hurt.
“It’s also something that would be rough on them physically. But our staff can take turns to do such things one after another to do as many captures as we like.”