Hisashi Koinuma, Tecmo Koei’s executive vice president and go-to-guy for Dynasty Warriors raised the possibility of an open-world or RPG based Warriors game on the new consoles, with a “focus” on making the game “more realistic”, using more varied terrain and strategy. As well as the most realistic feature of all: “a lot more destroyable objects and things”. After the cut, Koinuma ruminates on his past.
After joining Tecmo Koei in the 90s, Koinuma went on to work as lead programmer for the original Dynasty Warriors and transitioned a passion for fighting games into a programming, directing or producing role for every game released since, including its many anime licensed spin-offs. But why is Dynasty Warriors such an enduring series?
“I think there are many reasons, but one of the big ones could be that we release them right around the launch of each new system. Putting whatever tech or visuals we couldn’t do with other hardware into a new Warriors game adds a very direct sort of excitement for the player, and I think that has given us a certain amount of share in gamers’ minds. It’s not something that we deliberately decide beforehand, but we know how that mindshare works, so sooner or later it naturally becomes an atmosphere of ‘We better make sure our games don’t stray too far out of the hardware launch window’.”
Launching on new hardware obviously means new opportunities for the series, above and beyond simply placing another hundred bad guys on the screen for you to square button your way through.
“I think it might be fun to make an open-world Warriors game, or maybe an RPG that takes advantage of the Warriors system. Also, there’s still a lot of explore here, but I think taking advantages of the specs of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will let us explore new types of gameplay that we couldn’t do before.
“With Warriors up to now, all the military action not taking place right on screen is still simulated in a pretty basic way. If we had it so the entire thing was fully simulated, that’d be a huge boost to the strategy aspect, and I think the fighting would a whole new level more exciting. Also, when we produce a game on the new consoles, I want to really focus on making really varied terrain in terms of height and shape.”
But most importantly of all:
“It’d be fun to take a more realistic approach with it such as creating a lot more destroyable objects and things.”
That’s the design sense I recognise from Dynasty Warriors’ past.