Sega’s upcoming Binary Domain takes the run-and-gun route because shooters are so accessible.
“The genre was chosen to have the biggest window of entry for as many gamers as possible,” Binary Domain producer Masayoshi Kikuchi told CVG.
“It’s the team’s first shooter, but Kikuchi is adamant Sega isn’t going in as newbies – nor as imitators.
“Within the studio there are so many who are total enthusiasts and who play a range of western titles. I’ve looked at a lot of shooters for good references,” he said.
“But also there’s a good point of comparison: identifying where the genre lacked and trying to bring something new to it. We wanted to contribute to the ‘gap’, and this is where having robotic enemies comes in. It ties heavily into the gameplay and with the very detailed procedural damage, giving you a different sense of feeling [to other shooters].
“Existing titles were a great reference, though, taking what works, then figuring out what we can contribute to the genre.”
Kikuchi’s reference to mass appeal reference the team’s goal of wooing western and Japanese gamers alike.
“After all these years making only Japanese games I thought there’s a challenge in meeting a worldwide audience – not just Japanese or western, but the audience as a whole,” he said.
“The challenges facing us making that decision is that you have to consider everyone. You can’t lean to one audience or the other and you have to consider what different people relate to.”
One method the Binary Domain team employed was to consult native speakers during the writing process, to avoid the little hiccups which localisation can’t always smoothe over.
“For Binary Domain a Japanese and UK writer collaborated on the story and all the little dialogues,” Kikuchi explained.
“Subtle differences were discussed so as not to alienate anyone despite where they’re from.”
Binary Domain, which features both voice commands and NPC dialogue as well as a gameplay-embedded consequence system, releases on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in mid-February.