He also said that more characters for the game will be announced in mid-May (so anytime now), hinting – much to the chagrin of JoJo’s BA ASB producer Noriaki Niino – that this month’s character announcements are from “around Part 2″ in the series, and that they are likely to be antagonists because “no matter how you look at it, at this point this game is sorely lacking in terms of boss characters, right?”
“What are you talking about? I don’t understand what you mean at all!” producer Niino responded whilst sweating bullets.
That’s not the only time the game’s producer Noriaki Niino would sweat bullets; he would also get flustered when Matsuyama, who had appeared at Machi Asobi cosplaying as Part 4’s Rohan Kishibe, explained that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle was conceived “partly thanks to” the 2006 video game JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood.
“It all started seven years ago, in 2006 when this craptastic game called ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood’ came out…” Matsuyama said, before the All-Star Battle’s producer and Namco Bandai Games employee Niino quickly cut him off.
“That game was made by my superior. So quit yapping about your opinion on the game from the perspective of a single user, nobody cares!” producer Niino (pictured right) yelled at Matsuyama, much to the audience’s amusement.
Matsuyama then went on to explain that it is indeed true, however, that the 2006 game was what sparked his interest in wanting to make this game.
After having played Phantom Blood, Matsuyama went to Namco Bandai Games and asked them to let his company (CyberConnect2) work on development the next time they (Namco Bandai) wanted to release a JoJo game. And that was how production on All-Star Battle finally began, some nearly seven years after it was first conceptualised.
Matsuyama also talked briefly about the current state of development on the game. CyberConnect2’s JoJo team has roughly 80 staff members working on it in total, he said, which is comparable to the size of Namco Bandai Games’ Tales series development team; the comparison had been made in part because Tales series producer Hideo Baba was also present at the talk event.
Apart from the core members of the JoJo team, however, Matsuyama said that there are other CyberConnect2 staff members who had volunteered to help out with JoJo BA ASB on their own time.
“They would work on their own assignments during the day, and volunteer to come help out with JoJo at night,” Matsuyama ssaid.
“That’s a good working environment to have,” producer Baba (pictured) commented.
“Everyone on the Tales staff team love the Tales series. And because they have that love and passion for it, that’s how good games get made,” Baba added.
According to Matsuyama, at the moment JoJo’s BA ASB is in the debugging phase of its development schedule. Yet the staff are still not content with what they’re achieved, spending additional time to make further improvements to the game’s visual effects, well on top of what’s specified in the development blueprints. As an example, he said that the team has taken great pains to animate the character’s facial expressions, especially during dialogue.
Another example: as JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure creator Hirohiko Araki is known for colouring his character’s hair and clothes in several different permutations, the team has been hard at work ensuring that this particular quirk of the manga series “makes it into the game in some form”.
What does that mean? I’m guessing, either several colour variations for each character that players can unlock, or some kind of colour-edit mode.
We’ll just have to wait for more details to find out for sure.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle for the PlayStation 3 comes out in Japan August 29.