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Updates on Evo and Kobun no Ran

Hello, Shiza here.

Evo
The dev team members who weren’t able to make to Evo last month followed the event via Twitter and streams in Japan and it seems that Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm had an amazing showing at the Mad Catz booth. Thank you to all 96 people who took part in our tournament at the event. I hope I can make it over myself next year!

Koubun no Ran
Over the last two months, 28 people battled their way through qualifying rounds of our first official Yatagarasu tournament, ‘Koubun no Ran’, and the actual tournament will be held next week on August 8th. It might be difficult to watch live due to time differences, but it’s sure to be an exciting event, so please watch it if you have the chance!

tournament

Start Time:
Japan time: August 9th (Sun), 2pm
GMT: August 9th (Sun), 6am
EST: August 9th (Sun), 1am
PST: August 8th (Sat) 10pm

Venue: Tokyo Leisure Land, Akihabara

Stream URL: http://www.twitch.tv/kagecchi

Event Staff:
Master of Ceremonies: Koori
Commentary: UME-ZONO, kubo
Special Guest: LIQU@。
Streaming: Kagecchi

Competitors:
Toriuchi Tarou (Crow)
Ippu       (Crow)
Hiya       (Hanzo)
Tataragi                (Jet)
Osamurai Zamurai           (Hina)
Dath      (Azure)
Panpina                (Dark Juzumaru)
Narukami            (Shimo)
Nabeshi-              (Aja)
Nanashisu Shihainin        (Chadha)
Akina Suzutuki       (Azure)
Omaten               (Chadha)
Yunti      (Chadha)
Haku      (Shimo)
Saitama                (Crow)
BBS        (Chadha)
iwa         (Kou)
SuzuQta               (Aja)
Madaraki Furan    (Dark Juzumaru)
Terunosuke        (Shimo)
kametime           (Chadha)
KTR        (Kou)
ZackyWild            (Juzumaru)
Alexander Takeshi           (Kou)
Amamiya             (Hanzo)
In            (Chadha)
R-DASH                (Shimo)
Mushi   (Dark Juzumaru)

Plus 4 more competitors, to be selected on the day of the tournament.

Event Homepage (Japanese)
http://yataac.com/1st_honsen.htm

Competitor List (Japanese)
http://yataac.com/1st_result.htm

Kind regards,

Shiza

Yatagarasu Developer Diary (Apr 9th)

Hello, Shiza from the Yatagarasu development team here.

In this update, we have an interview with the manager of Nakano TRF arcade, and some news about progress with the PC version of Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm.

PC Development Update

・The core fighting parts of the game are all complete
・The currently delay is caused by some parts that are deficient (perks and non-core parts)
・Given that the main parts are complete, the development team feels we’d like to release as soon as possible and take care of any remaining parts in later updates
・We will provide more details in our next announcement, which  will include the release schedule and screenshots

Once again, we apologize for the ongoing delay and we are grateful for your continued patience!

Interview with Nakano TRF

Nakano TRF is a video game arcade in a corner of the Nakano Broadway shopping precinct in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward. It’s quite small and players have to line up outside when it fills up. It’s unusual in that it has a lot of visitors and they’re all avid gamers.

Nakano TRF hosted location tests of the NESiCAxLive version of Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm on two occasions, and I talked with the manager of the arcade.


trf1There are 4 NESiCAxLive units in the arcade. Today, all of the units are playing Yatagarasu AoC!

To start us off, please tell us about what kind of an arcade Nakano TRF is.

Nakano TRF Manager (‘Manager’ below): It started out as an arcade for hardcore gamers, but there was a change in direction around the time that Street Fighter 4 released and we began to cater more to new and mid-level players while focusing on community, and groups of friends. Encouraging groups of friends to visit might sound off-putting, but groups of friends have a fun vibe, so we worked to encourage them to visit.

★ It’s seems to be going to plan. Looking around the arcade, I saw friends having fun.

Manager: Yes, it is. We aim to be an arcade for friends, but at the same time to have an open community. We want to bring in more and more new players.

★ It seems to be going well too. It’s a nice arcade.

Manager: Thank you. It helps that our regulars play a variety of games instead of sticking to specific games. They’re also keen try out new games that they see other people playing. We put effort into holding tournaments aimed at beginners to encourage this.

★ Nakano TRF does a lot of streaming. Is that also for the benefit of friends and community?

Manager: It’s a way for us to attract new players. Some people deride people who only ever watch game videos as douga-zei, but my view is that if 100 people see a stream and even one or two of those people become interested because of that, it’s a success. They’re potential future players, so we prioritize and work at reaching out like this.

* Douga-zei = people who watch streams of videos of games more than they play them.

★ I think the streaming is very effective at expanding awareness.

Manager: I think the number of people who visited the arcade after seeing a stream is actually quite large. I’ve seen a few people who played a fighting game for the first time play after watching a stream.

★ Do you ever feel that a certain video might attract even people who have never visited the arcade?

Manager: Probably so. Some people even if they can’t play fighting games, just think it looks like a fun place and come. Having people like that come and hearing stories like that, I feel it’s worthwhile doing the streaming.


The Yatagarasu AoC Launch

trf5The arcade frequently broadcasts live over the Internet broadcasts, and you can see
streaming monitors dotted around the arcade and see real-time comments from viewers.

★ How did the Yatagarasu AoC launch go?

Manager: We have NESiCAxLive units that play certain games depending on the day of the week, but apart from these, all the other units have been running Yatagarasu AoC since it launched. We have people playing versus match ups right until we close at 12:55am.

★ Wow. I don’t know what to say. Thank you.

Manager: Thank YOU. We have a lot of people who want to play single player in the evenings, but once someone jumps in to play a versus match, they tend to keep going from there.

★ So from when people start to gather around, then.

Manager: Yes, that’s right.

★ What do you think people find enjoyable about Yatagarasu? Why do they play it?

Manager: The players here try it out any new games that arrive. It’s a community-oriented arcade, so everyone has fun trying them out. In cases where a game doesn’t catch on, people stop playing after about two or three days. Yatagarasu AoC is attracting more and more players from other games, so it certainly seems easy to pick up. A word we  often hear with relation to Yatagarasu in the arcade is ‘rougai*’ (we both laugh.)

* Rougai = Expresses when old people meddle in younger people’s activities; in this case because Yatagarasu is the kind of game that you can apply classic, old school game play skills.

Yes, we’ve seen that comment a lot on the Internet.

Manager: Players who picked up their skills back in the day are always laughing, ‘ah, I know how this works’ when the start playing.

I thought rougai was a funny word to apply when I first saw it. Has it always been used here?

Manager: No, not really. Some people use it in a negative way, but if anything it’s used jokingly now.

★ I thought it was funny that this word would become popular.

Manager: Well, I’ve heard Yatagarasu called the ‘gateball* of the fighting game world’ (we laughed the most at this.)

* Gateball = Japanese croquet – regarded as a classic old person’s sport.

At first… it was the long-time fighting game players playing it, but when it reached a certain level of popularity, even people who don’t usually play fighting games decided to give it a go and started to learning it. The Akatsuki-zei* have been extremely supportive – they’re always helping out people who are trying int for the first time and want to learn how to play.

* Akatsuki-zei = Akatsuki Blitzkampf players

★ It’s great how the arcade and the players support each other. It seems to make a big difference as to whether someone who has only a little interest in gaming will disappear or develop. TI seems that Nakano TRF does a great job of nurturing interest.

Manager: It feels like it’s working. Players who are familiar with the arcade won’t jump in on a game when it’s clear that someone is teaching the player. It’s kind of like they think, ‘let’s let this guy practice’. The Akatsuki-zei who used to play Yatagarasu from before won’t challenge people who are just starting out with the game. If really feels like they’re looking out for new players. If anyone has a question, they’ll always help them out.

★ Thank you for making up for the lack of official help from the developers. I feel bad about it. You mentioned that the Akatsuki-zei play Yatagarasu, but what other trends do you see among the players?

Manager: Let’s see… almost all of the Akatsuki-zei play it and some of the Hokutonoken* players too. Players of new games like Chaos Code and Persona play it too.

* Hokutonoken = Fist of the North Star

★ That’s great. So everyone is playing it together.

Manager: Players who previously didn’t mingle are starting to interact thanks to Yatagarasu. It’s great for our arcade.

★ I’m happy to hear that.

Manager: Regulars who previously didn’t talked much are enjoying fighting and heckling each other on this ‘old game’. It’s been a pleasure to watch.

★ I think the decision to make the gameplay easily accessible was a good one. Yatagarasu is really easy to pick up and play, and it’s really gratifying to hear how it’s being played. How do you feel about the gameplay?

Manager: I agree. The one potential downside is that fighting game players with old school skills and experience have an advantage over true beginners that is difficult to overcome in versus match ups. But then, I consider that to be an area that the arcade supports. Right now, we’re discussing with the Akatsuki-zei which characters we should recommend to new players and how best to start teaching them.


Dynamic Commentary

trf3Another view of the NESiCAxLive units. Players are lining up in the aisles to play.

 ★ Yatagarasu a somewhat unusual dynamic commentary system. How has the reaction to this been?

Manager: Frankly, not that good in our arcade.

★ We started the location test at TRF, we received a strong request to be sure to allow the commentary to be turned off. We even pushed out the launch date to allow time to add it. Since then I’ve often thought that it must troublesome for people who don’t want the commentary to go through the motions to turn the commentary off.

Manager: Yes, but most people say they don’t notice it anymore once they play the game and get into it. It’s only at first that it’s an inconvenience.

★ Yes, we noticed that.

Manager: When we first started location testing… how to put this? The commentary system put most people off playing. This was particularly noticeable among younger players. Long-time fighting game players like the Garou-zei* or Hokuto-zei** weren’t really put off by it. If anything, they found it funny, but the Persona-zei or BlazBlue-zei or Chaos Code-zei reacted along the lines of ‘who are these old guys?’ A lot of people said that they just didn’t like the commentator photos appearing on the screen.

* Garou-zei = Garou Densetsu players
** Hokuto-zei = Fist of the North Star players

★ There were probably people who didn’t play because if it, but didn’t provide feedback. It’s really unfortunate that they would give up it before trying it.

Manager: Yes, all they needed to do was give it a try.

★ It seems a lot of people who gave Yatagarasu AoC a try found it to be surprisingly fun. I think that’s just the kind of game it is, but we’ll take today’s feedback onboard.

Manager: Right after it launched, a lot of players approached us asking if we couldn’t do something about the commentary system. Thankfully, you made it so that if one player turns the commentary off, it turns off for both players. Plus, if you use a NESiCAxLive card, the setting is saved, so we recommend doing this when people ask about it now.

★ We wish we could have done a better job on the presentation. It’s  ended up being the bare minimal. Sorry about that.

Manager: It might have been better to set the commentary off by default.

★ From the point of view of attracting new players, that’s probably right.


Location Testing

trf4View from the left side. The leftmost unit is reserved for beginner players.

★ TRF carried out location tests twice. Can you tell use how that came about?

Manager: At the time when the opportunity first came up, all I knew about Yatagarasu was the name, and I thought ‘eh? Why us?’ Then I started to look into it. The first time I thought ‘ah, let’s do this. I want to do it’ was when I heard that it was a doujin game. Part of me feels that the future of the fighting game scene depends on doujins. Our arcade’s stance is that we want to support games that come up from the doujin scene, including games like Skullgirls. So when I heard it was a doujin game, I thought we have to support it.

* Doujin game = game created by a small, independent development team

★ Thank you. Personally, I worry that the industry might go into decline without more new titles . We’re happy that people play our game, but we’ll be happier still if more new games come out as a result of it. The market can’t grow without new games.

Manager: The old school pixel art has been popular among some players, too. Games like the recent Persona or BlazBlue are becoming more and anime-like , but throwback pixel art is good too. It fits very nicely with today’s game line-up.

★ It’s an interesting sight to see Yatagarasu being played between BlazBlue and Persona NESiCAxLive machines.


Finally

trf2Shot of the right side of a versus fighting unit

★ Can you give us a message for players in and out of Japan?

Manager: I’m not familiar with any arcades besides Nakano TRF, so I don’t know how the market is in general, but based on seeing rankings and tweets on the Net, and listening to players and rumors, Yatagarasu AoC is more popular than I thought. If it continues like this, it can become a fairly big game, and our arcade wants to help make this happen.  Please lend us your support.

★ Likewise, I’m sure. Thanks very much for today.


We ended the interview here, but we continued the lively discussion. It would have been a waste not to include some of the chat and some details that came up, so I started recording again and actually ended up recording about three times as much as the original interview. Here are some highlights from our talk.

The Manager is a Player!

 

trf6-2

The manager’s win-loss stats at the time of writing.
#5 in the country!

★ You’ve seen games games come and go as a manager. Would you say you have a good idea of how players think?

Manager: I’m still an active player myself. I’m too old to want to take part in large tournaments, though (laughs). I play quite a bit of Yatagarasu myself. Somehow I ended up in the top rankings. I was like, ‘how’d that happen?’

★ Thank you. What is your player handle?

Manager: It’s an arm emoticon with waru* written on it. The arm doesn’t display properly in the game, though…

* Waru = the kanji for evil / bad.

★ Sorry about that. It’s probably because we have some strict filters in place to prevent undesirable situations happening in the game.

Manager: Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s my own fault. I just thought I’d mention it. I have to say, I’m really enjoying the game. I started playing from the arcade version, so I didn’t know much about the game to begin with, but I’ve played with almost all of the characters now, enough to be able to teach new players how to play. Before I knew it, my points had built up and I’m listed in the top rankings.


The Launch (continued)

★ NESiCAxLive releases are generally done by companies. I think this is the first time for private individuals to release a game. It was a bit of a concern, but we’re glad that people are playing it now.

Manager: That’s right. You must be pleased with the results. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to die down at all. We arcade operators have a good idea about how a game will do after about a week after launch.

★ Ah, that’s all it takes?

Manager: The number of players is on the increase, even without us doing anything, so I’d say it can do well.

★ That’s nice to hear, and not just for Yatagarasu. It might sound odd to say, but if someone sees Yatagarasu and thinks, “if this can do well, maybe I can do well?” and then is inspired to make a game, that will make us happy too.

★ I also have a sense that other arcades are putting effort into supporting us. Maybe they feel that Yatagarasu has the potential to do well.

Manager: Certainly, we do. We couldn’t have anticipated that the Yatagarasu events we originally planned for Mondays and Thursdays would end up being held every day. That really was amazing.

★ I don’t think anyone expected that. If things had gone differently, no one would have even known it had been released. We have no promotional experience, after all.

Manager: I did think that the promotional activity was weak, and we’ve make up for that at our arcade. We stream a lot, play it on monitors, pick up on players’ Yatagarasu chat by microphone. For now, we’re really trying to spread the message of “check out this game”.

★ It’s the area that we’re the weakest at, so we’re really grateful for your support.

Manager: Let us know if there’s a problem with any of the content we’re pushing out.

★ No problems at all. Feel free to tell us to do a better job at development. Come to think of it, we talked about rougai earlier, and something interesting that popped to mind was the idea that, “winning makes you older, losing makes you younger”. I find that really interesting.

Manager: At first, I would be heckled with “rougai!” whenever I won, and to the losers I’d say “you’re still a youngster”. That’s how it started.

★ I can see those kinds of exchanges coming up when play gets heated. it really feels like you’re playing in the game for real.


Happy Stuff

Manager: Something I’m really happy about is that players of the recent ‘combo-oriented’ games and licensed games are playing Yatagarasu. I knew that long-time fighting game players would enjoy it, but it’s also attraced these other players.

★ That’s great. But I can’t just be surprised – I need to work harder on it, too.

Manager: I think this environment where experienced players teach new players is quite different from back in the day. Way back in the past, beginners were mostly just left to their own devices. No-one paid attention to the them. But now, if experienced players find a newcomer who is even just a little interested, they invite them to play with them.

★ So it’s like they look after them.

Manager: Yes, they look after them.

★ So there’s that aspect too. I imagine that the experienced players want to play themselves, but they might be are concerned about the state of the industry, which is why if someone shows even a little interest, they want to bring them into the fold and get them more interested.


Taito

Manager: Taito must be very happy too.

★ Yes. I don’t think they expected it to be played this much, so hopefully they’ll push it more from here!

Manager: They’ll probably change how they handle it.

★ Ah, I have to say, with regards to development, they’ve been extremely kind and treated us well. They’re amazingly kind and polite, even to small teams like ours. I honestly wondered if it was okay for them to be devoting so much time to us. We may never be able to repay our debt to them.

Manager: I see. You should really put this little chat into the article. It’s for Taito’s benefit, but other developers might see it and decide to develop a game for NESiCAxLive.

★ Okay, I’ll include this chat.

Manager: It’s really important that creators to have an environment that’s easy to access.

★ That’s right. At any rate, their treatment is very polite and even they reply to even the slightest question politely and provide sample code, to the point where I worried there’s no way they could recoup the cost of the support the provided to us. When I talked about this to a Taito staff member he would always reply, “we have a lot of hardcore staff members, so they’re happy when difficult questions come up and reply right away”.

Manager: Now you mention it, the Taito salespeople that came to our arcade also seemed to fairly enjoy video games. When we talked about the location test too, they were happy just watching people play. I suppose that people involved in fighting games are involved because they enjoy them. I’d like to preserve a place for them in some form or other.

★ We’re not powerful or influential, but we’d like to contribute somehow.

Manager: If it continues to build up, we’ll have to cut the arcades off. For now, if they can leave it be, that would be fine.

★ Yes. Er, um, Taito, the arcades, the players are now really supporting us and I don’t think I’ll be able to repay them in life. I’m wondering how hard we’ll have to try to reply the debt we owe them.

Yatagarasu AoC Developer Diary (Mar 5th)

Hello, Shiza here with this month’s update. Recent Developments The arcade (NESiCAxLive) version of Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm went live in arcade centers across Japan on February 12th. We were very happy and excited to finally see our game released in arcade centers. We’ve visited several arcades to check out the reception and I’m happy to report that it’s doing well. On February 27th, we distributed Beta access keys to everyone who donated $10 or more to the Yatagarasu AoC IndieGogo campaign. The versus fighting aspects of the Beta version are almost identical to the NESiCAxLive version. Other game features such as the dynamic commentary are still works-in-progress, but we hope you enjoy playing it while we prepare the final release. For this month’s developer diary, we have two interviews about the arcade release in Japan. Interview with Osu Game Sky On February 22nd, the long-running game center Game Sky in Osu, Nagoya, closed down. It was an old school arcade and home to many passionate players. Dismayed by the news that it would close down, many gamers visited the arcade in the days leading up to it closing its doors. I talked with the store manager of Sky. Game Sky Manager: [Immediately] You were too late!! Shiza: !!?? Game Sky Manager: If only you’d released your game one month earlier! I might not have had to close my store!! Shiza: Was it that popular? Did the players like it? Game Sky Manager: We have four NESiCAxLive units playing Yatagarasu AoC and they always have someone playing. We have an event running today, so not all of the units are on, but it’s done very well for us. Shiza: What kinds of people have been playing it? Game Sky Manager: Everyone has been playing it. Good luck with the game! sky This was my first time meeting the manager, but he was super friendly and always smiling. It’s sad that Game Sky closed down. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was exaggerating when he said that Yatagarasu AoC was helping his arcade, but it would make the development team very happy if it contributed even a little. Either way, it’s great motivation for us to keep working hard on the game. (We were standing around the arcade when we spoke, so the above is from memory and might differ slightly from the actual conversation.) Interview with Kubo-san I spoke with Kubo-san who’s a famous fighting game player from Nagoya and one of our Japanese dynamic commentators in Yatagarasu AoC. Shiza: The NESiCAxLive version of Yatagarasu AoC rolled out without a hitch. How have you found playing it? Kubo-san: The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s extremely easy to pick up and play. A good way to put it might be that it’s a game you can play without feeling any stress. It’s the kind of game that makes you feel competent after you’ve played for about 10 credits. Shiza: Accessibility has been a major focus for us while developing it, so that’s great to hear. How has the reception been in the arcades? We’ve been pleased to see quite a lot of people playing it. Kubo-san: My thoughts exactly. I play in quite a few arcades and so I see it in various locations, and I see people who I’ve never seen before playing the game. I expected to see people playing in places like Sky or places where I know the regulars, but I’ve been surprised to see people playing it in other locations too. kubo Shiza: When I search on Twitter, it seems it’s being played quite a bit around the country. It’s great that people are enjoying it so much. Kubo-san: That really is great. I really feel like my job is done when I see other people and putting in a credit and enjoying it (laughs). Shiza: What did you think when we first invited you to participate as a dynamic commentator? Kubo-san: I thought it might be some kind of scam (laughs). Frankly, I was suspicious for a while there. I was thinking, ‘are these guys for real’?  Shiza: You’re friends with Umezono-san, so it shouldn’t have been that suspicious. I would understand being suspicious if it came from someone you don’t know at all.  Kubo-san: I was wary. I worried if it would really turn out okay.  Shiza: I see. But thanks for playing such a big role in the game in spite of all of that.  Kubo-san: Not at all. It was a fun experience.  Shiza: You came up with a lot of different comments for the game. Which one do you like the most?  Kubo-san: Maybe you didn’t use it, but I made a comment to KSK that I thought would end up getting cut. I remember that one. I thought the, ‘Reverse mid-strike! Way to play!’ came out well, too.  Shiza: I particularly liked the comment giving props to France Pan.  Kubo-san: I wrote it wondering if it would be okay to talk about France Pan, but you did say I could do whatever I wanted to start with. So I wrote what I liked and most of it went through, which was a pleasant surprise. Playing it in the arcades, I’ve been surprised to see some terms that I wouldn’t have thought would be allowed in a fighting game. Shiza: I’m happy we ended up with so much fresh commentary http://espanafarmacia.net/proscar/. Kubo-san: It seems you used some commentary that other developers might have shied away from. Shiza: We did. You don’t generally see games that promote other companies’ games or put their our own game down. Like ‘Go buy UNI!’ or ‘This game is boring’. Kubo-san: No, you don’t! kubo2 Shiza: Have you noticed any good effects of being a dynamic commentator, like being seen in a new light, other people suddenly finding you attractive, or anything something like that? Kubo-san: Well, I can’t say I’ve become more attractive as a result. Unfortunately. More people have been winding me up. Friends shouting, “Hey, it’s the Yatagarasu guy!”. I’ve had that kind of reaction. Shiza: As the developer, we wanted to convey how interesting people are who are related to the game. Hopefully you’ll at least get some good conversation material out of it. Kubo-san: I’ve got more than ‘some’ conversation material out of it! I think I’ll be able to talk about that experience as long as I’m involved in gaming. Shiza: You might get recognized as ‘that guy who was in that one game’ when you go overseas. Kubo-san: Or maybe, ‘you look familiar somehow’. Shiza: Do you have any message for your overseas fans? Kubo-san: I’ll probably keep playing various fighting games, so out of the dynamic commentators, I think there’s a good chance you could end up competing against me. If you’d like to meet, I think I’d prefer that we have a match rather than just meet. Let’s make a fight of it. The fighting game community is all about having something to fight. Shiza: If someone wanted to challenge you, where would be a good place now that Sky has closed down? Kubo-san: I play in various arcades, but mostly around Meieki, Osu, and Yagoto. Different games are popular in different places, so it depends on that. That said, Yatagarasu is popular in all of the arcades. That has been really unusual. Shiza: We hope to keep developing and evolving it in fun directions from here. Kubo-san: Nice. I think it’s fun enough as it is. It really is fun! Shiza: Thanks. Well, thank you for today. It was a fun interview and we laughed from start to finish. That’s it for this month. Please watch our for our next update! Shiza  

Yatagarasu AoC Developer Diary (Oct 20th)

Hello, Shiza from the Yatagarasu dev team here. Please accept my apologies for drop in communication since the arcade location tests started a few weeks ago. Here is this month’s update, which includes feedback to suggestions provided in the Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm Steam Discussion Group. Development Update As discussed in previous updates, character art production has run extremely behind schedule, but the end is finally in sight and we expect work to complete by the end of this month. Kotaro only has some final adjustments remaining and Aja is due to completed by that time. KOTANI has provided some reference pictures for Aja Salisbury for this development month’s update – please click the below images to see larger versions.

Aja Reference 1

Aja Reference 2

Since we started developing and releasing Yatagarasu, we’ve released new builds as quickly as possible, which is usually immediately after the graphics are complete. We made last month’s Alpha release before Azure was even graphically finished. While the reaction from the players has been very positive, it really wasn’t acceptable for us s developers and it was a big learning experience for us. From the next release onward, we will take the approach that it’s better for everyone if we put more effort into balancing and tweaking the gameplay before releasing. We’re working on finalizing the timing of the Beta release now and it should be ready soon. Please watch for our next announcement with an exact date. Location Testing / NESiCAxLive Apologies to everyone who took part in the location tests for the various bugs that arose – we are now addressing these so they never happen again http://tabsmall.com/cialis-otc/. We’re grateful for the feedback of everyone who participated and even just watching people playing was a huge learning experience. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve been able to make various improvements to Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm which we think you will enjoy. Apologies also to everyone in Japan and overseas for who the locations test venues were too far away. We hope you enjoy the improvements and new directions that have come out of the location testing. Currently, we are pushing ahead with the NESiCAxLive development and it’s very interesting work! We’ve made some improvements that are made possible by NESiCAxLive’s unique development environment, and we are rolling as many of these changes as possible over to the PC version. We hope you’ll enjoy these too. That said, the NESiCAxLive version is taking a lot of work and we’ll announce the release schedule for this version as soon as we have more visibility. Responses to the ‘Official YAoC Suggestion Box’ Feedback Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback and suggestions so far in the YAoC Official Suggestion Box thread of the Yatagarasu AoC Steam Discussion group – I’ll respond to those points in the thread and paste below. Please have Juzumaru’s HP rekka move further forward. [JohnXuandou] This is not the best way to start responding to input, but we’d actually prefer not to have to give feedback about individual moves in isolation. The reason is that each individual move has to be evaluated while also taking into account factors such as: keeping the game fun to play, balancing, the effects against the whole character roster, and the overall game. If this approach isn’t taken, there is a strong possibility of undesirable effects happening elsewhere. That said, we appreciated you taking the time to provide feedback, and I’d like to give my personal opinion on the points you raised. Moves like Juzumaru’s Rimuse are hard to balance because their functionality changes significantly when the reach, number of frames, and damage change even a little. There are times when a point seems to okay to change, but buffing even a little can cause the character to become OP.  I checked the video links you provided and allowing him to connect does look interesting, but we need to seriously think about how that affects how fun he is to play. We will consider the the points you raised in the context of the overall game balancing – please leave it with us. Please improve the frame advantage of Juzumaru’s jumping B. [JohnXuandou] The current balancing with regards to Juzumaru’s cross-ups is deliberate. In previous versions, it was relatively easy to cross up, but on considering Juzumaru’s characterization, we decided his fighting style should be based around ground fighting and lateral movement. The new hit counter looks really bad and doesn’t fit the tone of the game. [Trisection] The previous hit counter had some good points, but feedback from many people that it was too small to make out. I always wanted to do something about that and finally got around to upgrading to a larger sized, graphical hit counter. That said, it’s easy enough to change the graphics, so we’ll work on improving it. Thank you for the feedback. Getting the message for a 1 hit combo looks silly. [Trisection] I used to think the same way and in previous versions we didn’t display the combo counter for only one hit, but many modern fighting games now displaying combo counts from one hit, so we’re following that trend. The particle effects look cheap. [Trisection] We made these quite a long time ago, so they probably feel dated. Modern style effects would probably require some kind of transparency-based flashing effects. We don’t have man hours available to allocate into effects at the moment, so this might be difficult for the short term, but we will consider this. Hanzo’s ‘EYAAAH’ is annoying. [Trisection] We like that VO! VO is a fairly subjective area, so they can be difficult calls to make. However, all of the VO will be changed in Attack on Cataclysm, so please check out the new voices. We hope you like the them! Please add a random character select!!! [Metafogos] The decision not to include a roulette is a deliberate one and we don’t presently have any plans to add one, but that’s not to say that we won’t at some point. Personally, I like to know that I lost to a character that they opponent selected on purpose when I lose a match. Please make the interface and title menu cleaner. [ggm] The dev team working on the game is extremely small, and the menu screens are probably the area that suffers most from this. We do realize that the menus are weak and we’d like to resolve this when we have man hours available to apply to it, but please understand that we’re forced to focus our scarce development resources on the characters and gameplay first. Put the launcher options in the game and eliminate the launcher. [ggm] We agree and would actually prefer to have this functionality included as part of the in-game options, rather than in a standalone launcher. The present situation is simply to free up man hours to apply to the actual game content – anything that reduced our workload by being in the standalone application, we put in the config application for the time being. Apologies for the inconvenience. Please have the game automatically detect Xbox controllers. [ggm] Presently players must check a check box in the launcher when playing with an Xbox controller (or any other type of controller), but we will remove this requirement by having the game automatically detect whether to use digital or analog input. Please remove the requirement to reset the game every time a controller is unplugged and plugged in. [thoth2020] We understand this is very inconvenient and will make this change a priority item. Yatagarasu wasn’t generally played much offline, so we’d put off making this fix, but we’ll make the change now. A Versus Mode Versus CPU would be great. [Metafogos] Would you mind if we pass on that…? Playing Arcade mode has basically the same effect. Please change the heads of Hina and Shimo, Crow and Kou to make them easier to distinguish. [JELIFISH] We’d definitely like to brush up the existing characters and, timing allowing, we will make more fundamental changes in addition to the heads. Please change the backgrounds to pixel art to match the characters and add animation, parallax effects, etc. [JELIFISH] Sorry, we don’t have anyone who can work on the background art right now… Please add an option to maintain the 4:3 aspect ratio when playing in widescreen. [JELIFISH] Whether the 4:3 ratio is preserved in fullscreen can usually be set in the graphic driver settings, so please make sure you have the most up to date driver and try adjusting from there if necessary. Can you add sidebars to the game so it’s not just black edges? [JELIFISH] The NESiCAxLive version is set to display images on the left and right black bars and we will probably roll out the same system to the PC version. My personal preference is to have black bars, but provided there are no technical problems, we’d like to prioritize the wishes of the players and add some kind of display here. Please allow all keys to be bindable in the control settings. [nilssab] Yatagarasu doesn’t actually support keyboard play due to various issues, such as not being about to detect simultaneous button press, etc. This is why there is no option to customize keys settings in the control settings. However, it is possible to customize the key settings by editing the GD.LST file. This is ‘unofficial support’, but please go ahead and open the file and edit the relevant lines to set the keyboard controls as you prefer. Please add support for Xbox controller analog sticks. [Bahamut Dragons] We haven’t looked into this yet, but we will add support for Xbox analog stick input. Please add a x2 zoom option for the game window. [Dascu] Depending on the system environment, the x2 zoom option included in the launcher may not work. We will fix this before the final release. Also, the NESiCAxLive version works at 1280×720 resolution and already has a x2 zoom option, so we’d like to apply this to PC version provided there are no serious compatibility issues. The entire lobby screen looks a bit off and “cheap”. [Dascu] The current lobby is bad because it was designed by a programmer, just to provide necessary functionality. Sorry about that. Our designer will redesign the lobby once he completes the higher priority in-game graphics. Please use Steam invites for online versus. [Dascu] We’ll get to work studying the Steam libraries! When you’re at super selection, please have the choices display super input as well as the names. [Pro Bono] Previous versions of Yatagarasu did show the inputs, but removed them from the Alpha release to free up the man hours required prepare the input graphics and minimize localization work. In our defense, SFIV uses text only in its super selection screen! Some characters’ normal moves feel weak and inconsistent and anti-air is difficult. [RunningWild] I can’t tell which characters you are referring to, but low priority moves are rarely a problem in Yatagarasu because parrying is such a big part of the game. Please try relying to make more use of parrying if you feel certain moves are underpowered. Counter damage is too high. [RunningWild] By ‘counter’, do you mean high jump counters? The damage is probably high relatively to other fighting games, but high jumps are unusually powerful in Yatagarasu, so frankly the high damage is to provide risk to offset that advantage. We could soften the trajectory of high jumps and reduce the counter damage too, but we feel comfortable with the current setting. How do you feel about the counter damage when also taking into account the advantages of high jumps? Please remove the ability to cross up in corners. [RunningWild] Yatagarasu is somewhat unique in that any character can cross up in corners, but we don’t feel that this particularly negatively impacts gameplay. Yatagarasu has parrying and so it’s easy to deal with situations where it’s difficult to judge left or right guardings. Please add a whiff animation for parrying. [RunningWild] We’ve received various suggestions about how to visually portray parrying. Mainly, the suggestions are to add more exaggerated, more easily visible parrying animations. We’re working on better ways to present this and will follow up when we arrive at a solution that we are happy with. Please improve the parrying sound effect. [JELIFISH] I’ll pass this feedback onto the person in charge of sound. Parrying is one of the finer points of the sound effects, so it may be difficult to revise. Please add an in-game moves list. [RunningWild] This really is a priority item and we’re terribly sorry that it’s not available yet. We want to add one, but it’s simply a matter of available man hours. Please assign a separate keyboard for P2 default keyboard settings. [Flotilla] Please see the answer to Q17 above. Please relocate the announcer quote boxes as they currently block the parry indicator lights. [FerrellJ] We’ve been planning to renew the UI layout including the HP bars for a while now and the Beta version onward will use a new layout and position, so all of this should soon completely change. Please provide complete and detailed changes lists. [dyshwomy?] Sorry that we haven’t been doing this! For previous releases, we did announce the changes and I’d like to officially announce the functionality changes at least, but there just hasn’t been time. That said, we deliberate limit the information we will release based on the following basic guidelines: ・We will release information about the game systems and functions ・We will not announce specifically what moves do, and especially not frame data Personally, I prefer not to release numerical data because it is too ‘heavy’. For example, if we announce that a move is n frames, for most people simply knowing that information takes precedence over actually trying and experiencing the feel of the move for themselves. We’d like players to appreciate using moves for themselves first and I think this is reasonable given the relatively small scale of Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm. I’m not saying that we will absolutely not release the information, but at least we won’t announce it at the same time as the release. Please incorporate in-game training tutorials (ala SFEX) for each character. [dyshwomy?] This would be great to have, but would be very labor intensive. Also, in Yatagarasu, how you play is more important than individual combos, so we don’t feel that this is a must-have… Please make information about the network functionality (O key, P key, etc.) readily available. [dyshwomy?] You’re absolutely right – we need to do this. Sorry that we haven’t officially released the basic information yet – we will do this in future. The dev team members have their hands full just with development work, so releasing information like this always ends up pushed to later… Use special move names in place of “Super Move 1” in the Training mode custom action settings. [dyshwomy?] Again, agreed. This is just a problem of applying time. We will make this change in future. Mix the tutorial and 1P mode into a “single player campaign”, as explained here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_xG1Yg_QoM [dyshwomy?] We’d like to look into this when the main game (characters and system) are complete. We need to get the main game together, so please let us look into it after that. That’s it for this round of feedback. Overall, sorry about the number of come down to lack of resources for now. We do plan to make as many improvements as possible in future. In the meantime, please continue to post any feedback or impressions you may have on the thread and we will respond to as many as possible. Thank you! Shiza  

Yatagarasu AoC Developer Diary (July 9th)

Hello, Shiza from the Yatagarasu development team here with our development update for this month. Steam Greenlight As previously announced here, Yatagarasu AoC was submitted to Steam Greenlight at the end of May. While the number of games being approved at Greenlight has increased recently, approval is still not a certainty and we were extremely happy when it was approved right away. Thank you to all of our supporters for so many votes and for helping Yatagarasu AoC to be successfully pass Steam Greenlight. Now that the Steam release is a definite, we will begin work on the Steam integration. We are looking forward to making Yatagarasu AoC available and accessible to as many players as possible via Steam. Evo 2014 The Evolution Championship Series 2014 begins this Friday and we are pleased to announce that Yatagarasu AoC will be shown at the Indie Game Showcase area and featured in the Mad Catz booth! Mad Catz has been a great supporter of Yatagarasu AoC since we first started to bring it overseas and we are extremely grateful to them.  They have even provided us with some time on their stage to present Yatagarasu AoC. Yatagarasu AoC overseas localizer and publisher Nyu Media will represent Yatagarasu AoC at the stands, and Yatagarasu dev team member UME-ZONO will be at Evo to compete in the tournament. UME-ZONO will drop by the Yatagarasu AoC stands between matches, so please say hi if you have the chance. Release Timing Once again, please accept our apologies for the delay to the release timing. This is primarily due to extremely slow progress with the graphics (specifically, the character pixel art) which is affecting the overall schedule. There are items other than graphics which have yet to be implemented, but once the graphics are complete, we will be able to release an alpha version for our campaign backers to try. At this stage, it is extremely difficult to give an accurate estimate for the release date, but to give you an idea of the workload: the rate of completion of the graphic data is roughly 4 times longer than we had originally planned. The pace is slow, but please be assured we are continually working hard to complete the game. Due to the extended delay, we are planning to release an early alpha version prior to beta testing. We are planning to release this as soon as the graphics are completed. In the meantime, thank you for your continued patience and please bear with us. Work-in-Progress Movie This is still very rough, but we have prepared an example of how the game currently looks using the placeholder graphics that we introduced in last month’s developer update.
That’s it for this month. We’ll be back with more updates and news from Evo soon! Thank you, Shiza
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