Information
Answers by: Published: April 20th, 2007  
Simon Strange – Lead Designer
Shelby Wills - Producer
Conducted by:
Chris Mirjahangir
Interview
Chris: How difficult was it to map the controls for the Wii Remote and Nunchuck versus the traditional control schemes utilized on Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and Godzilla: Save the Earth?

First, we'd like to say that the controls in Godzilla: Unleashed are not at all a re-mapping of the Save the Earth controls – they are a total re-invention. We're not using the old animation, the old attacks, or even the old character models – we've really started over from scratch. That said, it has been tremendously difficult to finalize the new controls – because the new controls are really about all-new game mechanics – mechanics never before seen in a fighting game. The Wii controller led us away from all of the fighting game traditions you've come to expect – which gave us lots of room to invent new conventions. In our more ambitious moments, we like to think that we're paving the way for a whole generation of Wii games.

Chris: What do you envision the learning curve for the controls on Godzilla: Unleashed will be like for the average player?

One of the strengths of the Wii is that the controller is non-threatening. We're trying to be respectful of that. But pretty early on it was clear to us that we were not making a dumbed-down version of the game. Anyone should be able to pick up the game and bust some heads – but really getting into the system will require some dedication. Compared to Save the Earth, the game is a bit easier to get a handle on, but somewhat harder to master. So we've increased our range on both ends.

Chris: Are there currently any plans to support the “classic” or Gamecube controllers?

No. The all-new mechanics that we're building specifically for the Wii controller really can't be mapped to a more conventional controller.

Chris: Previous games in the series featured characters with additional attributes, such as Blunt/Edge based attacks and resistances. Are any of these elements planned to return for Godzilla: Unleashed?

Yes, absolutely. But characters with extreme resistances will max out at 90% this time – unlike the last game where we allowed resistances up to 110% - which would actually heal some monsters (Megalon and Rodan) when hit with the proper element (Electricity and Fire, respectively). That won't affect the gameplay much – it actually might really make it less clear that you should NOT use those elements on strongly resistant monsters.

As in the past game, extreme resistances and vulnerabilities will be confined to the rare damage types – so physical attacks will always be a reasonable fall back. In our last game, for example, Adult Mothra was mostly a ranged combatant – so her match-ups against other ranged fighters (MechaGodzilla2 and Rodan) were a bit dull. But by making her very vulnerable to Fire (Rodan's weapon type), we forced Mothra into close combat with Rodan. We love those change-ups that force you to be versatile in your combat strategies, and we plan to use these sorts of mechanics in Godzilla: Unleashed.

Chris: Given projected character figures, it seems that the entire roster from Godzilla: Save the Earth will not be returning. Have those characters already been selected, or is it still up in the air? If it's been more or less finalized, would it be possible to mention one that's not going to be making an appearance in Godzilla: Unleashed?

The full roster is currently being finalized. Don't count your favorite monster out until the game is done! That being said, we are planning at least 16 monsters, and the roster and final monster count will be announced as we get closer to shipping.

Chris: Are the game's stages already planned, and is there any projection as to how many are slated? Will there be any familiar locations from the films, like Monster Island or World Children's Land, or will they primarily be real world locations established in a post-apocalyptic setting?

We are planning at least 8 levels. You'll be able to play in some familiar, yet fundamentally-changed, places as well as some all-new (to our Godzilla games) locations.

Chris: Large, multi-colored crystals were seen in the earliest screenshots of the game. Speculation has begun to mount that these could be the new appearance of the game's “items.” Is this the case, or do they serve another purpose?

The crystals will serve many purposes in the game – they are the focus of the new story. The crystals begin growing around the globe after a freak asteroid shower – and their presence is what begins to throw the world into chaos – changing the environment, destroying cities, and driving all of earth's monster berserk. The crystals will also strengthen the monsters in various ways – but those strengths come at a steep price. Players will get to explore that in the campaign.

Chris: Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, stated that online development kits were being distributed to developers back in February. Are there currently any plans to feature online play in Godzilla: Unleashed? Support for WiiConnect24 was mentioned when the title was first officially announced, how would Godzilla: Unleashed make use of this feature?

We have not yet announced our online or WiiConnect24 plans for Godzilla: Unleashed on the Wii.

Chris: The game is said to have graphic art cut scenes. Will there be different cut scenes for each monster's story?

There is only 1 story – and it is told from 4 different perspectives. The story is a “human-centric” story – so what you do in the game doesn't really affect it at a high level. Monsters are still running wild across the planet. But you get to shape exactly who is running wild when, and which monsters ally against which others. You also get to pick the encounter you play each day of the story – so the user experience will vary quite a bit between any two given players. We wanted to build some surprises into the story which are triggered only by initiating certain sequences of encounters. You can't nearly acquire all of these on a single play-through. We also wanted to make the single player game somewhat easier than the past campaign games have been. Making rare and/or hidden encounters optional allows players to tailor their experience to their skill.

Chris: Do the beams auto-lock on targets anymore, or is all of the aiming manually done via the Wii Remote now?

Manual targeting with the Wii-remote was one of our very first “awesome” moments with the new controller. Moving the monster's head in 3-D was never really “right” with a 2-D stick, so we were thrilled to really nail that this time around. You'll need to experience it to really understand – because that sort of control has simply not been possible before now. We've added sticky-targeting to assist you in aiming your head, rather than an auto-lock.
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