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How Resident Evil 2 fell apart, then became one of Capcom’s biggest hits.

Aggelos

Member
https://www.polygon.com/2019/1/21/18187446/resident-evil-2-history-capcom-hideki-kamiya

""Since 2014, Alex Aniel has been working on a book chronicling the history behind his favorite series, Resident Evil. Looking back at the franchise’s development history from the earliest days, the book — planned as two volumes — folds in interviews with many of the key figures who worked behind the scenes at Capcom.
Aniel isn’t planning to release the first volume — titled An Itchy, Tasty History of Resident Evil: 1994-2006 (Vol. 1) — until later this year.
But to celebrate today being the 21st anniversary of Resident Evil 2’s release, he has put together a preview of the book in the form of an excerpt looking back on the creation of RE2. It’s a story about staff changes, failed experiments, and extraordinary success. And it starts with the promotion of game director Hideki Kamiya.""






He received job offers from two major publishers: Capcom, for a designer position, and Namco, who wanted him as an artist. Ultimately, Kamiya chose the former, joining in April 1994. He was soon put through the motions, as most new hires in Japanese companies are during their first year. Following his job training, Kamiya performed entry-level tasks such as quality assurance and basic planning before joining the original Resident Evil team. There, Kamiya was a designer for certain environments in the Spencer Estate, though his most permanent contribution to the series’ lore was the naming of some of the characters, including Jill, Chris, Wesker, and the others. “I got the inspiration for their names from various media sources, including pornographic magazines,” Kamiya muses over dinner at an Osaka restaurant one rainy autumn evening in October 2017, when trying to remember exactly how he came up with their names.


Of course, Kamiya’s creative talents went beyond just naming characters, and Mikami soon took notice of his potential. Over drinks one night in mid-1994, Mikami told Kamiya, “You’re the dark horse of the new recruits. You’re either going to fail spectacularly, or you’re going to be a huge success.” While Kamiya admits he was fairly boisterous in his 20s, his colleagues universally describe him as diligent, thoughtful, and hardworking, traits that Mikami saw as vital to successfully leading a project. When it came time to choose a director for Resident Evil 2, Mikami called Kamiya into a meeting in spring 1996 to formalize the decision, much like Fujiwara had done to Mikami nearly three years earlier. Kamiya, for reasons even he himself claims not to understand to this day, was now the director of Resident Evil 2.


However, Mikami chose him to direct Resident Evil 2, which meant that Kamiya needed to get over his distaste for horror, or else hand off the responsibility to someone who could. For the next two years, Kamiya would do his best to put on a brave face.

Unable to ever completely set aside his fear of horror, Kamiya decided that Resident Evil 2, while adhering to much of the core gameplay framework of its predecessor, would be more action-oriented. This direction was a reflection of his own preference for Hollywood action films. The original Resident Evil, as an early PlayStation title, neutered the combat abilities of its protagonists, resulting in a slow-paced action experience. With minor additions like automatic weapons and faster and more numerous enemies, Resident Evil 2 would largely abide by the original’s framework. But instead of an isolated mansion in the woods, the game would take place among the streets of Raccoon City. This meant more zombies on screen — as many as seven, in fact, which is more than double the maximum of three seen in the original. The sequel would star a new cast across two scenarios, including characters like officers Leon S. Kennedy and Marvin Branagh, civilians Ada Wong and Robert Kendo, young motorcyclist Elza Walker, and a teenage Sherry Birkin (most of their names were different earlier in production). Kamiya came up with unique and expansive scenarios for both Leon and Elza, much like the ones that set Jill and Chris apart in the original. Wanting Resident Evil 2 to stand on its own, Kamiya decided that the game would have few direct connections to the story of the original game, although they take place in the same universe.


With Resident Evil capturing gamers’ imaginations since 1996, the sequel garnered considerable media and consumer attention in both North America and Japan. Resident Evil 2 was shown publicly for the first time at the spring 1996 Tokyo Game Show. While it was still early in production, players could already see improvements in the graphics and gameplay. Hype began to build among fans and expectations grew high, which in turn added to much of the pressure felt by Kamiya and his team. There was also considerable pressure internally from Capcom management. Having averted the threat of bankruptcy with the success of the original game, Capcom was now in better shape, though still far from being in the clear. A mishap or two could send the company back into difficult times. Thus, Capcom could not afford to squander its momentum. Resident Evil 2 needed to be successful like Street Fighter 2 had been earlier in the decade. Throughout the summer and autumn of 1996, Kamiya’s team continued to develop the environments, scenario, and gameplay system. They managed to complete about 70 percent of development by the end of that year.

As it neared completion, Resident Evil 2 now had to pass inspection by Yoshiki Okamoto, just like the original in late 1995. Resident Evil had actually been in rough shape when he took over for Tokuro Fujiwara as its executive producer, but Okamoto turned out to be even more dissatisfied with the status of Resident Evil 2. Notably, the visual premise, with its overly bright neon-lit environments and emphasis on Hollywood action elements, seemed to run contrary to an authentic horror experience. Simply put, the game was not very scary. There were also a plethora of other personnel issues impeding on the project, which Mikami attributed in a 1998 interview in the book Research on Biohazard 2 -final edition- to the high number of young, relatively inexperienced developers on the team.


The story also proved to be a more tremendous hurdle than anyone could have expected. Okamoto felt the plot and writing were particularly subpar and uninteresting, with the game as a whole lacking originality. The Resident Evil series was Capcom’s first game in which the plot was an important part of the universe. The Mega Man, Street Fighter, and Ghosts ’n Goblins series all had simple stories with little dialogue. For those games, the stories might as well not be there. The team’s goals for Resident Evil 2 were thus unprecedented in Capcom history. Kamiya had taken charge of the story after Iwao left, carefully trying to work within Iwao’s framework while injecting his own style. However, Kamiya’s lack of real experience in scenario writing was evident. In its present state, Resident Evil 2 was nowhere close to becoming the Aliens that Capcom originally set out to create.



When asked about his feelings the moment Resident Evil 2 was officially canceled and whether he had any particular regrets about the experience, Kamiya unambiguously argues that starting over was the correct decision. “It truly was a piece of shit. It was boring, devoid of vision, and a poor excuse for a horror game,” Kamiya colorfully describes. Armed with a strong choice of words, Kamiya appears steadfast and confident in a way that only someone with the requisite experience could be. “To be honest, I was actually relieved when we canceled the game,” Kamiya admits. “It was my first time sitting in the director’s seat, so I was quite inexperienced. I like to experiment with different ideas to see what works and what does not. Another thing that contributed to the failure of the game was my lack of vision. I do not usually have a specific vision going into a project. I like to experiment and see what sticks.” When asked if he ever considered resigning — an act not unheard of in Japan, where a single failure can prematurely end one’s career — Kamiya stoically says, “No, not at all.”


The initial version of Resident Evil 2 was now gone, although not forgotten. The developers assigned it the codename “Resident Evil 1.5” in order to differentiate it from the release version of Resident Evil 2 that they were now working on. The “1.5” is meant to reference the prototype’s development taking place between Resident Evil (“1”) and Resident Evil 2. Most games change between their initial conception and final release; such transformations are usually kept out of the public eye until a game is close to its release date. But because “Resident Evil 1.5” was prominently covered in game media prior to its reboot, Capcom recognizes and openly acknowledges its existence as a canceled Resident Evil 2 prototype. To Capcom, it serves as a testament to starting over from zero when the situation truly calls for it, and that games had evolved to the point where seeking outside assistance such as that of Sugimura could help improve a project’s fortunes and set it down a path not previously available. Its cancellation was also a pivotal point in Resident Evil history, because it was the first step in creating a sustained and interconnected narrative that endures to this day.




A curated trailer of “Resident Evil 1.5” was included as a bonus with Japanese copies of Resident Evil: Director’s Cut Dual Shock Ver., which was released in August 1998 (after the final release of Resident Evil 2), giving fans a glimpse of what could have been. Fifteen years later in 2013, an incomplete but playable prototype demo managed to leak onto the internet. The game-modding community has attempted to transform the demo into a playable product that adheres to the development team’s original vision, with varying degrees of success. Although gamers might find the prototype an interesting relic of gaming history, Kamiya is unenthused by such efforts to bring “Resident Evil 1.5” back: “Honestly, no one needs to play through such a bad game.”




One accident during development was how Resident Evil 2 became a game shipped across two CDs. In the final game, disc 1 contains Leon’s scenario, while disc 2 features Claire’s. It was technologically possible to have all of the final data for Resident Evil 2 fit on a single 700 MB CD, just like the original. This was what Capcom had planned to do initially. However, the team ultimately miscalculated the game’s final audio data size algorithm, which no one noticed until it was too late to change. Mikami recalls learning of the issue from Yasuhiro Anpo, a software engineer. Anpo called Mikami, who was working on a different floor from the rest of the team. “Anpo told me there was a problem. But before he could explain, I actually hung up on him!” Mikami laughs. “Anpo eventually came over to my desk, where he told me that Resident Evil 2 would require two discs instead of just one.” Mikami remembers gasping in surprise. As producer, he was responsible for keeping the game within budget. This would surely force a recalculation. Capcom management was not at all pleased with the development. It would result in higher manufacturing and shipping costs due to the thicker double-disc jewel case required. However, given that Resident Evil 2 was already behind schedule at this point, rather than give the team time to reprogram the audio algorithms, Capcom conceded and allowed the game to ship on two discs.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hideki_Kamiya





















 
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Heimdall_Xtreme

Jim Ryan Fanclub's #1 Member
https://www.polygon.com/2019/1/21/18187446/resident-evil-2-history-capcom-hideki-kamiya

""Since 2014, Alex Aniel has been working on a book chronicling the history behind his favorite series, Resident Evil. Looking back at the franchise’s development history from the earliest days, the book — planned as two volumes — folds in interviews with many of the key figures who worked behind the scenes at Capcom.
Aniel isn’t planning to release the first volume — titled An Itchy, Tasty History of Resident Evil: 1994-2006 (Vol. 1) — until later this year.
But to celebrate today being the 21st anniversary of Resident Evil 2’s release, he has put together a preview of the book in the form of an excerpt looking back on the creation of RE2. It’s a story about staff changes, failed experiments, and extraordinary success. And it starts with the promotion of game director Hideki Kamiya.""



All Are the talent people ... except the Bald one of first picture.


Seriously, I should care what the bald man puts on his Kamiya´s twitter?
 
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