SNK Heroines devs on choosing characters, female Terry Bogard, sequel interest, more
In a recent issue of Famitsu, developers from SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy were brought in to discuss the new fighter. Art director Yusuke Amano, sound director Mayuko Hino, and director Kaito Soranaka participated in the talk.
We’ve prepared a complete transcript of the interview, which goes over how the team went about choosing characters, including a female version of Terry Bogard, interest in making sequels, and much more. You can read it below.
First off, can you tell us why you decided to make SNK Heroines?
Soranaka: The characters from the SNK series are all very popular, but up until now the focus of the games has always been on brawling. So the impetus for us was the desire to make a game that was more character-focused. Normally all of the characters end up grouped under the title of ‘The King of Fighters (henceforth KOF)’, so we thought this time we’d make a game with just women.
So were the characters you wanted to include in the game decided there and then?
Soranaka: I decided while discussing it with the game staff. There are the core characters that are already popular, characters we’d like to see become popular in the future, and even some inclusions that will surprise the fans… those are the three categories we have. Of course, there are still lots of great Heroines left, and just because they don’t appear in this game doesn’t mean we have written them off altogether.
With there being so many characters and outfits, did it create a lot of work for you?
Amano: The setting for this game is the illusory world of the ‘Mysterious Sponsor’ and everything is manipulated by her in order to harass the characters. Because of that, we tried to think of outfits that would embarrass them. While generally we tried to keep the designs in line with the character’s ability, with others we let the fun-factor take precedence and designed the outfit from there. For example, Athena has an outfit similar to the original Athena design, while Leona has an outfit that is similar to her adopted father’s army attire.
As well as the outfits, the general production also seems unique. For example, when you hit someone with a special attack and lots of candy shoots out. I wasn’t expecting that.
Amano: When we were talking to the effects team, we told them we wanted effects that at a glance looked interesting and colorful. So, the character’s favorite food might come out, or other things that defy reality. There are also times when it’s linked to the concept. When Luong, for example, is wearing her girl’s high school uniform, email emojis fly out. (laughs) Also, Terry, who has become a woman in this game, also uses his Buster Wolf super, first seen in Fatal Fury (JP: ‘Legend of the Hungry Wolf’).
Talking of Terry, I was very surprised when he was announced for this game! (laughs)
Soranaka: Well, as Terry is the face of the SNK series we thought we’d make him a woman and have him in this game too!
Amano: First off the plan was for him to have the body of a woman but for his voice to stay the same. But, when we saw it for real, it was horrible! (laughs) Because of that we decided to go with a female voice, but finding the right female voice was tough, and we went through a lot of auditions.
I can imagine it was tough. (laughs) You can also customize the voices, right?
Amano: We recorded four different voices. Not only the scripted lines, but also the personality differs, so I wasn’t entirely sure all of them would suit the heroines very well. But at the time of the recording, the voice actors really nailed it, and I felt reassured. Because of the four types of dialogue, the script ended up four times bigger. It was thicker than the script for KOF XIV.
So, why did you decide to go with a less technical, action-orientated game this time around?
Soranaka: Win or lose, we wanted to create a game where people can have fun. So I think we made the game system simpler so that anyone could enjoy the game. But because we didn’t want to create a game that only casual gamers can enjoy, we added the items and other tactical elements.
Was it difficult to create a new system that hasn’t been used up until now?
Soranaka: The truth is that we started development with an entirely different system. It was one where if you took damage your battle partner would be steadily buried in sand. But we realized that this concept was very similar to a simple timed battle. We decided: ‘there’s nothing fresh about this’ and after going back and forth for a while we decided on a system where battles are decided with super moves.
Amano: Even though it ended up being rejected we actually created the animations for the Heroines being buried in sand. (laughs) If we’re talking about things that were really difficult, in this game there are over 140 accessories for the characters, but the space for them varies depending on the costume they are wearing. Anyway, with such a large number, the fine tuning and adjusting was really difficult. (wry laugh) But we made the game with the belief that the customization was the most fun thing for the players.
Hino: Within the accessories, there are some that make noises while you are wearing them. Then, depending on the outfit the character is wearing, the rustling sound of the clothes also changes. Looking over all those individual accessories and clothes was a lot of work…
Amano: With the sounds affects too we made a lot of unreasonable requests to Hino, so I felt bad for her.
What type of requests?
Amano: Mainly for sounds effects. For example, Leona has a lot of slicing attacks, so we thought it would be nice to have the sound of slicing vegetables, so we ended up requesting this, along with other things you wouldn’t normally be asked for. (wry laugh)
Hino: That’s right! With the sound effects and the vocals, it was non-stop weird demands and requests for amendments! (laughs) I entered this team right after finishing development on KOF XIV, and I was thinking: ‘is this sound really OK?’ Finally, I just kind of let go thought: ‘well, if it is fun, it’s fine’. (laughs)
You also collaborated with the team of Million Arthur: Arcana Blood, right?
Soranaka: The producer on this game, Mr. Oda, had the chance to meet the producer of Arcana Blood, Mr. Takuma, at an event and they hit it off and decided to work on something together. That ended up being the spark for a collaboration on this game.
Do you intend to release DLC in the future?
Soranaka: I think we will, but I’m still worrying over exactly what we will release.
Amano: As well as the female version of Terry we also have the collaboration character (Thief Arthur added to SNK Heroines September 13). Even if we do add new characters, there’s no telling who it could be. The possibilities are endless.
Well, I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Can you also tell us about your plans for the game from here and any tweaks and updates you might make to the characters?
Soranaka: First off we intend to look at the feedback from those playing the game and decide our strategy from that. Then we’ll update the game to make it the most fun it can be for players.
It’s still early, but what about sequels…?
Soranaka: I think it would be nice if we could release a sequel every time there is a new KOF game, and to have one game that is raucously fun alongside a more traditional title. With that aim, I would like to carry on with the series.
Translation by provided by Corks on behalf of Nintendo Everything
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