Hi all welcome to another Capsule Computers interview. This time MasterAbbott sat down with Mr. Ryosuke Jinno, Project Director (Brizo Interactive) the creators of Dragon Dragon on the Apple iPhone. Anyone that’s a fan of the Double Dragon franchise should take the time to read through this indepth interview with Ryosuke there’s quite a lot of really cool information about how Brizio created the remake to this legendary 2D side scrolling beat em up.
Enjoy the interview.
1. When was Million Co. Ltd/Brizo Interactive first established – Where are your offices located. What other titles have you developed in the past?
Brizo: The company was established in 2002, and is located in the 2F Toyoda Bldg., 5-3 Hiroshiba-Cho, Suita-City, Osaka. We develop iPhone versions of the well-known titles made by big companies. Since it is confidential, I can’t reveal the titles, but we cover almost all genres including Fighting, Action, Adventure, etc. We’ve worked on the very famous titles such as Double Dragon, Tamagocchi, Sonic, and Ragnarok.
2. While creating Double Dragon on the iPhone, did you communicate or speak to the original developers Technos Japan and designer Yoshihisa Kishimoto? If so what input was provided from them?
Brizo: We didn’t work directly with Mr. Kishimoto, but Million supervised us. We’ve been trying not to ruin the original world setting/perspective and disappoint fans.
3. What was your main reason for creating this remake of Double Dragon on the iPhone opposed to creating it on another console?
Brizo: In terms of developing Double Dragon, this iPhone version is our 3rd title after making a mobile game for North America/South America called Zeebo (and a console version for South America). We decided to make Double Dragon iPhone not only because we’re a mobile game developer, but also because we’ve noticed that there are so many fans who were waiting for Double Dragon on iPhone. In addition, we’ve done a lot of research into the technical aspects of iPhone, and we were confident we could re-creat Double Dragon’s world.
4. How many developers did it take to create Double Dragon? How long was development? Where there any issues with development? And what did the team do to overcome them.
Brizo: A total of 15 people worked on this title in jobs such as Programmer, Designer, Planner, Director, and Debugger. It took about 10 months, including planning.
The most difficult part was unexpected technology changes, as the device itself was changed during development, and the SNS functionality was added.
Also, we had a difficult time trying to decide on the design—specifically, how we would keep its 2D pixel theme as well as Double Dragon’s “tough” image. However, since we were very particular about what we wanted to create, I’m confident that we did a good job.
5. During development, were there any ideas that couldn’t quite make it into the final build of the game?
Brizo: There are still a lot of people in the US who haven’t updated to iOS 4.0. We assumed that most of users would have updated their iOS versions, so now, we’re planning to release updates for those who use older versions of iOS.
6. From all the Double Dragon remakes on all the different home and portable consoles which one do development team believe was the best one ?
Brizo: I’m tempted to say that is this iPhone version, ha ha ha. However, I’d like to think that it was the design of the original arcade that helped Double Dragon gain the fanbase that it has.
I remember when I was kid I used to play the Double Dragon arcade all the time. I put a whole lot of coins into the one in front of the local convenience store.
We respect the original Double Dragon very much.
7. What was it like redesigning the original Double Dragon characters and recreating them into a modern game?
Brizo: It wasn’t too hard to redesign the original Double Dragon since the world was already established. We were very careful about how we could maintain that world, and how we could approach users in Europe/America in such a way that they would still see the game as exciting and exotic. The 2D pixel images might be outdated but that is the technique that Japan developed, and we’re very proud of it. It was challenging for us to use this technique on such an advanced piece of equipment.
8. Where did the ideas and inspirations come from when creating the three new never before seen levels and the three new boss characters.
Brizo: Those are the result of a lot of internal brainstorming. We knew Abobo, Brunov, Chin, and Willie had to be in the game, but we thought it would be kind of boring if there weren’t any women. So, we added in some ladies.
9. Why was Marian’s hair changed from Brown/Red to Blonde ?
Brizo: To be honest, we didn’t really think too hard on that. Ha ha ha! If fans don’t like it, we might want to consider changing it!
MasterAbbot’s Reply : NO its ok .. leave it how it is 😉
10. Please explain the reason behind mixing characters from both Double Dragon 1 and 2 in this remake of Double Dragon on iPhone. Were there characters you wanted to add but couldn’t and why?
Brizo: Initially, we wanted to pull every good aspect of Double Dragon into this game. Considering the entire volume of the game, that would have been 30 playable characters and 6 stages. If possible, we wanted to use all the characters, but we didn’t because, the game would have started to drag, and it would have frustrated players.
11. This is the first time in any Double Dragon game that will allow you to gain experience. What characters can gain experience? Is this option only available to Billy and Jimmy Lee?
Brizo: Only Billy and Jimmy can gain experience, since they’re the main characters. We’ve added other playable characters mainly just as a bonus, but if people really want those bonus characters to be able to gain experience, we’ll consider it.
MasterAbbott’s Reply : Yes it would be great to also level up the other characters in the game especially the bosses.
12. At the beginning of the game in the original Double Dragon the Black Warriors approach Marian, punch her and then take her away. Why was this removed from this remake?
Brizo: We’ve removed this part because it’s shown in the opening movie. We were actually discussing whether or not it should be in the game right up until the end of development. I guess you really wanted to see it, huh?
Also, in the original Double Dragon, Marian is taken away in front of the Billy and Jimmy’s house, and then Billy comes out of the garage. We actually questioned why Billy didn’t notice Marian was taken, since it happened right in front of his house, which was another reason why we changed it.
MasterAbbott’s Reply : YES BRING IT BACK !! LOL It’s a classic moment in the game just like how Marian is lowered down by the rope at the end and dangling in the air in the final level. Please bing it back !! PLEASE !! 😉
13. Some of the original level designs have been changed and enhance but also cut down quite a bit from the original arcade game. What were the reasons behind this?
Brizo: Because it’s an iPhone game.
This is not a game that you can use a joystick and put in detailed commands that way, so we focused on making it easy to play. That is why we removed the difficult actions and functions.
14. What would Billy do if he found out that Jimmy had a crush on Marian?
Brizo: They’ll fight it out in Double Dragon mode. Ha ha ha!
We don’t get this kind of question a lot from Japanese fans, so I love it!
It’ll be fun to make the story about splitting the brothers up, but we want to keep the original main story. Ha ha ha!
MasterAbbott’s Reply : YES Do it !! That would be fun to play and see !!!
15. Trophies / Achievements are what drive a number of players to play games now-days.. Give us a run down on how you came up with and all the achievements in the game, what you think is the easiest, funniest and hardest achievements to obtain.
Brizo: We as a developer understand each level of difficulty (high, mid, low) as adjusting the game. We’ve discussed over and over about which achievements we want to have, and how those should be achieved.
The hardest one to gain would be the achievement of No Damage Clear. There are only a few people who’ve gotten it, even in my company.
The most interesting achievement would be “I’ll give it to you because I feel sorry for you.” This is recieved when the player fails No Damage Clear.
16. Certain fans already playing Double Dragon have expressed an interest to have an online option to play Double Dragon over the internet with friends all over the world. Do you believe that this option might be added to the game at a later date?
Brizo: Of course, we’re considering it. However, from a technical standpoint, there is some difficulty when it comes to perfect online play via Wi-Fi.
For Double Dragon specifically, Billy and Jimmy’s movements, as well as their opponents’ movements and the positions of obstacles all have to be synced up during an online match. Because you have two players on the same screen, there is a huge amount of data the app has to deal with, so you have to make sure it can do that with the iPhone’s specs and interact with the communication infrastructure as well.
There are a lot of games out there that seem to be using “Sync and Share” functions, but actually not many of them are successful about maintaining that function.
We are aware, of course, that we’ll need to catch up with that technology in the near future.
17. Will there be any further updates or enhancements to Double Dragon on the iPhone moving forward.
Brizo: Of course! We’re preparing both major and minor improvements and updates, so look forward to them!
MasterAbbott’s Reply : WOO HOO !!! CANT WAIT !! 🙂
18. Will this release of Double Dragon make its way onto other consoles / hand helds such as Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, Nintendo 3DS or PSP. If so will it be enhanced and beef up with more gameplay / levels or characters?
Brizo: Let’s just say we’re considering that.
19. What was the best part of developing possibly the best 2D fighting beat ’em up game ever created for its time?
Brizo: Probably that I was able to be part of the development of this game, and that we were given a great deal of freedom.
Our next challenge will be to incorporate what we hear from reviewers and our users into the game. If you look at it that way, then the “best part” is probably still yet to come.
20. (Spoiler Question) At the end of the game Billy and Jimmy Lee drive off into the sunset with Marian.. Right at the end before the screen fades, there is someone looking at them on the side of the road … WHO is this mystery man??
Brizo: The son of a character from the game. His hair color might give you a hint, but I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination. Perhaps it’s hinting at a sequel?!
There you have it, another great interview done. Capsule Computers would like to thank Mr Ryosuke Jinno-San for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish them the best of luck moving forward and can’t wait to see what else they release in the future.
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