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IR Top Page > Developer Interview 2011 > vol05.Hiroyuki Kobayashi
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Developer Interview 2011

05. Hiroyuki Kobayashi / Deputy Head of Consumer Games Development

Seeking to establish a new brand that follows in the footsteps of

- "Dragon's Dogma" is an entirely new title. Could you tell us this story behind the development of this project?
"Kobayashi"
One director originally came up with the idea of creating a "fantasy adventure", so that became main concept we explored in the early stages. As the discussions continued we realized that Capcom possessed the technology and know-how to tackle something we had yet to do, and that was create an "open world" game, and from there development really took off. At Capcom we are always looking to try something new. This is perfectly reflected by popular series such as "Monster Hunter" and "Sengoku BASARA", which were also developed completely from scratch. These series have come a long way and grown to become important brands that support our company. That's what Capcom's culture is all about: continuously creating new brands that are capable of standing on their own feet without needing to rely upon the name recognition of an existing series.
- Do you have any other new titles in the works right now?
"Kobayashi"
I am afraid I can't mention any individual titles, but we're definitely taking on a new set of challenges.
- How often do you usually come out with something entirely new?
"Kobayashi"
When we do decide to start on a new title, we often have to work on it as we move forward with the development of a title in one of our existing series. While this means we can't begin work on something new as often as we'd like, we do try to attack a new big project once every two or three years. There's no guarantee each new title we churn out will go on to be a big hit, but I'm confident that some of them will become pivotal series in our next-generation of games.
- When creating a new game, do you switch up the number of members assigned to each team and the work they handle?
"Kobayashi"
That depends on the game. If an experienced team is assigned to another big title, we don't go out of our way to change how the team is set up. Our series titles are very important, so we need to have the same core members working on them. Ultimately it all comes down to timing. When the development of "Devil May Cry 4" wrapped up, I asked the director Mr. Itsuno to come over and work on "Dragon's Dogma" with us.
- Are development teams at Capcom always composed of the same members?
"Kobayashi"
There are individuals that stay with the same team for years, but usually at Capcom a team breaks up once a title is finished, and everyone moves on to a different team. "Dragon's Dogma" was a massive undertaking that brought together more than 100 individuals, so many of them were working with each other for the first time. That being said, the leaders of each section do a great job of pulling their team together. Likewise, to make sure everyone is on the same page, I set everything up so that the director's vision and my ideas were effectively communicated to each team through these team leaders.
- What kind of difficulties do you run into when developing a brand new title?
"Kobayashi"
This game marks Capcom's first attempt to create an open world game, so it's very important for us to build a technology system specifically tailored to this type of game. As we work to create this new system, we've made sure information is collectively shared between the MT Framework technical team and the development team of "Dragon's Dogma"
- Does this mean there's more work involved than in previous titles?
"Kobayashi"
A whole lot more work. That's why we've made an effort to boost the efficiency of our development team and get them to handle tasks in as little time as possible.
- What kind of things have you done to streamline the process?
"Kobayashi"
The approach we adopted for "Dragon's Dogma" is something we often do at Capcom. Basically we divided the whole team into units, with each unit handling a particular part. Splitting up all the work gives each group a clear focus of what their responsibility is, which in turn improves the quality and speed of their work. In the past we subdivided each unit into even smaller units, but now we define a unit as a group with a set number of members. This style of organization cultivates teamwork and fosters better communication.
Back to Developer Interview 2011 Top Page
  1. 08.Katsuhiko Ichii
  2. 07.Masaru Ijuin
  3. 06.Masachika Kawata
  4. 05.Hiroyuki Kobayashi
  5. 04.Yoshinori Ono
  6. 03.Yoichi Egawa
  7. 02.Manabu Seko
  8. 01.Takeshi Tezuka

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