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Itagaki: Realistic Military Details Will Elevate  Devil's Third

Itagaki: Realistic Military Details Will Elevate Devil's Third Exclusive

December 2, 2011 | By Staff

December 2, 2011 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Exclusive, Art, Design

Valhalla Games' Tomonobu Itagaki, a self-described "military nut," sees a way in which he can stand out from the competition in the shooter genre -- a genre he hopes to top with his upcoming game, Devil's Third.

As an example, the former Ninja Gaiden series director told Gamasutra that in Modern Warfare 3's submarine mission, "There are two propellers, on the submarine, and they're rotating in the same direction. That's impossible, though, because it wouldn't work to propel the craft; that can't exist in real life. That's the truth, and I speak as a major fan of Modern Warfare who really respects what they've done."

"That's why I don't think everyone who makes war games like that has a full knowledge of war technology, or the physics and weapons involved. Maybe it's all little details, but it's a big surprise to me that that incorrect detail went unnoticed by anyone -- as they put it in their E3 trailer."

On the other hand, he sees DICE making decisions against realism simply to please players, with Battlefield 3.

"In Battlefield 3, for example, you have a scene with a Main Battle Tank firing away with its cannon while running along in the middle of the desert. The speed of sound is about 340 meters per second, but it fires really quickly, so the fire can reach targets several kilometers away very quickly. Battlefield runs at 30 frames per second on consoles, so it's not possible to actually show it at that frame rate."

"That's reality, but in the world of entertainment, there's more of an emphasis on making things easier to understand. It's like how you can hear the explosions in outer space during Star Wars. So, when something explodes, you just hear the sound, and when a 120mm gun fires, you can see it in action."

Seeing an "ample opportunity to really break into this genre," Itagaki, who describes himself as a "military nut," plans to bring a new style that blends his attention to detail with his signature over-the-top style -- but he is tight-lipped about what that means.

"There are good shooters out there, of course, but the genre hasn't been perfected yet," he says. But when asked what will do that, he says, "Well, if I told you that, I'd be disclosing some of our ideas before their time."

When pressed, Itagaki replies, "Well, if you look at military-themed games, do you really feel like it's a battlefield you're seeing? That's my answer."

The full interview, in which he talks about his development technology, the reason he's attracting Westerners to his development team, and why working with publisher THQ has been surprisingly easy, is live now on Gamasutra.

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