Shenmue 3 (Nov 19)

Z A C K

Stayin' Fresh
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Fun to watch the GT guys reaction to the announcement:


Skip back to 1:55 to see their reaction to the FFVII reveal.

I like this. It's like they're kids at Christmas. It's nice to see such unabashed enthusiasm and excitement for games. Forum goers and journalists can get so jaded and negative, but this is the exact opposite. Good to see.
Watching this again.. Sony really did have one hell of a conference. I may have scored them wrong giving them a B+.
 

The Wolf King

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Yu is publishing the game himself according to Sony.
 

Intellivision

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From GAF

- He noticed that fans were getting more and more despondent about the chances of a Shenmue 3 ever coming out, and being willing to settle for just about any format (novel, manga etc.) just to see the conclusion of the story, but he really wanted to make the sequel as a game even if it didn't have all the bells and whistles he'd like to put in it.
- He first learned about Kickstarter about 3 years ago through a fan who'd used it before, although it took a while before he decided that was really the way to go forward. Tried looking for a major company to partner with, but couldn't find one that met his criteria. Eventually, he decided Kickstarter was the best option.
- Sega readily allowed him to make the game, and SCE gave their support too (nothing specific here).
- It'll be out on PS4 and PC. No mention of other platforms, no mention of considering any other platforms.
- 2 million is the bare minimum for the game to exist, and if that was all they got, it would just be focused on the story. The more money it gets, the more of the things he wants to do will be possible.
- He wants to give the fans what they want as much as possible, asking for their opinions during development and incorporating those into the final game. Like if they have two ideas for a character, they might ask backers to vote on which they prefer.
- As far as money goes, he expects the game's investment will primarily come from individual backers, so he wants them all to be happy with the finished product. Doesn't sound like Sony and others are giving them all THAT much.
- The story will take place in Guilin, beginning immediately after 2's end. You'll be able to go around the town(s) in that area, back to the mountains, infiltrate the Chi You Men's Guilin branch, etc.
- Back when he made Shenmue 2, he was determined that Shenmue 3's focus would be making a deeper open world rather than a bigger one. Fewer characters means they can have more to say, they can have more complex AI, etc. The character Ryo will talk to the most in 3 is Shenhua, so he wants to develop her as much as possible, making it so that talking to her lots makes her behaviour towards him change, makes quests involving her proceed differently, etc.
- Not that any of this is to say it won't be an open world game. Stretch goals will determine how much the town(s) can be expanded (presumably this is referring to stretch goals like those we can already see, the 'other towns' in that video aren't addressed here.)
- QTEs were originally designed so that people who weren't very good at battles could still enjoy the game.
- He wants to make 'free battles' (which are likely to have their name changed) less about pressing buttons at the right time and more about making the right decisions.
- He also wants to make them less about practising and inputting commands and more centred around the Technique Scrolls, so obtaining and using those is enough to win battles. These Technique Scrolls will ideally connect a number of different elements in the game together in a natural way.
"Shenmue had a number of minigames, gambling spots etc. that you could spend time playing around in, but I wanted something that would connect all of them somehow. I mean, obviously you can obtain money through part-time jobs, use that in gambling to get more of it and then buy weapons...but not that kind of connection, a closer one. If we can meet a number of our stretch goals and make the open world elements more elaborate, I'm hoping to be able to connect these side elements together, centred around the scrolls.
- He's desperately trying to find some way to include forklifts in the game in a way that will make sense, because Shenmue fans seem to love them.
- He wanted to gather as many of the people who worked on the earlier games as possible because it'd be reassuring to fans. They're planning to publish staff comments from a number of figures working on the game, including the writer Masahiro Yoshimoto.
- He's asked about whether he has an idea in his head about what'll come after Shenmue 3's done (presumably 4, but it doesn't come out and say this). He says he does, but right now he's focused on working on Shenmue 3. Certainly doesn't sound like this game will be 'it' at any rate.
- As the Kickstarter page says, he's hoping the game will be ready to release at the end of 2017.



Q.

Love your work! You are a pioneer in this industry! As for my question:
How much game elements/features will we be missing in the game if the campaign doesn't reach the $5 million mark?

A.

I will say this: if we reach the $5 mil mark, one of the things I really want to do with Shenmue 3 will become a reality.
At $10 million, it will truly have the features of an open world
 

Rover

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Damn. I wonder if it's because of sony's involvement but the kickstarter has slowed to a snail's pace since the first 2 days. I thought 10m might be within reach, but now I worry about it even beating bloodstained's 5.5m.
 

Andy

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Damn. I wonder if it's because of sony's involvement but the kickstarter has slowed to a snail's pace since the first 2 days. I thought 10m might be within reach, but now I worry about it even beating bloodstained's 5.5m.
Yeah, I'd assume that once people figured out Sony was funding (though we still don't know how much), they figured contributions wouldn't have much of a point.
 

The Wolf King

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Yu did a reddit and it sounds like Sony aren't giving that much. He thinks he needs 10M to make it how he wants.
 

Tmecha

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I'm going to back it soon but if this doesn't come out, I fully expect the noose to come out to hang Sony.

If they get to $5mil Sony needs to match it and then they have the $10mil.
 

pravus

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I read somewhere that the lion's share of development money is actual coming directly from this kickstarter. So whatever the cash sources are, they don't seem to be kicking in much to help.
 

Rover

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Hmmm, if we are to believe the statements from people here, it appears sony isn't helping as much as initially thought and are mainly helping to fund the ps4 port and marketing. That is kind of concerning now because this kickstarter has grinded to a halt. It's made what 20-30k today only I think. I'm not really sure what to believe or if people are telling the truth, but it's very clear now that the word of sony's involvement has had a direct negative impact on the kickstarter and funds are trickling in very slowly since that first day.

If that isn't the reason why the kickstarter has slowed down so much then the alternative is even worse. It means that the shenmue fans were just a loud vocal minority that already all backed it during the first day. Which means that when the game actually releases it'll be a commercial flop with no one buying it cause all the fans already backed it and got their copy.

If sony doesn't put in significant development funds then the scope of this game will be very limited. However, I wonder if people will still love it if it ends up being a smaller game because I know a lot of fans just want to know how the story concludes.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/141291-Sony-Will-be-Involved-in-Marketing-and-Production-for-Shenmue-3

Engadget spoke with Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida, who explained a bit further Sony's involvement. "It's a very exciting project and there are lots of PlayStation fans asking for it. But it's a Sega IP and of course Suzuki Yu-san is the creator. So somehow Suzuki-san was able to work out with Sega to allow them to Kickstart the project. And because we liked the project, our third-party relations team struck a deal to help Kickstart the campaign at the E3 conference. That's great PR."

Adam Boyes later stated "we're backing it as well... we're putting scratch in" but that the title will be self-published with Sony helping with the marketing. Had Sony made the decision to fully fund Shenmue 3, Boyes estimates that two years would have been dedicated solely to showing there is a demand for the game, then the process to secure funding would begin, then development would start. Also, in the case of full funding, Shenmue 3 would have been a first party title for Sony, which likely would have waded into murky water as far as licensing from Sega was concerned, as well as with Yu Suzuki's role in the development process.

Yu Suzuki hosted an AMA on Reddit Friday, and while he did not address any of the questions regarding his partnership with Sony (many questions went unanswered due to the popularity of the thread, not just ones regarding Sony), he did say "I will say this: if we reach the $5 mil mark, one of the things I really want to do with Shenmue 3 will become a reality. At $10 million, it will truly have the features of an open world."

Shibuya Productions President & CEO Cedric Biscay, Co-Producer for Shenmue 3, addressed Sony's involvement briefly in several tweets, including one that stated "Sony is providing various supports, including marketing and investment, to YSNet. However, SONY is just one of many backers of [HASHTAG]#Shenmue3[/HASHTAG]." Further clarifying, Biscay wrote "SONY will not get any money from the KS, they will help to finance the PS4 version and will also help for advertisement."

In 2011, Suzuki told Destructoid that Shenmue, released in 1999, cost $47 million to make.

At the time of this posting, Shenmue 3 is the seventh most funded game Kickstarter of all time with nearly $3.5 million pledged and 26 days remaining.
 
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menace-uk-

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Ha! I'm the same. The PS4 / PC only is a slap in the face to Sega fans. The original games were on Dreamcast and Xbox. A lot of Sega players went Xbox (especially when they released the JSRF +Sega GT Xbox bundle). The truth of the matter is that Microsoft should've backed the project ages ago. Now we have Yu Suzuki (the man, the legend) on a Sony stage (the irony) asking for support of his own kickstarter for 2 million. With part of the Sony crowd at E3 scratching their head "who the f*** is this guy, again?"

I am glad that it's coming though. Who knows..maybe someday I can finish my quest on Xbox. Stranger things have happened..
There must be a reason why nobody will back it and they need a kickstarter fund.
 

Edge BC

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There must be a reason why nobody will back it and they need a kickstarter fund.
My cousin has this theory that maybe there was some Dynasty level soap opera s*** going on, where someone slept with his wife on a business venture trip. And now Yu Suzuki refuses to work with somebody at MS. :laugh:

As ludicrous as that sounds. If it was a private hurt pride thing it would make sense. Because now the mighty have fallen and Yu Suzuki was basically shaking a bowl on stage calling out "okane kudasaaaai" for his own kickstarter.

Gamesradar has a better theory:
http://www.gamesradar.com/sony-now-admitting-partnering-shenmue-3-kickstarter-leaves-bad-taste-my-mouth/
 
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menace-uk-

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My cousin has this theory that maybe there was some Dynasty level soap opera s*** going on, where someone slept with his wife on a business venture trip. And now Yu Suzuki refuses to work with somebody at MS. :laugh:

As ludicrous as that sounds. If it was a private hurt pride thing it would make sense. Because now the mighty have fallen and Yu Suzuki was basically shaking a bowl on stage calling out "okane kudasaaaai" for his own kickstarter.

Gamesradar has a better theory:
http://www.gamesradar.com/sony-now-admitting-partnering-shenmue-3-kickstarter-leaves-bad-taste-my-mouth/
I'm confused. So Sony is paying for the game, but they wanted to gauge popularity by lying about kickstarter fund.
 

Plainview

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Hmmm, if we are to believe the statements from people here, it appears sony isn't helping as much as initially thought and are mainly helping to fund the ps4 port and marketing. That is kind of concerning now because this kickstarter has grinded to a halt. It's made what 20-30k today only I think. I'm not really sure what to believe or if people are telling the truth, but it's very clear now that the word of sony's involvement has had a direct negative impact on the kickstarter and funds are trickling in very slowly since that first day.

If that isn't the reason why the kickstarter has slowed down so much then the alternative is even worse. It means that the shenmue fans were just a loud vocal minority that already all backed it during the first day. Which means that when the game actually releases it'll be a commercial flop with no one buying it cause all the fans already backed it and got their copy.

If sony doesn't put in significant development funds then the scope of this game will be very limited. However, I wonder if people will still love it if it ends up being a smaller game because I know a lot of fans just won't to know how the story concludes.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/141291-Sony-Will-be-Involved-in-Marketing-and-Production-for-Shenmue-3
If the first one cost $47 million, I'm not sure how a $5m Kickstarter, and if Sony matches that, doesn't look like they're contributing much, will make this game possible. Something isn't right.
 

Zcythe

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There must be a reason why nobody will back it and they need a kickstarter fund.
Just like there's a reason it's taken over a decade just to get to this point, a weird kickstarter fund at that. I'm just going to say that Shenmue 3 will not live up to its expectations, and very likely won't be fiscally viable either. Shenmue was a good experience when it came out on the Dreamcast way back when, and in many ways very good for its time. There weren't to many good life sims at the time. However, in today's world with the Witcher series, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, etc., there is just too much that has been done and is being done considerably better since then.
 
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Rover

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If the first one cost $47 million, I'm not sure how a $5m Kickstarter, and if Sony matches that, doesn't look like they're contributing much, will make this game possible. Something isn't right.
I can imagine it just being a really small open world game with those funds. Like a 1/10 of the size of gta 5 for example, but with a heavy focus on story hopefully.

They really botched it not being upfront at the start about sony's involvement becauase there's been a lot of articles in the press telling people not to fund shenmue since. They should have been upfront at the start like bloodstained which said the KS was to prove people wanted castlevania and he had secured funding already. That didn't stop people from funding it and it collected 5.5m. However, they never said the source of the funds, so I wonder if that would have made a big difference in this cause since people know Sony is some huge company with money, so it might have still slowed funding down even with upfront knowledge.
 
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Andy

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The Kickstarter page was updated with a little info on exclusivity:

"The answer to the question about additional platform versions now reads: 'Currently we are planning development only for PC (Windows) and PS4. Other platforms have not been decided yet. If other platform versions were added as rewards, an announcement would be made on the update page'."

"This suggests that an Xbox One version could be added as a stretch goal reward."


http://www.videogamer.com/ps4/shenmue_3/news/shenmue_3_kickstarter_update_suggests_xbox_one_version_could_be_added_as_a_reward.html
 

OneBadMutha

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Yu is one of the all time greats in videogame development. Shenmue was ahead of it's time. There's a place on the market for an open world RPG brawler. The reason I bought Shenmue 2 on the OG Xbox was because the concept sounded so cool on paper.

But...the pacing in the first two games won't hold the attention of gamers in Western markets. The appeal of this game is primarily to those that beat the first two games. There isn't many of those in the West. Yu was out of gaming for a long time. He doesn't have his original team. This game won't have the kind of funding necessary to have bells and whistles. If it's a game with any amount of content comparable to the originals, it's a loooong ways away.

It is such a long-shot that this game is close to becoming the sequel Shenmue fans have dreamed about. I think a lot of people got way ahead of themselves due to not understanding what a Kickstarter is. I'm rooting for Yu. If he pulls off a decent sequel, it would make one of the best gaming documentaries of all time. I think he needs a partner.
 

KongRudi

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I can imagine it just being a really small open world game with those funds. Like a 1/10 of the size of gta 5 for example, but with a heavy focus on story hopefully.

They really botched it not being upfront at the start about sony's involvement becauase there's been a lot of articles in the press telling people not to fund shenmue since. They should have been upfront at the start like bloodstained which said the KS was to prove people wanted castlevania and he had secured funding already. That didn't stop people from funding it and it collected 5.5m. However, they never said the source of the funds, so I wonder if that would have made a big difference in this cause since people know Sony is some huge company with money, so it might have still slowed funding down even with upfront knowledge.
They were pretty upfront about it.. :-/

Adam Boyes gave some examples of Kickstarter games wich have been brought to PS4, and then he said 'this next game were not a Sony game, it's the developers own thing' - but it were a game PS-gamers have been vocal about.. And when the developers told Sony they'd make it on Kickstarter, they wanted to highlight it here on stage today..

Also then there came a trailer saying the story of Shenmue were left incomplete - and it ended With Yu Suzuki saying that the fate of Shenmue were in your hands now.. :)

And then they counted down the Kickstarter, and Adam Boyes said let's help Yu Suzuki make Shenmue 3 happen.. Before they moved to the NeXT game:)
It would have been a very boring E3-Conference if we all had to sit through hours of clarigfications of all the deals they made, before even a games budget were Clear, for each game..

On the Kickstarter page, it allways said there were aggregate funding, both by what YS-Net would also put together funding from various investors, aswell as the kickstarter contributors, in the FAQ: As a response to is 2 million enough?

Unfortunately, various gamejournalists - like Ben Kuchera at Polygon, for example - assumed all they'd been told - or could read - were a lie - and then put up articles where it seemed like Sony owned the game, and put it up on Kickstarter, so they could get more money than they allready did from pre-orders, and other stuff, or used it to gauge interest from gamers, for the franchise before fully commiting to it, and various other theories. :-/
 

TOPDAWG

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If the first one cost $47 million, I'm not sure how a $5m Kickstarter, and if Sony matches that, doesn't look like they're contributing much, will make this game possible. Something isn't right.
well it was remade at least once it was for the Sega Saturn at first then moved to DC and for the time the game was far ahead of its' time so a lot of that turned into development cost. Sega also up to that point never did a game like Shenmue. So if you read about the development of the game they spent an insane money getting it running and out.

Now can they do the same with 2 mill I've no idea but funny thing is shenmue is not that big of a game but today's standards. you can also outsorce art and programming to cheap workers over seas and what now where back in the say that was not done much. All the art is done the story all the ground work still should be there unless Sega has it.

Far as the kick starter I don't get people issue it's called kick starter not I will just use the money I make here to fund my game or whatever and never seek any other investors.

 

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Mmm... I get your point about people over-reacting... But it still makes me feel dirty.

The gray area certainly makes me uncomfortable funding it. And the offer for $10,000 grand for a dinner party with Yu? f*** that! I could be face deep in a bowl of cocaine with Miley Cyrus for that money.

The REAL reason why I don't want to ks this with my own money?

I didn't 'get' Shen Mue 2... I paid $109AUD for it back in the day, and tried sooooo hard to enjoy it. But I couldn't. It was a chore for me. I finished it. But I didn't enjoy it. And I don't have fond memories to want another... Unless its a forklift sim.

More forklift, less crappy voice acting.
 

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I also want to add that I'm really happy that the industry has heard the plight of its fans! I hope you guys get the game you deserve after such a long wait!

Now, where is the HalfLife3 kickstarter?
 

Rover

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Update by Suzuki regarding the budget. While I don't think it clears up a ton because people want to know how much Sony is actually putting in, but I guess the statement is better than nothing. They must realize now how much the budget secrecy has hurt this kickstarter but I'm not sure if they can recover from it and hit that 10m.


There have been many questions concerning Shenmue 3’s budget and what outside sources will be added to the money collected through Kickstarter. I apologize for not having been more forthright in this area and would like to take this opportunity to help clarify the situation.

Ys Net and I have been putting in many long years trying to find a way to bring back a sequel that so many fans have waited so long for. After learning of Kickstarter, I knew it would be possible to get Shenmue 3 started. Wanting to make the best game possible, I also knew that I would have to look to more traditional means to obtain all the funds that would be needed to create the game I had envisioned.

Sony and Shibuya Productions have been wonderful partners because they believe in Shenmue and want to see the best for the fans and the game. Their investment in (and support of) Shenmue have helped to realize a sequel that will stand proud with its predecessors. While it is not business practice to discuss the specific details of such arrangements, I can say that with their assistance on the production and marketing end, and in Sony’s case with some publishing support as well, Ys Net is able to use more of the money we collect through Kickstarter purely for Shenmue 3’s development. It is also important to note that your funds are going strictly to Ys Net for development of Shenmue 3 – Sony and Shibuya Productions are not seeing a cent of your Kickstarter dollars.

The outpouring of support from all of you, the backers, has been so inspirational. I cannot thank you enough. Having reached our funding goal, I am excited to say that the Shenmue story will go on, and our journey with Ryo and Shenhua will continue. Fans will be able to enjoy the sequel they have waited so long for, and newcomers to the series will be introduced to a unique gaming experience.

Of course, like with any Kickstarter, additional funding will only help us make a better game. On top of everything Shenmue 3 will already bring, the Stretch Goals that I have laid out will add extra quests, events, and new gameplay systems that will make the game even more immersive and take the series to the next level. At the $5 million mark, there will be an all new gameplay feature I would be excited to be able to add to the Shenmue legacy. If we should make the $10 million Stretch Goal, a much larger, completely open world will be yours to explore.

Even if these Stretch Goals are not reached, Shenmue 3 will already be a sequel true to its name, and one we can all be proud of. It is my hope though, that together we can make this Shenmue just as revolutionary as the first two were.

I understand this statement may by late in coming. Going forward, we wish to be as open as possible concerning the game’s development. I would like to again ask for your cooperation and support in helping make Shenmue 3 the best that it can be.

Sincerely, Yu Suzuki
 

Frozpot

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On budgetary issues, I do think you can do more with less money. UE4 is easy to use, and tools are light-years better than they were back then. I would worry about having to pay voice actors, though. It seems that would eat up most of the money... Guess it's time to bring up Bob, from accounting... I hear he has a nice baritone...
 

KongRudi

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There will be a twitch-chat tomorrow where he's supposed to talk about and answer questions about some of the various mini-games in the villages wich he have planned. :)

In the stretch-goal-video update today he mentioned one minigame in Baisha village, were a siege-game remiscant of 'warring kingdoms', where players would see who came out on top.
Tried googling for warring kingdoms, but just got up league of legends warring kingdoms nidalee, wich I doubt is the game he's talking about. :p
In any case, it seems like these minigames is pretty advanced.

I really like the minigames in Yakuza-franchise, 2 of them in the latest one could have been their own downloadable titles.
I don't know how many hours I played with that spaceship blob-shooter and the boxing manager mini-game, but those games would be perfectly fine as their own downloadable games.
I doubt we'll see minigames that advanced or fun, in Shenmue 3, but we can allways hope.. :p
 

Kassen

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There must be a reason why nobody will back it and they need a kickstarter fund.
Because the first two games had ungodly budgets and low sales. So publishers avoid it like the plague. And now gamers are backing it and very successfully so.