If you played Ninja Gaiden 3 and found that it didn’t run perfectly smoothly, would you turn your back on the series? That’s what Peter Garza of developer Team Ninja thinks. In fact, he’s so certain that a lack of fluidity would ruin the game that maintaining the framerate at 60fps – despite the impressive graphical touches – was an enormous priority during development.
Speaking in an interview with BeefJack to be published this week, Garza explained: “Team Ninja is known for smooth movement and great combat. Even if we’re trying to work in these visual metaphors [such as Ryu’s glowing arm], we want to preserve that core gameplay, so having it run at 60 frames per second with animation that is as smooth as we can get it – that is extremely high priority for us.
“If we lose that we lose our existing fans and we lose what Team Ninja has been know for,” he added.”
So, Garza explained, the team worked on maintaining that framerate first, then added visual flourishes on top once they knew they wouldn’t detract from the fluidity of the game.
“It’s an on-going process,” he said, “and during development we will see the frame-rate slow and say ‘right, we can’t put that in there, so let’s rework that’.”
Garza is a rare Western developer working on an Eastern game. But in the same interview, he said people place too much emphasis on this distinction. “I don’t hear people talking about Swedish game design for Battlefield 3,” he joked.