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Developing Binary Domain for the western market

3:00 PM on 02.01.2012 // Conrad Zimmerman
  @ConradZimmerman

[This is the fourth entry in a series of exclusive guest blogs from the development team at Yakuza Studio on Binary Domain. Lead Game Designer Hiroyuki Sakamoto describes the combat in the game. Binary Domain will be out on February 28 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Stay tuned to Destructoid for more guest blogs up to the release!]

Hiroyuki Sakamoto – Lead Game Designer

Binary Domain is set in 2080 Japan, where the country has become very exclusive. It’s a cover-based shooter, which is the most popular in the third person shooter genre. However, third person shooter games sell a lot less in the Japanese market compared to the Western market, and I feel it’s a shame that such a highly developed genre is not accepted in Japan. Our Yakuza series has been a big hit in the Japanese market, and I think this is because the story-oriented style that the Japanese players tend to like worked well to encourage the players to go deeper into the game world, resulting in making the game something unforgettable for the players. We’re very excited to see how all the knowledge we obtained through the Yakuza developments would be accepted from the Western players.

However, currently the Western game market does not favor long movie scenes, so with Binary Domain we worked very carefully to not to slow down the pace of the gameplay.

The game provides a high-pace gameplay style while unfolding the story in playable areas as much as possible. These are, of course, the basics of a good video game, and we have developed Binary Domain by pushing such basics to a higher level and introduced the Consequence System with voice recognition to offer a new squad combat system that allows ally NPCs to be used to the fullest extent. In other words, Binary Domain offers the ultimate strategic gameplay that is possible only for a squad shooter; one that has not been done for a game where you only control the main character. This will be the big key for Binary Domain when we introduce ourselves to the Western market.

Binary Domain takes place in the future, but the game mainly uses advanced versions of current realistic weapons rather than wholly unknown futuristic weapons. This way, the squad combat will feel familiar, while you are also experiencing the new Consequence System. The game will of course offer some unique weapons in addition to the traditional weapons, like EMP grenades that will confuse the enemy robots’ AI.

We have also created the game world that includes a wide variety of level designs and features, such as highway car chases in the future version of Tokyo, or battles on jet skis. I hope you enjoy all of them!


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Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
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An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory

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