INTERVIEW BY: ANDRE PEREIRA REGO, FABIO ZAMPROGNA DOS SANTOS, LUIZ NAI, MATHEUS MAGALHÃES AND NICHOLAS SØREN KRESS.
Power Stone is one of the most beloved games for the Sega Dreamcast! Coming out of the most famous Capcom’s 2D fighting games formula, Power Stone was released as a 3D fighting game, where the Player has skills to use attacks and pick up objects such as tables, chairs, stones and bombs and of course the Power Stones, which when collected they gave the character a more powerful version of themselves.
To talk about this revolutionary game, we interviewed the game producer Takeshi Tezuka.
Hello Takeshi-san, thank you for agreeing to have this interview with us. For those who aren’t familiar with your work, could you tell us a little about yourself and your career in videogames?
I joined Capcom in 1990. I was assigned to the arcade game development department and my most notable games for the arcade era were “X-Men” and “Marvel Super Heroes”. After that I’ve produced PowerStone, releasing both the arcade and console games at the same time, and later worked for a while on Consumer Service Development. In 1999, I moved to the Mobile Development Department to develop mobile games, and was later appointed Vice President of Mobile Content. My best known smartphone game is Street Fighter IV.
In 2014, I left Capcom and established Mugen Combo Co., Ltd. as an independent company. I work as a freelance producer and develop games for smartphones.
How was your experience working at Capcom? What projects did you work on during your time there?
My first project after joining Capcom was Three Wonders, it was a title that offered three games on one board.
I was in charge of the title “Chariot – Adventure through the sky”. I remember that I joined the team about two months after joining the company. I also worked on an action game called Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, it’s a side-scrolling action game similar to Final Fight’s style.
I can’t remember the number of mobile games I’ve worked on, but I’ve been involved in every mobile game released up to 2014 in some way.
There’s some speculation online that the game Power Stone borrows its name from a weapon on Rockman 5. Is there any truth in that? If not, where did the inspiration for the game come from?
The name PowerStone has nothing to do with Mega Man.
It was Capcom’s tradition to give the game a simple name that is easy to understand, so I named it PowerStone to make it easier to recognize the fighting game-like word “Power” and the system of collecting stones.
Is it true that, at first, Power Stone was planned to be released on Matsushita M2, 3DO’s successor? If so, what development stage did this version reach?
It is true that when we started development we were developing on a different board, it was difficult because the specs of the board changed in the middle of the project.
After the project migrated to Naomi and Dreamcast systems, what was it like working with SEGA and their hardware?
What I remember most is that it took a long time to burn GD-ROM and there were many burning failures.
We developed until midnight and then burned GD-ROMs for the next day’s morning tests, but it took about four hours to burn them and there were so many failures that I had to set my alarm for 4 a.m. and take a nap, then burn them again if they failed.
Also, Capcom’s culture was to start work at 9:00 a.m. even if you had stayed up all night, but Sega’s culture was that some people only worked late at night, so when there was a problem with the board, we were only able to contact them at midnight.
Is it true that, early in development, Power Stone’s gameplay was supposed to feel similar to Street Fighter’s?
It was designed as a fighting game for people who don’t play fighting games, so the gameplay was completely different from Street Fighter from the beginning.
However, many gamers had a preconceived notion that since it was made by Capcom, it would be like Street Fighter.
We’ve heard that the game was planned to have a mode with bombs like on Bomberman, but there wasn’t enough time to implement it. Can you tell us a little about it?
There were a number of games that I used as references when I was first developing Power Stone, one of them is a game called “BUTASAN” by DataEast. It’s a game where pigs fight by throwing bombs at each other.
That might have been misrepresented as “Bomberman”.
The public in general received Power Stone very well. In fact, there was a huge following in Brazil because the Anime aired on an over-the-air TV channel. Did you know your game has been so much loved overseas?
I didn’t know that the “PowerStone” anime was also broadcasted in Brazil and that the game was popular there.
Sometimes I saw posts about PowerStone on Facebook, but I couldn’t read them very well because they were in Portuguese.
“I wonder what country they were from?” I thought back then.
Recently, you tweeted that you’d like to work on a Power Stone remake. How likely do you think this will be?
I don’t work for Capcom anymore, so I don’t think there’s much of a chance, but the people who made “PowerStone 2” still work for Capcom, so I’m sure they’ll make a great sequel.
I’d be happy to be involved in some way.
After working on Power Stone, you were very successful on mobile games. What have you been doing in your career since then?
I love arcade games, which anyone can play even if they don’t have a game console. I left Capcom because I wanted to develop games not for consoles but for mobile devices, which everyone has.
I’m not very good at playing games, so I want to create games that even people who are not good at playing games can enjoy.
I also want to pass on the knowledge I gained at Capcom about how to make games to young people, so I am now teaching at a school for young people who want to enter the game industry.
I’d like to thank you on behalf of all Brazilian fans for this interview.
Este trabalho está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons – Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.