Yu Suzuki has offered his Kickstarter backers a new look at Shenmue 3, offering an update that's an abridged version of a talk the veteran designer recently gave at the Chuapp X 2015 event in China.
Suzuki's talk went into detail about the scope of Shenmue 3 and where it fits into a series which was originally to comprise 11 chapters, with the first Dreamcast game taking in the first chapter while its sequel featured the second chapter as well as elements of the fourth and fifth.
"The composition for Shenmue 3 has been finalised, and will begin with Chapter 5 as the continuation of Shenmue 2, to move on past Chapter 6," wrote Suzuki in the update. "The story has been written to align with this structure; and the planning for the game elements that will go along with the story have been completed. This project was conceived to be scalable, since the game would necessarily need to be adjusted based on the Kickstarter."
Suzuki also teased the return of Ine-san, the housekeeper players will be familiar with from the the first game, and detailed the progress made so far on Shenmue 3.
"The basic systems have been put in place and we are currently testing the Destruction (when objects break) and High Ground (environmental interactivity) effects," Suzuki said in the update. "Unlike the development from 15 years earlier, we have assets already available to us and we are in an era where we can create prototypes even without a programmer. Programs, artwork and planning have become more closely related, realizing a new type of work flow for a new age. This new work flow utilizes both game engines, which used to be very expensive, and allows for work to be done on a more open, individual basis. I hope this will lead to everyone more fully enjoying their work."
Shenmue 3 broke Kickstarter's funding records for a video game soon after it went live at E3 this year, and is on schedule for a launch at the end of 2017. We caught up with Suzuki at this year's TGS to check in on its progress, and found the director of classics such as OutRun and Virtua Fighter to be hard at work on the keenly awaited sequel.