Shenmue 3 Creator Updates Backers on Size of Story and Combat Development

Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki has updated Kickstarter backers on the development of Shenmue 3, detailing the scope of the game's story and the current state of aspects such as environments and battle mechanics. The backer update was an abridged version of a recent presentation Suzuki gave at Chuapp X in China.
"I have recently spent a little time in China to promote and do research for Shenmue 3," he said. "I was able to give a give a presentation at the Chuapp X 2015 on the beginning of how I first started making Shenmue, the changing of the times along with the changes in technology, and the work flow of Shenmue 3’s production. I would like to share a portion of that presentation with you."
According to Suzuki, the complete Shenmue story--including the first two games--is made up of 11 chapters. Shenmue 1 and Shenmue 2 covered the first two chapters in their entirety, along with small portions of chapters four and five. The third game in the series picks up from this point.
"The composition for Shenmue 3 has been finalized, and will begin with Chapter 5 as the continuation of Shenmue 2, to move on past Chapter 6," he said. "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."
Continuing, he explained how the crowd-funding and development project was "conceived to be scalable, since the game would need to be adjusted based" on backing response.
"Following along with the game work flow, we have now begun our baseline research work with UE4," he added. "I find this to be the most exciting phase of the game development. Having completed the baseline research, we will then move on to the GDD (game design document) and TDD (test-driven development) processes. Once these steps have been completed, actual production will begin."
Discussing the game's combat, he said "the basic systems have been put in place" and the team is now testing object destruction and environmental interactivity.
"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."
He also showed off screenshots of a room and a forest from the game, which you can see in the images below.
Click image to view in full screen
The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter was revealed during Sony's E3 press conference, and it was funded in record time. By exceeding $2 million, a number of the project's stretch goals have also been met. This has effectively expanded the scope of the game to include a skill tree and a rapport system, as well as additional quests and expanded areas.
Series creator Yu Suzuki previously said that, for it to be a "true open world" game, funding would need to hit at least $10 millionand provided a way for people to continue donating.Asked about this, Suzuki said he wouldn't be disappointed if that figure wasn't reached as he "will make what [he] can within the budget from your money."
Shenmue 3 is scheduled to come to both PC and PlayStation 4. Sony is helping to market and produce Shenmue 3, but won't be receiving any of the money raised through Kickstarter.
Ys Net has said it is aiming for a December 2017 launch for Shenmue 3.

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