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Bayonetta's combat design philosophy: Creating a direct link to your brain

For Bayonetta 2 game director Yusuke Hashimoto, responsiveness is paramount in combat gameplay, and reached through close communication between designer and programmer.
"One of the big things for the combat in the game, as a designer, was having almost a direct link to your brain."
- Yusuke Hashimoto, director on Bayonetta 2, in a new Gamasutra interview. The original Bayonetta was known for its tight combat, and that was no accident. Yusuke Hashimoto, director on the game's Wii U-exclusive sequel, says when it comes to responsiveness of controls, there can be no compromise. "This also applies to the first Bayonetta, but one of the big things for the combat in the game, as a designer, was having almost a direct link to your brain -- having no inconsistency between what you were thinking and what you wanted the character to do, and what was happening on screen," Hashimoto told Gamasutra in an interview published today. "Of course, that all depends on responsiveness, and that all depends on feel. The main thing was to put effort into achieving that," he said. "You can take that kind of advice in different ways, depending on the person, but that would be my advice. "And, of course, that responsiveness relies heavily on a good framerate, being at 60 frames per second. So that was also a really important element to achieve that initial goal of responsiveness." Hashimoto stressed the importance of having a highly-competent battle programmer who can interface with designers. "A lot of that [tight gameplay] comes down to the battle programmer, Don-san," Hashimoto said. "His sense of being able to establish a feeling that feels right, but also to counter that with the visual representation of something -- so something might feel right, but doesn't necessarily have that action reflected on the screen -- is something that he's very good at." Hashimoto added, "From a design perspective, we throw things at the battle programmer. We can come up with materials that say, 'We'd like it to be this way.' We have requests. In that sense, we do leave it up to the programmer. There's discussion of small things -- 'Bring this more to the forefront' or 'implement it in this sense' -- but essentially a vision that's then implemented and allowed by the skill of the programmer." For more from Hashimoto and game producer Atsushi Inaba, check out the full interview.

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