Capcom's Kobayashi Talks MT Framework, Multi-SKU DMC4 Development

As part of a new in-depth Gamasutra interview with Capcom's Hiroyuki Kobayashi, the Devil May Cry 4 producer has been discussing Capcom's MT Framework intern
As part of a new in-depth Gamasutra interview with Capcom's Hiroyuki Kobayashi, the Devil May Cry 4 producer has been discussing Capcom's MT Framework internal game engine and the changes made to switch the title from PlayStation 3 exclusive to the Xbox 360. Capcom's internal MT Framework engine was also used to develop Xbox 360-led titles Dead Rising and Lost Planet, and its multi-platform nature has allowed Capcom to switch DMC4's previous PS3-exclusiveness to a PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 platform release list. Capcom's Kobayashi particularly commented on how the team started out Devil May Cry 4's development in 2005: "We started developing this on the PC on the MT Framework -- the internal Capcom engine. The PS3 specs were not finalized at that stage when we started developing it, so we did start to develop it on the PC. By developing it on the PC, it's very easy for us to work with the graphics and the gameplay, and see how the game is going to play. Actually, we're still continuing to develop it on the PC, as well as being able to check how it runs on the 360 and the PS3." The producer went on to discuss exactly how the change, particularly to the Xbox 360, ended up affecting development of the title: "In terms of any problems or any effect it had in the development of the game, we initially didn't have a schedule for releasing it on two platforms simultaneously, so that did have an affect on the amount of work that we had to do. Because we developed it on the same engine -- on the MT Framework -- it wasn't double the work that we had to do, but it probably required about 1.5 times the work and 1.5 times the ability in order to be able to get everything done. There were some changes we had to make, and some extra work that we had to put into it." Finally, with simultaneous development on multiple consoles still relatively rare in Japan, Kobayashi discussed the mindset change inherent in doing things this way round, as opposed to converting a lead SKU at a later date: "As I mentioned before, it does take probably 1.5 times more work than it did before. One of the things that takes up the most time in developing simultaneously on different platforms is that before, we would develop it just for the PS2, and would check it running on the PS2 and make sure that everything's okay. Now, even though we have the MT Framework in place, we still have to check the actual game that the customers are going to play and are going to have in their hands, so that means checking and going through not just the PS3 version, but the 360 and the PC versions, making sure that everything looks okay and runs smoothly. That does take a lot of time, and it really increases the amount of work that we have to do. Having said that, developing it simultaneously for different machines is easier than developing it separately -- developing it for something, and then porting it over onto something else. But it does increase the amount of work that we have to do for the game." The full Gamasutra interview with Kobayashi is now available, including much more detail on the creation of the game, user feedback, and why the protagonist of DMC4 has changed compared to the first three games.

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