Virtua Fighter 2/Development
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Model 2 version
Virtua Fighter 2 was developed alongside the Sega Model 2 arcade system board, which itself debuted in 1993. In order to produce the game's filtered, texture-mapped characters and backgrounds, Yu Suzuki turned to Lockheed Martin, formerly General Electric Aerial & Space, which charged $2 million to use the texture mapping chip of their flight simulation equipment that cost $32 million overall. Despite some reluctance on Sega's part, Suzuki managed to convince them to buy the chip for $2 million, and he then worked with his AM2 team to convert it for video game use.
Using the Lockheed Martin technology, his AM2 team eventually managed to create a graphics chip that could be mass-produced for $50 each. As a result, he was able to use texture mapping for the Virtua Fighter 2 characters. In order to produce better animations for the characters, the team also utilized motion capture animation technology, which had previously been limited to the healthcare industry and never used before by the video game industry.
Four new characters were originally designed for Virtua Fighter 2, however only Shun and Lion were included in the final game as the other two were deemed too similar to earlier characters. No traces of these two scrapped characters exist in the game, having never made it past the concept stage. The smaller lineup of characters was also to encourage "emotional attachments" to the fighters, which was felt might have been lost if too many were selectable.
Development on the Saturn version began shortly after the release of the Saturn port of Virtua Fighter in December 1994, however development on the title did not take precedence at AM2 until after the release of the Saturn Daytona USA and the Sega Graphics Library (SGL), the latter developed by AM2 to greatly assist third-party Saturn development which at this point had been struggling with the hardware. Virtua Fighter 2 was the showpiece for SGL, with a texture-mapped Pai moving at 60FPS being demonstrated on the 24th March, 1995.
AM2 compiled a rolling demo for the '95 Tokyo Toy Show in June, where animations of Lion, Shun, Pai and Lau were demonstrated running at 60FPS. A "20% complete" version appeared at ECTS Autumn 1995 and IFA 1995 over the summer, now with more characters, but noticably missing elements, such as Sarah's ponytail.
By the autumn screenshots of a new build was being circulated in the press, now with a heads-up display and more developed characters, but still lacking many features. Throws were implemented in the game, but punches and kicks would not do damage. Shun was rendered abnormally large (while also missing his bottle), and none of the characters were yet to receive shadows. A further (playable) build was demonstrated at Amusement Machine Show 1995.
- www.1up.com/features/disappearance-suzuki-part-1?pager.offset=2 (archived: 2013-11-13 17:41)
- EGM², "February 1995" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 96
- EGM², "February 1995" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 46
- Sega Magazine, "June 1995" (UK; 1995-05-15), page 8
- Sega Saturn Magazine, "November 1995" (UK; 1995-10-26), page 40
- Sega Saturn Magazine, "November 1995" (UK; 1995-10-26), page 41
- Sega Saturn Magazine, "November 1995" (UK; 1995-10-26), page 46
- MAXIMUM, "February 1996" (UK; 1996-xx-xx), page 114
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