Capcom's Sugiyama: 'A photorealistic version of Street Fighter 5 existed at one point'

Posted by Cheng Kai 'KarbyP' Sim • February 29, 2016 at 11:48 a.m. PST

Did you know: That Capcom had been kicking around the idea of making Street Fighter 5 as far back as in 2011?

Or that at one point during Street Fighter 5's development, the game actually featured photorealistic visuals instead of the giant-Zangief-hands iteration that we have today?

Those were some of the interesting bits of trivia that popped up during an interview the Japanese online site Game Spark did with SF5 Producer Koichi Sugiyama right before the game was released.

Here at EventHubs we've translated into English an excerpt of the interview that deals with the aforementioned topics, and more -- how did the V-Trigger "fluid trail" visual effects came about? What was the inspiration behind "Hot Ryu"?

Koichi Sugiyama Street Fighter 5 story gallery image #1 Koichi Sugiyama Street Fighter 5 story gallery image #2 Koichi Sugiyama Street Fighter 5 story gallery image #3

Game Spark: To kick things off, please briefly introduce yourself.

Koichi Sugiyama: Hi, my name is Koichi Sugiyama, and I'm the Producer for Street Fighter 5 at Capcom. What that actually means is that, for the most part I'm in charge of promotions and operations for the title, and that includes taking care of the project's financials.

Although the actual Street Fighter 5 creative work is overseen mostly by the game's director, as I do need to know everything about the game for promotional and operational purposes, I'm nonetheless quite well-versed on the subject.

Game Spark: When were you first involved with the Street Fighter series?

Koichi Sugiyama: Previously I was also Producer on Ultra Street Fighter 4 [and that's about it]. This is fairly rare, I think, but prior to being involved with Ultra Street Fighter 4's production, I was actually someone on the management side of the company, handling administrative and enterprise projects.

Game Spark: When did Street Fighter 5's development first begin?

Koichi Sugiyama: The actual development work first began in the summer of 2013. But the idea for Street Fighter 5 itself, however, was something we've been kicking around since 2011. At the time we thought that we should work on an Ultra Street Fighter 4 first, as it would allow us to foster a much stronger Street Fighter community that would lead into SF5.

Game Spark: Since there was an 8-year gap between the development of Street Fighter 4 and 5, were there any difficulties you faced in making the sequel?

Koichi Sugiyama: Well, we really had to work very hard on the game's visuals.

Up until SF3, the series had been rendered in dot-matrix pixel sprites. But for SF4, the grahics were all done with 3D models, and so we had to go through many phases of trial and error in order to nail the same sort of visual impact that the series is known for.

For SF5, as this time around we were working with Unreal Engine 4, which is known for being particularly good at rendering photorealistic visuals, we had to work really hard to try and recreate that same anime-esque look for the game -- so once again we did a lot of experiments, before finally settling on adding "oil painting-esque touches".

In fact, in the very early stages of development, we actually put together a build of SF5 that was rendered in photorealistic graphics. But when we did, we realized that it just wouldn't be Street Fighter without the bold, anime-esque look and feel to the game, so we decided to shelve the whole photorealism idea altogether.

Game Spark: Street Fighter 5 with photorealistic visuals? I'd love to see that.

Koichi Sugiyama: Actually, you can. In the booklet that comes with Street Fighter 5 if you ordered from the e-Capcom store, you can see a single screenshot of that photorealistic build we were running at the time. At this point in time, Ryu had just gotten back from training in seclusion in the mountains, so he's grown a beard and is covered with all these cuts and bruises. The idea to make a "Hot Ryu" battle costume came from this photorealistic build of SF5.

I believe Sugiyama is referring to the Street Fighter 5: Visionary Book e-Capcom, which is an exclusive item that only comes with certain e-Capcom editions of the game in Japan.

If somebody reading this has a copy of the artbook in question, and is able to find the screenshot Sugiyama referred to, please send it in to EventHubs via our "Submit News" form.

Game Spark: Another unique visual aspect in SF5 is the "fluid trails" visual effects (that appears during the V-Trigger activation animation). What was the process that led to the visual effect's inclusion?

Koichi Sugiyama: In Street Fighter X Tekken, we had this "water" effects motif. In Street Fighter 4, it was "ink". So when we began making Street Fighter 5, we thought about what sort of motif we could replace this with.

We tried various different effects, such as "powder" or "light". But everything we tried either made things too difficult to see, or too plain, so we couldn't really find something apt. At this point, we began examining why we even wanted to implement these visual effects in the first place.

And the result was that, we realized that we wanted to, for instance, have these rainbow effects appear in Rainbow Mika's case.

Koichi Sugiyama Street Fighter 5 story gallery image #4 Koichi Sugiyama Street Fighter 5 story gallery image #5 Koichi Sugiyama Street Fighter 5 story gallery image #6

We realized that we wanted to bring out the characters' individual image colors and use it as a representation of each fighter's unique aura. That led us to settle on the "fluid trails" visual effect. By the way, since the effects are a representation of the characters' aura, even if you pick a different costume color, the fluid trails do not change colors.

Game Spark: Was it decided from the very beginning that Street Fighter 5 would be developed using the Unreal Engine 4?

Koichi Sugiyama: No, we were considering a number of different engines at the time. As the Unreal Engine 4 was also still under development at the time, and their team was looking for help on extending the engine's possibilities, we ended up forming a tag-team with Epic Games to help one another out.

Source: Game Spark.

Comments

Unknown_Unknown said on February 29, 2016 at 11:52 a.m.

When's Alex?

#1
Rice said on February 29, 2016 at 11:57 a.m.

We saw it already and it looked more like Virtua Fighter 6 than Street Fighter.

Speaking of Virtua Fighter 6....DO IT!

#2
CKNG said on February 29, 2016 at 12:01 p.m.

because namco is saving it for txsf, right? right?

bipson design looked pretty sick on that old realistic build

#3
DeePhenom said on February 29, 2016 at 12:02 p.m.

can anyone post some screenshots from the booklet he's talking about?

#4
jackpot69 said on February 29, 2016 at 12:04 p.m.

I'm just going to leave this here

http://postimg.org/image/6akpiuvf1/

#5
real_MAHVEL_god said on February 29, 2016 at 12:04 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#6
real_MAHVEL_god said on February 29, 2016 at 12:05 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#7
Dbarcelona said on February 29, 2016 at 12:07 p.m.

Street Fighter the movie the game 2 LOL

#8
Aaqibrawat91 said on February 29, 2016 at 12:12 p.m.

I don't think the jump from 4 to 5 is really that noticeable to be honest.
And I think the stages are really lacking .
The air base stage in SFV compared to the plane in alpha 2 in Nash's stage
Or even the jet from guiles stage in sf2
And even the plane from sf 4 .
We're all awesome in comparison .

It's so lacking in that department the backgrounds are ugly and lifeless, so much is going on in the backgrounds of old sf games .
The SFV backgrounds are lame .

That's my two cents anyway .

#9
CPD_OfficerLi said on February 29, 2016 at 12:17 p.m.

Karby welcome back ! lol havent seen you posting in a while 👊

#10
SaiyajinKiid83 said on February 29, 2016 at 12:17 p.m.

Yeah. Hypa Bomb all day

#11
gouken2008 said on February 29, 2016 at 12:17 p.m.
(This comment was hidden because it was down voted. You can view it by clicking here.)
#12
L said on February 29, 2016 at 12:18 p.m.

Where's a photo/scan from that booklet?

#13
masquedmonk said on February 29, 2016 at 12:24 p.m.

Yeah, other than hopefully what Tekken does with them, I don't personally need to see a photorealistic SF. Being sort of anime-ish is what makes it SF, even with the "realistic" shading that SF2 sprites had.

#14
caruga said on February 29, 2016 at 12:24 p.m.

SF2 was not anime. Would have liked to see it go back to its more realistic roots.

#15
freshtanner92 said on February 29, 2016 at 12:27 p.m.

the backgrounds are not too good, but the 3d models are great for some characters, if only they took their time to finish the game, it would have been a very good looking game

#16
MrPFloyd said on February 29, 2016 at 12:28 p.m.

I'm going to need a name... for research purposes

#17
freshtanner92 said on February 29, 2016 at 12:31 p.m.

instagram.com/nataschaencinosa/

#18
CaptainN2 said on February 29, 2016 at 12:32 p.m.

Sticking to the cartoony style was the right decision by Capcom. It's simply the look of Street Fighter and will ensure that the game still looks decent 15 years later when both MKX and Tekken7 will be seen as archaic.

Of course my dream 3D Street Fighter game looks like this:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/yyTPiR53aII/ma...

#19
Fallenrose777 said on February 29, 2016 at 12:39 p.m.

Seen my brother play the street fighter dlc for asura's wrath and I liked the way street fighter characters looked in that game more than SF4 and SFV.

#20
Sonneillon said on February 29, 2016 at 12:51 p.m.

When's the SF V UPDATE?.

#21
masquedmonk said on February 29, 2016 at 1:01 p.m.

Sure it was. The designs were more realistically proportioned and shaded, sure - but that was still per the style of late 80's/early 90's manga and anime. And even so, you could still spot overly anime-ish touches, like Ryu/Ken' large mouthed happy faces in their victory poses.

I preferred it when they went further with Alpha though. Made the series stand out even more from the plethora of SF2 wannabes back in the day.

#22
LeonX said on February 29, 2016 at 1:09 p.m.

Thanks to keep Street Fighter anime-esque <3

#23
FalsoL said on February 29, 2016 at 1:20 p.m.

So Sfiv graphics are better than MK9 and even MKX. And Sfv graphics will be the best of the best even five years after launch. Great! Another thing that Capcom is great! But people of NRS, not cool, not cool, you are lazy as hell. You should learn of Capcom. Everything touched by that people is an instant success.

#24
SureYouCant said on February 29, 2016 at 1:25 p.m.

*Exchange rate may vary

#25
Hackstermatrix said on February 29, 2016 at 1:29 p.m.

Blah Blah Blah, Just Shut Up And Fix The Game.

#26
Yuru_Juri said on February 29, 2016 at 1:41 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#27
AidanJames said on February 29, 2016 at 1:47 p.m.

The beauty of the game is really only in the motion of characters interacting. Differing animations for whiffed, hit, or blocked heavies for example are fantastic. Facial animation (apart from speech) are KILLER. Watch Necalli's V-Trigger Super for example. Necalli goes through rage, concentration, a "take this" and then a evil troll grin that you can only catch on a kill freeze.

Amazing stuff.

#28
StreamMonster said on February 29, 2016 at 1:50 p.m.

I think this is what he was referring to in terms of the early concept of Ryu looking 'photorealistic':

http://www.shacknews.com/article/9333...

#29
Mac_Gargan said on February 29, 2016 at 1:52 p.m.


The games should aim to look like Shinkiro's artwork! (Period)

That is the apex--for the games to resemble the CAPCOM concept art!

#30
ImaPlayThis said on February 29, 2016 at 1:55 p.m.

Oh my god. Look how cool this picture is

https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/sh...

Imagine if we had that. That would be awesome

#31
Focusflute said on February 29, 2016 at 1:57 p.m.

Would rather have the realistic looking visuals. SF5 looks more cartoony than any of them. No wonder they say games r for kids

#32
Existent said on February 29, 2016 at 1:58 p.m.

That was Tekken vs SF.

#33
TenguKhan said on February 29, 2016 at 1:58 p.m.

You know what man.....bless your heart. That just made my day. You have a blessed day. gawt damn she is sexy asf.

#34
Existent said on February 29, 2016 at 1:59 p.m.

It's amazing how fast people will jump on you for saying something negative about SF5.

#35
Yuru_Juri said on February 29, 2016 at 2:01 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#36
OG said on February 29, 2016 at 2:05 p.m.

Looks like Tekken. I can see why they didn't go this route.

#37
WhiteHot said on February 29, 2016 at 2:06 p.m.
(This comment was hidden because it was down voted. You can view it by clicking here.)
#38
OkieScrub said on February 29, 2016 at 2:13 p.m.

Probably cus the PS4 cannot handle it.

#39
Anabyss said on February 29, 2016 at 2:23 p.m.

I'm forever grateful, love these thick women

#40
UncleBibby said on February 29, 2016 at 2:38 p.m.

man you sound angry... but you got a point. the game is pretty lacking right now.

but honestly i sorta like how sf5 looks, other than the 3d objects clipping thru each other on the character select screen... btw will they ever fix that or is birdie's chain just gonna phase thru itself forever?

#41
therealawest815 said on February 29, 2016 at 2:42 p.m.

WOW! OMG! Thats incredible! I would of loved to play a photo-realistic SF game!

#42
SaitoKojimaU said on February 29, 2016 at 2:44 p.m.

Nah.

If anything, I'm expecting Namco to basically just asset-flip what they currently got for Tekken 7, and just add some SF characters in the same vein of how they handled Gouki/Akuma.

SF characters using the EX Meter and such, and Tekken characters simply playing like Tekken characters.

#43
SaitoKojimaU said on February 29, 2016 at 2:45 p.m.

We'll get a VF6 when SEGA remembers that the franchise even exists as a video game and not just a punchline for a SEGA Hard Girls joke.

*cries*

#44
NotOneOfUs said on February 29, 2016 at 2:46 p.m.

Must give props to the banner.

#45
70desubels said on February 29, 2016 at 2:54 p.m.

Photorealism is kinda boring imo. It makes for limited movement and boring colors. The western anime-ish route that SF 4 and 5 went is much more fun to look at

#46
The_Victator said on February 29, 2016 at 2:56 p.m.

Lmao, just shut the f-ck up kid.

#47
ImaPlayThis said on February 29, 2016 at 3 p.m.

Really? you didn't think those designs were cool at all?

#48
HawtBawls said on February 29, 2016 at 3:03 p.m.

I have to say this is the first time I am commenting simply because the banner is awesome.

#49
BoscaBat said on February 29, 2016 at 3:43 p.m.

You can't asset-flip your own work.

#50
TheCheeze09 said on February 29, 2016 at 4:01 p.m.

If they had gone for a realistic look, maybe we won't get that stupid pixel crawling on character skins/clothes...Can't believe they did not fix that since the beta on the ps4...

#51
zombiebrian said on February 29, 2016 at 4:09 p.m.

That banner has got to be the best in a good while.. well done Karby

#52
paradigmsick said on February 29, 2016 at 4:16 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#53
Yuru_Juri said on February 29, 2016 at 4:19 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#54
KarbyP said on February 29, 2016 at 4:35 p.m.

(`u`) 👊

#55
KarbyP said on February 29, 2016 at 4:37 p.m.

Thanks zombiebrian! When I saw Sugiyama doing that pose with his hands, everything just clicked together.

#56
KarbyP said on February 29, 2016 at 4:51 p.m.

Thanks! The Banner Gods happened to be smiling upon me at the time. XD

My thanks also to HawtBawls (#49).

#57
Wulfsten said on February 29, 2016 at 4:52 p.m.

We went with water effects with SFxT, but for SFV we decided to go for... "fluid trails".

Yet again, SFV is showing that the designers knew they were on the right track with SFxT. The FGC was just too childish to know what's good for them.

Delayed/movement recovery options, easier link mechanics, alpha counters, 3 EX meters instead of 4, footsies dependent gameplay, recoverable life being taken away on throws, etc.

As an SFxT player, feels good.

#58
VileNotice said on February 29, 2016 at 4:56 p.m.

Most of the fluid trails look pretty good, and really accentuate the main colors of each character's design. The exception is Cammy...I wonder why they went for a blue and red scheme for her? Is it a reference to Decapre?

#59
GoldMember said on February 29, 2016 at 5:15 p.m.

HOT DAMN < OMFG

#60
TarTurtle said on February 29, 2016 at 8:18 p.m.

i would have wanted SF5 to be photo realistic, now it's all cartoonish and same old crap, even T7 looks better

thanks EH for the article translation

#61
revoltriot said on February 29, 2016 at 8:40 p.m.

You are correct, Mate.

This is a great aspect of SF that has to remain. I don't want to play an SF with the looks of an MK game. Urrgh!

#62
revoltriot said on February 29, 2016 at 8:44 p.m.

Huummm, no. While I think the art of Shinkiro is amazing, I don't think it represents SF. The first game that comes to mind when I see one of his works is KOF.

#63
SureYouCant said on February 29, 2016 at 8:46 p.m.

The colours of the Union Jack, UK's flag.

#64
revoltriot said on February 29, 2016 at 8:58 p.m.

They made the right choice. This is what SF is. People saying they want photo realistic don't understand the art involved in an SF game.

You can always have MK or Tekken to see something like this. We have also, a possibility in the crossovers Capcom develops.

SFV graphics are not perfect (clipping, clipping, clipping), but it retains what is needed to represent an SF title.

#65
SureYouCant said on February 29, 2016 at 9:47 p.m.

This.

Shinkiro's pseudo-realistic similar face artstyle just screams "THE KEENG OF FAITURS".

#66
ImaPlayThis said on March 1, 2016 at 1:01 a.m.

I disagree. I'd love Ryu and Bison to have those alts in SFV at some point

#67
SSfox said on March 1, 2016 at 2:28 a.m.

"At the time we thought that we should work on an Ultra Street Fighter 4 first, as it would allow us to foster a much stronger Street Fighter community that would lead into SF5."

Did you see that Namco... Did YOU SEE THAT???

#68
Roxnroll said on March 1, 2016 at 4:33 a.m.

Oh man, he was released at 0:01 last night! We!'re all playing him, he's amazing! Did you not get it?
There's also the shop with some outrageously provocative costumes like a see through dress for Karin!
Did you not see any of that?
They also released a new stage in a female public bath!

#69
GodPride said on March 1, 2016 at 3:34 p.m.

Goddamn it. Now, I'm going to be transfixed hovering over her images for a good hour.

#70
XxAngelChunLixX said on March 1, 2016 at 8:40 p.m.

*wink* <3

#71


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