The folks over at the Japanese site Gamespark recently got to sit down with one of the producers of Street Fighter V, Koichi Sugiyama. One of the key moments of the interview was when Sugiyama was when he said that they considered a photorealistic build during early stages of production.
Below is the excerpt from the interview translated from Japanese to English…
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.