Capcom is hoping that its PlayStation 4 free-to-play game Deep Down will offer a "realer than real" experience by boasting incredible visuals and unique audio features, among other things.
Senior manager of consumer games development Teruki Miyashita spoke at length about the game in a new interview, addressing topics such as graphics, the game's business model, online features, and more.
In a Capcom-prepared interview, Miyashita said the power of the PS4 has allowed the developer to "incorporate more incredible graphics than ever before" with Deep Down.
"We're focusing on things like how to recreate real life gases and liquids, such as flames and running water," he said. "In addition, we can now portray minute details, such as the degree of rust in weapons and dirt on a piece of cloth."
Miyashita also revealed a new Deep Down audio feature that he says will help players stay "fully immersed" in the game.
"Creating a feeling of realism is critical, and this holds true for the sounds," he said. "For instance, the voices of the 'mementos (emotions)' come from the TV speakers at first, but after you pick up a certain object, you hear the voices coming from the controller in your hands. Say you put something in your pocket, you'll hear the sound right there near you--we can now offer you that kind of a 'realer than real' gaming experience. This feeling of being 'fully immersed' is of utmost priority to us."
Also in the interview, Miyashita said he hopes Deep Down can enjoy a ten-year lifespan, with the developer constantly monitoring feedback and adjusting the game as a result of what players have to say.
"Major updates are released regularly under a planned schedule," he said. "We expect for each new update to already be under development by the time we launch a certain service. We've drafted a schedule that looks far ahead for several years. "We're looking at a ten-year span for the online games."
Miyashita went on to say that in the first three years following Deep Down's release, Capcom will pore over fan feedback and, if it needs to, adjust its previously planned content roadmap.
"If we prepared five plans at the start of the service and two of them gained positive responses from the users, we will further develop those two and reform and transform the other three plans that didn't work out," he said. "Thus we can bring the service closer to what our users want and can enjoy for years to come. Even though we have already planned a schedule for a ten-year-period, we're always open to modifications."
Miyashita further stated that, while he'd be "overjoyed" if players got excited about Capcom's own plans for Deep Down, he recognizes that this might not happen.
"It could go either way, but I think the best part of online game development is to keep engaging in these types of interactions all the time," he said.
Speaking generally about Deep Down, Miyashita added that the game "boasts a brand new gaming experience which is unlike a traditional dungeon-based game." He's keeping specific details about how Deep Down will push the genre forward, however, under wraps for now.
Miyashita also addressed Deep Down's online mode, saying "we're thinking of some new team play ideas" for multiplayer. He added that the game will also boast an "all-player gaming experience" that will allow players to "be aware of the other players that are currently connected to the online gaming environment." No further details were shared.
Regarding Deep Down's free-to-play business model, Miyashita said offering the game for free means it will reach gamers who might otherwise overlook it.
"We don't want to just release a traditional packaged game where the business ends as soon as the packaged game has been sold," he said. "Try it out, have fun, and keep playing. That's the way we're hoping things will work out."
Miyashita acknowledged that free-to-play, a sometimes controversial business model, represents new territory for Capcom. But it's a model that could become ubiquitous in the future, and Capcom wants to be among the leaders of the pack, he said.
"This business model has already been popularized by browser games and applications for smartphones," Miyashita explained. "This could become a standard in the future. Although there's always pressure when any unusual initiative takes off, I think it's worth trying."
Capcom has not yet set a release date for Deep Down. Miyashita asked fans for "a bit more patience," adding that the developer is "putting our shoulder to the wheel" to get the game ready for release.