Yu Suzuki has been feeding Shenmue 3 Kickstarter backers a few morsels in the form of an update, detailing how the sequel fits in with the rest of the saga and where development is at right now.
Shenmue was envisioned as an 11-chapter saga, with Shenmue II ending with chapter five. Its sequel will continue the fifth chapter of Ryo’s journey, as well as moving past chapter six.
“The story has been written to align with this structure; and the planning for the game elements that will go along with the story have been completed,” Suzuki told backers. “This project was conceived to be scalable, since the game would necessarily need to be adjusted based on the Kickstarter.”
Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter goal of $2 million was smashed in record time, and the campaign ended up with pledges in excess of $6 million, meaning that a slew of stretch goals were hit, including new quests, battles and mini games.
According to Suzuki, the game’s systems, like its script, have already been planned out.
“The basic systems have been put in place and we are currently testing the Destruction (when objects break) and High Ground (environmental interactivity) effects.”
He also notes how much things have changed since development of Shenmue II, and how that’s made things a little easier and cheaper.
“Unlike the development from 15 years earlier, we have assets already available to us and we are in an era where we can create prototypes even without a programmer. Programs, artwork and planning have become more closely related, realizing a new type of work flow for a new age. This new work flow utilizes both game engines, which used to be very expensive, and allows for work to be done on a more open, individual basis. I hope this will lead to everyone more fully enjoying their work.”
Shenmue 3 is expected out at the end of 2017.