How Katsuhiro Harada Achieved Game Balance In Tekken 6

Building new characters into an existing story doesn’t happen without considering game balance. So how did Katsuhiro Harada bring it all together in Tekken 6?

For Part 1 of the interview, see here: Harada Explains: Why Tekken Is Different From Other Fighting Games   From a story perspective, new characters are easily justified by their individual motives for fighting in the tournament. A pink-haired robot, a fat martial arts legend and a Spanish bull fighter are among eight characters introduced in Tekken 6, bringing the total number of characters in the fighting game series to 42. Harada says that achieving game balance with so many characters came down to three things.

“We have a specific team for game balancing, so there’s a few people we have assigned to each character and also the game in general,” Harada explains. “They’re solely dedicated to that aspect of the game.”

Fan feedback is a recurring theme throughout the interview, and Harada refers to it again here by saying that subjective data from a worldwide fan base is an important influence in balancing the game. He also says that the team depends on objective data pulled from servers. “The arcade versions are all tied to a central server, so we’re able to gain a lot of objective data about the win-loss ratios for each character, and other data like perfect wins.”

“Balancing [the game]is something that we can do because the Tekken team has been doing it for close to 15 years now.”

A dedicated team, hard data and experience. If you've already picked up the game, do you think they got it right?


Comments

    So how does he do it? - He gets a team of people to do it for him! Genius!

    Characters are fairly balanced, no questions there. However, the new campaing mode isn't that well balanced. I guess their inexperience in that area shows (I know they have been doing those since Tekken 3, but they never tried seriously). And yes, there's a team that does this, but setting up and coordinating such a team, takes some doing, so It's not like Mr Harada does nothing. That's not to mention making sure they do their job right.

    Aren't the only arcade machines connected to a server in Japan? Thats not what I'd call a 'worldwide fan base'.

    They could have done a better job balancing Heihachi. They just nerfed him by taking out some of his moves, e.g. twin pistons.

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