Blog:Five with Akira Sakuma

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CRV (talk) 09:15, 10 January 2013 (CST) [permalink] [comments]

I've been talking to Akira Sakuma, a programmer who had stints at Data East and TAD and worked on such games as Psycho-Nics Oscar and Toki. Here are five interesting bits from our conversation:

1) Game Career Timeline: Joined Data East in April 1983 / Joined TAD in July 1988 / Joined Use in March 1993

2) The first game Sakuma worked on was the arcade shooter Zaviga, on which he was a sub programmer. Zaviga was soon revised into B-Wings/Battle Wings, and Sakuma was promoted after the main programmer of Zaviga left Data East.

3) Psycho-Nics Oscar, an arcade action game, was the first game on which Sakuma was in charge of planning and programming. While making the game, he thought hard about how a robot would operate. One thing you can do is cancel a jump by pressing down, referred to by Japanese players as an "Oscar Jump."

3 1/2) Sakuma wanted to add more features, but there was not time to put them in. However, G-Mode, which now owns the rights to Oscar, has shown interest in doing a sequel if the opportunity arises.

4) It seems TAD founder Tadashi Yokoyama still holds the rights to the old TAD games. Golgoth Studio made a deal with him, with Sakuma acting as an intermediary, to do their remake of Toki.

5) Use was responsible for the conversion of Strider included with Strider 2 for the PlayStation. Sakuma remembers borrowing the arcade source code and PCB from Capcom to use as reference material.

BONUS Last year, Sakuma was able to gather over 20 people from Data East and TAD on Facebook and had a year-end party with them.

Comments

Scion said ...

<comment date="2013-01-14T17:45:25Z" name="Scion" url="http://www.lscmainframe.net/" signature="Scion, LSCM Webmaster (talk)"> Naturally, I am super curious about #5 on that list. Looking forward to seeing whatever else you choose to publish from this conversation. </comment>

CRV said ...

<comment date="2013-01-18T14:00:16Z" name="CRV" url="http://gdri.smspower.org/" signature="CRV (talk)"> Comments on Strider:

>Some Strider fans are interested in more information about the PlayStation version. Was it written from scratch?
Yes.

1. The first, I made an original game framework for Playstation. (C
language)

2. I and Takashi Nishizawa analyzed the source code of Strider borrowed
from CAPCOM. (Motorola 68000 Assembly language)

3. Picture ROM of the arcade version was read in windows PC, and Takashi
Nishizawa was converted for Playstation.

4. I rewrote the program of the display of the picture of the arcade
version for Playstation.

5. I rewrote the joystick input program of the arcade version for pad of
Playstation.

6. The hero, the enemy, the background, the trap, and etc were
programmed by four people in total including me.
(Akira Sakuma / ???. Mizosoe / Tatsunori Yumoto / Yuji Nashimoto)
Of course, the game title, a demonstration, and clear stage attraction
,etc. are contained.

7. Because Mr. mizosoe programmed BGM and the sound effect, I do not
know a detailed thing.

And more...
Now, I have the source code of Playstation edition Strider1 in my old PC.


> Do you know who did Strider 2?
I'm sorry. I dont know.
It was only strider1 that USE undertook.

</comment>

CRV said ...

<comment date="2013-02-04T23:01:39Z" name="CRV" url="http://gdri.smspower.org/" signature="CRV (talk)">

> Did someone from Use design that loading screen?
The loading screen is not a thing designed in USE. 
I examined the development document of Strider1 that I owned. 
The loading screen data was sent from CAPCOM according to it on October
30, 1998.

</comment>