New Shogun 2 Dev Diary

Sitting Japanese-style around a low table, with a rack of swords prominently displayed in front of them, seven Shogun 2 developers shared their thoughts about Creative Assembly’s forthcoming behemoth. Though they all touched on different points, they all seemed immensely proud of their game, particularly because of the way it represented a return to the company’s roots, which stretch back to the release of Shogun: Total War in 2000.

Authenticity, also, was clearly an important aspect of the development process, and everyone who appears in the videos mentions it at some point. Visual elements were inspired by the films of Akira Kurosawa. The Taiko drumming on the soundtrack was meticulously composed. A famous Japanese calligrapher was contracted to create the logo forĀ  the game. In some ways, this attention to detail made the designers’ jobs easier — as one of them points out, the large flags that feudal samurai wore on their backs were a very “UI-friendly” piece of military technology.

By far the most impressive, element of this authenticity, moreover, is the lush Japanese-style woodblock art, which is found practically everywhere in the game. Turns out that Creative Assembly spent months training one of its artists to work in that style, which resulted in the evocative battle scenes included in the title. His success was so total, it turns out, that people kept asking for permission to reproduce the work, fearing that it belonged to a museum or a private collector. “No, really, its ours,” communications manager Kieran Briben would have to insist.

More insights from Kieran and his colleagues follow, in the two videos below.

Need a leg up in the game’s historical battles? Check out our Shogun 2 Walkthrough!

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