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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 9:12 am 


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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 872
Location: Sweden
Sumez wrote:
Surprised to still see these "treasure worked on all of these games before forming treasure" speculations, yet it's not too long ago I last time saw someone claiming both Hard Corps and Rocket Knight came from Treasure people, even though both of those games were developed after Treasure was formed.

I've seen no signs of any Treasure employees filling any major roles in any Castlevania or Contra games. Honestly, the only Konami game that seems to feature any relevant constellation of future Treasure people would be Bucky O'Hare (the NES one), but you can easily see how that game would segue into Gunstar Heroes, too.


Suganami and Yaida were main programmers for Contra III: https://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/con ... alien-wars
Maegawa was main programmer for Castlevania Adventure: https://www.mobygames.com/game/castleva ... -adventure
Yaida second programmer for Super Castlevania IV: https://www.mobygames.com/game/super-castlevania-iv
and then, like you said, Hiroshi Iuchi main character designer for Bucky O'hare: https://www.mobygames.com/game/bucky-ohare_
(Castlevania Adventure also featured Treasure composer Norio Hanzawa as one of the three "sound creators" and Kimura as one of the two graphics designers)

This interview from 1997 describes Maegawa's perspective: https://web.archive.org/web/20040826185 ... iews.htm#1

Quote:
Masato Maegawa is a lively character, hammering out words at the same blistering rate as firepower spews from characters' weaponry in his company’s action-led games. He explains how Treasure was created five
years ago and founded on a vision "just to create great games," describing how this vision flew in the face of corporate Japanese publishing where few risks are taken and "certain rules" must to be strictly adhered to. This
desire for personal autonomy rose from years working under such a regime -- many of Treasure’s core employees (including Maegawa-san) previously worked for Konami.

Maegawa-san graduated from university eight years ago and immediately joined Konami as a programmer. It was here that he programmed the Game Boy version of Dracula Densetsu (Castlevania), a game he is quick to point out was "not very good" -- true in some respects, but given that
the game found its way into more than two million Nintendo handhelds worldwide, an example of Japanese modesty. The Super NES classic Castlevania IV is another title in which Treasure’s staff played a part.


And this interview he is translated to say "I Just couldn't stand making more sequels" and he lists Konami stuff they worked on.
https://archive.org/details/Gamefan_Vol ... 9/mode/2up
Quote:
Maegawa: "Basically, Konami is a huge Company, so you cannot create games freely. Konami’s big titles are TMNT, castlevania etc..I just couldn't stand making more sequels, but in order to drive sales sequels must always be made. When I presented my idea for Gunstar Heroes they said "no, it will not sell''. You see, they only want the sure thing because they are such a high profile company."

(...)

"Yes, lately all I see are sequels, or translations of popular arcade games. It is really sad. Consumers are in pursuit of quality and original game designs, but no many third parties are doing them. We are going to develop original games only! To sum it up, we present ourselves a challenge to do new things in the action platform category' we would like to be the company that makes the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive number 1. We will think of a what would be the most fun, and then develop it"


Quote:
Maegawa: "Almost everyone is from Konami, there previous titles include; Qix*, Bucky 0 Hare, and The Simpsons for arcade
and Castlevania 4, Contra 3 and Axelay for the Super Famicom"

*Edit, presumably he meant Quarth


He also talks about the ease of using the 68000 there and that it is suitable for the boss animations they wanted to do.
Quote:
"But the Genesis has a 68000 processor, which is very easy for programmers to work with. I was a programmer for years, making games for the SNES, and I can tell you, the hardware is a pain in the butt. If consumers look at a still shot, they may think SNES is better, but actually, if you tried to put Gunstar Heroes onto the SNES there would be no way. See those bosses?, on the SNES they would slow way down, that movement requires sooo much computation. It could only be done on the Sega hardware."


Last edited by DMC on Mon May 17, 2021 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 1:13 am 


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Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 763
DMC wrote:
Maegawa: "Basically, Konami is a huge Company, so you cannot create games freely. Konami’s big titles are TMNT, castlevania etc..I just couldn't stand making more sequels, but in order to drive sales sequels must always be made. When I presented my idea for Gunstar Heroes they said "no, it will not sell''. You see, they only want the sure thing because they are such a high profile company."

Investors are a blight.


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 1:21 pm 


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Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 3802
Sumez wrote:
Honestly, the only Konami game that seems to feature any relevant constellation of future Treasure people would be Bucky O'Hare (the NES one)

I don't know about the NES game, but I know Hanzawa did the music for the arcade game. He also did Quarth, as well as The Simpsons. That Gamefan bit above seems to have Maegawa saying those are basically Treasure games, so not surprising. I don't know why "Qix" is mentioned, I guess the translator never heard of Quarth.

Basically, Treasure is kinda like CAVE (and CAVE accessories). It started as a bunch of newer hires from Toaplan (Konami) that suddenly had the rug pulled out from under them; in Treasure's case, being locked into sequel hell.
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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 4:43 pm 


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Location: Sweden
Nice catch, yes, he must have meant Quarth. Iuchi and Ishida (main programmer of Light Crusader) was also involved in that. Iuchi is credited as Pop visual futurist, what's that exactly?


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 8:31 am 



Joined: 25 Sep 2019
Posts: 158
Probably art director.


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 4:15 pm 



Joined: 15 May 2021
Posts: 17
Despatche wrote:
Sumez wrote:
Honestly, the only Konami game that seems to feature any relevant constellation of future Treasure people would be Bucky O'Hare (the NES one)

I don't know about the NES game, but I know Hanzawa did the music for the arcade game. He also did Quarth, as well as The Simpsons. That Gamefan bit above seems to have Maegawa saying those are basically Treasure games, so not surprising. I don't know why "Qix" is mentioned, I guess the translator never heard of Quarth.

Basically, Treasure is kinda like CAVE (and CAVE accessories). It started as a bunch of newer hires from Toaplan (Konami) that suddenly had the rug pulled out from under them; in Treasure's case, being locked into sequel hell.

Yeah, this sort of storytelling happens a lot with these spin-off companies. G.rev, also, where people talk about them being the geniuses behind Metal Black and G.Darius, when in reality none of them worked on Metal Black and none of them had senior roles on G.Darius.

A more accurate telling of their legend would be that they were proteges who studied under the Taito shmup masters before taking the torch and striking out on their own.

That applies to Treasure as well. These were mostly younger, hungry developers who wanted more creative freedom, but were mostly just being assigned to licensed games and sequels. But they never really worked together as a team much, and in fact came from totally different divisions (arcade, handheld, console) that seldom overlapped.
Despatche wrote:
I think Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga are the only IPs Treasure actually owns themselves.

No, there are a few. Bangai-O, Silhouette Mirage, Stretch Panic, basically anything that was published by ESP was one of theirs. They also co-own a lot of their stuff, like Sega can't re-release Guardian Heroes without them I don't think.

As for Treasure's current status, it's hard to say if they still have some core staff, but obviously a number of key figures have level. Tetsuhiko Kikuchi and Masaki Ukyo of Guardian Heroes are both at Studio Saizensen (maybe Kanta Watanabe as well), and Hiroshi Iuchi is at M2, of course. A few of their artists are at Squeenix (Oginon, Naokiman, Kaname Shindoh), Yasushi Suzuki and Satoshi Nakai are freelance now, as are all their music guys...

But I think Treasure does maintain some kind of skeleton crew that may or may not included guys like S&P director Atsutomo Nakagawa, Bangai-O (and like all their dope GBA games) director Mitsuru Yaida, their sound guy Satoshi Murata, maybe a few others. I do think they handle their ports in house still, so they have some kind of staff. They make noise occasionally about working on things. It's possible they just quietly do contract work on stuff we never hear about like G.rev.


Last edited by SF Kosmo on Tue May 18, 2021 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 4:25 pm 



Joined: 15 May 2021
Posts: 17
Sumez wrote:
DMC wrote:
impressed by the Mega drive processor

It's literally just a 68000 :D

Quote:
Ironic how their last string of games were all licensed job-for-hire, sequels, and re-releases. A final Burger King game would have been the fitting finale. :mrgreen: Love them though.

I thought the same at the time. I don't remember where I heard it, but I heard the same story probably around the very early 00s, how Treasure wanted to focus on original IPs rather than licenses and sequels, and it really stuck with me. But at the end of the day they've made as many of those as other companies, if not even more. Some of their sequels are pretty neat though.

Makes sense though, that they probably weren't too keen on making that McDonald's game. It's a really awful game, so they probably didn't put much effort into it. It's probably the Japanese game to feel the most like a European Amiga platformer with almost all of the quirks that comes with.

To be honest, I don't know if it was so much an aversion to sequels and licensed titles as it was not being able to pursue original ideas that they wanted to. Like at Konami, they were assigned to work on games that already had pretty rigid, established formats. Here's a Castlevania game, it plays like Castlevania, here's a licensed arcade beat em up, it's exactly like all the others, etc.

The Retro Gamer article mentions that Treasure were the ones who sought out the license for Yu Yu Hakusho, for example, because it seemed like a good fit for what they wanted to do. I've heard they were big fans of the Bleach, Ippo, and Tiny Toons IP as well, and those games are all wonderful. Their sequels were mostly very different from the previous games.

Where I think it gets dodgy is the tie-in anime garbage, like Dragon Drive, Gaist Crusher, like new IP that needs to be developed in short order and launched alongside an anime for little kids. These projects were mistakes for Treasure, full stop, and easily their worst games. For a long time, Treasure had kind of disowned Dragon Drive and didn't even list it on their site. I think those projects damaged their reputation and ultimately GC seems to be the one that did them in.


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 6:35 pm 


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SF Kosmo wrote:
To be honest, I don't know if it was so much an aversion to sequels and licensed titles as it was not being able to pursue original ideas that they wanted to. Like at Konami, they were assigned to work on games that already had pretty rigid, established formats. Here's a Castlevania game, it plays like Castlevania, here's a licensed arcade beat em up, it's exactly like all the others, etc.

This all sounds completely plausible. That's usually a good reason to create a "break out studio".


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 6:03 am 



Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 299
Location: Bakersfield, Ca
Reading all this makes me miss them even more. What a studio. Way ahead of their time. I pretty much knew they were done years ago. Their last original North American game was S&P 2. That was ages ago. Either way they were one of a kind company and I'd support them in a heart beat if they did something new. Glad I at least own many of their games.


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 6:19 pm 


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Posts: 548
I just miss Bangai-O. :c


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 Post subject: Re: Status of Treasure
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 12:47 pm 



Joined: 15 May 2021
Posts: 17
Gamer707b wrote:
Reading all this makes me miss them even more. What a studio. Way ahead of their time. I pretty much knew they were done years ago. Their last original North American game was S&P 2. That was ages ago. Either way they were one of a kind company and I'd support them in a heart beat if they did something new. Glad I at least own many of their games.

I was replaying the first Sin and Punishment this week. Goddamn that game is still so good.


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