1. What other games have you designed for?
Kobayashi-san: I was in charge of character design for Musashi: Samurai Legend and Mario Hoops 3-on-3, which was developed in Osaka.
2. Are there challenges involved in creating real-world characters as opposed to fantasy characters?
I am more comfortable with real-world characters, so I didnt face any new challenges, personally. The work did require a lot of research with various fashion magazines, for example, because I had to design quite a few NPCs (non-playable characters).
3. How many NPC designs are typically made, and how many of those make it into the final game?
In my experience, a couple of designs are typically killed before each NPC is fixed. The process was unusually smooth with this title, as relatively few designs were turned down.
4. Do you find male or female characters more challenging to design? Which is more fun?
Female characters are harder. Subtle differences in age, for example, are expressed by slight variations in an artists touch. But they also are more fun to design. Their hair and fashion vary widely, so I have plenty of opportunities for exploration.