Interview with Takuya Yamazaki, Kingdom Conquest II Server Programmer
Most of the time we hear about designers, artists, and writers of games as they are the ones who dream up the worlds that we spend a lot of our time in. However, it’s always important to remember that all these dreams would never become reality without the dedicated efforts of the engineers behind the scenes. So, in the hopes of helping you all understand what kind of challenge this is, we sat down with Takuya Yamazaki, the Server Programmer on Kingdom Conquest II, to hear what he has to say about his profession!
Takuya Yamazaki, Kingdom Conquest II Server Programmer
1. Thanks for joining us! Before we dive in to what you do for SEGA, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do on Kingdom Conquest II?
I am in charge of creating the game logic and designing the server infrastructure for KCII. I’ve always wanted to work in the game industry, so my dreams really did come true.
2. Engineers are always in high demand at tech-based companies, and gaming companies are no exception. Did you always want to work in games?
Yep, sure. I always wanted to be a game programmer since I was in elementary school. At the time, I made a game using the Z-80 Assembler language on an 8-bit PC, and submitted it to a magazine. You could say that I've been a programmer for over 30 years!
3. What kind of games have you worked on in the past? How did you come to work on Kingdom Conquest II?
I was involved in a lot of game programming and development. Specifically, action games like Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Super Monkey Ball 3DS, and simulation games like Sakatsuku, and Yakyutsuku (soccer team and baseball team management games). All in all, I've been a part of around 25 different game titles.
4. KCII has an immersive and complex world, with many players on a single world server, and lots of information being passed back and forth. What are some of the challenges and/or unique solutions that you’ve come upon in your work?
There are a lot more things going on in KCII than its previous title. Due to this, a lot more data is being used. Figuring out how to effectively and speedily manage this data was probably the biggest challenge. A lot of optimization and fine-tuning was done after launch, and the game is a lot more responsive when compared to the beginning.
5. What kind of things have you implemented in KCII that seem easy to the average player, but are actually incredibly complex?
The servers become really stressed when large amounts of players attempt to take down the Debris Tower at once. In addition, there are other players who also want to play the game in their usual way. This may seem like a simple task, but actually turns out to be one of the most complex tasks. Whenever a large group of players strategize and attack at once, we can hear the servers doing their very best on keeping up with the players' requests.
6. What’s the most enjoyable part of your work on KCII?
This applies to all online games, but getting immediate player feedback is probably the most enjoyable part. There are a lot of dedicated players in KCII, so a lot of the quick responses we get help us out a lot.
7. What type of games would you like to work on in the future?
KCII is well known for thousands of players and Alliances fighting amongst each other. I would love to create a strategy game that is even larger than the scales we can see in this game.
8. To wrap up, we always ask a fun question when we do these interviews. So, in that vein, if you had to pick only one game to play for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword. It's been a very long time since its launch, but I still play it to this day. I have a feeling this game is going to keep me entertained for a very, very long time.
9. Wait, one more question… if you can have a sidekick which video game character would it be?
As the creator, I'm very attached to AiAi from Super Monkey Ball. Hanging out with AiAi on an island and eating some bananas together would be an amazing getaway.
Yamazaki-san created AiAi from Super Monkey Ball!
KC2 on the AppStore
KC2 on Google Play
KC2 on Amazon