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Miami Law Q&A with Victor Ireland

June 17, 2009

Miami Law Q&A with Victor Ireland

by Amy Yu

You've already seen our "Behind the Crimescenes" feature and the Hudson Japan devteam's Q&A, but we still wanted to know more about MIAMI LAW. So we had more questions for Victor Ireland, the CEO of Gaijinworks and the Localization Consultant of MIAMI LAW! Check out his two cents about all that went into making this awesome game!

What's special about Miami as the location for the game? Why not another city such as New York or LA?

Every major city has a vibe to it, but Miami's geographic location, art-deco heritage, and cultural melting pot makes it special. There's this cachet as a playground of international wealth, and then there's the reality of crushing poverty and crime that creates a very real danger if you end up in the wrong part of town - especially at night.

That dramatic tightrope between those opposite worlds that have somehow come to co-exist makes it an interesting city for a crime drama game. I could completely see Law and Sara jetting off to LA or New York to help with cases there, but those adventures would have a different feel because Miami is very unique.

How long did it take to fully develop and localize the game?

I got involved with the game as a consultant first, after it had been in pre-production and basic production for maybe 4-6 months. I then helped set up the research trip to Miami for part of the development team and ended up hosting them on that trip. After that trip, it was about 8 more months of development on the game before English localization started. During that time I was checking on the game progress with Hudson Entertainment staff, and in the fall of 2008 we hooked up with Miami Beat Wave to bring some more authentic Miami sound to the game. After that, localization, testing, and QA were about another 4-5 months.

What was the toughest part of the project?

Being that the game was developed and localized between Hudson in Japan, Hudson Entertainment here, and Gaijinworks here, I would say that keeping the communication flowing and integrating changes into the game effectively was probably the toughest part. I have to hand it to Yusuke [Tsugawa, the Localization Coordinator] for keeping tabs on questions, answers, and changes pretty well without being overwhelmed. He was a pretty great manager on the project.

Which part did you enjoy the most?

The research trip was definitely the fun part. The gun training, the Havana Club, meeting with the Miami PD - all of that was pretty great, and the gun training with sniper rifles and other crazy guns was probably a once in a lifetime thing for me.

What's good about playing two differing personalities and gameplay?

I'm really a sucker for a good emotional tag in a story, and I think by playing the game as both Law and Sara on successive playthroughs different aspects of their personality and quirks are expressed in subtle (and sometimes overt) ways. I think that varied experience overlaid on the same storyline makes the emotional payoff with the characters at the end even sweeter. Things they say and the way they say them build up to the point where you can anticipate what they might say in a situation as it unfolds, and it's kind of cool when they start reacting how you imagine they will because it means that you've gotten to know them - they're not just cardboard cutouts. Bam! You've been infected with emotional involvement at that point, and that's a really sweet bug to catch in a game. By all means try to unlock the special games. Some of the stuff Al says in the Law vs. Law special unlockable mini-game still cracks me up.

What is an incredible feature that gamers can look forward to in Miami Law?

One of my favorite things in the game is the themes that Miami Beat Wave did for the game. Those guys are mad-talented and I really like the work they did for the game. Hopefully players enjoy the tracks as much as I have. If not, please address hate mail to Yusuke at Hudson Entertainment. Just kidding.

Anything else you would like to add about your contribution to Miami Law?

This kind of game is outside the genres we normally localize because it's usually RPGs, but I really came to like Law and Sara quite a bit. If they went to LA or New York or Tokyo or something, I'd like to see what they do next.

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