Whilst loitering at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, we were fortunate enough to bump into Yasumasa Koshikari, director of the upcoming Champion Jockey game. We just had to ask him a few questions –
GGUK: Will we be seeing gymkhana events or showjumping through DLC in the future?
YK: There will be downloadable content right after the release of the game, and that goes on for eight weeks. So every week they will have four different horses, four different jockeys and four different soundtracks as well.
GGUK: Will there be a campaign mode where the player can have a stable of horses and hire jockeys and such?
YK: I am not sure if there is going to be a campaign mode, but there will be a story mode which allows the player to be the jockey. You start training yourself under an experienced trainer to become a jockey. Also story mode allows you to breed certain types of horses.
GGUK: Are the courses in the game based on real world courses?
YK: The japan courses in this game are based on the real courses. It has ten real existing horse racing courses. But that’s only in Japan for the game. For all of the European, including the UK, horse racing courses, we couldn’t get the license this time. So we did lots of research on the actual existing courses in the UK and tried to reflect that into the game.
GGUK: Can we participate in famous races such as the Grand National?
YK: We actually wanted to include the Grand National in this game because that is one of the most famous horse racing events, in Japan as well. But that particular course is 7200 meters, which is too long for this game. There is one horse racing game within this game that you will find is based on the Grand National. It is not the Grand National, but it is very similar. The length of the course is shrunk down to 4000 meters.
GGUK: Is there any gambling in the game, will the player be able to wager with the spectators?
YK: There is no gambling aspect in this game. It focuses purely on the jockey. The jockey is not supposed to be able to bet on himself. So there is no gambling aspect in this game.
GGUK: Do you see Champion Jockey as a serious horse racing game or a party game?
YK: This game is a very serious game. It focuses so much on the jockey and in japan quite a few jockeys actually play this game before the race to do a bit of simulation. So this is quite a serious jockey simulator. But at the same time, to target a wider audience, of course you have to have the fun side to it, the answer was to have the fun mode, so you can also play this game as a party game.
GGUK: How long did the game take to develop?
YK: Including the funding stage, it took two years to develop.
GGUK: Did you have to spend a lot of time at race courses for research?
YK: Indeed, I spent a lot of time at horse racing courses. At the same time a lot of big races are televised, so I was also checking the big races on TV.
GGUK: Are there any plans for a 3DS version of the game?
YK: That is part of the plan to move on to the 3DS and other mobile devices.
GGUK: What audience are you marketing the game towards in the UK?
YK: The primary target is early twenties who enjoy betting once in a while. But at the same time we are hoping other types of people, like horse riding people, will play the game.
GGUK: Is there a standard controller method available or will the game only be playable with motion control?
YK: Yes, there is a standard control method.
GGUK would like to thank Yasumasa Koshikari for his time. Champion Jockey will be out for Xbox360, PS3 and Wii on September 2nd.