DAISUKE KANADA, DIRECTOR: Trauma Team is the conglomeration of the Trauma Center series, and at the same time, it is a game where we strove to create something different than Trauma Center.
In order to accomplish that, we decided to approach Trauma Team not as if we were creating a sequel to the series, but faced it as if we were developing a new title. It will still be a medical game, obviously, but you will be experiencing a different type of medical game unlike any of the previous Trauma Center titles to date. Figuring out how we were going to produce something that would be enjoyable for our current fan base while providing a significant new experience was a difficult, yet exciting challenge.
After many hours of discussion, we reached the conclusion that we should combine all varieties of medical procedures into one compelling game. Clearly, this was a pretty farfetched idea, but as we talked we felt that if anyone was capable of creating a game like this, it have to be our team. So, we decided that we would take all the knowledge we had amassed in the creation of our previous games and give it our best attempt.
That was the moment we saw the outline of Trauma Team begin to form.
The process of bringing multiple medical fields into one game ended up being a difficult one, but one that we hope you will find as well worth it.
Simply mashing a ton of medical fields and procedures into a game wouldn't be any fun at all. We researched a number of different fields and narrowed our options down to those that were well-known, distinct, and most importantly were a good fit for interesting and diverse control schemes supported by the Wii remote. At the same time, with each genre having a different gameplay style, we had to find the right balance without sacrificing the game’s fun factor and ending up with something generic. How far can we go to break the balance and still end up with an enjoyable game? How do we get these different ideas to reconcile when completely different game controls exist alongside each other? Discussing these issues took time.
Once we settled upon the six medical genres of surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedics, endoscopy, diagnostics, and forensics, the image that my staff and I had envisioned regarding the game started to take shape and expanded considerably.
First, if there were going to be six medical fields, we felt that we should have six main characters, one for each genre. [Character Designer Masayuki] Doi's illustrations brought these characters to life and helped give them their own unique personalities. Suddenly, our large cast wasn't just an amalgamation of specialties; they started to feel like people, protagonists that were fit for the medical genre they would be in charge of.
In order to allow the player to feel like they were getting to know each of these characters, we structured the story so that the player would see each doctor's personal conflicts and character growth, and eventually the six doctors' feelings as they came together as a team.
One other important aspect of the game remained undecided: its theme, the message we wanted to convey to our players through the game.
In Trauma Center, we turned the complexities of performing operations into a game and through the growth of the main characters, challenged the player to become a master doctor. We wanted the difficulty level of the game to convey the enormous weight and pressure of saving lives, the joy and satisfaction of succeeding, and the individual growth they as players would have had by completing the game.
For Trauma Team, we are striving to make a medical game where all different kinds of gamers will be able to experience the "drama of life.” The patients that must be saved are human. They all have their own troubles and anguishes, yet still wish to live. At the same time, the doctors are also human. There will be times when they will face distress or show their imperfections. By saving their patients and using their skills, these doctors will grow and learn, as will their patients.
We want the player to truly feel as if they are one of the people in this game world as they experience the drama that stems from the transient nature of life. I personally think that this thematic difference is the biggest difference between Trauma Team and the Trauma Center series. In order to fortify that aspect, we tasked the Art Department with overhauling the event scenes in Trauma Team. Doi and Maeda will probably talk about that in more detail, so I'll let you hear about that from them.
So that's the story of how Trauma Team progressed from its inception to its current form, but there's no way for you--the readers--to fully understand what kind of game Trauma Team is until you can play it for yourselves. I can keep writing how fun this game is going to be, but it may well be a turn-off since I can't prove it to you. However, I'd like everyone to know that I am proud to have been able to create this game with my development team. Through the skills and efforts of our excellent staff, a new, unprecedented medical game is on the verge of being completed with an overwhelming quality and volume that surpassed our original expectations.
Trauma Team carries a concept that is very different from the past games. It's a game where anyone can jump in and live the medical drama as a doctor. There's still some time until its release, but I hope that everyone looks forward to it.
Oh, and lastly... No GUILT or Stigma appears in this game. No bug-like things running around the human body with a different name, either. That’s another difference that we’ve made between this game and Trauma Center.