A very short interview from 1990 where Toaplan talks about their future direction and the challenges of porting to the Megadrive. Toaplan did most of their ports in-house.

This interview was found at the GSLA, a Japanese a website that, among other things, preserves game developer interviews from older, now-defunct print sources. The GSLA often redacts the original interviewer questions, so the text ends up reading more like a narrative than an interview.

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1990 Toaplan Megadrive Port Interview

(Publication Unknown)

Tomoaki Fujimoto (Management)
Lee Ohta (Development)

Last year, Sega talked to us about porting our game Tatsujin to the Megadrive. We had already been thinking about taking steps to get directly involved with console development. Our games have been ported before, but by others companies; this was the first console game we’ve ported ourselves at Toaplan. This work benefitted from the Megadrive hardware being similar to our PCBs in many ways, and you could feel the enthusiasm from the development staff for the Megadrive.

We started the actual porting in December of last year. We plan to release two Megadrive titles this year, hopefully by the fall. We’d also like to release ports for other genres, not just STG. We want to change the image people have that “Toaplan==STG.”

For the STGs we’re currently developing, we’d like to make something that goes “back to basics.” We don’t want to keep making games where the more you power-up, the more the difficulty increases. If I had to say, our company is now of the mindset that we should lower the difficulty of our games. There will continue to be STGs released that follow the trend of getting harder and harder; we’d like to follow a different path with our STG, and create a new style. As for the practical details, we could spend all day talking about that, but we have various ideas.

One of the main differences between the Megadrive and arcade hardware is the Megadrive’s greatly reduced color pallette. The amount of space for the screen to scroll is also smaller, so its hard to give things the right sense of distance and space. It’s just a graphically inferior system. However, there aren’t any particular problems with the sound. As for peripherals, the one we’re most interested for consoles is the CD-ROM2. Naturally we’d like to try developing for something with such a large amount of memory. Personally, I’m also interested in the hardware specs on the Super Famicom, but right now we’re devoting all our energy to the Megadrive.