The Samurai Shodown series, the Arcana Heart series, Daemon Bride, Aquapazza Aquaplus Dream Match and Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel are some of the games I have been involved with. Fighting games are my MAX LOVE.

My Proof:


Hello everyone! Let’s get started! I am doing this with a translation team, so please understand it may take a little longer to reply.

ARCANA HEART 3 LOVE MAX SIX STARS!!!!!! is on Kickstarter now! Please check it out!!!!!!

Thank you everyone for all the questions! I feel your MAX LOVE! みなさん、たくさんの質問ありがとうございます!とても楽しかったです!最後まで応援よろしくお願いいたします!

Please visit the ARCANA HEART 3 LOVE MAX SIX STARS!!!!!! project for some serious fighting action!

Comments: 171 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

Tw3ek47 karma

Hello Takaya-san! Thank you for doing this AMA.

Is there a plan to include Shark Girl, Omega and Dark Heart in the game in another way if funding is not met? Will there be any additional rewards announced to try and raise the funding as the goal nears? Thanks!

ArcanaHeartKS26 karma

If we get enough funding during this Kickstarter, we will consider the addition. We are also planning to look for partners who are willing to add to the development budget.

About the additional rewards, we in talks with another illustrator to do a special guest signed shikishi.

NYGamer11517 karma

Hi, Takaya-san. Thanks for this opportunity.

With the Kickstarter hitting the goal and some more, Will there be a possibility to see Arcana Heart come to Consoles (PS4, XB1, and maybe Switch?)

ArcanaHeartKS13 karma

We do have some stretch goals in mind beyond Omega, If we get close enough we might reveal them...

AutisticForFences15 karma

Hi Koji, thank you for doing this AMA! I love Nitroplus Blasterz! I have two questions for you.

  1. Is there any possibility of Arcana Heart 3 Love Max SixStarS coming to PS4?

  2. When it comes to online gaming I know you guys heard America's thoughts about GGPO being the best netcode for the west. Will that actually be a possibility?

ArcanaHeartKS14 karma

We are looking into doing ports for PS4 and other systems, but there are some hurdles that need to get cleared before that can move forward. Doing our best to get the game on those shelves though.

About the GGPO, I am sorry to say that to implement it would require a complete net code rewrite and the risk involved would just be too high, so we have not plans to go forward with it. For the next project though, I would like to go that route.

JohnXuandou14 karma

Are you still friends with people who work at SNK? It was many years ago and some left, but others have returned. I'm curious about if you've maintained relations after Samurai Shodown V many years ago. Any chance you could collaborate on a new SamSho game? By the way they're rereleasing SamSho V to PS4! Congratulations!

ArcanaHeartKS26 karma

Arcana Heart's main designer, Mano was my direct supervisor at SNK. We have been working together for a long time. I haven't really kept in touch with the other staff members, but the Samurai showdown team is having a get-together this summer and I am planning to be there.

As for SamSho, I did everything I wanted to do in SamSho 6, so I don't really have any ideas left that for that one. If anything, I'd like to work on a new title that features samurai and ninjas.

noontide1089 karma

Why are Japanese developers reluctant to add better quality netcode like rollback to fighting games, when it's a hotly requested feature, a solved problem and reportedly cheap and simple to implement? What are the chances of examu games adopting something like GGPO in the future (I know it was considered and rejected for six stars)?

ArcanaHeartKS24 karma

Not only Arcana Heart, but most fighting games that have their main fan base in Japan do not have lag issues, so devs tend not to use rollback. Also, once the net code has been developed, there is a tremendous development risk in replacing them, so that is why I think it is not done for the most part. I will consider such implementation in the next project we will work on.

ArcanaHeart3Fan9 karma

Who thought it was a good idea to give Clarice a 1 Frame Low?

ArcanaHeartKS16 karma

Sorry, I don't remember off hand, but I think the staff member that did that was the same person making adjustments to Parace. Parace is planned to be introduced as a new Arcana, and the person in charge for that will be the same. Keep those expectations up.

ReggaeManMurphy9 karma

Who's your favorite girl you've made?

Do you play your games? Who is your main?

ArcanaHeartKS13 karma

I cannot decide on the number one... But Heart Aino, Yoriko Yasuzumi, Mina Majikina, Hazuki Kazama and Pure are among my favorites.

eastyy1238 karma

Just wondering if now Arcana heart has a succesfull crowd fund is there a chance for Daemon bride ?

Also is Arcana Heart 4 in the works ?

ArcanaHeartKS7 karma

I really want to do it!

FinalCataclsym6 karma

Greeting Takaya-san and thanks for taking the time to do this AMA! My question for you is, do you plan to or will you be offering add-ons such as tapestries, stickers, wallscrolls, dakimakuras or other exclusive content?

ArcanaHeartKS6 karma

Right now we are only thinking about adding illustrations as rewards during the KS, but we are looking into the possibility of offering certain merchandise for retail after the campaign has ended.

waspennator6 karma

If the three stretch goal characters are not met, will they still appear in Arcana Heart 4 or will they be permanently scrapped?

ArcanaHeartKS14 karma

To add new characters, I need to pay our staff. I want to make it happen, but not at a significant loss. We will, however, do our best to get more funding even after the campaign ends.

Bill3075 karma

Hello Takaya-san. Many fans of your games like them for various reasons. For example, I like the Arcana Heart series and Nitroplus Blasterz because of the strong options available to the defender while guarding: guard-cancels in Arcana Heart and shields in Nitroplus Blasterz. I also like the character balance in AH3LM and AH3LMSSS, and the large number of options an attacker has using jumps, homing, homing cancels, and extend force cancels.

What do you like the most about your own games, especially AH3LM/AH3LMSSS? What are you most proud of? For example: good character balance, guard-cancels, fast movement, unique characters, easy combos, etc.?

Is there anything you don't like about AH3LM/AH3LMSSS? Is there anything you regret?

I enjoy Arcana Heart and Nitroplus Blasterz a lot, and I would like to play Daemon Bride as well! Thank you for helping to create them!

ArcanaHeartKS7 karma

The Arcana selection and homing system are two things that I have really taken a liking to. The idea for the Arcana select came when I wanted to see Zangief throw a Hadouken. As for the homing system I wanted to make everything possible that was possible in other games so far. I am very proud that Arcana was able to find an unique voice among all the other fighting games.

The only thing I regret a little is adding so many characters, the game has become a bit complicated and hard to make. I'll have to do my best!

LordDaki5 karma

Hello Takaya-san! Thank you for doing this AMA for us.

Are any plans for updating the training mode features of AH3LMSS? I'd like to test different options such as random guard cancel, or having a recording activate on ukemi (wakeup).

How do you feel about overseas players? Would you consider talking with us in the future about AH4?

ArcanaHeartKS9 karma

I do think that more could be done with the tutorial and training modes, and I want to work on that in the future, but I want to finish implementing the new characters first.

At one point I started to dislike working in the game industry and I quit my job at SNK to travel around the world. Travelling around, I found that people all over the world were playing the games I had made and it felt wonderful. Upon returning to Japan I started working in the game industry once more. I am very grateful to the players all over the world who have guided me back to the game industry.

Credits_no25 karma



ArcanaHeartKS7 karma


Q: I feel that the dialogue in Demon Bride is very... "unique". What kind of mood were you in when you were thinking about that? Did you have your serious face on all the time, or snickering through it?)

A: In the meetings I was very serious. We were saying the lines together to check the nuances of them. I don't remember laughing so much when I was thinking about it.

GATK_Hash5 karma

who has nicer legs: Akane or Saki?

ArcanaHeartKS24 karma

Hmmm, that's a super tough one. I like bare leg, but those black stockings ain't too shabby either. Give me a year or so to think on this one.

1965120525 karma

Hi, Koji, thanks for doing the AMA. I have a bit too many questions I want to ask, but I'll try not to spam here too much.

How did you get in the industry? Did you graduate university/college in a related area? Were you always interested in making fighting games, or is that something that happened throughout the course of your career?

Again, thanks for reaching out to the overseas community with this, and best of luck to all in the remaining days of the kickstarter.

ArcanaHeartKS12 karma

At that time, the advancement of game hardware was really clipping along, and I thought there would be a need for better graphics, so I entered technical college for animation.

As far as how long I had been into games, when I was in school, I spent all the money I earned from part-time jobs on games.

I had arcade system boards for SF2, SF2 Champion Edition, and Super Street Fighter 2, so I could play them on a arcade style cabinet that I had at my house.

Broccoman5 karma

What Samurai Shodown game did you start with? Also, if a new Samurai Shodown was made, what changes do you feel the series would have to make in order to work in today's gaming environment? It's a series I'd love to see come back, but I am afraid of it losing what made it unique.

BTW I picked Maori in Arcana Heart because of how some of her attacks reminded me of my favorite SamSho character, and because I like miko outfits, so thanks for Maori!

ArcanaHeartKS11 karma

When I entered SNK, I was placed in the SamSho team. Initially I was doing graphic related work, but I was the best fighting game player among the team, so I was in the planning team from SamSho 3. After finishing SamSho4, I left SNK. 6 years after that, SNK asked me to participate in SamSho 5, 5SP, and 6. I did everything I wanted to do in SamSho 6, so I'm not so inclined to do another Samsho game.

I worked on Samurai Showdown from the first Debugging phase.

I think SamSho's characters and systems hold up pretty well even now, so besides upgrades to the graphical side, I don't think I would make many changes.

Pkpulsefall5 karma

What got you into fighting games? Also, what is your favorite and least favorite fighting game?

ArcanaHeartKS23 karma

It began when I was back in school and got really into Street Fighter 2. I went on to join SNK and worked on the development of Samurai Showdown. So I would say my favorite games would be Samurai Showdown and Street Fighter 2. I feel like I can learn something from any game, so there aren't really any games I dislike.

SonSon_III5 karma

By any chance will there be any last minute reward tiers to push the funding up? More character varieties for acrylic statues or tapestries?

Thank you kindly. :)

ArcanaHeartKS9 karma

Yesterday, we've increased the $2,500 and $5,000 rewards. As for new rewards, I am thinking about it as I read your questions!

cantstopgurgling4 karma


I'm proud to say Arcana Heart is my favorite fighting game.

Is there any chance we can see any of the Arcana Heart charaters in BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle? Who would you like to appear in that game?

ArcanaHeartKS15 karma

If Arc System Works would like to do so, I'd love to see some Arcana characters there. Heart or Angelia in a crossover would be great!

woofycupcakes4 karma

Will there be another Heartful Booklet following the release of SIX STARS?

ArcanaHeartKS6 karma

That's a nice idea! I'll talk it over with the staff.


Who is your waifu? Are traps gay? Will you implement GGPO in SIX STARS!!!!!!?

ArcanaHeartKS12 karma

My waifus are Leina Stol from Machine Robo and Noriko Takaya from Aim for the Top GunBuster (Top wo nerae!).

In Arcana Heart, traps are also welcome! I can't say I dislike the idea.

For SIX STARS, GGPO won't be implemented due to cost and development time frame constraints.

Ritsutroutman4 karma


Regarding the $5,000 kick-starter pledge, would it be possible to request illustrations of the new kick-starter goal characters (specifically shark girl)? Or is it only limited to Original arcana heart characters?

And just out of curiosity I might as well ask, "our staff will draw pretty much anything you want", does this include nsfw drawings, or strictly work-safe sketches?

ArcanaHeartKS3 karma

You will be able to request illustrations of the new characters! We do have to ask to keep all illustration requests are kept work-safe.

CH4F3 karma

Thanks for this AmA. I have 2 questions:

  • Do you have good relationships with other people doing fighting games in the video game industry? With who, specifically?
  • Do you feel closer to the community playing your games? Do you like to play with them, not just to take feedbacks and make a PR appearance, but because you enjoy playing your own games?

Keep up the good work. I hope we'll have Shark Girl before the end of the campaign.

ArcanaHeartKS9 karma

Oda-san from SNK who is the producer of KOF14 was a fellow student and a good friend from the same technical college and a staff who entered SNK in the same year. I played a lot with NEO_G-san who works for SNK after leaving Capcom. Also, I'm a good friends with Kondo-san from Studio Saizensen who works on Blade Strangers, and Obata-san from Byking. There are lot more friends that I don't have enough space to mention all.

Kusaja3 karma

Will the Kickstarter include an option for Paypal contributions after the campaign ends? Other game campaigns have done this.

ArcanaHeartKS9 karma

We are looking into it and are moving in a direction to hopefully give a good announcement.

Kenji23Z3 karma

Who is your favorite character in Arcana Heart? And do you have a favorite song in the series?

ArcanaHeartKS8 karma

I Love Heart Aino. As for song I like "愛はアルカナ?" (Love is an Arcana?). I wrote the lyrics myself, so it holds a special place in my heart.

genericsoldier2 karma

Is that song the opening theme to Arcana Heart 1 on PS2?

ArcanaHeartKS3 karma

Yes that is it.

LegendRedux3 karma

Takaya san this will be the last version of Arcana Heart 3 right? So when will development of Arcana heart 4 start? I hope new HD sprites will be used for AH4 the sprites in AH1-AH3 are really old almost Melty Blood level of old they are pretty but very pixelated. If the sprites are closer to Blazblue or Nitroplus would be much better the future AH4 will be very pretty and more people will be attracted to try and play it.

ArcanaHeartKS4 karma

We are working on it as the last version of AH3. The planning has already started and character design is also in progress. But I don't know when we can start full-scale development yet.

1965120523 karma

How is your process of designing a fighting game character? Where do you start from?

ArcanaHeartKS8 karma

I have a stock of new game ideas stored away in my head. Publishers and investors tell me what they want and I pick out those ideas which make sense and put a plan together from there. There are games that I want to make for myself, and there are games I want make that the players want, but I want to do it in a way that fits those ideas in my head.

General_ELL3 karma

Hello Takaya-san! Thank you for doing this AMA.

Nitroplus Blasterz is my favorite EXAMU game but I love every game EXAMU makes. I specially love the 'EXAMU touch' with a game with strong neutral and room for combo creativity.

Can you discribe a little on the thought process/philosophy on your works?

And please consider a port of Daemon Bride. Even a no online port would work for me! Thank you again, best regards!

ArcanaHeartKS5 karma

I always carry around a notebook for ideas. So whenever I have a new idea, that's where it goes. When I actually plan out a new game, I pick and choose my ideas from there.

What I always do is to talk to other people about my ideas and get their feedback. In the end, I will push ideas through if I feel they are interesting, regardless of the opposition. Ideas with some opposition can make for a really good game. But there could be opposition there for reason too, and they fall flat.

When I think about new characters, I use people around me as references. If I get dumped hard by a woman, I come up with a really good female character.

frozenbyte3 karma

If you could do a crossover game with Arcana Heart and any other fighting game series, which one would it be?

ArcanaHeartKS8 karma

I would rather want to do a collaboration with anime. Madoka Magica or Strike Witches, maybe?

coryrenton3 karma

What are the difficulties in designing games where the controller lag is growing due to wireless play? How would you design the best console to reduce latency for fighting games?

ArcanaHeartKS4 karma

I am always thinking about ideas for network-centered games, but until the you actually play the game and work through the bugs, it is hard to give an answer.

MeridianOne2 karma

What's your favorite NEO GEO fighting game?

ArcanaHeartKS6 karma

The Samurai Shodown series.

temporary19902 karma

Takaya-san, congratulations on the successful campaign! As years go by we see that Examu has continued to make sprite-based fighting games despite other companies moving towards the use of 3D models.

Is it safe to say that future games by Examu will stick to sprites? Or is the company also planning to take a stab at a 2.5D or 3D fighting game in the near future?

ArcanaHeartKS5 karma

We are always researching new possibilities. We have a new project in 3D that we are mulling over, but we are super busy right now, so actual progress on that one would be quite a ways down the road.

StarDragonJP2 karma

Were you inspired at all by Guilty Gear? It seems like Arcana Heart plays like it. Also if you don't reach the stretch goal, will you include Dark Heart in Arcana Heart 4? I really like characters who wield 2 weapons & she looks pretty cool too. Thank you

ArcanaHeartKS3 karma

I don't think I took any particular inspiration from Guilty Gear, but they always have new ideas and beautiful graphics, so I respect them a lot.

1965120522 karma

What do you like the most about Arcana Heart?

ArcanaHeartKS7 karma

As far as game features go, I like the Arcana selection and the homing system.

Johnny_Salamii2 karma

Why are there so many lolis in arcana hearts?

ArcanaHeartKS24 karma

Originally, Arcana Heart was supposed to be released in Japan only. Ten years ago, anime with junior high school girls fighting each other were popular, so that was the main reason.

KindaConfusedIGuess1 karma

One of the things that always bothered me about Arcana Heart was that you move kind of slow when on the ground, especially considering how very large the stages are. I think what would be a great change for the AH series is for the next game to have faster movement. What do you think the chances are of seeing a faster Arcana Heart game are? Also, any chance of seeing tag mechanics in a future game?

ArcanaHeartKS6 karma

The dash and homing is very fast, so I intentionally made the normal walking speed slow. I will consider the issue about the speed in the balancing phase. For AH3 there are no plans for new system changes like that. If we get a lot of requests for it, we will think about it.

madworlder1 karma

Hi, Director Takaya! Thank you for all your hard work on the Arcana Heart series. I'm truly thankful that Examu has worked so hard to produce my favorite game of all time, and my favorite character of all time (Happy birthday to her!).

Are there any specific balance changes you have in mind for Six Stars!!!!!! since the reward tier for rebalancing has been met?

ArcanaHeartKS2 karma

Specific things have not been decided yet. At the moment only Japanese players are able to enjoy the game, so I will do my best to deliver SSS to audiences overseas first. After that I will get to the real detailed tweaking.

RedditNuts1 karma

Can you share details on the physical version packaging such as style what kind of case/box we can expect?

ArcanaHeartKS4 karma

We haven't decided on anything yet as we will start the design process once the campaign is over. But rest assured we'll make something nice!


The PC scene for Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX is rather small, would you consider a permanent price drop or sale so more people could purchase the game?

Faiyez9 karma

You should ask Aksys, not him.

ArcanaHeartKS3 karma

LOVEMAX!!!! is on sale a few times a year on Steam. I think SSS will be the same.