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Koji Oda (小田晃嗣) is a video game designer who has worked in Capcom for over 25 years, known for his work in the Resident Evil series, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts and the 2014 Strider game. He's currently lead designer of the Mega Man series, having directed the long-awaited Mega Man 11.

HistoryEdit

Early daysEdit

Oda grew up in the 1980s' with games from Capcom, concluding that a game from Capcom was "always promising", unlike games from other companies that his younger self bought and found disappointing. He joined Capcom in 1991 mainly due to this, as he figured that "if a company was able to make games that were this fun, it had to be fun to work there".[1]

CareerEdit

Oda thinks he joined the game industry at the best time, explaining that at the time the industry was seeing massive growth and, since games took only six months to a year to develop, he was able to take part in a lot of different projects in a relatively short window.[1]

With the release of the SNES, development teams started to expand and Capcom's mid-level developers were quickly raising in ranks and prepared for leadership positions. Oda was among these developers, with his first work as director being the NES brawler Mighty Final Fight.[1] Oda was given a NES project because he was a new director, and typically they were given projects on the NES because it was seen as less-important when compared to its successor, the SNES. Oda describes his work as being what Capcom called a "planner", a mid-tier designer who works on several things.[1]

In 1994, Oda joined the early development team for the project that'd become the first Resident Evil. During this time the game was codenamed "Horror Game" and was being developed for the SNES. Oda recalls it was very different from the final PlayStation game due to the limited memory, going so far as being set in an entirelly different, hellish location.[1] He'd later took up directing duties for the GameCube prequel Resident Evil Zero, as well as its 2017 HD remaster.

Koji Oda’s involvement as designer of the 2014 Strider title was promoted from the very beginning, albeit initially only described as the "designer of Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts" and not by name.[2] Oda pointed out the core of the gameplay to be "speed and dynamic movement", but he was also mindful about not altering the core action of previous titles. By creating a broader variety of new moves that were tied to the character’s progression but never obstructed the fundamental action, the end result was a free and unrestrained control of a faster and more complex Hiryu than ever before.[3]

Following his work on Strider, Oda decided to submit an internal pitch for a new Mega Man game. Capcom has received internal pitches to continue the series after the departure of Keiji Inafune before, and he considered it'd be a waste to ignore or treat the franchise as a thing of the past just because someone left.[1] Oda would eventually become the lead director in the series' return to form: Mega Man 11.

Oda opted to drop the 8-bit retro style of the previous two titles in the series and use a modern 2.5D look, thinking that after a long absence it wouldn’t be right to go back to a retro style. The new Double Gear System was implemented because he wanted to make a system that was easy to access for first-time players, but at the same time it wouldn’t interfere with the veteran, long-time fans who want a challenge.[4]

List of gamesEdit

Year Title Developer Publisher System Role
1991 Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
超魔界村 (Chō Makaimura)
Capcom Capcom Arcade
1992 Disney's Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse
ミッキーのマジカルアドベンチャー (Mikkī no Majikaru Adobenchā)
Capcom Capcom SNES
1993 Mighty Final Fight
マイティ ファイナルファイト (Maiti Fainaru Faito)
Capcom Capcom NES Planner
1995 Marvel Super Heroes
マーヴルスーパーヒーローズ (Māvuru Sūpā Hīrōzu)
Capcom Capcom PlayStation, Sega Saturn Consumer Staff
1995 Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness
サイバーボッツ (Saibābottsu)
Capcom Capcom PlayStation, Sega Saturn Special Thanks
1996 Street Fighter Alpha 2
ストリートファイターZERO (Sutorīto Faitā Zero Tsu)
Capcom Capcom PlayStation, Sega Saturn Special Thanks
1996 Resident Evil
バイオハザード (Baiohazādo)
Capcom Capcom PlayStation System Planner
1999 Makaimura for WonderSwan
魔界村 for WonderSwan
Capcom Capcom WonderSwan Capcom Staff
2002 Resident Evil Zero
バイオハザード0 (Baiohazādo Zero)
Capcom Capcom GameCube Director
2004 The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge
ナイトメアービフォアクリスマス ブギーの逆襲 (Naitomeā Bifoa Kurisumasu: Bugī no Gyakushū)
Capcom Capcom PlayStation 2, Xbox Special Advisor
2006 Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins
極魔界村 (Goku Makaimura)
Tose Capcom PlayStation Portable Project Coordinator
2009 Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop
デッドライジング ゾンビのいけにえ (Deddo Raijingu Zonbi no Ikenie)
Capcom Capcom Wii Coordinator
2014 Strider
ストライダー飛竜 (Sutoraidā Hiryū)
Capcom
Double Helix Games
Capcom PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC Director
2016 Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster
バイオハザード (Baiohazādo Zero)
Capcom Capcom PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch Director
2018 Mega Man 11
ロックマン11 運命の歯車!! (Rokkuman 11 Unmei no Haguruma!!)
Capcom Capcom PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC Director

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Reeves, Ben (December 22, 2017). "From Resident Evil To Strider: Koji Oda's Journey To Directing Mega Man" (English). gameinformer.com. Accessed December 2, 2019
  2. Polygon (July, 2013). News article. Polygon. Accessed December 2, 2019.
  3. GregaMan (February 13, 2014). "Get the dirt on Strider's new game with this behind-the-scenes feature" (English). Capcom-unity.com. Accessed December 2, 2019
  4. Polanco, Tony (June 24, 2018). "An Interview With Mega Man 11 Developers Kazuhiro Tsuchiya and Koji Oda". geek.com. Accessed December 2, 2019


External LinksEdit

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