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PS3 Fanboy interview: Udon Comics and Street Fighter

Everything old is new again. The internet has been abuzz ever since the first sprites from Capcom's upcoming HD Remix of Super Street Fighter II were publicly released. The art, created by Udon, looks absolutely spectacular. We interviewed Jim Zubkavich, Artist and Project Manager at Udon, about their collaboration with Capcom.

How did Udon and Capcom first team up?
UDON began in 2000 as a team creating illustration/design artwork for comic book or toy manufacturing clients. After a couple years getting established, we decided to publish our own comic books. One of the first ideas that came to mind was creating comics based on licenses that all of us enjoyed growing up. At the top of that list was Capcom's Street Fighter property. After some negotiation and art samples sent back and forth, Capcom allowed UDON to create a new full color comic series that debuted in the summer of 2003. When the comic series began we would just send Capcom the script and artwork for approval each month. Eventually our relationship with Capcom grew stronger and they started communicating with us more frequently about the franchise and the strength of our artists.

In 2004, after the debut of our Darkstalkers comic series and translation of the Eternal Challenge Street Fighter artbook were well received, Capcom approached us about contributing artwork to their Fighting Jam video game. In turn, that strengthened the bond between the two companies even more. At each step we've strived to show Capcom how much we respect their properties and how much we enjoy being a part of their creative process.

With the 20th anniversary of Street Fighter coming in 2008, Capcom wanted us to be a part of the festivities. The high definition re-release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo is something we're very proud to be contributing to.

When were first plans for SSFIIHD discussed? How did Udon join the project?
Capcom first mentioned the possibility to us last summer. As with any video game project, schedules and budgeting can take a while to get hammered out. As far as we know, Capcom wanted UDON to be a part of the
project right from the get-go.

Certainly, there must be a lot of work involved with this remix. How much art is going into the game?
Our art crew was asked to redesign each character sprite based on the artwork of Edayan, one of Capcom's most respected artists. Our job is to create character model design sheets for the sprite animators to follow.
The game is an exact port of SSF2T, so the hit boxes and poses must be identical, even while the detail and resolution are increased to approximately 4.5 times the original. Along with character sprite designs, we're redrawing and painting each stage background to match the enhanced resolution.

In addition to the characters and stages, our art team is creating brand new artwork for the in-game intro, character selection and endings in the style of our popular Street Fighter comic. The project is a massive undertaking, far more extensive than our work on Capcom Fighting Jam.

How does an artist keep true to the original, while improving upon it?
It's important to look at all the different artwork of each character created by Capcom and understand what makes those characters so iconic. Fine details may change, but the main structure and forms that make each
Street Fighter character so recognizable stay the same. By using Edayan's powerful designs as a jumping off point and going from there, we're able to create a new and consistent look for the enhanced sprites.

The fan reaction has been incredible. What other things do you think will surprise the community?
While we will remain true to the original storylines for each character, we've been given flexibility to update and include new illustrations that reflect our work with the comic series. We're confident that we'll be able to impress fans of both our comic and the original game.

Games like Street Fighter II endure because of their rock solid gameplay. It's important that it play like the game people recognize and love, just with a graphic enhancement. If we can please fans of the classic game and have a new generation try out Street Fighter because of the enhanced artwork and internet playability, we'll consider the project a success.

We'd like to thank Jim for the interview, and we wish the team at Udon the very best of luck as they continue working on the Street Fighter remake. We can't wait. Super Street Fighter II HD Remix will arrive on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade later this year.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. I can't wait for this to be released! *drools*

Posted at 10:35AM on Jul 19th 2007 by Jeremy Bara

2. 2008 release????? C'MON

Posted at 10:46AM on Jul 19th 2007 by pr0fecy

3. This will be the end-all of Street Fighter titles. How will we play anything else after playing such a beatifully remastered 2D Street Fighter. I don't think anything like this has even been attempted.

Capcom rules! Be patient for this game. We don't want a rushed, sloppy piece of doo doo. We want it to look absolutely stunning, play perfectly as the original, and maybe incorporate some online features; multiplayer, leaderboards, etc.

Posted at 11:00AM on Jul 19th 2007 by Nick Kosmides

4. I wonder if they are going to remix the soundtracks and voices.

Posted at 11:12AM on Jul 19th 2007 by Peter J

5. Will definitely be purchasing this when it drops in the PS store. It's going to be like playing an interactive comic with Udon's new artwork looking like their comics. Great!

Posted at 11:56AM on Jul 19th 2007 by Tru-blu

6. Would be nice if Midway did the same for Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

Posted at 1:17PM on Jul 19th 2007 by Freeze

7. Now if Udon could only work on an updated version of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. . .

Posted at 2:41PM on Jul 20th 2007 by Van

8. Ugh, so I'm guessin the frame rate is going to be sh*t right?

Posted at 2:59PM on Jul 20th 2007 by DeadPlasmaCell

9. teh WOOT!!!

Posted at 3:03PM on Jul 20th 2007 by Nate

10. Those images are backwards. Both Akuma's back symbol and the flag on Guile's arm are mirrored. Also, why do Akuma's elbows form such a sharp edge?

Posted at 4:07PM on Jul 20th 2007 by Zabycx

11. Now if UDON and Capcom make sure to provide enough animation drawings to each character and move, how could any geek growing up with Street Fighter II resist this game? I for sure could not :)


Posted at 4:53PM on Jul 20th 2007 by Mustafa

12. Now that was a cool interview; thank you PS3 Fanboy and Udon! The lines in particular that really have excited (even though we already knew about it) are the following:

“Along with character sprite designs, we're redrawing and painting each stage background to match the enhanced resolution.

In addition to the characters and stages, our art team is creating brand new artwork for the in-game intro, character selection and endings in the style of our popular Street Fighter comic.”

1) I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that equal attention is being given to the stage backgrounds, as are to the character sprites. The Street Fighter II series had so many memorable, awesome levels and to think how good they’re going to look like now is very exciting.
2) The new intro, character selection screen, and endings that match the artwork from the SF comic series are all fantastic things to hear as well. Not to long ago in fact, I made an oil painting of Ryu; here’s the link (or click on my website’s link):


I was going for my own take on Ryu’s ending under the waterfall. Like him and Ken, I too practice Shotokan, which is why I’m in my Gi. Well, here’s to more screenshots of the fighters and to some background shots. :) Have a great one and thank you for your time. (In case the links don’t work, my website with the pictures is

Posted at 5:12PM on Jul 20th 2007 by Paul Gale


Posted at 5:14PM on Jul 20th 2007 by benjamin

14. Oh, and here's one other picture that I meant to put in earlier, but didn't:

Sorry, I hope it's not considered spamming, but I think the shot is kinda cool (with the sky looking like the waterfall in the painting).

Posted at 5:15PM on Jul 20th 2007 by Paul Gale

15. Great interview, Andrew. Personally this is one of my hottest anticipated titles this year, along with SSBB and Virtua Fighter 5 on the 360. I love the UDON comics for SF and can't wait to see what they'll do with some of my favorites (like Cammy and M. Bison).

I am sort-of disappointed to hear that they won't be adding any new frames. I realize from a purist standpoint this would change the way the game plays, and thus the balance, so I know why it is the way it is, and that's fine. It'll still be SSF2T in the end, with a nice coat of paint. But my hope is that if this is successful, perhaps Capcom and UDON could work together on some kind of "Dream Match" Street Fighter with a really nice animation for XBLA/PSN. A whole new game, basically. I guess we'll have to see.

Posted at 5:53PM on Jul 20th 2007 by Disco

16. While it's great the game is having a visual makeover i can't help but think some balancing to the gameplay would be needed also. In particular optional guard damage. It seems silly (especially since Alpha 3 has a guard guage that can be broken) that special moves can be used for cheap finishes. Just add a gaurd damge on/off option in the menu (like Tekken) and everyones happy. And keep SFA's throw escapes in, then the game would be as perfect as i could want!

Posted at 7:31PM on Jul 20th 2007 by Manji Ninja

17. Still not seeing the big deal here. It's been prettied up, but it's still just SF2... yet again. A gold-plated turd is still a turd.

Now if it were Third Strike, or even better, Vampire Savior, then you might have something. As is... yippee, another shotofest. :P

Posted at 1:22AM on Jul 21st 2007 by Deuce

18. did u just call street fighter 2 shit?
get out. only 12 year old duesches such as you deuce,that only know about halo diss these great classics.

Posted at 3:21AM on Jul 21st 2007 by sexlion

19. I think this is cool news but the year is 2007. It's kind of a joke now. I mean, guilty gear was pretty popular right? (at least in Japan) and it came and went, what, 7, 8 years ago? What I want to know is why didn't Street Fighter 3 feature high resolution sprites? What the hell is the problem here with capcom and what took so long? After guilty gear I thought for sure capcom would jump on the high rez bandwagon but cvs2 looked like dog. All I have to say is, it's about f'n time, jeez.

Posted at 6:06AM on Jul 21st 2007 by George

20. Actually, yes, I did call SF2 shit. Your reading comprehension skills are apparently better than your writing and spelling. And your estimate of my age is low by about 21 years, kiddo. Get over yourself, and get a dictionary in the process.

Sorry, but not everyone is smitten by the perpetual onslaught of SF rehashes... which is exactly what this is. Yet another rehash of a game that's been ported more times than I care to think about... and one that's been improved on dramatically by later games, both by Capcom and by others.

CPS3 was hindered by a host of technical issues, mostly due to Capcom's paranoia about hacking. Ask anyone who's ever owned a CPS3 board and they can tell you just how prone the carts are to suiciding. They'd erase themselves if you look at them funny. Made it very unpopular with arcade owners, which was a major contributor to the system's failure after only five games released (Warzard/Red Earth, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and the three Street Fighter III iterations).

Posted at 3:30PM on Jul 21st 2007 by Deuce

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