Mortal Kombat X’s lead designer mulls a dedicated “summon Kitana” button

Mortal Kombat X’s lead designer mulls a dedicated “summon Kitana” button

Last week, we asked Gameological readers to submit questions that we could pose to developers on the E3 2014 show floor. We picked four of our favorites (and carried over one from last year’s batch); those questions constitute The Gameological Questionnaire.

John Edwards has been working on Mortal Kombat games since 2005’s Shaolin Monks, the series’ underrated foray into Double Dragon-like cooperative kung-fu beatdowns. He was a lead designer on NetherRealm’s last two fighting games, the DC Comics-based Injustice: Gods Among Us and the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot. Edwards has once again donned that pointy and bloody mantle for Mortal Kombat X, which is scheduled to release next year. After getting in a few matches, which all ended with Edwards dismembering and/or vivisecting me, we got down to Questionnaire business.

The A.V. Club: If you had the power to add an extra button to the controller that served a single function specific to your game, what would it do?

John Edwards: I think what I’d do is—Kitana’s my favorite character, so I’d have a “summon Kitana” button for any character I’m playing. Anytime I hit the button, Kitana comes in and decapitates the guy immediately. I win. Everything’s good.

AVC: It’s a double victory. You win, and your favorite character gets to do it.

JE: And my favorite character gets a kill. In fact, I’ll actually put that in the game now that we’re talking about it. That’s a pretty good idea. [Laughs.]

AVC: If my résumé included a whole summer spent just playing your game, how should I spin it as valuable experience?

JE: You’d probably use it to gain some kind of surgical career, I guess. Write anatomy books. Obviously some kind of combat-related, death-kill cult thing. I don’t know if that exists, but that would work out too. Hematologist would be pretty good.

AVC: How do you feel about the current trend of games being released in early access?

JE: I think as long as there’s something there that’s pretty representative of what the final product is going to be, it’s actually good to get it out there for people to get their hands on. The thing that helps us is also it allows us to get early feedback, so we’re not designing something in a bubble. A lot of times you have something you think is a great idea, and you’ve worked on it for months and months, or years, and then the first time someone picks it up [they’re] like, “Oh, this isn’t all that great.” And you’re like, “Boy, if I had that information a year and half ago, I’d still be employed now.” So I think it’s actually a net positive as long as you use it for good.

AVC: What’s the most fun glitch or bug that has come up in development so far?

JE: Oh, man. I think we had a glitch early where you could do a fatality in the middle of the match, so you don’t have to wait for the “Finish Him” to come up. So if you could pull that off, there was an immediate, “Okay, ‘Round 1, fight.’ Oh, you’re dead, immediately. Well, I guess we’re done. Round two. Oh, you’re dead immediately.”

AVC: Have you fixed that one?

JE: Oh, yeah. You catch those really early, and fix those early too.

AVC: Was that an easy fix?

JE: That one was actually pretty easy, luckily. Hopefully we don’t ship with something like that, but I think we’re all right.

AVC: If your game had a super-deluxe version that cost $1,000, what would be in the box?

JE: I’d go with a life-sized Kitana statue. I’m going to stick with Kitana. [Laughs.]

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