Yu Suzuki recently gave some information in an interview about the development of Shenmue II. According to Suzuki, who heads up the project, more than 150 people were involved in the programming of the Dreamcast title, a process that lasted a year and a half. The graphics were mainly produced using Softimage 3D, with some input from the Virtua Fighter 4 application. There was also limited use of Macintosh technology in the preparation of 2D graphics and in the calculation of textures.
Suzuki says that future games in the series will employ Softimage XSI 2.0, as well as Maya, Lightwave, and Animation Masters as the means for graphical programming. He also noted that in order to perfect its game, the development team spent a great deal of time play-testing Shenmue II, sometimes staying up into the early morning hours to complete their exhaustive screening of the game.
In all, Suzuki estimates there are somewhere approaching 1,000 fully polygonal characters in the world of Shenmue. The game is currently out in Japan, and will arrive in North America as an XBox exclusive some time in late 2002.