Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Wilderness - TGS 2022 Interview with Akifumi Kaneko - Gematsu

Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Wilderness – TGS 2022 Interview with Akifumi Kaneko – Gematsu

At Tokyo Game Show 2022, we had a chance to catch up Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Desert [4 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/games/armed-fantasia-to-the-end-of-the-wilderness”>Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Wilderness Chief Game Designer Akifumi Kaneko for a follow-up interview after the wild arms success of the successor’s Kickstarter campaign.

Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Desert is a western-themed JRPG [552 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/rpg/jrpg”>Japanese RPG from the creators of wild arms. It was announced late last month alongside shadow hearts spiritual successor Penny Blood [3 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/games/penny-blood”>Penny Blood, with both games launching a “Double Kickstarter” campaign to fund development. Initially seeking 100 million yen, the campaign has since raised over 215 million yen in support.

If you missed our first interview with Kaneko, just before the Kickstarter campaign launched, be sure to check it out here. Learn more about the game itself here.

Get our latest interview below.

First of all, I want to say congratulations. It looks like you’ve already surpassed your Kickstarter goals, it’s really exciting! Thank you also for having an interview with us again.

Akifumi Kaneko, Lead Game Designer: “Thanks a lot!”

I’m not as good an interviewer as Alicia on acting official Twitter accountbut I will do my best.

Kaneko: “(Laughs.) That’s not true. You know, the person who answers questions on Twitter as Alicia is that guy. (Shows Toshiki Kubota.)”

Toshiki Kubota, Alicia: “I am Alicia! »

(Everybody laughs.)

So what was the experience of developing a crowd-funded game rather than having a publisher?

Kaneko: “Under a publisher, making a fun and interesting game is of course the most important thing. Publishers will do research to see what people want or if what they are doing is good or not, whereas with Kickstarter, without spending by another company, we can directly ask customers, “What kind of game do you want us to make?” and “What do you think?”

This game is often heralded as a spiritual successor to wild armsbut for the people who love me and haven’t played yet wild armscan you explain what makes this game special and stands out from other RPGs [14,494 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/rpg”>RPG?

Kaneko: “First of all, Army fantasy is a completely different game wild arms. There will be a fascinating story as always, but the story and the characters and such will be different from those of wild arms so everyone who hasn’t played wild arms will be able to enjoy this game. In addition to that, it will be an open world [109 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/open-world”>an open-world type experience where you explore everywhere. Plus, if you’re an anime fan, you’ll find fun there too good.”

I read that Western themes and things like Trigun influenced your conception of wild arms. Were there any new or other influences for Army fantasy?

Kaneko: “We’re doing a double Kickstarter with Machida-san, which is doing Penny Blood. We both made 90s JRPGs, so we thought we wanted to make another 90s-style JRPG. Machida-san has more of a horror [140 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/horror”>the taste of horror, and I have a western taste. wild arms for 15 years and working in anime for 10 years inspired me to want to use aspects of anime like storytelling and how it’s portrayed in Army fantasy.”

Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Desert

In the video announcing the Double Kickstarter with you and Machida-san, you all suggest that JRPGs aren’t as popular as they used to be. Why do you think that is?

Kaneko: “Of course, there are still very popular JRPGs like personas 5 [148 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/games/persona-5″>Persona 5but with personas 5 this is the fifth installment. If it’s part of a series that already has a first game, that’s fine, but when it comes to making a new JRPG, Japanese publishers just won’t take the risk. In my case, I went to Sony again and again, but nothing came of it. It’s not that JRPGs aren’t popular, it’s that publishers won’t let us create them.

What do you think it would take to convince publishers to create more JRPGs?

Kaneko: “(In English) Money! (Laughs.) Of course, if a game becomes a hit and has good feedback, that’s fine. Sequels to a pre-existing series make a lot of money, so it’s hard for them to lend money to a new title because it won’t make as much money. For a Japanese publisher, creating a new game… it’s really about money. Silver! (Laughs.)”

To talk more specifically about Army fantasythe Kickstarter page mentions six main characters, but we’ve only seen three so far.

Kaneko: “We’ve only shown three characters so far, but we plan to reveal them over time, so everyone is looking forward to their reveals!”

The Kickstarter campaign and much of the promotional material has been translated into English, but have you considered who will localize the game itself?

Kaneko: “Our overseas staff helped set up the Kickstarter page and worked on the campaign to bring it to overseas markets, so when it comes to localizing the game itself, we think they can help us again.”

You recently posted a field test video of the main character running and jumping. Will be Army fantasy involve a lot of platforming challenge?

Kaneko: “What you can see is running and jumping, because we’re still thinking about what kind of action [674 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/genres/action”>there will be actions. You can switch between characters because each will have certain actions that only they can do to help you solve puzzles and navigate. It may be hard to say, but there won’t be as much freedom as something like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wildas it is more of a story based game.

Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Desert

During our first interview, you mentioned that you wanted to make a huge world map because you weren’t able to. Wild Arms 4. Is there anything else you would like to put in Armed Fantasia that you haven’t been able to do in the past?

Kaneko: “The main thing is to have a larger world map and allow people to explore it by doing different actions like jumping, using gadgets, solving puzzles, etc. In the past, it was more about to get from point A to point B, so we want players to be able to interact with the world more.

Speaking of the big world map, one thing that’s a common complaint is asset reuse. How do you plan to avoid this?

Kaneko: “It may be a boring answer, but it takes time and money. To keep players from getting bored, we have implemented a more interesting combat system with different types of monsters to fight as well as various actions to solve puzzles. You always find something new to solve.

As for monsters, do you or perhaps your enemy designer have any specific inspiration or influence for enemy designs?

Kaneko: “As for the design of the enemies, the chief director of this game, Ishii (Hiroki), is in charge of the design of the monsters. We worked together on wild arms where he also created monsters. For my part, when I was a child, I really liked kaiju such as Godzilla and Mothra. All over the world there are many myths and legends with different types of monsters. When I was a kid in Japan, when I think of monsters, I think of kaiju.

Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Desert

What affects turn order in battle?

Kaneko: “There is a basic turn order based on speed and whether you perform actions before the enemy. Order Chain allows you to do more powerful attacks by attacking consecutively with characters, which the enemy can also do Of course, you can use the force chains to interrupt a possible chain of command.”

What does your decision-making process look like when it comes to making gameplay choices? For example, do you get a “Game Over” when the whole party is eliminated or when only the main character dies?

Kaneko: “I start by talking with the staff about my image for the match. I will have my opinion and then I will see what everyone thinks, and they may have different opinions. There is no one way to make decisions, but we usually decide by talking and finding the best choice together.

Our time is almost up. Is there anything else you would like to tell the fans before I let you go?

Kaneko: “It’s been a long time since I’ve developed a game, about 15 years. Although it’s been 15 years, seeing enthusiastic fans about the announcement and not forgetting me makes me very happy. Everyone’s passion gives us 120 percent energy to get through. We just want a chance to work hard, so we hope for your continued support.

Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Desert is in development for PS5 [3,495 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/platforms/playstation/ps5″>PlayStation 5, Xbox Series [2,735 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/platforms/xbox/xbox-series”>Xbox and PC series [16,036 articles]” href=”https://www.gematsu.com/platforms/pc”>PC Users interested in supporting the game’s Kickstarter campaign can do so here.


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