Here we are again with your favorite time of the month. It’s Eiyuden Chronicles monthly update time again. October’s update was smaller but contains a few interesting bits. Including the Tokyo Game Show wrap-up, background concept art, and a word from the team. And of course, fans also got Murayama’s monthly development report.
Tokyo Game Show 2021 Round-Up
Eiyuden Chronicles Rising, the prequel companion game, was shown off at the Tokyo Game Show thanks to 505 Games. Murayama and Kuwano both were in attendance to answer some questions and explain things during the small demonstration. We got a small look at EC Rising and how the gameplay will be a little different than the main game EC Hundred Heroes. The latter is supposed to be turn-based combat and a little more in-depth.
Background Concept Art
With October’s update, we got a concept image of the Desert Border Route from the game. Keep in mind that this is a concept image from a game still in development. With previous images and concept art, we can tell that we won’t be stuck in just one particular region such as a desert. We can assume that there will be multiple vibrant areas for us to visit with plenty of colors. If you look closely, you can see what appears to look like the camps we have seen in previous images from other Eiyuden Chronicles updates.
Murakami Chimes in on the Concept Art
In regards to this concept image, Murakami had this to say:
Today, I’d like to show you a beautiful, naturally occurring maze near the desert area. The dry terrain will present an array of challenges to halt your progress (heheh). Wait, I’m getting carried away…I myself love RPGs, but I’m not too good with mazes. (I have no sense of direction.) I’m sure to lose my way in the mazes of the Eiyuden Chronicles world, so to prevent boredom, I at least want to prepare some beautiful scenery.
Murayama’s Monthly Development Report
In his monthly development report, Murayama explained some things about storytelling:
Personally, I feel that storytelling in games is quite different to that for TV series or novels. Of course, the way stories are created changes depending on the medium. For example, there is a huge difference between work that is entirely written versus video-based work. The latter uses techniques to convey meaning through moving images that cannot be conveyed through dialogue alone, while novels have their own techniques. One unique technique that I’m always conscious of in game storytelling is synchronizing the feelings and sensations communicated through the story with those experienced during gameplay itself.
In a scene where the story is bitter and painful, you have to use production techniques to make the gameplay reflect those feelings as well. For that reason, when I’m writing for a game, I’ll also include specifications about the gameplay, like requesting for certain parts to have enemies that are stronger than usual. I’ll also ask for there to be a little more distance between certain locations, so that players have time to walk around and explore on their own before another big event in the game starts. I think this is a production technique rarely seen in other media.
Murayama Talks About Merging Story with Gameplay
Murayama also added about how to blend story elements with gameplay:
On the flip side, I sometimes work on synchronizing how the Eiyuden Chronicles story develops with the gameplay aspects.In an RPG, players are guided along a single path in terms of both the story and gameplay during the beginning stages. This is so players don’t get lost right at the start. However, at some point, players start to be given more choices, and more freedom in where to go and how to enjoy the many different aspects of the game.
Stories for games are also written in a way that complements this format. That’s another technique I find unique to game storytelling. The skeleton has already been built, so now I need to add the meat. In other words, fleshing out the story, which is taking up most of my time these days.
A Word From Komuta
Komuta is the director for the Eiyuden Chronicles games. He wanted to explain to everyone the work they are currently doing:
On Eiyuden Chronicles, we are currently in the process of making a prototype that connects up each element in the early stages of the game, and responding to various issues that have come to light during testing, like how to view the world map, the towns and dungeons, camera work for the demo, managing the positioning of the characters and height differences during battle, and so on.
We’re working on solving each of these issues one by one and finalizing the specifications so that we can move onto the next step, while also keeping an image of the full, completed game in our minds. Also, among the 120 characters joining, the roles of the characters who will take part in battles are gradually being solidified.
Komuta Talks Sharks
Komuta also chimed in about the latest character unveiling:
Mr. Murayama first came up with the characters’ features for the Eiyuden Chronicles, what role he’d like to see them play in battle, their abilities, the number of attacks, their skills, and then how we’d implement them and what the animation would look like. We went over each section, but then we’d receive remarks from Mr. J like, “Let’s make Yuferius more shark-like” and they’d created a stir.
“What does shark-like even mean?” “His weapon is an iron ball, right?” “Are iron balls shark-like?” “When you think of a shark, you think of so-and-so, right?” “We can’t really do that visually, so how about this?” Usually the content of the animation is decided by Mr. J’s character team, but if the problem is related to implementation specifications (how to create it in-game), the leaders of the different parts gatherand have a very serious Shark Summit about sharks (lol).
Now, as to what kind of visuals come out of all this… That’s something to look forward to
Eiyuden Chronicles October Update Impressions
As you have heard me say before with each month my excitement level is going through the roof. People I talk to are thoroughly enjoying hearing what the team is working on. Additionally, they also seem to be in love with the game’s art style. Eiyuden Chronicles will have endless playthrough possibilities since the game will feature over 110 unique characters to use in your party. I will be buying a copy for all systems for my Suikoden/Eiyuden collection. Everyone else can experience Eiyuden Chronicles Rising and Eiyuden Chronicles Hundred Heroes when they release day one on Xbox Game Pass.