One of the games I have been super excited about since the Kickstarter is Penny Blood. It’s billed as the spiritual successor to the Shadow Hearts series. So that has some to do with it, but the way those and this game will be has me hooked. Since we are in a new month, that means we get another developer update. In this update, we get the usual project diary and a message from Hirota-san. So let’s get right into it.
To start this update the team started by greeting fans with this:
Hey, JRPG Fans!
Hopefully only one last month of cold before we can get ready for our favorite season – cherry blossoms in late March.
One of the consistent things in these updates is the team’s project diaries. This is what they had to say about Penny Blood this month:
Thanks to everyone’s support, Penny Blood: Hellbound’s closed beta test ended on 1/31. We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to play the game. We’ve been going through all the feedback you sent to us, and the development team is working hard to power up the content of the game. All of that along with brand new content will be released in the Early Access version, so we hope you’re looking forward to it.
This month, I’m also proud to release some new art from the main game. First, we have the Twoheaded Pig (temporary name). While the closed beta test for the companion game Penny Blood: Hellbound was running, and I was working long and hard on the structure for the main game, I wanted a normal monster that’d be easy to use in various places, so I had Hanya-san design this monster. It’s been designed in a way that’ll make it easy to recolor it and modify its model a bit.
More About Images
The story behind this monster is that it was a livestock pig artificially modified due to the food shortages that ensued after the end of World War I. Among the other gross, horror-style monsters in the game, I want to make it a cute grotesque monster that goes ‘oiiiink, oiiiink’ and does charming motions. The other image is the Altar of Kalingsum. Out of all the dungeons that Matthew visits in Penny Blood, this will be the most important and most dangerous one.
When Watanabe-san was drawing this, I had him include special elements such as the gravestones, the otherworldly sky, and the large mirror floating in the air. Depending on what angle you look at the mirrors from, they will depict truth and lies. Matthew, himself, and his enemies, the past and the present, hope, and despair…there will be much to see in all of them. Up until now, I have always depicted my main characters’ mental struggles alongside the stories in my games, and the same will be true for Penny Blood.
Message From Hirota-san
Hirota-san wanted to mention Penny Blood: Hellhounds and talk about his different duties. This is what was said:
Good evening, everyone. I feel like January 1st was just yesterday, but it’s already February now, isn’t it? I want to thank everyone who participated in the Penny Blood: Hellbound closed beta test. There were a lot of sound-related things that I wasn’t able to finish or implement in time, but I’m working my hardest to get things prepared for the Early Access release. For a while now, I’ve been working on the boss themes for the different areas. I’m planning on playing a lot of different instruments for the recordings. Original stringed instruments, basses, guitars, cellos, flutes, percussion instruments, etc.
Bass is an instrument that I especially love and have played a lot throughout my life, so it’s the most helpful in terms of breathing vitality into my music. During recordings, I always play it with the same amount of energy that I release during my live performances. Penny Blood: Hellbound doesn’t have as much dramatic sound direction as RPGs do, so I feel like that means we need to put a lot of dramatic elements into the battle music.
With the battle theme for the first area, I focused on using it as a way to draw people into the world of Penny Blood: Hellbound, emphasizing the initial coloring and the image that I wanted people to first get into their heads. The songs for further areas will have a lot of transitions within them. And they are currently turning into even more interesting pieces.
Up to this point, I had to do a lot of managerial things and ‘top-down’ work. Such as sound direction, but from this point on, I’ll be able to lose myself simply in composing for a while. I feel like after looking at the entire thing from a telescope and sketching, I’ve switched over to a magnifying glass now. In any case, I’m now at the point where I can truly shine as a composer. So I’m going to do my best to keep creating great songs.
I’m looking forward to talking with you all whenever I do another composing broadcast. Please stay warm and make sure you don’t catch a cold.
With these continued updates for Penny Blood, my anticipation continues to build. The initial release date is in 2025. That means we still have a little over a year more than likely. I am happy that the team stays up-to-date with these monthly updates. I do look forward to seeing what they reveal next month and in the future!