Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fragile - tons of new info

The guys atNeoGAF rounded this information up from a recent Bandi-Namco conference.

Producer : Kentarou Kawashima (Seven, Venus and Braves)
Art Director : Keiko Harada (Seven, Venus and Braves)
Main Programmer : Munehito Yasui (Baten Kaitos - Tri Crescendo)

• After much investigations, they found out that the average Japanese and European home game user identifies primarily three things in the games they play, in this order : 1) Story and Characters, 2) World presentation, 3) Game system.
For example, he (the producer) thought at the time (of "Seven"'s development) that rendering the gameplay mechanics more and more complex could alone make for an enjoyable game, when he found out that in fact, stressing the game system too much only lead to a dead-end.
Another example he brought up was about...the ramen restaurants : why is it that some ramen shop are radically more popular than some other despite serving basically the same thing - noodles in a soup : it's because customers are paying, not only for the good diner, but also for the "experience" provided by the restaurant.
Which is why, he concludes, as for the game system and mechanics, so the means used to entertain the user wouldn't be overdone, the question asked must be : "Which experience do you customer feel like getting ?", and the answer from the customer could be : "If I play this game, what kind of experience should I expect ?"

• Comparison brought up by Kawashima : "Resident Evil" = "frightening" ; "Fragile" = "oppressive"

• Kawashima thinks that it's essential than the creator reflects in his games the feelings he experienced himself, which is why they personally went out to take shots of existing locations (such as the Kawaji Dam, or the Tokyo Metropolitan Underground Discharge Channel), while observing the atmosphere, and listening to the environmental sounds. All of this seemed to have given a fairly high quality atmosphere to the game.

• The game should last around 30 hours. And because Kawashiwa considers that these 30 hours are most precious to the user, he wanted to make them the most meaningful possible.

• Kawashima's cherished theory is that, if the consumer demands to personally experience something interesting, then the game creator should create interesting games from these individual experiences "First is to provides varied experiences, the technology comes afterwards."

• Here is another thought from Kawashima : do the typical game user has a better response to the story of the superhuman which literaly makes the world revolve around him, or to the story of the average person which is confronted to occurrences he cannot control ? Well Kawashima himself, in addition to preferring the latter type, thinks that games haven't explored this type of plot enough. He calls this line of thought "From action games to reaction games".

• Fragile has actually been in development for around 2 years and became a fairly big project over time. "RPGs need a lot of money", he says. As expected, they intend to recoup these development costs with the game sales, and derived products. But the distribution and advertising won't be cheap either.

• At the start of the Fragile project, the game was supposed to be set in Winter (as opposed to the current game, which is set in Summer), and the main character was supposed to be a Treasure Hunter.
• A few elements survived the transition from the early project, such as the bonfires, the messages written on the walls, or the pointer/flashlight mechanics.

• The main programmer (Yasui) wasn't too hot on the battles as they were in the first prototype. He even proposed that the game would only consist of ruins exploration.

• Yasui worked hard with one other programmer to get the prototype version (the playable version which must allow the company to decide the fate of the project) up and running from the specification documents. So much that it was completed in about 4 months (he explains that his work on Baten Kaitos helped, as the Wii hardware is pretty close to the Gamecube), and the project could finally be greenlit.

• Seems like they had to change their art director at some point early, so Keiko Harada had the difficult task of inheriting her predecessor's work.

• A big work has been done on the sound flow, and the co-existence between the BGM and the environmental sounds.

• The project has been on schedule the whole time, so at the final development stage, they could actually afford to up the quality of the game significantly.


Sounds like a very interesting and deep game. I don't remember if this was confirmed for coming to the United States or not but hopefully it is. What do you guys think?


Anonymous said...

It sounds very interesting. It seems like the creaters have approached the development in a very different manner then we're used to seeing, and we might end up with a unique and innovative product that transcends genres.

Who knows...?

Anonymous said...

I hope it makes it to the States. The trailer looked really.......interesting. Very emotional trailer.

Anonymous said...

I have all three consoles and the only thing that brings me to play the wii is when the game is exclusive(SSBB) or I know it's good(re4). This might call me to the wii again.

Anonymous said...

IM EXCITED BUT ANIMATIONS LOOK WEAK AND KINDA GAY graphics art etc is cool but the walk of your character and the fighting looks a tad homo....

great news guys 2.7 million wiis usa alone december DOUBLE LAST YEAR ps3 sales have bombed

just great wiiiiiiiiiiii

Anonymous said...

Looks like crap.

Anonymous said...

Besides whats so 'oppressive' about this game anyway? It has cartoony and kiddy art style. I know its anime but I have seen more mature looking anime than this.

I think this is incredibly sad for Wii, we're hyping a game thats not even coming to America and it looks like crap. The Wii has some crappy games coming in 2009 and alot of them are only in Japan. How sad.

Metaldave said...

Wow I'm surprised by some of the comments. I think the game looks really good.

Anti-Wii people here?

Anonymous said...

Im anti-Wii but not anti-nintendo.

I have been waiting for the wii to make an impression but its not doing anything. So far we have gotten nothing more than ports, remakes, and games that aren't even coming out in America on the wii. That's just sad. The wii may be giving nintendo big bucks but when it comes to games it just sucks.

Whats so amazing about Fragile? Oooo, a story about a ramen restaurant? How fucking compelling. The 360 and PS3 are getting great games with deep immerstive story and great graphics while wii is stuck with shitty games like Fragile.

Anonymous said...

iv seen more mature art WHAT PLANET WAS THAT GUY ON, the art direction would fit to the game would it not.. so mario should have a Dracula art direction or need 4 speed should have a mario kart art direction ARE YOU ON CRACK GUY rollseyes at the idiots fragile would have fragiles art

thats why sackboy hasnt taken off on p3 because his not a man with a gun running around shooting as thats the only game allowed to exist

sony fans go away your console and culture is DEAD

Anonymous said...

its sad the sony fans have to come here and try and wipe the poO of there own faces I.E PS3 SALES BOMBED POOR SAD ACT SONYITES CARNT HAPPLE THE TRUTH

Metaldave said...

I've never seen so much bashing of a game that hasn't really been shown much of or played. I for one like the art style and the gameplay sounds interesting. I'm optimistic about it, but I won't bash a game I've never played. Did some of you get lame Christmas presents or something? It's just a strange attitude that I'm not used to seeing here at this blog.

Anonymous said...

its jealousy because sony fans know now that all the exclusives are going wii and all the previous jap ps3 exclusives are going wii and off course wiis sales

there jealous that's all it is

XidZen said...

Invasion here ?
About fragile it reminds me somehow harry potter.
Happy New Year MetalDave and all you guys!

Anonymous said...

I don't get it, are you guys so desperate for a shitty game like this because there aren't any good games like Resident Evil 5 and Grand Theft Auto IV?

Nintendo screwed up with the wii because there are no good games.

Anonymous said...


You sony fanboys make me laught...

Don't get me wrong, I love sony, and I think this year PS3 has been doing very well in terms of great exclusive game releases, but this is a "Wii" blog, and I find it very sad that you Sony fanboys have nothing better to do than search for wii exclusive news blogs and troll on it for no good reason.

If you have all that extra time on your hands to troll wii blogs, then surely your PS3 isn't taking up enought of your time...

Happy New Year MetalDave! And good luck with "all that" ps3 fanboys...


Anonymous said...

This game looks like ass to me. Hope it doesn't come to the states.