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Iwata Asks Dragon Quest X

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I read this earlier, Im glad to hear Horii's concern for those who prefer to play alone. Hopefully the AI buddies won't be dumb as dirt.

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I read this earlier, Im glad to hear Horii's concern for those who prefer to play alone. Hopefully the AI buddies won't be dumb as dirt.

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Yeah... with any luck you won't be stuck with a priest that tries to cast Beat or Defeat on everything.

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but monsters immune with that spells (especially Bosses) may mean the point of stuck with those with priest run (unless you really MEAN to rely on attacks and kaswoosh spells alone to fight.... and skills if skill system is intact in the game. Haven't got gameplay info recently... :P)

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Word coming in from twitter is that HMV Japan has cancelled international orders of DQ10 stating 'Not for export.' I've yet to have my Play-Asia order canceled though. Also there's some talk of an IP block for the full version of the game so it seems there might be some hoops to jump through in order to get DQ10 working.

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Well that's shitty. I thought Square Enix liked money.

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Oh, they definitely like money. Blocking foreign IP suggests to me that DQX will be available in other regions.

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Oh, they definitely like money. Blocking foreign IP suggests to me that DQX will be available in other regions.

 

They didn't block FF11 / FF14 imports. However, looking into it they don't seem to be making any attempts (auto translator et all) to make it multi-language friendly.

 

This suggests to me:

 

Best case: They plan on segregating the communities.

Worst case: They have no plans on releasing this one outside of Japan.

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It's further complicated by Nintendo's involvement. I imagine thAT NoA will publish it here, with SE handling the back-end stuff. But who knows?

 

IT'S A SECRET TO EVERYBODY

Edited by Sir Gooey

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Since no one else seems to be doing it, here is the translation of the interview.

 

Participants:

 

Satoru Iwata

Yuuji Horii

Saito Yousuke

Jin Fujisawa

 

1. "Understandability over Ease of Use"

 

Saito: Sorry about last time(*1). Today, based on the mistake of (Taichi) Inuzuka(*2) we decided to dress casually.

 

*1 Last Time: "Iwata Asks" "Nintedo 3DS" Software Maker version, Volume 17: Dragon Quest Monsters Terry's Wonderland 3d.

 

*2 Taichi Inuzaka= Employed at Square Enix, he is the producer of "Dragon Quest Monsters Terry's Wonderland 3D"

 

Iwata: Yes (Laugh).

 

Horii: So the three of us tried to look the same (Laugh).

 

Fujisawa: Do we match?

 

Saito : Saito has an hour late to work this morning because he went out to buy clothes for this.

 

Fujisawa: Embarrassingly that is true (Laugh).

 

Saito: The picture is only of here (upper body), so (he/I?) said it only needs to be from the waist up. (Laugh)

 

Fujisawa: No no, you don't have to give away that much information(Laugh).

 

Everyone: (Laugh)

 

Iwata: Yes, well, shall we start. Yoroshiku Onegaishimaso [Translators Note: I couldn't think of a good translation for this phrase in this situation so I'm just leaving it here.]

 

Everyone: Yoroshiki Onegaishimasu

 

Iwata: Today, I'm asking about "Dragon Quest X Awakening of the Five Tribes Online". We are

finally nearing the countdown to it going on sale.

 

Horii: The other time I believe the Beta test (*3) had just started, time really flies.

*3 Beta test= While "Dragon Quest X" was in production it was being test played. The official site applied for players to test play the game to look for bugs and problems to take care of.

 

Iwata: Yes, it felt like it was a while away, but now it is almost on sale. It really is fast. But that time really did pass. Today, what I want to ask the most is, "How did Horri-san take what a genre called

 

MMORPG (*4) that is supposed to have a high threshold, and transform it into a game that anyone could play?" and, "What was the process of this change?". At this point you don't need an introduction, but this is the series creator of "Dragon Quest" Yuuji Horii. Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu.

 

Horii: Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu.

 

*4 MMORPG= Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.

 

Saito: I'm the producer of "Dragon Quest X", Satiou. Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu

 

Fujisawa: I'm the director, Fujisawa. Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu

 

Iwata: Yes, Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu. First, for making "Dragon Quest" an online game- Horii yourself, was there an experience when you were "Drawn into an online game"?

 

Horii: I played the game he (Saito) made, "Cross Gate" (*5) and "FFXI" (*6).

 

* 5 "Cross Gate"= A MMORPG that started in July 2001.

 

*6 "FFXI"= The first MMORPG in the "Final Fantasy" series, which started May 2002.

 

Iwata: The way that Horii san makes things isn't just that through playing them he is able to find the essence of what makes them enveloped in the game but to fix the things that would confuse a normal person so that it is changed into something anyone could play. I imagine that this ability was in full force this time.

 

Horii: That sort of sense they also really understand, and we made a lot together.

 

Saito: To put to words what we often talk about is "Making it easy to understand, not easy to use". Normally for example a menu is easy to use if it doesn't go to many levels deep, but if the rhythm is good a deeper menu is OK. I think the feeling of "Dra Que" is that it is easy to understand so anyone can easily control the game.

 

Horii: To begin with, I myself never read a manual, so the major architecture for the operability of the game is that the major parts of it can be "Understood without reading". Indeed having lots of commands is convenient, but on the other hand to begin with you often then don't know what to do, so I ask "Restrain yourself, restrain yourself...."

 

Fujisawa: Also, online games are played for long periods of time, so there are a lot of games that want to make it as easy as possible to play but when you do that the screen is full of information.

 

Iwata: So you mean, seeing that screen alone you think, "It's impossible!"

 

Fujisawa: Yes. Then you would get a strong impression, "This isn't 'Dragon Quest'". So the staff in charge of developing kept on saying these two points, "Don't show unneeded information on the screen." and "Don't use a small font". On the other hand, if you have a scren shot of the game and the text is big, and there isn't any extra information on the screen, I think you will feel the relief that, "Ahh, this is the same old 'Dragon Quest'".

 

Iwata: After all, it is the same screen from the original Famicom. In the past the number of pixels was small so you had to be absolutely simplistic, while now you can make things as detailed as you want.

 

Horii: It is the same case with Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. It is easy to write the commands using Kanji, but as soon as you do it looks difficult. But with Hiragana yet get a "somehow kind feeling".

 

Saito: After that are the main commands like "Search", "Item", and "Equip". Normally there are four rows and two columns, but until recently we discussed, "Why not have it 5X2". But we settled on the normal format.

 

Horii: If you see too many commands, you feel like it is bothersome.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. We decided that even if it made the menu a little deeper, "It will be the same as always.".

 

Iwata: Logically 5x2 and 4x2 don't sound that different, but it does feel very different when you look at it, doesn't it. Going on, in "Dragon Quest X" what sort of system did it start out as?

 

Saito: When the "X" project started was just when Fujisawa was in charge of "VIII"(*7) and we didn't have any programmers, just the three of us brainstorming. After that more people joined, and it all started for real after we had a training camp.

 

*7 "VIII"="Dragon Quest VIII Journey of the Cursed King". It is an RPG software that went on sale November 2004 for the Playstation 2. It is 8th in the "Dra Que" series.

 

Horii: We talked about "How do we lower the threshold as much as possible?".

 

Fujisawa: Yes. "What should 'Dra Que' be like as an online game" is what we discussed in great detail. For example, what should we do if the "A player characters name is the same". In the end the decision on overlapping names was the time that we searched for the philosophical answer to "What should 'Dragon Quest' be". "Is it okay for a 'Dra Que' not to allow you to use the name that you like?". We started with that as a base at the start for each question that we then answered.

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Yeow... good going, Mimas.

 

Nice to know what's going on. I've read some translated interviews like these before and they tend to be informative and entertaining. It's great to hear from the source about what went on in making the game as far back as the musings.

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2. "You don't have to play everyday"

 

Iwata: I feel that if you don't wash away what is called the "Normal Online game" that you can't transform it into a game that everyone can play. So you poured your energy making "X" into that process.

 

Horii: That's right. Because we imagined that, "A lot of people who have never played an online game will be joining" . So that is what we were most careful about.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. What I remember the best is Horii-san saying, "If it is an online game with a 4x2 main command window I feel like I can do it, so we all felt the pressure, "We've got to do it that way." (Laugh).

 

Horii: Our ideal is that you are playing like it is offline, and then you realize, "Oh, wow, I was connected to the internet".

 

Iwata: But of course other people are playing the game as they wish, so we really had a headache figuring out what we should do.

 

Horii: But, "Dragon Quest" has a long history, you might say that it has a grammar. The people who know it can play a new "Dragon Quest" without reading the manual. So I had everyone do their best so that it would be the same online.

 

Saito: There were a lot of people who voiced, "I didn't think it would be this much like 'Dragon Quest'" after they played the Beta test.

 

Iwata: But I would think that the method of creating "Dragon Quest" would not match up with the normal online game, so it wouldn't be easy.

 

Fujisawa: That's right. I've been in charge of developing "Dragon Quest" for a number of years now, and we never really transformed the questions, "What is 'Dragon Quest'?" and "How do you create and aim for a 'Dragon Quest'?" into words. Horii-san, have you developed a terminology for it inside of yourself?

 

Horii: I just have a sense. A sense (Laugh).

 

Fujisawa: That is right. I also have a sense, and there are many parts that I haven't figured out a vocabulary for. It makes it hard when I'm explaining to other people.

 

Iwata: But if it was easy for you to do then that would mean anyone could create it. The fact that many people have tried to "make a game like 'Dragon Quest'" and yet none has become a "Dragon Quest" means that you just can't create such an approach.

 

Horii: I think there probably isn't a rule. It is an odd feeling you get I think.

 

Saito: Having meetings with Horii-san I've seen the build up of "If it is fun then that's great" build up until it became a "Dragon Quest. From the sidelines I thought, "Amazing".

 

Horii: When something fun comes up the important part is "lowing the threshold" to communicate it easily. I've seen a lot of times where there are games where, "This game wanted to give out this sort of fun" but they didn't make it, "soo close" you think. Before the player was able to make it to the fun they've wandered into a maze of not knowing what to do next. It makes the player feel uneasy.

 

Iwata: Horii-san has a specially tuned sensor to what might frighten normal people which you can't just get from making games for many years.

 

Horii: Probably because I myself am easily frightened. So I do my best to make sure other people can feel comfortable.

 

Fujisawa: This time there are a lot of procedures for making the game online. Horii-san was particular about each and every line of explanation. That made it extremely easy to understand, and I thought, "Oh, this is the part that needs the most care."

 

Horii: The player is worried about a lot of things.

 

Iwata: Online games try and appeal to people with their innermost depths, but it is Horii's point of view that "Even if you appeal to them in that way it might make them uneasy." I don't think there is a online game creator with that viewpoint.

 

Fujisawa: I don't think so.

 

Saito: I don't think so.

 

Iwata: That is why I think this time people who have never had any dealings with online games will enter feeling frighted but then find themselves feeling like they belong.

 

Horii: So next we made changes so, "You don't enter too deeply".

 

Saito: That's right.

 

Fujisawa: That was a big conflict.

 

Iwata: The people making the game want "You don't enter too deeply" (Laugh). I've never heard of an online game that puts out that message.

 

Horii: I want you to feel excited when you are online, but you to be able to log out feeling good. (Laugh).

 

Fujisawa: Yes. I think there are a lot of casual games lately putting out the message, "I want you to play every day". but "Dragon Quest" is the opposite. The message we put out is, "You don't have to play everyday".

 

Horii: You get certain merits by not playing every day.

 

Fujisawa: Yes, first Horii-san said, "I don't want to make a game where the customers to ruin their lives by playing." So we made a systems to respond to that. One is the Support Comrades. When you aren't playing some other players can use you with them and you gain experience and gold.

 

Iwata: It is a system for those who aren't playing currently to have their character advance as if they were still playing.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. And the second is the "Genki Dama" [Translator's notes: Spirit Bomb]. This charges up when you aren't logged in, and when you've reached a certain amount of time you receive this item. When you use it for 30 minutes you get double the experience and gold. Those who can only play on the weekend will build up Genki Dama, and they can keep playing twice at twice as much.

 

Saito: You won't be left behind even if you don't play, so please sleep, it means.

 

Iwata: "You don't have to feel bad about sleep". I haven't heard of this either (Laugh).

 

Fujisawa: Last is "Support Gold". Once you reach a certain point in the game, every week you will be paid gold. With these three we transformed the message "You don't have to play every day" into something physical.

 

Iwata: At the same time, there will be people who can play a lot. How did you balance between the those people and those who can't play a lot.

 

Fujisawa: We didn't balance it, to be extreme we changed it to, "You don't have to play with other people".

 

Iwata: Huh? You don't have to play with other people?

 

Fujisawa: Yes. In the end, I think that the reason that you are no longer able to play with others is when someone in the group falls behind, and feels lonely and alienated. So from the beginning with "X" we have been saying that it is "A Online game you can play by yourself" for these people.

 

Horii: I am also shy, and I don't deal well with friendship (Laugh). So I played "FFXI" the whole time by myself.

 

Iwata: There is a rumor that this time during the beta test if someone tried to talk to Horii-san, he would run away (Laugh).

 

Saito: It's true (laugh).

 

Horii: But I like the atmosphere of people that you feel in an online game. So I feel that in "IX" (*8) the Tag Mode (*9) the light human interaction is "Good for the times."

 

*8 "IX"="Dragon Quest IX Protectors of the Stary Skies". July 2009. RPG software sold for the DS. 9th in the "Dra Que" series.

 

*9 Tag Mode= A communication system where you leave the game on while you are walking along, and exchange data with the people you pass.

 

Iwata: So the relationship where you say, "What time should we meet" is too heavy.

 

Horii: Yes, it restrains you.

 

Saito: But it is OK every once in a while.

 

Horii: Yeah, once in a while.

 

Iwata: So it is OK once in a while (Laugh).

 

Saito: In the beta test Horii met up and waited for a tester. We were shocked to hear about it.

 

Horii: That's right. I did a cleared a certain quest with that person, and they were extremely emotional.

 

Iwata: Horii-san...Of course they would be emotional (Laugh).

 

Everyone: (Laugh)

Edited by Mimas

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3. "IX" opened the path

 

Iwata: On the other hand did you have any issues with people on the development team who probably have a deep experience as online game players.

 

Saito: Of course there were a lot of ideas put out. I think they all thought back to the online game that they experienced ten years ago. That is why I think that in the end we were able to have a collective image of "'Dragon Quest X' should be like this" as the first step into an online game.

 

Fujisawa: But of course there were a lot of people who said, "I've never heard of an online game like that." , and "That game does this, and this game does that, is it really OK for us not to?". A lot of voices were raised with concern based on existing things, and wanting to make it the same as what they had seen.

 

So we kept on saying, "'Dragon Quest X' will do new things" and, "We want to make the game so that a completly different set of people will also play it" over and over.

 

Iwata: The same way that the customer feels scared going into a world that they know nothing about, for the person making it, not being able to use the knowhow they have used up to now. Going into what is beyond that and which they do not know, I think it is scary for them too.

 

Fujisawa: That is very true.

 

Iwata: But for the makers, even if it is scary or not that they have to get past that.

 

Fujisawa: That is true.

 

Saito: Time after time we got the staff together to share ideas. We borrowed a large conference room, and invited all of the development staff. In front of them all, Horii-san talked about, "This is the type of game we will make."

 

Horii: That's right.

 

Iwata: When it isn't the same pattern as a previous accomplishment people feel worried, I'm saying the same thing again, but that might be the only way to get over it.

 

Fujisawa: After that was, "How fast can we get everyone to reach a shared image" I think. This time it took a while for us to reach that.

 

Iwata: All of you are like leaders in a dark tunnel saying, "There has to be light on the other side", but your in a situation where you don't know if there really is light at the other side, but you still must press forward.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. If there isn't light up ahead, I will be hurt as well, but mainly it will injure the customers of "Dragon Quest" who are looking foreward to the game. There were times where I couldn't see ahead and ti was painful.

 

Horii: But the truth is that "IX" opened the path.

 

Iwata: What do you mean by that?

 

Fujisawa: Before "IX" no one had experienced a "'Dragon Quest' where everyone plays together". Of course, the staff didn't know, we didn't know. So it was hard to say with confidence to the staff that it really was fun to play "Dragon Quest" all together.

 

Horii: "Dragon Quest" has another face as a communication tool. By playing "Dragon Quest" you are communicated with someone. In "IX" when you could play withe others, and there was tag mode, we all gained a shared experience. That extension is "X".

 

Iwata: I think that in "IX" a lot of people experienced multiplay.

 

Fujisawa: Yes, The staff also tried playing "IX" and were able to share in "This is what a 'Dragon Quest' where everyone plays together is like". So for "IX" is like the reason of existence for "X".

 

Iwata: When you look at it now, "IX" was required for "X" but Horii-san, did you know that before?

 

Horii: I developed them at the same time, so I wonder? Well...its like this I guess, was what I thought(Laugh)

 

Everyone: (Laugh)

 

Fujisawa: When the "X" project started I was working on "VIII", and I didn't know about the existence of "IX". But when the production on "VIII" was over was just when the world was accepting the DS so while making "X" I was concurrently making "IX".

 

Horii: The biggest reason for "Lets make 'IX' on the DS" was "People will be able to use wireless to connect to others so they can play together without much labor". I thought that it was amazing then that people could multiplay without much effort.

 

Iwata: So you thought "With this people can connect with others without the customers being afraid".

 

Horii: Yes.

 

Iwata: "I'm going to get out the cable and connect us up together for a moment" at this point, at this time, would be thought of as a very high threshold.

 

Fujisawa: That is how "Dragon Quest IX" started, and during that whole time concurrently we were making "X". When I wasn't around I left "X" to Saito but when the staff persisted on at that point really became the foundation we currently have.

 

Saito: Because we faced that time the Beta Test was able to go smoothly.

 

Iwata: From the large number of players in "IX" that we saw we want to make it more wide scale, more deep, and that is "X". Especially this time we are making a game that is the opposite of "We've put out the game it is over".

 

Horii: But it was good that we had the sense of "making the game together".

 

Saito: That's right. I enjoy the feeling of widening the world with the customers.

 

Horii: We haven't had something that would change after the fact before now. It was always over after it left the door.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. Indeed, at the end there is a timing where you cut yourself from the project screaming "Yeah!" but that does require courage, and it is also sometimes painful. Because there isn't such a time I'm "Happy" I think.

 

Saito: In three years, five years, I think it would be great if you still say the same thing (wry laugh).

 

Fujisawa: Its what I think now (Laugh).

 

Iwata: What about you Saito-san?

 

Saito: It is 10 years ago now, but I've experienced this before. Of course it is fun but, I also know how hard it is..

 

Iwata: There is the hardness in continuing it on. After all the "catch ball" of energy that you get from your work with the customers decreases bit by bit from the start.

 

Fujisawa: That's right. The customers voice starts to get strict.

 

Horii: I admit, the truth is, they think "Of course it is good".

 

Fujisawa: But today (the day of the interview) indeed is the day we released what was fixed from "Beta Test phase 3.0" but the testers were happy. I've never been able to experience that in game development before. I think the feeling of "We really did make this together" is "Fresh".

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Oh, they definitely like money. Blocking foreign IP suggests to me that DQX will be available in other regions.

 

Capcom did this with Monster Hunter Frontier but not because they were making it available in other regions. They did it because they hate western gamers lol. Speaking English in that game will actually get you banned.

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4. A world full of exchanges of "Thanks"

 

Iwata: How did the beta test feel? For you, Horii-san, this sort of way of making games itself was a first.

 

Horii: I also played the beta test and I thought, "Oh, this is 'Dragon Quest'". and "They made it well".

 

Iwata: So you yourself also felt, "This is 'Dragon Quest'" as you played.

 

Horii: Yeah, they got me.

 

Fujisawa: That is the first time I've heard these words. That is great (Laugh)...

 

Horii: Changing the subject but what really makes me think "time has sure changed" is that there are a lot of social games that changed gaming from being something you do by yourself to a "Everyone is connected" feeling. Being able to play "IX" while watching the TV I think "Is it good to be connected to the company".

 

Iwata: You were able to play the game while connected to the office, weren't you.

 

Horii: Yes, that is why I think this is a time where Twitter is popular. To put it in opposite terms, I think everyone is lonely. In that sense, it is still a Beta but I thought, "I'm glad that 'X' is a warm world".

 

Iwata: It is from the sense I got from the beta testers but their sense of "This is a warm world where I feel comfortable" was communicated.

 

Fujisawa: I was surprised in the beta test when there was a situation that often happens in online games where there is one monster, and two players racing to get it. But in "X" using the "Cheer" feature, the person who didn't get the monster cheers on the person who did. That way the two part feeling good. I hadn't expected that "there is a way to use it like that".

 

Horii: They do it on instinct. They thank people with "Thanks" and "You're welcome".

 

Fujisawa: Yes. In the world above people's heads is a speech bubble, but the people around them can see it. Walking around here and there the words "Thanks" are flying back and forth. Until people really joined we didn't know what the feeling of the world would be, but when I realized that the world of "X" that the testers created was a world where "Thanks" was flying back and forth, I felt "An amazing thing is happening".

 

Iwata: Internet games can turn to flame wars rather quickly. That is probably one of the causes that the "Scary" image got created, but why do you think that didn't happen with "X" in the beta test?

 

Horii: To a certain degree it was because of the direction that we pointed them to in the way that we made the game. Making it easy to say, "Thanks" and making the atmosphere so it was hard for flame wars to break out.

 

Saito: It might also have to do with the look. You wouldn't feel like a savage when you see a cute character like a Pucklipo.

 

Horii: After that there are a number of sayings that you can say with a button without having to hit a single key on you keyboard.

 

Fujisawa: Horii-san was very particular about those sayings.

 

Saito: And then Jump. Jumping with a boing doesn't really have a meaning but when, "Saying thanks would be a little odd" a gentle feeling is expressed with a jump.

 

Iwata: Without words it communicates that there is a real human on the other side of the screen.

 

Saito: The reason we made it to start was a bored feeling to start so, "If there was a button that responded to you, at least putting in that would be good."

 

Horii. Yes. I think the jump was very good.

 

Saito: When you do it you jump yourself. Boing Boing.

 

Fujisawa: For no reason.

 

Saito: It's fun. It makes the atmosphere fun (Laugh).

 

Iwata: When you communicate with only words you loose the emotion and flow of a voice so it is hard to communicate you feelings. But with the supplementation of things like that, and the art of the world, the little expressions make an impact that can be felt.

 

 

Horii: Also the staff did there best and made a lot of gestures. The "Sultry Dance" is well made, and everyone dances it (Laugh).

 

Fujisawa: Yes. During the beta test, at the end of a phase for some reason everyone would gather at the town and dance naked (Laugh). Ah, of course, it was just that they removed all of their equipment.

 

Saito: They would even get 50 people on top of a stone in the pavement and dance. You would wonder, "Why does everyone get on top of this!?"

 

Iwata: Like it was a stage (Laugh).

 

Fujisawa: We just put in the needed systems, but the people playing inside came up with new games. "Its good that we suplied that space isn't it" we would think.

 

Iwata: With a simple system that a single player game wouldn't play with, with the thought and labor of people a new type of game spreads.

 

Horii: When I was young I ran a readers corner in the anime magazine "Monthly Out"(*10) called "Leave it to chance with Yuubou". Each month I would prepare a theme of submission of the readers. Coming up with the theme was a big point of it but for a single theme a lot of post cards would come, and it would spread beyond my imaginations. It was at that time that I thought, "The power of multiple heads is amazing".

 

*10 "Monthly Out"= A monthly anime magazine that ran from 1977 to 1995.

 

Fujisawa: Ah, that really is true. The forum (*11) really took that form, where I thought "Without the wisdom of the crowd (*12) it couldn't happen"

 

*11 Forum= A forum where the beta testers could report bugs and what they would like to see.

*12 Wisdom of the crowd= When you assemble the information from a bunch of people and exchange ideas and opinions this is what is formed. It is what you call information that has a new added value.

 

Iwata: I see. So the hospitality techniques Horii-san put out, with the wisdom of the crowd, led to new developments.

 

Fujisawa: But, Horii-san was like that from the past. Horii-san's "feelings of hospitality" plus the opinions of may others is what he takes to make the game. Is that the way it is?

 

Horii: Well, yeah, I guess. Hm....Hmmmmm. Well, what I don't listen to I don't listen to (Laugh). If there is 100 maybe there are 5 good opinions. I try and pick up those ones is my feeling.

 

Iwata: That is deep...5 in 100. But those 5, you don't pick them all up, some times you pick yp the wrong 5, and you miss the important things. But if I ask "How do you know which ones?"....

 

Horii: I don't know. It is a sense.

 

Fujisawa: It really is a sense.

 

Horii: Hmmm...It really is a sense (Laugh).

Fujisawa: I've worked with Horii-san for a long time and he doesn't tend to tell you things in words. I decide within myself, "This is what Horii-san's sense is".

 

Iwata: You must get 80 or 90 percent right, but that last 10 or 20 percent you must get fooled?

 

Fujiwara: ...Ah, what is the percentage? (Laugh)

 

Horii: 80 percent I guess..

 

Saito: Oh! That is a passing grade.

 

Horii: It's a passing grade (Laugh). Its good enough. It is impossible for it to be 100%. I think that the last 20% is something else that is not in me but also good.

 

Iwata: That is the things that surprise Hori-san isn't it.

 

Fujisawa: I hope it is (Laugh)

 

*The next part of th interview will be posted the last week of July 2012.

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Thank you, Mimas! You are a legendary hero!

 

Interesting to hear that X started it's planning stage right after VIII. I wonder if it was planned for a Sony console at any point? Or if Level 5 ever had their hands on it.

 

Also... it sounds like Horii-san doesn't have as much involvement as I thought. Like, he played the beta one day and thought "oh, this turned out well". Like he was surprised.

 

Oh, they definitely like money. Blocking foreign IP suggests to me that DQX will be available in other regions.

 

Capcom did this with Monster Hunter Frontier but not because they were making it available in other regions. They did it because they hate western gamers lol. Speaking English in that game will actually get you banned.

 

My line of reasoning was that Nintendo said they were planning to publish DQX but we haven't heard anything in a while and since SE didn't IP block FFXI, the suggestion that DQX would be IP blocked made me think that Nintendo was still planning to publish. Which is just long way to say "I dunno, maybe". The reason they hate Westerners in their online games is because the connection lag slows the game down, which could also explain an IP block.

 

I hate to break it to you guys, but I am certain DQX will have a fee when/if it comes here. They're providing a service, and it's not cheap. Even free MMO's have some kind of monetization built in.

Edited by Sir Gooey

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Also... it sounds like Horii-san doesn't have as much involvement as I thought. Like, he played the beta one day and thought "oh, this turned out well". Like he was surprised.

 

 

Well.. It's one thing to plan something out on paper. It's different to see it functional.

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He's mentioned in interviews that he rarely plays the finished product, because he'll want to go back to rewrite and revise all the little nuances

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My line of reasoning was that Nintendo said they were planning to publish DQX...

 

Source?

Edited by SlimeBeherit

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Source?

I think the fact that Nintendo has published DQIX, DQVI and DQMonsters 2 after S-E failed hard at something simple has something to do with it and their huge interest in DQ still to this day as well

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My line of reasoning was that Nintendo said they were planning to publish DQX...

 

Source?

 

Oh man, so glad you asked. I'm totally mistaken! I remembered, when DQX was announced, Iwata making all these commitments to publishing DQ in the West, comparing it with the success they had with Brain Age, etc. EXCEPT that the announcement wasn't really a DQX event, it was an event where they revealed the price for DQIX. Horii just let it slip that DQX was for Wii.

 

This actually turns my world upside down, as I have been operating under the assumption that DQX was definitely coming. Now I don't know what to think.

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Source?

I think the fact that Nintendo has published DQIX, DQVI and DQMonsters 2 after S-E failed hard at something simple has something to do with it and their huge interest in DQ still to this day as well

I would agree you if it wasn't for the lack of Rocket Slime 3DS at E3.That game came out ages ago in japan, and probably isn't the most difficult game to localize.

Oh man, so glad you asked. I'm totally mistaken! I remembered, when DQX was announced, Iwata making all these commitments to publishing DQ in the West, comparing it with the success they had with Brain Age, etc. EXCEPT that the announcement wasn't really a DQX event, it was an event where they revealed the price for DQIX. Horii just let it slip that DQX was for Wii.

 

This actually turns my world upside down, as I have been operating under the assumption that DQX was definitely coming. Now I don't know what to think.

aww :( I really hope Nintendo hasn't branded mission: Dragon Quest USA, a total failure...

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6. "There is a real world here"

Iwata: I would like to talk a bit about the scenario. What kind of scenario did you create so that the customers who've played offline can feel grounded going online?

 

Horii: First we have them make two characters offline. You and your brother or sister who you start with. In the end you are able to play both offline and online.

 

Iwata: So there is a certain amount of volume to play even if you don' t connect to the network.

 

Horii: Well, no, there isn't that much volume.

 

Saito: Our goal isn't to have them stay there, but to increase their expectations through the scenario, to push their backs and successfully guide them into the online world.

 

Horii: Yeah, since they can learn how to move. There are also a lot of little bits that are different from the past. So we want them to be able to get a sense on how to control the game.

 

Iwata: It is the same grammar as "Dragon Quest" but there are slight differences?

 

Fujisawa: Yes, Especially the battles are different. This time it is real time battles so offline before you go online we have you able to slowly practice the battles, and it serves that purpose.

 

Iwata: But it must have taken a lot of energy and work to make this part local to the Wii.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. I kept on thinking that I should advise Horii-san, "You can make something a little lighter" (Laugh). But as it serves the purpose of widening the entrance to the game, I kept holding myself back.

 

Horii: But I never thought ti would be harder to make it offline.

 

Iwata: What do you mean by that?

 

Horii: Since we started making it as an online game from the start there was an issue where the speed offline would suddenly slow don.

 

Fujisawa: To put it simply you start by having the work divided into that done by the server and that done by the client. Since the work offline that would have been done by the server now has to be done by the client (Wii) it meant more processing. Clearing that problem required a show of engineering, but in the end we were able to make it move more smoothly than the online version.

 

Horii: One's normal sense is that "offline should move smoother than online right" is what people would think so I was surprised when reality was backwards.

 

Fujisawa: When I showed it to Horii-san, I said, "Isn't it amazing that we can get it to move this well even offline!" and he was like like a statue. (Laugh)

 

Everyone: (Laugh)

 

Horii: Normally people wouldn't think that the offline portion would be the hard part.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. I wanted everyone to understand how hard the work some of the staff did was, which normally people wouldn't have noticed (Laugh)

 

Saito: You are talking about (Mitsuru) Kamiya-san (*13).

 

*13 Mitsuru Kamiya-san= A programer at Square Enix. He was in charg oe the offline portion of "Dragon Quest X" as the Ofline Mode Programer Chief. Other games he's headed include "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles", "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Ring of Fate", and "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Echos of Time".

 

Horii: We also tried to elaborate on even small parts. The Slime Besu sleeping action is also extremely cute.

 

Fujisawa: I wanted it to be made so that "there is a real world here". If there is even one place that noone has seen, the world dies. We made it so that there was human will built into every single corner.

 

Iwata: Because there was labor put in all through, the world is lively, and from a players perspective when you discover something and think, "Even here!" a bit of a smile spreads across your face.

 

Fuijsawa: For example at the banks of a large river a monster sleeps. It is a place that players can't go no matter what. Monsters that are active at night sleep there in the day. It has no meaning for the gameplay itself. I think that making those things bit by bit create the feeling that "This world is alive".

 

Iwata: So you are filling out even the ways of playing that are beyond imagination that aren't even expressed.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. Within the development team, every 2 months we made something that moved, had all the staff try it out, and heard their opinion. The act of Slime Besu sleeping was one of those (Laugh).

 

Horii: Yes. The monsters do lots of different movements. They even hide in the grass. They are very cute.

 

Fujisawa: That is right. This "Dragon Quest" is the first one developed in house, so on the other hand we were actully suprised by their power to "create motion".

 

Iwata: Indeed that is one of the symbols of the creations of Square Enix as a company.

 

Saito: If you ask why we did it in this order to begin with it was to better respond to the needs of the customers. Thinking of business in the future, "It is easier to develop within the company" we thought.

 

Iwata: So there must have been a lot of people making "Dragon Quest" for the first time.

 

Horii: I think it was probably around 95% who were making it for the first time.

 

Saito: The truth is this was my first time working on a numbered "Dragon Quest" myself. I did a lot of work as a senior executive manager for the contents of the cell phone "Dragon Quest" but I am one of the 95%.

 

Fujisawa: And I'm the 5% (Laugh)

 

Iwata: Saito-san, making a main series "Dra Que" for the first time was there any suprising discoveries.

 

Saito: Just working with Horii-san was enough to keep up my motivation to keep working. Rather then it being hard "I ran happily" I think.

 

Iwata: How much help was it that you had experience making networking games in the past.

 

Saito: It was useful as nohow for making the foundations of the system, but as far as the play, I decided "I will put all my trust in Horii-san". I would be happy being the "Unsung hero".

 

Iwata: On the other hand, Fujisawa-san, this was your first time making an online game. How did you combine a team where some knew a lot about online games, some didn't no much, some made "Dra Que" before, and some had not?

 

Fujisawa: Going back to the start of this project, when I was asked by Saito-san "Do you want to make a online 'Dragon Quest' game?". After thinking about it the truth is I turned it down.

 

Iwta: So you turned it down once.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. The being with I didn't really understand online games, and I thought, "It would be hard to make something whose fun I don't understand". But when I was told "You should play an online game at least once" I played with Horii-san, but indeed it was fun. But, I also realized "It takes a lot of time to develop a game to be fun."

 

Horii: Fujisawa-kun, were you solo playing online games as well?

 

Fujisawa: No, I did it as a party. But, I have a policy to "not play at all with people I now" so I played with people from other countries (Laugh). So from that I understood the fun of online games, and I saw an image of "If I combine this with the fun of "Dra Que" , I guess it would go in this direction..." So I gained a shared awareness with Horii-san to which we proceeded.

 

Horii: But I think the first time we were confident about the fun of "X" was when we started the Beta Test.

 

Iwata: Indeed, when you are making something you've never done before, you don't have a feel for what you have.

 

Fujisawa: Yes. There are many people who don't want a lot of guidance in "Dragon Quest". My could finally feel relieved when those sorts of people from the beta test said, "Its different from the past, but it is 'Dragon Quest'".

 

Saito: When the response from the testers was good, that night we said "thank goodness!" and we finally felt confident. The first day of the Beta test, the staff assembled around Horii-san, and he logged in on a large monitor. The moment is burned into my mind to the point that one might wonder, "Why are we so happy when this isn't even the release day of the game?"

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