Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us.
Before even getting into our first question, I need to tell you that I just about fell out of my chair cheering the moment that I saw the news for your Kickstarter campaign. I’ve been a huge fan of the series and every year I’ve kept holding out for a Suikoden VI announcement. So the moment that I saw the news for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, I knew that while there are only one-hundred heroes, the stars of destiny are back!
Because nothing happens overnight, how long as the team been planning Eiyuden Chronicle?
Murayama: The four core members being planning over a year ago. However, fixing on the direction that is now Eiyuden Chronicle and beginning the prototype was around this spring.
There are several Suikoden fans on the team—in fact a few of us were just discussing our desire for a “Suikoden VI” a few days ago.
With everything going on in the world right now, all we wanted was something good to look forward to and the news about Eiyuden Chronicle arrived on cue. What made you decide that “now” was the perfect time for this announcement? And thank you, because this announcement personally made my year.
Murayama: We talked about the timing over and over. Especially with all the terrible things happening around the world this year. Ultimately, it was seeing the fans positivity even through the hard times that was the right push we needed to be brave and announce the Kickstarter.
With the upcoming Kickstarter focusing on the PC first and stretch goal for the consoles, what made you go with the PC over the consoles as a launch point?
Murayama: We are first developing the game on PC. Also, Kickstarter’s demographic is more PC than consoles so we wanted to list that first.
Are there any concerns about having to use Kickstarter in order to fund Eiyuden Chronicle?
Murayama: Of course using Kickstarter is a gamble but we are at that point where we can’t be afraid of risks. Rather than taking the safe path, we need to take the path that will allow us to make the game we feel the fans will want.
Aside from getting the financial side of things taken care of (and here’s hoping a successful Kickstarter campaign helps with that) – is there a single biggest challenge or concern facing the team at this point?
Komuta: That would probably be having to create 100 unique and deep characters that all stand on their own. We have already shown the high-quality art style that we have chosen for the game but that means a lot of different research to find the blend between 2D and 3D and there have been a lot of challenges already. And there are still going to be other technical headaches to come.
Obviously, you’re in the early stages, but there’s lessons learned with any game release. Are there any specific lessons the team is taking from the Suikoden games and hoping to apply to Eiyuden Chronicle?
Murayama: Being able to connect with the fans on a variety of platforms so that we really hear what they want and that can shape some of the design. That’s something we really want to focus on in Eiyuden Chronicle.
Outside of the Suikoden series, are there any other major inspirations fueling your work on Eiyuden Chronicle?
Murayama: The goal is to make Eiyuden Chronicle the most interesting and fun game we can. Fortunately, we have a lot of industry veterans working on the game together and their collected experiences working on their previous titles will definitely come into play. If I was going to say one other thing it would be seeing Octopath Traveler was a big inspiration for us
The 2.5D graphical style looks amazing, as it refines the classic RPG look. It’s not a style that is used very often and can sometimes be a challenge to pull off effectively. What made you decide to take this route?
Murayama: We knew we wanted to use pixels to capture the detailed facial nuances and give depth to the emotions the characters show. However, we didn’t just want to make a retro game. We wanted to make something modern that stands out. So we looked into new lighting techniques, modern shaders, and reflections that can really add a new layer of depth to the backdrops. This also allowed us to add dynamic camerawork which is another element we really wanted to add from the beginning.
With the talent behind the creation of the world and the visual design already well-known, what kind of musical approach is Eiyuden Chronicle looking at? Are there some big names that you can potentially mention working on the musical scores?
Right now we can only talk about the composers we’ve already announced but we may be announcing others in the future. Please check the Kickstarter page.
This next one may be a bit hard to answer, but are there any plans or hopes to make Eiyuden Chronicle into a series down the road, or is the current focus to concentrate solely on this title and worry about what comes next after launch?
Murayama: We don’t want to put the cart before the horse so we first need to make sure Eiyuden Chronicle is the best game it can be but once I fall in love with a game world, I really like to expand the lore and history. By being able to control the IP through a successful Kickstarter, if Eiyuden Chronicle is financially successful as a game there really is nothing stopping us from doing sequels.
How’s the team feeling now that the secret is out of the bag and public reception has been so positive about the news? I imagine it creates a lot of excitement, but pressure as well.
Murayama: Just really, really happy. Of course there have been a lot of people sending their requests and hopes for the game so we want to carefully consider those. This isn’t about the game I, Murayama, wants to make… It’s about the game I can make WITH the fans.
Last but not least, what have you and the team been playing lately? Often times what we play, watch or listen to most recently can have an influence on what we do next, so we are a bit curious as to what you’re playing for fun.
Murayama: I watch a lot of US dramas. I really like Better Call Saul and The Good Place.
Komuta: I was playing Fire Emblem Three Houses. As far as foreign TV shows go, I Like IP Man, Game of Thrones, and Better Call Saul.
Kawano: I love watching movies at the movie theater and did so almost weekly. But with Corona, I have been stuck at home which has sucked. I really hope I can get back to watching movies at the movie theater again some day soon.
Murakami: I’ve been working a lot more from home due to the Covid-19 situation. I subscribe to multiple streaming services and I kind of just leave them running as a sort of background music. I’m watching a lot of Western TV shows. One of the more interesting concepts I’ve enjoyed was The Boys and I can’t wait for the next season. Another one that I tried out and found interesting was The Head.
Thank you all again so much for having taken the time to chat with us and we both wish you a successful Kickstarter and cannot wait to see more of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes!