Dragon's Crown Producer Commentary
Kashow Oda on multiplayer, death, stage formation and play time.
Degenki PlayStation has posted an interview with Ignition's Kashow Oda about Dragon's Crown, the PS3 and PlayStation Vita game that's being developed by VanillaWare. Here are some of the major points:
On the reaction to the game
Ignition was quite surprised with the tremendous reaction the game got in Japan following its announcement at E3. Regarding the reaction the game got outside of Japan, they'd been expecting it because it VanillaWare CEO George Kamitani is very popular overseas.
On difficulty and balance
The game's difficulty is being set so that beginner players and high level players can play together. Rather than your character rising in level based off how you play, the game takes the direction of having you make your character's skills stronger by using items that you collect. In multiplayer, when a beginner is matched with advanced players and the party tries out a difficult dungeon, the beginner player can obtain powerful items.
On character selection
You're free to make your party any combination of charactrs. You can have everyone be elves, or everyone be sorcerers, for instance. If you opt for elves, who use arrows for their attacks, you'll end up working through the dungeon using long-range attacks.
Some dungeons will be more difficult with certain party formations. However, they're making it so that you can support yourself with items, equipment and magic.
One thing they want players to do is discuss the quests at the start in order to create a strategy.
On game volume
Even at the current point in development, there's already a large number of quests that you can take from the guild.
Some of the game's dungeons are so huge that you won't be able to explore them in full during the course of a single quest. To see the full dungeon, you'll need to play quite a bit.
With all that in mind, the game will have about 40 to 50 hours play time.
On stage formation
Regarding the game flow, rather than clearing stages, it's more like you're clearing quests. For example, when you head out to a dungeon on a quest to find a particular item, you'll be forced to go down a particular route through the dungeon.
Your actions may effect how the stages play out. In the case of a certain boss enemy, you can steal an item from him without him noticing. But if you make him mad, he'll chase you not just through the current stage, but will also pursue you to other dungeons as well.
Similar to this, they're making it so that there are lots of options for how you proceed. You can jump right into the fight straight on, or you can select to flee. There are other options as well -- options that you may have to find in the stage.
Fairies and Thieves
Two of the game's character classes are fairy and thief. These two are exclusively NPC types, though, meaning you don't control them. They accompany your party as support characters as you work through the dungeon. (You'll recall that it was previously said that if you lose a weapon during battle, a thief will have to steal a new weapon from the enemy. Although Oda didn't mention this in the Dengeki interview, his comment helps explain how this system will work.)
When playing the game offline, you'll find bones around the stages. As previously detailed, those bones are the remains of other players who died in that spot. You can see the status of the player when he died, and also view his dying message.
If you take the bones that you find in the stages to the shrine in your town, you'll be able to revive the dead players into an NPCs. This is called the "Bone Collection System."
You can store a collection of these bones, although there will probably be a limit to the number. The number will be many tens -- they're seeing how many they can fit in based off the hardware limitations.
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