Dragon Quest XI producer on keeping the series fresh while still staying true to its roots

A portion of a GamesBeat interview with Dragon Quest XI producer Hokuto Okamoto...

GB: Since you are the series are the same age, how do you define Dragon Quest? Are you beholden to those tenets of 30 years of design? Do you think, “I can’t change Dragon Quest. I can’t let the team change Dragon Quest.”

Okamoto: When we were initially starting the development for Dragon Quest XI—especially considering it would be aligned with the 30th anniversary of the series—we wanted to deliver a completely new experience, but also something that was essentially a culmination of 30 years of Dragon Quest. When we were initially starting development on it, we had a similar discussion with the team. One thing that was interesting in our discussions was that everyone had their own definitive tenets of what a Dragon Quest experience should be like.

It was interesting because everyone’s opinions on that differed across the board. Upon discussing with the team, we arrived at one point that we should never essentially veer off of, and that’s to bring a level of surprise, in a good way, to our players. That’s something we wanted to stay true to.

One thing that Yuji Horii has always mentioned, especially for the first Dragon Quest games—it’s a computer game, in essence, and so often the response and the feedback you get from the game can feel kind of cold. We wanted to bring a level of warmth to the game, which is what you get through speaking with the characters and so on. Even to this day, the systematic text within the game—there’s very few [dialogues] included in Dragon Quest games, if you’ve noticed. That’s something we were also very conscious about when developing Dragon Quest XI. Everything you mentioned about the tenets of Dragon Quest, we feel like you’ll find that in Dragon Quest XI. What do you feel are the most important aspects of a Dragon Quest game?


I mean that's all good and all and I'm already pumped to death for this game anyway but I just want to play this on my switch and I really hope it's not going to be a case of waiting for another two years for this to come out.

Valkyria Chronicles is delayed, Dark Souls is delayed, this is delayed...
There is no way I'm playing those on any other consoles anyway, I know what i want and that's what no other console can offer, portability. But we need third parties to get their collective sh*t together as fast as possible or this is going to to be another Wii case.

The Switch is treated as an afterthought. After they release the games on the platforms they consider to be their top priority, then they see about making some extra money by releasing it on Switch.

It does hurt Switch because some people, like me, aren't going to wait. I'll get DQ XI on PS4 instead of waiting for it to someday grace the Switch.

If it's one thing that I would like them to change is the way the dialogue is written for every npc. Seriously, fire emblem does it so much better.

Want to join this discussion?

You should like, totally log in or sign up!