Dragalia Lost - Content update for March 4th 2021, Dragalia Lost director Yuji Okada replies to play feedback

Dragalia Lost Director Yuji Okada Responds to Player Feedback (from February 21, 2021)
On February 21, 2021, Dragalia Lost director Yuji Okada replied to feedback players sent via the in-game Leave Feedback feature.

This notification contains the contents of an interview with director Okada that was conducted by Yumi Uchiyama and Ayaka Asai, voice actors for the Japanese-language version of Dragalia Lost.

・The feedback featured in this notification was chosen from that received between January 1 and January 31.
・Tap Feedback on the game's title screen to open the Leave Feedback screen.
・The content of the interview has been edited for this notification, so wording may differ from the original conversation.
・The content of the responses is from the time of the interview, so content that is in-development may differ by the time of its release in-game.

■Responses to Questions That Could Not Be Addressed During the Broadcast Time of the Japanese-Language Caged Desire Livestream on YouTube Live on February 5
Uchiyama & Asai: Some players believe that the plots of event quests are generally intended to fill in any gaps in understanding that may emerge during the main campaign's storyline or shine a light on the lesser-known aspects of Dragalia Lost's lore. Is that indeed the case?

Okada: There are many aspects of Dragalia Lost's world that cannot be fully fleshed out in the limited scope of the main campaign alone. For example, there are many important figures and organizations, such as those from Hinomoto, that have only appeared in events thus far. At the same time, regions like North Grastaea and its related characters have been slowly revealed over time in both the main campaign and event stories. By doing so, we can focus on developing certain characters in events first without worrying about derailing the ongoing plot of the main campaign. With that said, if we include too much of a character's development in a standalone event, then their impact on the main campaign may be lessened, so we must strike a careful balance between these two approaches. It's worth nothing that the Fractured Futures and Forgotten Truths raid events that ran during the first and second anniversaries have been made available to play in the Event Compendium at any time precisely because their plots are so closely intertwined with that of the main campaign.

Uchiyama & Asai: Will we ever see the Wagabond Pupper again?

Okada: Players seemed to really enjoy last year's April Fools event in which they could play with a puppy that wandered into the Halidom for a single day. To those who have been clamoring for the adorable doggo's return ever since, I will say this much: this event may return in one form or another this year, so stay tuned!

■Responses to Feedback from Players
Uchiyama & Asai: Some players feel that the recently added Morsayati Reckoning quest is just as hard as the Legend-difficulty quests in the Agito Uprising. Since the former drops materials necessary for functional upgrades while the latter only drops materials necessary for cosmetic upgrades, players who are not strong enough to clear this quest are prevented from fully developing their Halidom. Why not make materials necessary for functional upgrades available from other sources as well?

Okada: This quest was assigned a required might of 40,000 and designed with the expectation that players would level their facilities as high as they possibly could before attempting to undertake it. However, since facility level is not the only factor in determining whether or not a player can clear a quest, we are considering making the materials from this quest available from other quests as well.

Uchiyama & Asai: In the Alberian Battle Royale, if the match comes down to the final three players and one of them is using the Seimei adventurer skin (and thus has access to his unique skill) while the remaining two are not, the players controlling standard adventurers may form an impromptu alliance against the player controlling Seimei due to the perceived advantage granted by his unique skill. This seems a bit unfavorable for both parties, does it not? If adventurer skins with unique skills continue to appear in the future, players may feel forced to use them over the standard adventurers or gang up on them during the battle, and the balance between weapon types may suffer. Are these skins intended to be only available for a limited time, or do you plan on adding more as time goes on?

Okada: In a three-way battle, it makes sense for two players to first focus on one in order to increase their own odds of survival. We do not plan to add adventurer skins with unique skills on a frequent basis, but when we do, we endeavor to ensure that their unique skill is not overly powerful. In addition, we are constantly monitoring the usage and win rates of each weapon type and are performing balance adjustments as necessary each month. Our ultimate goal is to allow for the introduction of interesting and unique skills while maintaining a fair balance between weapon types so that all players can enjoy the experience regardless of what adventurer or weapon they choose.

Uchiyama & Asai: Players are appreciative of the various events that occur from time to time that allow them to focus on upgrading their team, including double drops for Elemental Ruins, Dragon Trials, and the Imperial Onslaught. Materials from these quests, as well as others, such as orichalcum, tend to be in short supply for new players, so why not triple the drop rate and make these in-demand items easier to come by during events?

Okada: This consideration for new players is admirable. However, we believe that double drops is already quite generous, and we would like to save triple drops for marquee events. I encourage players to check out the event available now that increases drops for certain quests on a daily basis. Orichalcum and certain other materials tend to be scarce early on and only available from higher-difficulty quests, so we'd like to increase access to them by making them available from the Treasure Trade and as event rewards.

Director Okada will continue to reply to the feedback players send via Leave Feedback again in the future. We're looking forward to hearing your comments. (The feedback featured in the next notification will be chosen from feedback received between February 1 and February 28.)

Thank you for playing Dragalia Lost.

Gnosia developer discusses the challenge of tackling the game's story

A multifaceted adventure

Gnosia is a unique narrative adventure that's filled with twists, turns, branching paths, and much more. It's all part of an interconnected story that plays out through 5 to 15-minute segments. In an interview with Polygon, Team leader Mezukare discusses just how difficult it was to keep track of everything during development.

“Since there weren’t many stories out there that were structured similarly, it first took a lot of time just to work out how to write it, and while writing the story we kept digging and digging, and took it one step at a time, very carefully.”

PopCap discusses the challenge of bringing Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and the Frostbite engine to Switch

No easy task

When Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville "Complete Edition" comes to Switch, it'll be the very first game on the platform that uses the Frostbite engine. That required a huge undertaking from developer PopCap, but they were ready for the challenge. According to an interview with producer Melvin Teo on the How Games Make Money podcast, PopCap was planning to bring Battle for Neighborville to Switch from the start, and they knew it would present all kinds of hard work to make it happen.

“I mean we wanted to do this for a long time. When we first started Battle for Neighborville, that was always the plan. But we never had the time or the opportunity, so we didn’t when we first launched it back in 2019. But yeah, then we spent the last year and a half bringing it over to the Switch and making sure that frostbite worked on the platform because we are the first-ever Frostbite title to be launched on the Nintendo Switch.

“It was a massive technical undertaking. I remember when we first started and we managed to get the game to boot up and run. And it hit like 2 or 3 frames per second. It was a slideshow, and we had a lot of work to do.

We made a lot of really smart engineering decisions and optimizations to make it run at a steady 30 frames per second without compromising the visual quality of the game. The visual look and feel of the game is a big part of what gives you Battle for Neighborville — and PVZ in general — its charm and quality.”

R-Type Final 2's lead designer says the game won't follow trends by having "bullet hell" gameplay

A traditional SHMUP experience

While SHMUPs are making somewhat of a comeback, much of the genre out there now takes the bullet hell approach. That means there's an insane amount of bullets to dodge, and very tiny spaces to do it. One game that's not going to follow that trend is R-Type Final 2.

In an interview with Eurogamer, R-Type Final lead designer Kazuma Kujo talked about the gameplay fans can expect from this sequel. Longtime fans of the franchise needn't worry, as R-Type Final 2 is going to stay true to its roots.

It's definitely coming away a little bit from the danmaku genre and is going to have a more traditional flow. Even if danmaku was all the rage, R-Type would never be that kind of game!

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa on what he learned from Yamauchi, Iwata, and Kimishima, discusses his leadership approach

Leading the way

Shuntaro Furukawa has been steering the good ship Nintendo for awhile now, and he seems to be doing quite a great job. There's no doubt he's doing some things his own way, but he's also carving that path by remembering the leadership tips he received from former top brass.

In an interview with Nikkei, Mr. Furukawa talks about what he learned from Nintendo's previous leaders, and how he uses that going forward. Check out the translation of his comments below, courtesy of NintendoEverything.

Regrettably, I never spoke directly with Mr. Yamauchi. However, I’ve heard all about Yamauchi’s philosophy from Iwata and his successor Mr. Kimishima. At management policy briefings, I say “Entertainment is valuable because it’s different to other things [we do in life]”, but these are Yamauchi’s words. He laid out a universal way of thinking for us which is the foundation of the current Nintendo.

Mr. Iwata took over that and left a lot of people in the company who could take initiative and think for themselves. I had many opportunities to work with Mr. Iwata when I was assigned overseas and learned a lot by consulting with him and getting guidance from abroad.

I learnt all sorts of things from Mr. Iwata, but it’s best I refrain from mentioning specifics. He didn’t like the fact there are people still at Nintendo who say “I learned this from Mr. Iwata.” We’re confident that Iwata himself wouldn’t approve of that, so that’s why we keep that close to our hearts.

Mr. Iwata’s successor, Mr. Kimishima, took over as president in the emergency state following Iwata’s sudden death. He worked on changing the way the company works so that it can be run without Iwata’s charisma. My plan is to proceed down that route.

We are still taking through the group leadership that we introduced after Mr. Yamauchi retired. There are both hardware developers and software developers in the management team, so I don’t do development at all. I simply enjoy the games and leave it to the people in charge to judge whether it’s good or bad.

The core principles behind our finances are to ensure the company continues. I’ve been in the game console business for over 30 years, and with good times also comes the bad. As the times change, our management will make level-headed decisions, changing what needs to be changed in the company.

Nintendo's president says it's important to respect fan memories when creating more content for Nintendo's characters

Characters and memories to last a lifetime

Nintendo has a lot of characters under their umbrella, but sometimes it can be a long wait to get the next mainline installment for each franchise. You might get a Mario sports or party title here and there, but when it comes to Mario's next big adventure, you usually have to wait years.

Some think Nintendo should work quicker to get these games out, and use their IP more overall. In an interview with Nikkei, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa says that it's not just a matter of cranking more games out. Nintendo works hard to make sure they not only respect the brands, but also the memories fans have of those characters. You can see the translation of Furukawa's statements below, courtesy of NintendoEverything.

We must keep in mind that the origins of the characters are in the games. These are characters that fans have grown attached to through countless hours of playtime. We must develop those characters in a way that won’t destroy fans’ memories of the characters in their worlds. We always proceed with caution as to not damage the value of the brand.

If we want to increase sales in the short term, there are other ways to do so. It’s more a question of what we can do to keep Nintendo a beloved brand in the long run. That’s the debate we often have internally, and something I think carefully about as I make decisions. There’s always a risk of destroying the Nintendo brand, which we spent over 30 years building.

Dead by Daylight's team is considering adding in more Memento Mori kills

Making a killing

The Killers in Dead by Daylight all have access to a special Memento Mori kill that requires an Offering to activate. These kills are much more cinematic than the standard fodder, and have become fan favorites. While each Killer only has one Memento Mori, Dead by Daylight Game Director Mathieu Côté has said that the team is considering adding in more. He shared his thoughts on the topic with Comicbook.com.

“Absolutely. Absolutely. Especially because it's such a very clear and finite piece of the gameplay. Literally, we can change the animation, we can change the camera, we can do crazy things during the Mori. It has very, very little impact on the rest of the game. Because if you can create a Mori, then you have the opportunity, you do it. Whatever it looks like, how long it takes, it doesn't really matter that much. So, it's somewhere where we could really play.”

Nintendo's president says the company is always researching tech that could be the starting point of something fun

It's all about fun

Nintendo's president Shuntaro Furukawa recently sat down with Nikkei for an interview about all things Nintendo. In the snippet below, Furukawa discusses how Nintendo researches new tech and the most important aspects of games.

With the rise in popularity of smartphones, our strategy is to grow the population of people who play video games. People all over the world enjoying games by utilizing the various features of smartphones, personal computers, and dedicated gaming consoles.

I’m sure new offerings like cloud gaming and streaming will emerge, but they won’t be a top priority when choosing what game to play. I think the most important things there are are the contents of a game as well as the kind of games you can play.

On the other hand, technological advances can make a big difference to the gaming experience itself. Since this can happen at any time, we’re always actively researching technologies that could be the starting point of something fun.

Capcom talks about how the pandemic impacted Monster Hunter Rise's development

A welcome change

Capcom originally wanted to have Monster Hunter Rise out a bit earlier, but the pandemic caused them to make some big shifts at the office. All games being worked on at the time were impacted, but now studios have come to work with the situation.

In an interview with Dtoid, producer Ryozo Tsujimoto talked about the pandemic's impact on Monster Hunter Rise. Obviously there were some big changes behind the scenes, but it sounds like the end result actually worked out quite well.

Basically, one of the major changes...all of the meetings are done online, digitally through Zoom or Teams. We hardly ever meet in person anymore. That's helped a lot for us. We've been successful with that, and I hope to see more studios use that method.

Don't feel bad, even Ghosts ‘n Goblins' director can't beat the NES version

The shining example of NES tough

Most titles tied to the Ghosts ‘n Goblins franchise are known for insane difficulty, but there might not be a more punishing version than the NES port. That wasn't by accident either. In an interview with Game Informer, series director Tokuro Fujiwara discusses the plans to crank up the difficulty for the home port, which led to him being unable to beat the game all these years later.

“The arcade version had a reputation for being difficult, but there was a demand to make the NES version even harder since it was thought the game would be too easy for those who already played it at the arcade. We thought, ‘OK, let’s make it a little harder’ but as we made further and further adjustments, it ended up becoming the hardest game in the series. To this day, I don’t even have the confidence to beat the NES version of Ghosts ‘n Goblins. But, if you have the chance, please give it a shot and experience the ultimate difficulty.”


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