PAX Prime 2013 Dragon Fantasy

Published on August 30th, 2013 | by Zach (beezn) Beason


Dragon Fantasy: Book II Interview: Adam Rippon PAX Prime 2013

Penny Arcade Expo is in full swing, and we got the opportunity to sit down to chat with Dragon Fantasy: Book II‘s Creative Director, Adam Rippon.

TGL: So obviously with this being Book Two, an expansion of Book One, it seems as if the art style has changed.

AR: It seems so yes.

TGL: Going into the 16-bit art style, are you going to be able to exploit more from that than the 8-bit?

AR: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. With our 16-bit style we went from doing one layer of tiles that was fixed to as as many as we wanted, effectively. I mean, The horse power of the Vita and the Playstation 3 is tremendous compared to anything that we could do. We’ve got some levels that have got 20 layers of tiles. We tried to really build detailed, fleshed out worlds. It is basically what we wanted to do originally, but when I did one I did not have a lot of time, or money, or anything. So I just decided “what if I just do it as an 8-bit RPG?” I’ll get a quick story out and get it out of my system. It didn’t work. I got chapter one of Book One out a couple of years ago, August 23rd, 2011. Then I was hooked. I had to keep working on it. I built on it and I built on it. Then when we reached a point around PAX East last year, we couldn’t keep doing it in the same engine anymore so we broke off and did Book Two. (We got) so much more detail, more monsters on the map. It’s the RPG we wanted to build when we were kids. Book Three will be the RPG we wanted to have come out when we were late teenagers.

TGL: So N64 style?

AR: Exactly. That N64 RPG that never came out. So that is Book Three. Towards the end of this game I really start making strong hints towards what I want to do.

TGL: How does the multiplayer come into play with the story?

AR: The way multiplayer (coming later in a patch) works is, when you go to start a new game you would go to either new game, load game, or join game. If somebody is already playing, they can go to the status screen and say “open to multiplayer”. When it is open to multiplayer, anyone on your friends list will be able to see your game and join it. Right now, they would take over the second character, but we are going to try to make it so they can take over anybody. The way it works in stories is basically like in Secret of Mana. If you don’t have more than one person in your party, you can’t take over someone else’s character. We are going to try to add in some support for bringing in your own characters or creating a dummy character, but story wise the main player does all the progression. The secondary player can open up treasures. Talk to people in town, and buy equipment, but they wont trigger scripted sequences.

TGL: Will their buying equipment only effect their inventory in their game? Or will it be a Party System?

AR: It will be a Party System. We are trying, since we are delayed, to make it so that you can bring in your own party. That would be a separate money and inventory system. But that way if you have got a super buff dude and your little brother is having trouble, you could just come in with the Lightbringer Sword.

TGL: Your doing some real religious stuff with that name there.

AR: We got a lot of Greek gods in there. Is Lightbringer a religious thing?

TGL: Latin for Light bringer is Lucifer…Yeah.

AR: HAHAHAHAHAHA! I meant it as genuinely, it brings light.

TGL: More like Prometheus.

AR: We have got a lot of Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus in this game. Their identities are kind of secret. By the end of the game you will probably have figured it out, but maybe not. The Lightbringer Sword is actually crafted form a secret weapon in the game, the Sword of Mana. If you get this stuff Pandamonium, it is an element distilled from pure Pandas. It will upgrade any decent weapon in the game to become an ultimate powerful weapon, so you can get that Lightbringer. It is the strongest sword (in the game).

TGL: So last year you mentioned bringing in a Colosseum mode.

AR: Yes, so there is a Colosseum mode. Currently it is not part of the multiplayer, but that is one of the things we are going to be adding. What we are hoping to do there is build out a big colosseum update with lots of battles. Right now story wise, there are three different times in the game when you can go to the colosseum. Depending on when you go, you will get different rewards. It is one on many combat, so the leader of your party has has to go in and fight five different rounds. You do get to heal between rounds.

TGL: Nice.

AR: There are points in the game where you don’t get to heal between battles, but they are few and far between. But what we want to build, basically for Christmas or so, is the ability to have Party Vs. Party and 1 Vs. 1 battles in the Colosseum.

TGL: Is there any update on this being a cross-buy title?

AR: It is a cross-buy title. It is cross play. You can play on the Playstation 3 and Vita multiplayer at the same time. So you can play with anyone, it not like separate servers or something. It’s also cross-save where you can save on (Vita) and move it over to your Playstation 3.

TGL: Does your save file from the first game come into play at all?

AR: It doesn’t. I wanted it to, I really did. I might be able to add that in an update. Somebody suggested that if you have the stick from the woodsman’s cabin in the first one, and you keep it all the way through the first game and import it to the second game that it becomes the Master Stick. That was the best idea ever. I’m going to try to make that happen. Basically what we want to happen is that we release all three games as a package. You know, years down the line. And I’ll be able to build all those little bits that I want to do but haven’t been able to. Assuming we are still in business.

TGL: When is Dragon Fantasy Book II due out?

AR: September 10th. It will be on sale for Playstation Plus members, $14.99 normally and $11.99 for members during the week of it’s release. Book One is on sale right now, 50% off for everybody and 75% off for Playstation Plus members.

Do you want to learn more about Dragon Fantasy? Visit their site.

Check out Beezn’s interview with Malik Bouhkira, Co-Founder of Spearhead Games for more indie goodness.

Editor’s Note: This interview was performed by Beezn and was transcribed by Smikey1123

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About the Author

I suppose that I'm what happens when you give a kid a 25 gallon tub of Lego and a lot of free time. I play games, I take things apart, and I build things (not as successfully as I took them apart). On occasion I have been known to put pen to paper and write about games, movies, comics, basically a whole bunch of stuff.

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