The official website for Atlus’ new RPG project Project Re Fantasy: A Fool’s Journey Begins has been updated with the second part of the ongoing development blog for the upcoming title.
The first part consisted of director and producer Katsura Hashino talking about their new studio environment.
Part 2 features Atlus planner Kenichi Gotoh and a study group within Atlus using the Tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons.
- Kenichi Gotoh was the lead battle planner for Persona 5. He has worked on Persona 4 Golden, the Raidou Kuzunoha series and Trauma Team. He has also worked on the first Etrian Odyssey, as well as the “Cielo shooting” mini-game in Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner. Most of his experience revolves around RPG combat.
- As the name suggests, “Project Re Fantasy” has a fantasy theme, but the background and knowledge concerning “fantasy work” from the staff are all distinct. So to get everyone on the same page and increase their understanding of the subject material, they held a study group.
- The theme of the study group was the originator of the Tabletop RPG, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).
- As a middle-aged gamer, Gotoh grew up with the evolution of video games since the introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System in his elementary school days, and inevitably became addicted to TRPGs. Within the worlds of Araycrust and Elindil, he has been adventuring with his colleagues. He believes that the experiences of these adventures and the creative work derived from them are the roots of where their own games come from.
- With his TRPG experiences in mind, Gotoh decided to hold a TRPG study group on his own initiative. He decided on D&D, since its basic rules and sample scenarios would reduce the complexity.
- The DM (Dungeon Master) intentionally prepared the game for players inexperienced with TRPGs and for Gotoh, who has a long history with the genre.
- The study group at the time, as seen in the above images, was filmed.
- Consisting of members from game development, Gotoh observed through playing that players made good use of restricted magic. A gimmick used for the playing field gave the boss an advantage, which brought about play that could not be thought of as beginner level. It made Gotoh excited and interested, and made him think they were team members who could be relied upon.
- Gotoh thinks that TRPGs are a fun medium based on a trusting relationship between the “master side” that provides stories, and the players who enjoy the story. Gotoh believes that it would be great if they could build that sort of relationship with users and the titles originating from Studio Zero.
- Gotoh is studying every day by holding daily studies like this. Building a new title carefully from the start of the project is a lot of fun.
- It will be a while before they can deliver the results of these studies to everyone, but he wants people to wait and anticipate it.