Armed Fantasia: To the End of the Wilderness – TGS 2022 interview with Akifumi Kaneko

At Tokyo Game Show 2022 we had the opportunity to catch up Armored Fantasy: At the end of the wasteland lead game designer Akifumi Kaneko will be interviewed upon completion Wild weapons Successor Kickstarter Successor Campaign.

Armored Fantasy: At the end of the wasteland is a western Japanese RPG from the creators Wild weapons. It was announced late last month next The Shadow of the Heart spiritual successor Penny bloodand both games launched a “Double Kickstarter” campaign to fund the development. Initially aiming for 100 million yen, the campaign has since amassed over 215 million yen in support.

If you missed our first interview with Kaneko, which took place just before the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, be sure to check it out here. Read more about the game itself here.

Download our latest interview below.

First, I want to congratulate you. It looks like you’ve achieved quite a lot of your goals on Kickstarter – it’s really exciting! Thank you also for interviewing us again.

Akifumi Kaneko, Lead Game Designer: “Thank you very much!”

I’m not as good a pollster as Alicia in the game official Twitter accountbut I’ll try my best.

Kaneko: “(Laughs) That’s not true. You know, the person answering questions on Twitter as Alicia is that guy. (points to Toshiki Kubot.) ”

Toshiki Kubota, Alice: “I’m Alice!”

(everyone laughs)

So what was the experience of creating a crowdfunded game compared to owning a publisher?

Kaneko: “Under the publisher, creating a fun and interesting game is of course the most important thing. Publishers will do research to see what people want or whether what they’re doing is right or not, while with Kickstarter, without going through another company, we can directly ask customers, “What game do you want us to make?” and what do you think about this?”

This game is often touted as a spiritual successor Wild weaponsbut for people who like me who haven’t played yet Wild weaponsCan you explain what makes this game unique and different from other RPGs?

Kaneko: “Firstly, Armed Fantasy is a completely different game than Wild weapons. As always, there will be a fascinating story, but the story and characters will be different from those of Wild weapons so anyone who hasn’t played Wild weapons will be able to enjoy this game. Moreover, it will be an open-world experience where you will explore the whole place. Also, if you are an anime fan, you will also find it fun. ”

I read that Western themes and things like Trigun affected your project Wild weapons. Were there any new or different influences on? Armed Fantasy?

Kaneko: “We’re doing a double kickstarter with Machida-san who does Penny blood. We both made the 90s JRPG, so we thought we wanted to make another 90s JRPG style. Machida-san has more of a horror flavor, and I have a more Western flavor. In addition, we are working on Wild weapons for 15 years and working in anime for 10 years has inspired me to use aspects of anime such as storytelling and the way it is portrayed Armed Fantasy“.

In the Double Kickstarter preview video with you and Machida-san, all of you are suggesting that JRPGs aren’t as popular as they used to be. Why do you think this is so?

Kaneko: “Of course, there are still very popular JRPG games like Persona 5but with Persona 5 this is the fifth installment. If it’s part of a series that already has the first game that’s fine, but when it comes to creating a new JRPG Japanese publishers just won’t take the risk. In my case, I used to go to Sony over and over again, but it didn’t work out. It’s not that JRPGs aren’t popular, but that publishers don’t let us create them. ”

What do you think would be necessary to convince publishers to create more JRPGs?

Kaneko: “(In English) Money! (Laughter) Of course, if a game becomes a hit and it pays off well, that’s okay. Sequels from a pre-existing series earn a lot of money, so it’s hard for them to borrow money for a new title because they won’t earn that much. For a Japanese publisher to create a new game … it’s really about money. Money! (Laughter.)”

To talk in more detail Armed FantasyThe Kickstarter website lists six main characters, but so far we’ve only seen three.

Kaneko: “We’ve only shown three characters so far, but we plan to release them over time, so everyone please stay tuned for those disclosures!”

The Kickstarter campaign and many promotional materials have been translated into English, but have you been wondering who will locate the game itself?

Kaneko: “Our overseas staff helped create the Kickstarter site and worked on a campaign to bring it overseas, so when it comes to locating the actual game, we think they can help with that.”

You recently published a video of field tests where the main character runs and jumps. Will be Armed Fantasy contain many platform challenges?

Kaneko: “What you can see is running and jumping because we are still thinking about what activities will take place. You can switch between characters as each will have specific actions that only they can do to help you solve puzzles and navigate. Maybe it’s wrong to say it, but there won’t be as much freedom as something like this The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wildbecause it’s more of a story-driven game. “

Armored Fantasy: At the end of the wasteland

In our introductory interview, you mentioned that you wanted to create a huge world map because you weren’t able to Wild Weapons 4. Is there anything else you would like to include in Armed Fantasy that you may not have done in the past?

Kaneko: “The most important thing is to have a larger world map and allow people to explore it by doing various activities such as jumping, using gadgets, solving puzzles and so on. In the past, you’ve gone from point A to point B more, so we want players to be able to interact more with the world.

Speaking of a large world map, one of the common complaints is the reuse of resources. How are you planning to avoid this?

Kaneko: “It may be a boring answer, but it takes time and money. So that players do not get bored, we have introduced a more interesting combat system with different types of monsters to fight, as well as different actions to solve puzzles. You always find something new to solve. ”

When it comes to monsters, do you or your enemy designer have any specific inspiration or influence on enemy designs?

Kaneko: “When it comes to designing enemies, the main director of this game, Ishii (Hiroki), is in charge of designing the monsters. We worked together on Wild weapons where he also created monsters. Speaking for myself, as a kid I really liked kaiju like Godzilla and Mothra. There are many myths and legends around the world about different types of monsters. As a child in Japan, when I think of monsters I think of kaiju. “

Armored Fantasy: At the end of the wasteland

What affects the order of turns in a battle?

Kaneko: “There is a basic turn order based on speed and whether or not you take actions before the enemy does. Order Chain allows you to perform more powerful attacks by attacking with characters one by one, which can also be done by the enemy. Of course, you can use the Chains of Power to break a possible Order Chain.

What does your decision-making process look like when it comes to making choices in the game? For example, will you get Game Over when the whole party is gone and only the main character is dead?

Kaneko: “I start by talking to employees about my image for the game. I’ll have my opinion then see what everyone else is thinking and they may have different opinions. There is not only one way we make decisions, but we usually decide by talking and coming up with the best choice together. ”

Our time is running out. Is there anything else you would like to tell the fans before I let you go?

Kaneko: “It’s been a long time since I made the game, about 15 years. Even though it’s been 15 years now, I’m very happy to see fans excited about the announcement and not forgetting about me. Each of us is passionate about providing us with 120 percent of our energy. We just want a chance to work hard, so we hope for continued support. ”

Armored Fantasy: At the end of the wasteland is being developed for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series and PC. Users interested in supporting the Kickstarter campaign can do so here.

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