By Spencer . August 6, 2008 . 3:35pm
Aksys announced they picked up From the Abyss in April. Without much warning it’s coming out this month and not “Q4 2008”. Surprise! From the Abyss has a built in world creator as one of its key features. I asked Bo deWindt, Producer at Aksys, how the dungeon creator works and to give us a peek at the localization process behind Sonic Powered's action RPG.
Is From the Abyss is Aksys' first game from Sonic Powered? How did you start a relationship with the team in Japan?
Bo deWindt, Producer at Aksys: Actually our first game with Sonic Powered was MiniCopter: Adventure Flight for the Wii, which was a fun and simple RC helicopter simulation game. Thanks to our great relationship that developed from doing MiniCopter with them, they were kind enough to let us localize From The Abyss for the American market.
ARC SYSTEM WORKS were actually the ones that introduced them to us, which resulted in creating a partnership to localize MiniCopter: Adventure Flight.
Can you tell us about the plot? How much text was there to translate?
The plot of From The Abyss revolves around the Kingdom of Rubenhaut, which is the guardian of the “Abyss Gate”. The Abyss Gate is the entrance to the “Dimensional Labyrinth” that was sealed away many years ago. However, the seal has weakened and the demons have begun to creep out. The queen of Rubenhaut, wanting to save her kingdom from destruction, has asked for heroes to come forth to vanquish the evil, and in return they would be handsomely rewarded. The player can choose to be one of four heroes (two male, two female), each one with four different color swaps. It is up to you to help the queen out and save the Kingdom of Rubenhaut from the evils of the Dimensional Labyrinth once and for all.
The game is a dungeon crawler, so it’s more gameplay oriented than story oriented. However, for you story enthusiasts out there (I’m a huge one!), there is a nice little story in store for you. Due to this, there wasn’t terribly too much text to translate, but still a decent amount.
How does From the Abyss make a custom abyss?
When you begin the game, the first time you enter each abyss it randomly generates the dungeon for you. Although, the abyss’s layout will remain the same every other time you enter it after that. This makes each player’s experience different and exciting, and allows some nice replay value by experiencing different abyss variations each time you begin a new game.
Do players start at completely different parts of the world each time?
Players will experience each labyrinth in the same order that they appear when they play. But as I mentioned above, after entering each labyrinth once, the layout will remain the same, so your starting point will be the same from then on as well.
What is your favorite weapon to use?
It might be a little cliché, but I love to use swords. But I do enjoy using the spear and the axe as well.
Which monsters have skills in their souls we should be on the lookout for?
While not trying to give away too much, some of the monsters to try to steal souls from would be the Zombie, the Ogre, and the Evil Fairy. I don’t want to reveal which one has which soul, but one has a nice healing spell that you can get early on, one has an excellent ranged Axe technique, and one has a pretty uber wind magic that can devastate your enemies.
Are there any changes in the North American version of From the Abyss?
There were no changes made to From The Abyss in the North American version.
What was the biggest obstacle during the localization process?
It might not sound like too big of a deal, but trying to get all the text to fit into each of the text boxes was probably the biggest obstacle.
The original press release said From the Abyss is coming out in "Q4 2008", but we're getting it much sooner. How come?
Q4 2008 was our original target, but thanks to our awesome localization team, we were able to release it even sooner.
Do you have any future plans to work with Sonic Powered?
We are always looking for great games to localize for the North American market, so it’s pretty safe to assume we’ll be working with Sonic Powered again sometime in the near future.
Images courtesy of Aksys.