By Spencer . October 19, 2012 . 5:15pm
Game Arts took the world setting from Ragnarok Online and transformed it into a hunting game. When I played Ragnarok Odyssey it immediately felt different from Monster Hunter, it was had action elements and most of the fighting took place in the air. When we spoke to director Kazuhiro Irie we talked about creating Ragnarok Odyssey’s monsters and how the team fine tuned the controls.
When I played Ragnarok Odyssey, the controls and tempo reminded me more of an action game than a hunting genre title. Was this part of your plan and can you tell us how you designed the controls so they felt responsive?
Kazuhiro Irie, Director: If you’re asking if the game tempo and the controls were set from the start of the project, then the answer is “no.” Since the original Ragnarok Online is an RPG, we considered all our options for providing an RPG-like experience to the users. One of the key words we concentrated on from the start of the project was “exhilarating,” so as we refined the game design it eventually became a speedy battle system where you fight against giants in the air.
As for the controls, we wanted to make it so the feel of control would be the same on the ground as it is in the air. We incorporated controls such as timing button input for combos, holding down buttons and having movement lock after using a powerful attack, which might make people feel like the controls are overall more responsive. We also used the touchscreen capability to give players more options without interrupting the action.
Which monster was the toughest to make? Which one is your favorite to fight?
Taking everything into account, Hrungnir took the longest to balance. Hrungnir is the tallest of all the giant bosses, and we used him as a guinea pig for lots of aerial combat tests. We sought to answer questions like, how many vertical steps should it take? How should vertical step work? What ascension speed would be best? What falling speed would feel most natural? How about diving speed? How should he handle players circling around the lower half of his body? What’s the best camera position for capturing the action? etc. By asking these questions and running tests on Hrungnir to find the best answers, we were better able to balance and fine-tune our massive boss battles.
As for which boss I enjoyed fighting most, I’d have to say Grendel.
Ragnarok Odyssey supports ad hoc and infrastructure play. How difficult was it to add online play to the game?
Well, as you may know, we didn’t actually have online capabilities in the game at launch in Japan, so I can definitely say it was a difficult addition. But we knew how important online capability was for a hunting game, so after extensive testing, we were finally able to offer it to players through a free patch. Now, as long as you’ve got reliable internet, I think you’ll be able to play and enjoy multiplayer matches very easily!
What’s new for the North American version?
All the free add-on content patches from the Japanese version that were released post-launch will be included in the North American version at launch. So for those of you who buy this overseas version, you’ll be able to enjoy all the updated content Japan received right out of the box!