By Sato . January 12, 2014 . 5:00pm
While we won’t be seeing a Dragon Quest XI on smartphones anytime soon, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii shares some of his thoughts on mobile devices with Famitsu, along with a few ideas he has in store, including a possible revival of what’s considered the pioneer of visual novel games.
Some of you may not be too familiar with the name Kazuo Koike, but to bring you up to speed, he’s a prolific manga writer, who studied under Golgo 13 creator Takao Saito. Following that, he created the Gekika Sonjuku, a college course dedicated to teaching people how to be a manga artist, which Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii took and graduated.
Square Enix mobile developer and Famitsu blogger Takehiro Andou brings up an earlier conversation with Koike, where they spoke of a possible mobile sequel for a game that is widely considered the very first visual novel game, in The Portopia Serial Murder Case. He asks Horii if he’s warming up to any ideas.
“On the subject of smartphones, smartphones are something you operate by touching,” says Horii. “I believe that there’s a connection between touching and examining. So, I think that making a visual novel game might be pretty fun.”
“Instead of checking places you’d like to examine with a cursor, you could simply press it and discover something or move somewhere. While thinking about the interface, I believe that we could make a visual novel game that has plenty of depth.”
According to Andou, Horii had previously mentioned that there are plenty of “light” gamers in Japan. Square Enix are currently working on a mobile version of Dragon Quest Monsters, called Dragon Quest Monsters: Super Light. He asks if the unique name was made to appeal more towards the casual audience.
“Compared to the console versions of Dragon Quest Monsters, which feature plenty of monsters to raise, this game is a little more stripped down in terms of features, so we simply decided to go with ‘Super Light’,” shares Horii with a laugh.
Next, Horii gives us a little insight on the challenges behind Dragon Quest X, the MMORPG, where the goal is to attract new people to the game. In this regard, Square have made their most recent push by introducing smartphone and tablets versions of the game, playable through cloud services.
“I like to think that MMORPGs have a bit of a contrast to those who play games on smartphones,” says Horii. “On the other hand, I’d like to bring a feeling of surprise to such people, and have them think ‘Huh? Smartphones can play these kind of games, too?’”
“Dragon Quest X is full of challenges,” Horii says. “Kind of like the challenge that was ‘how would Dragon Quest VIII be with a new UI on smartphone?’ How would Dragon Quest X as a cloud game? Challenges like that. They’re both Dragon Quest games on smartphones, but the characteristic implications between the two are quite different.”