By Spencer . March 28, 2014 . 5:30pm
Square Enix has been experimenting with new gameplay ideas like Demons’ Score, a music game developed with Elite Beat Agents makers iNiS, and Guns’N’Souls, which has elements from Temple Run and a run and gun game. Deadman’s Cross is another one of Square Enix’s experimental titles that blends a collectable card game, a staple genre from Japanese mobile games, with a zombie shooter.
Compared to Guardian Cross, Deadman’s Cross seems like it was made for the West. Can you tell us how you came up with the idea and why did you want to create a zombie game?
Shinichi Tatsuke, Producer: Because we were able to create such an original system with Guardian Cross, we wanted to try to evolve it further using an entirely different game world. At the time, I had been playing Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare and it hit me that zombies may just be the way to go. In a zombie-plagued world, I felt that not only would the hunt system fit perfectly, but it would have a better chance of appealing the Western market, where zombies are pretty much an established entertainment norm.
Zombies are in the zeitgeist in the West. How are they viewed in Japan?
Zombies are a fairly intense hit-or-miss topic when it comes to the Japanese mindset. When I first came up with the idea for Deadman’s Cross, I was often met with the reaction of “Yeah, but why would I want zombie cards anyway.” That being said, Japan is where Resident Evil comes from, after all, so the people who like zombies happen to like them a lot. Not to mention, The Walking Dead has been gaining a generous amount of popularity here recently as well.
Deadman’s Cross has Zombie Abraham Lincoln as a card. That was a rather interesting addition. Why did you make Abe Lincoln one of the characters? What other zombie characters will we see in the future and what zombie characters didn’t make it into Deadman’s Cross?
We tried to pick characters that have a good chance of showing up in any history class around the world. After that, we tried to determine which ones would have easily noticeable features after being turned into a zombie. In reality, we wanted to take things a bit racier, such as turning the current president into a zombie; but we didn’t really feel like dealing with the claims that would surely come, so we reluctantly managed to hold ourselves back in that area.
This question is for Hiroyuki Ito. You created the ATB battle system, the backbone for combat in Final Fantasy IV and up, and Final Fantasy XII’s gambit system. How did you create the combat system for Deadman’s Cross? Why did you add FPS mechanics to the Cross series?
Hiroyuki Ito, Battle Designer: Because mobile games lack the use of a controller, movement and commands can be difficult at times. To the end, I tried to design a system where you don’t have to fidget much with controls during battle. In exchange for this, the strategic preparation one must go through prior to battle is greatly increased, and therein lies the true enjoyment of this system.