Nippon Ichi President On How Firefly’s Diary Is Their Take On An Indie Game

By Sato . April 4, 2014 . 5:31pm

Nippon Ichi recently showed off their upcoming action adventure title for PlayStation Vita, htol#NiQ or Firefly’s Diary, where you’ll be playing as fireflies to guide a girl named Mion through the dark. During a recent interview with 4Gamer, Nippon Ichi president Sohei Niikawa shared more on the game and how it started.


4Gamer starts the talks by pointing out that Firefly’s Diary seems to have a different mood and vibe to it compared to other titles by Nippon Ichi.


“To put it simply, Firefly’s Diary is an action-adventure game about a girl named Mion in a desolated world,” explains Niikawa. “The stages have all kinds of hidden gimmicks, along with gimmicks that are split between light and shadows, as you solve things out and advance forward. Actually, this game will involve quite a lot of deaths.”


“Contrary to how it looks, there will be quite a lot of gruesome scenes, which explains why it will be rated CERO D (ages 17 and up),” he elaborates. “The game will be balanced between dying and thinking of different strategies. The story isn’t told through words, so there will be a lot of parts you’ll feel through the atmosphere, and its content is rather serious.”


4Gamer asks if that means Mion will be getting killed by enemies.


“Yes, she’ll be getting killed,” answers the Nippon Ichi president. “Basically, she can’t really directly attack, so you’ll be solving gimmicks. For example, you might take enemies out by dropping boulders on them, as you play the game.”


4Gamer points out the above image, and mentions that when you look at it closely, you can definitely get an idea of how it could be a gruesome title, to which Niikawa adds that the artwork actually looks very close to what you’ll be controlling in the game.


Next, they ask how plans came together for Firefly’s Diary, and if it came from wanting to make an action adventure game for PlayStation Vita, or wanting to have something that could represent the world they thought up of for the game.


“At the beginning, the concept was to have ‘a game that is heavy on the atmosphere, while using light and shadow as gimmicks’,” shares Niikawa. “There are only a few people working on development, so I believe the early stages of it aren’t that different from the original concept.”


“This will also be the first time for the game’s director to be in that role, so we were able to create an opportunity for those who are working on it. I believe that having those from within the company participate in such a positive manner is nothing but a plus for us and the game industry.”


4Gamer asks what the person behind the planning of Firefly’s Diary was up to, prior to this new project.


“He was actually from the Disgaea series team, where he handled high resolution animation and chibi characters,” shares Niikawa. “Right now, he’s the director, character designer, and game designer, so he’s practically focusing on every aspect while making the game. In a way, it’s almost like making an indie title.”


4Gamer notes that such a game that puts emphasis on the game’s world as an action adventure title, does indeed give it more of an indie vibe, which is often seen in foreign titles. They also mention that this is also pretty unusual for a Japanese developer.


“Now this is a perfect example that such a game can be made by the Japanese if they go at it from an indie standpoint,” says Niikawa, adding that Nippon Ichi’s “New Brand” titles (another being I thought it’d be Harem Paradise but it Turned Out Yandere Hell) are completely different from their other games, and that if you were to hide the company logo, you’d never guess that it was by them.


According to Niikawa, that is one of Nippon Ichi’s goals. While it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have people see a screen and say “That’s Nippon Ichi!”  he’d like to challenge all kinds of different titles. That will be the main purpose of their “New Brand” titles, which will have quite a different Nippon Ichi taste.


htol#NiQ or Firefly’s Diary will be released on June 19, 2014 for PlayStation Vita.

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  • CirnoTheStrongest

    More power to you NIS! This is looking amazing~ Glad they’re really starting to go in a great direction~

  • SlickRoach

    For some reason this game gives me a Dokuro vibe, curious to see the finished product.

  • ZnTxn

    Reminds me of Teslagrad. Not a bad thing since I loved that game.

  • AkiraScare

    Gonna have to survive like Ellie in The Last of Us Left Behind (0_0)

    Strategy to survive in a lonely world…

  • Ladius

    NIS’ ability to keep their series alive while continuing to provide a steady flow of new IPs, sometimes braving new genres like with the Prinny platformers, ZHP and TGFP’s roguelike gameplay and this Firefly’s Diary’s action adventure vibe, is commendable. I’m thinking about importing the Japanese LE, considering the game will probably be a digital-only release in the west.

    • DesmaX

      I think it’s digital only in Japan too (Just with the LE, but I don’t remember they saying that it has a physical copy of the game there)

  • Jesse

    Really hoping we get this. The Yandere Hell visual novel would be nice, too, but this game has the higher chance of coming over.

    • God

      And it looks awesome! Not to mention, while it may not have the levels of insanity of a game filled with homicidal yanderes, a game with “cute” graphics and full of gore will be insane in a different sense.

  • DesmaX

    The story isn’t told through words, so there will be a lot of parts you’ll
    feel through the atmosphere, and its content is rather serious.”

    That’s was my biggest worry about this game. Words would ruin the atmosfere in a game like this (And, NIS is putting waaaaay to many words in their games too)

    Good luck with their “New Brand” stuff. NIS games were getting stale, but Hundred Knight was a step in the right direction

    • AkuLord3

      Rpgs with too many words OMG, but yeah little if no words at all is good especially for this type of game and its good that NIS is doing more types of games though i’m fine with whatever they do, i’ll always enjoy them.

  • Darkwing7

    The amount of love the vita is getting is great love and i love how NIS is changing up its gallery. Considering this was 17+ im a little curious how gruesome the death scenes their talking will be.

  • gahdhshskfjdgjdkfd
    This is easily becoming my most anticipated game this year.
    As much as I love Smash Bros, Atelier, Tales, Persona (okay, maybe it hasn’t beat out my P5 hype), and the like, this game feels like it might be the next Journey. (Ohoho puns) and that, has me really really REALLY excited.
    I’ve already said this I’m sure, but that dark tone, that art, that concept and hopefully dat music are combining melodiously to grab my full attention for this game.

    I eagerly anticipate any and all info to come! Hype train, GO!

  • Earthjolly

    NIS own version of Limbo :D GIMME GIMME

  • z_merquise

    I really like what I’m seeing in this game. The concept and the art made me interested.

    I love stories that are told without words. Effective storytelling aren’t always told by words. A background, a character’s expression and action, music or even the colors used can even send a message to the audience.

    Seeing how adorable the character is, I’m going to feel bad if she die in very gruesome ways.

  • new_tradition

    I wonder if the deaths are scripted, or if it’s more like trial and error, and then potentially doing a playthrough with no deaths? I could see a trophy for staying a live in a playhrough or something.

    • AkuLord3

      Its going probably be like Limbo…so trial and error. You’re trying to protect her so scripted deaths would make no sense

  • The art style of this game is pretty beautiful, and it sounds like it’s going to be good.

  • Looking forward to this. I hope it’s not frustrating like Limbo was though. I think the fact you are guiding the character about and trying to figure out the most logical course to take will help in Firefly’s favor though, rather than Limbo’s focus on super-exact-precise controlling of the actual character (which meant constantly dying at the same spot a hundred times, for me at least).

  • HYPE

  • Alexandra Cordes

    Importing the heck out of this.

  • Zypharium

    This game looks really cute, normally I’m not into things like that, but I expect cruelty. At least the pictures are indicating it. I hope my heart can keep up with it. It’s just too cute.

  • chroma816

    Definitely hoping this comes over. Especially if the little girl doesn’t talk, because that just means there’s little text and no voices to localize. They could bring it over with minimal effort.

  • brostar

    While this certainly isn’t a traditional Japanese game, the Japanese have created some bizarre “indie style” indie games before. Unfortunately many of them are just unknown.

    This being from NIS will give it more of a spotlight for people to see. Something that Japanese doujin/indie games never really get. Especially worldwide.

  • PoweredByHentai

    I NEED this game in my life.

  • tubers

    I hope this isn’t a touch screen/backpad -only game.

    It kinda feels like this and Murasaki Baby would be stuff that are easy to port to ph/ablets if the devs/pubs think they’ve bombed on the VITA.

  • FlobotingIt

    This game looks really interesting. Different than the usual NIS affair. Hopefully it will make it’s way to the US. I feel like this is just filled with fluffy nice warm feelings!

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