After Dragon’s Crown was announced we saw through the comments Siliconera readers wanted to hear more about Vanillaware’s first HD game. I rushed over to Ignition for more information, which is how we discovered Dragon’s Crown was in development for PS3 before the announcement. I also learned Kashow Oda, producer, was on site and with a little bit of luck (and creative scheduling on both parts) we were able to meet with him.
We hope you enjoy this impromptu Dragon’s Crown interview and a look at what Vanillaware president George Kamitani has been planning for thirteen years.
Earlier I was speaking with Shane Bettenhausen and he mentioned Kamitani-san has been thinking about developing Dragon’s Crown for many years. How has the game evolve with your help as a producer?
Kashow Oda, Producer: As a publishing producer, I helped [George] Kamitani (founder of Vanillaware) from a business perspective. We discussed what platforms are best for the game and what upcoming formats are coming to the market.
Kamitani-san had an idea for this game for thirteen years. During that time, Kamitani spoke with many publishers and industry members. However, Kamitani was not able to find support for this title. When Ignition met with Kamitani we agreed to publish Dragon’s Crown.
Why did Ignition decide to publish Dragon’s Crown when so many other publishers passed on the idea?
First, we respect Kamitani’s artwork and unique style. Secondly, with online play becoming more popular, Kamitani’s idea could finally be realized. We felt now it was the time to release Dragon’s Crown, especially with Sony’s new hardware, PlayStation Vita, coming to the marketplace.
Will Dragon’s Crown have ad-hoc multiplayer like say Monster Hunter as well as online play?
Yes, it has both. Dragon’s Crown is designed for users to meet up and play with each other. We created this game so players can gather for a game and then play with each other again and develop their character further when they return home.
How can players develop their character in Dragon’s Crown?
Throughout the game, players will find weapons, which can be leveled up. Dragon’s Crown also RPG elements, but specifics have not been finalized yet.
Each class in Dragon’s Crown is different. The amazon has weak defense, but she has powerful attacks. In contrast, the fighter has high defense. The Wizard takes time to cast magic attacks. These are very strong, but the wizard needs other characters to protect him while he’s charging up. This is one of the ways Dragon’s Crown encourages cooperative play.
Will there be team attacks for say the wizard and the fighter?
Yes, we’re planning on doing something like that.
Visually, the sorceress. She is an interesting character that uses magic to turn enemies into frogs. The sorceress can also reanimate corpses and make an army of skeletons attack enemies.
Why did you want to make Dragon’s Crown for PlayStation Vita?
Due to the success of Monster Hunter in Japan, we wanted our game to have a feature where people can get together and play. Since Vita is coming out soon we thought it would be great to start with it, also because players can play with PlayStation 3 players too. That’s another advantage of bringing a cooperative game like Dragon’s Crown to Vita.
How does Dragon’s Crown utilize Vita specific features like the touch screens?
On PlayStation 3, you use the analog stick [like a cursor] to select objects such as healing items. We wanted to take advantage of features on Vita, like the touch screen, so on Vita you can do the same thing by touching objects on the screen. In addition to items, you can touch parts of the background. Walls, for example, may collapse if you touch them opening new paths. Vanillaware also wanted to implement puzzle elements into Dragon’s Crown similar to The Tower of Druaga, a game Kamitani is a fan of.
Ah, that’s interesting. Can you tell us more about the puzzle elements?
That’s one of the things we’re still discussing with Vanillaware.
Is there connectivity between the PS3 and PlayStation Vita versions?
The two games are compatible. You can play the Vita release with a friend who has Dragon’s Crown on PS3. If you have both versions, any data you saved on your PS3 can be transferred over to Vita. You can continue playing or you can give character data to a friend and even if you’re not there they can use your character in the game.
When you play Dragon’s Crown online, fallen characters leave corpses on the map. The body collection system allows players to collect these corpses from the battlefield and bring them back to town. Pay a fee and you can revive these characters and use them inside your game. In a single player game, revived characters are computer-controlled NPCs and if you’re stuck you can select a more powerful character to assist you.
Is Ignition planning on working with Vanillaware on future titles beyond Dragon’s Crown?
At this moment, we have no plans, but we would welcome working with Vanillaware again.