Hotel Dusk developer Cing and Tecmo are developing crime mystery game for the Nintendo DS. In Again: Eye of Providence you guide Jonathan Weaver, a FBI agent investigating the Providence Murder Cases, who sees the past and present simultaneously.
Tecmo revealed Again: Eye of Providence at Tokyo Game Show back in 2008. It’s finally on the horizon and scheduled for March 30 in North America. Before it arrives in stores hear what Koichi Yamaguchi, Producer at Tecmo, has to say about Again: Eye of Providence’s cast of characters and stylized presentation.
What inspired Again: Eye of Providence’s story?
Koichi Yamaguchi, Producer: There are a few things that inspired me to work on this project – my feelings and recollection of being lost, a (failed) situation I know can never be undone and my promises with my younger brother.
Is Again developed by the same team that made Hotel Dusk?
Yes, it was developed by the same team at developer Cing.
We first saw Again at Tokyo Game Show 2008. Did the plot change at all during development?
Yes, it did. Looking back, it’s fair to say that we spent pretty much the entire last year re-working the plot. We put our heart into this piece and devoted every ounce of energy we had to create a deep, sensitive story.
Murder mysteries like Eye of Providence need a compelling cast of characters to drive the story. What goals did you have in mind when developing the game’s leads?
Our main character J is a very calm guy and at the same time nervous and serious. He doesn’t show his emotions and rarely smiles or laughs. Besides J, several of our other characters have a regrettable past and have continued to live on while struggling with an overwhelming sense of sin. You will encounter these characters and there are hints along the way…our hope and ultimate goal for the player is to feel something and perhaps be able to relate or have some sort of connection to these characters.
We wanted to take a fresh, new approach with the visual presentation for Again. We were not interested in repeating what Cing presented with Hotel Dusk and wanted to create a unique, appealing setting for this new IP. With that in mind, we looked into the possibility of incorporating live actors and giving them personality – something that is very unique for a DS game.
Was Again: Eye of Providence developed primarily for the West? How did that affect development?
Yes, we began and ended the project development with the western audience in mind. In Japan, we’ve had people ask whether this game was based on a story, drama or film out in the US.
This is all thanks to the DS hardware in which you can only touch and manipulate one of the two screens. Because of this “restriction” on the hardware, the idea of past and current vision was possible.
Can you tell us about your favorite puzzle and how you came up with it?
My favorite puzzle is where you have to adjust the radio frequency to pick up a clue. This was based on the notion of certain sounds/noises triggering memories of past events and experiences…
Interactive novels are a growing genre in the West. What do you think is the best way to expand the market?
To be completely honest, I’m not exactly sure…the only thing I could do within my own power is to create a game that is entertaining and enjoyed by our audience.