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.