Danganronpa is one of those series that ages well. Its characters and stories come together in interesting ways. Getting to play through them on additional platforms can be a welcome experience. Which is why when the Danganronpa Decadence collection headed to the Switch, Siliconera spoke with Producer Shun Sasaki to learn more about its development.
Jenni Lada, Siliconera: When did you decide to work on Switch ports of the Danganronpa installments? Did work on them begin at the same time as the mobile adaptations?
Shun Sasaki, Spike Chunsoft: The decision for the Switch ports was made at the same time as the mobile versions. With the 10-year anniversary coming up, we wanted Danganronpa to reach the new, younger generations and as many people as possible.
Did you encounter any surprises when developing the Switch versions of the Danganronpa 1, 2, and V3?
Sasaki: We’ve done ports to many consoles in the past, but during development, we discovered that some assets were the PSP versions… which meant we had to immediately redraw and fix them to a higher resolution. We encountered those kinds of issues that we weren’t aware of until we checked what’s under the hood.
Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp has microtransactions. What led to this decision?
Sasaki: This title is designed in such a way that playable characters are obtained at random. This was meant to encourage players to get to know the unique charms of a wide variety of characters. But on the other hand, those with bad luck could end up not getting their favorite character until later in their playthrough. The option to purchase characters of the player’s choice was implemented as a means of avoiding such situations.
How did Spike Chunsoft work to ensure the balance is right in Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp regarding microtransactions?
Sasaki: We designed the game so that the higher rarity cards wouldn’t have much of an impact on the overall difficulty. The game is more balanced around the number of characters developed, the player’s progress in the Battle Mode, and amount of time playing the game.
Likewise, how did balancing work for Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp in general, given people will need to improve characters over multiple “games” to make them formidable enough to defeat the bosses?
Sasaki: Development, Battle, and the School Store: these three modes intertwine to comprise one complete game. We’ve extensively tested the gameplay loop of developing characters, fighting battles, and obtaining characters, while making balance adjustments step by step. We couldn’t get to the game balance until all of the pieces were implemented, so that step came later in the development process.
Could we see Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp come to other platforms after the Switch release?
Sasaki: The dev team would certainly love to, of course. Whether we can make it happen is entirely up to the users, so we would greatly appreciate your support! (laughs)
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is now the only installment not on the Switch. Have you considered a port of it? How difficult would it be to execute?
Sasaki: Porting the main numbered titles of the series was the highest priority, so Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls hasn’t been considered yet. It’s also more difficult to port to mobile or Switch due to its themes and game design. However, Ultra Despair Girls is extremely important to me on a personal level, so I would love to port it over some day.
Now that Danganronpa is over 10 years old, what surprises you most about the series’ legacy?
Sasaki: The biggest surprise to me is the fact that the series is still getting support after ten whole years. If it wasn’t for all of our fans, not just those in Japan, but from around the world, Danganronpa wouldn’t be what it is today. Thank you all so much.
How would you like to move forward with the series if you were given the complete freedom to do whatever you’d want with the next installment or spin-off? What would you like to see Danganronpa do next?
Sasaki: My choice would be Ultra Despair Girls 2. It would be more of a mature title, taking place behind the scenes of Komaru and Toko’s adventures, with Naegi’s mother and Hagakure’s mother exposing the dark secrets of Towa City. I would love to make a game like that.