2021 is a big year for Blue Reflection. Not only is the Blue Reflection: Second Light sequel on the way, but an anime called Blue Reflection Ray began airing in April 2021. To get a better idea of what to expect from the new installment, Siliconera spoke with Gust Development Producer Akira Tsuchiya. We went over the Blue Reflection: Second Light development process, gameplay, relationships.
Jenni Lada, Siliconera: When did work on Blue Reflection: Second Light begin? How soon after the original did you know you’d be able to work on follow-up projects?
Akira Tsuchiya, Gust: Actually, while we were developing the first game, we were already thinking about creating a sequel, so even after the first game was released behind the scenes we were working on the plan for a sequel. We genuinely wanted to relaunch this series once more, and felt that we wanted to create it into something even bigger. We went through the positive and negative points about the first game, and began development with the goal of making something that will meet the expectations of the players. And during all that, hearing the fans cheering us on was a really big encouragement.
How influential was the new game on the anime series, and vice versa?
Tsuchiya: With the airing of the anime, I think people who normally don’t play games were able to find out about this series. We would be happy if those who like the anime would enjoy this game. From the various feedback we’ve seen, we’re concerned with those who commented if the game can’t be enjoyed without having seen the anime. The titles in this Blue Reflection project have been made so that they can be enjoyed/seen independently, so this game can be enjoyed without worrying about not having seen the anime.
Relationships between characters is always an important gameplay element in Blue Reflection. How did the original game’s shape the sequels? What did you decide you wanted to do different when it came to Blue Reflection: Second Light relationships?
Tsuchiya: In this game, similar to the previous game, the relationships between the characters are very important. In this game, the connections between the characters have been made in-depth in the system, and while how the player interacts with the characters is unrestricted, the system is set up to reflect differences depending on the player’s strength. The deeper the interactions, the more the player can actually feel the characters becoming stronger.
How romantic will the Blue Reflection: Second Light relationships get?
Tsuchiya: Depending on what actions the player takes in the game, they can develop close relationships with certain characters.
Hinako Shirai’s Reflector outfit has more white to it than Ao Hoshizaki’s. Likewise, Ao has a more ominous scythe as a weapon. What lead to this design choice?
Tsuchiya: The first thing we wanted to do was to show that there is a change in the design direction of this series through the use of black as a predominant color. Also, we wanted to create designs that really emphasized the thoughts and things that the characters like, so in the first game the protagonist Hinako Shirai’s design was based on a ballerina, and in this game Ao really likes fantasy novels and comics. The reason for the scythe is the same.
Quite a few characters from Blue Reflection and Blue Reflection: Ray will appear in Blue Reflection: Second Light. How does this influence the story? Will there be any “Easter eggs” for people who played or watched previous installments?
Tsuchiya: The characters from the previous game and those from the anime do have important roles within the story, and we’ve made sure to plan the story so that each of them are indispensable. And because of that, players who don’t know about the series will feel that every character is brand new to the story, and those familiar with the series will be able to see a different side or story to the characters they’re familiar with.
What kind of Blue Reflection: Second Light DLC can people expect to see? How will it be priced, considering the first game had a $79.99 Season Pass?
Tsuchiya: We are still planning the content, and will announce the information once ready.
Which new feature in Blue Reflection: Second Light took the most effort to implement and why?
Tsuchiya: It took us a lot of time to develop how to control and manage all of the characters walking around the academy. But as a result, I think we are able to really show and convey what their daily lives are like.
Blue Reflection: Second Light will come to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 9, 2021.