The Bravely Default known and loved by JRPG fans goes back to the roots of the genre. However, Bravely Default started development as an action RPG. "We developed the first version with action combat, but overall we felt it was not the best form for the game so we went to turn based," said Takehiro Terada, president of Silicon Studio, in an interview with Siliconera. Silicon Studio developed Bravely Default for Square Enix and also made 3D Dot Game Heroes.
"The city part was the same, the battle system was action based," Terada added. An early prototype of the game had players walk around a city and when they touched a monster the game would switch into an action based battle system. Players would control one character who could attack with a weapon and use different spells. Since this was a very early build, the job system was not implemented and there was only one playable character. "[The characters] were almost the same," Terada explained. "The prototype we developed there was only one character, but we stopped developing it at that point so we don’t know how it would turn out if we had multiple characters."
Silicon Studio is now working on Bravely Second. Development for the Nintendo 3DS sequel started in September 2013. "We are using the same technology, but we have some optimization and fine tuning," said Terada. "We are continuing to tune the UI based on user feedback and listening to Twitter and etc. about what’s going on, what’s good and what people don’t like. We’re trying to have it in the game," Terada said when Siliconera asked if they were listening to user feedback. What do people like most about Bravely Default? "People like the straightforward JRPG style and turn based combat," said Terada.
While Silicon Studio is a developer, their core business is creating middleware like Yebis 2 and the visual effects tool Bishamon. These tools will work with Project Morpheus, the PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset Sony brought to Game Developer’s Conference. "We’re supporting them as a company," Terada said when asked about being one of the Project Morpheous technology partners.
Silicon Studio also plans to release a full game engine called Paradox. The C# engine is designed to deploy a game to multiple platforms similar to Unity or Monogame. "We going to release the Paradox Engine in June and we are going to release a game for it. It’s a casual game, not the dungeon crawler you saw last year. We haven’t announced this game yet," said Terada. Paradox will be able to create 3D games and 2D games using sprites. While the price has not been announced Paradox will compete with Unity and "it won’t be very expensive," said Terada.
One of Silicon Studio’s business models is designing games to showcase their tools. 3D Dot Game Heroes was an example of this and the unannounced Paradox engine game is designed by the original programmer of Romancing SaGa who heads Silicon Studio Thailand.
"One of our engineer’s has a wife from Thailand and he wanted to move back there. And he said, why not start a studio there," Terada said when we asked about the new studio. "Actually, he was working at Square Enix before and was the lead programmer of Romancing SaGa. He also worked on Final Fantasy VII so he has a lot of experience in development and he’s leading the team now."
And what about 3D Dot Game Heroes? "We have talked with FromSoftware who published the game. We’re talking about why not release it on smartphones and etc. We don’t have a concrete idea yet, but we’re not stopping the discussion," Terada said.