Rune Factory 4 Special is set to release next week, and the official site has over the past few weeks been updating with developer blogs on the game. The latest one features producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto talking about how he goes about creating characters, which are arguably the heart of the series. The blog also has a nice new artwork illustrated by Mariko Kawazoe, who drew a manga adaptation of Rune Factory 2.
Here’s the highlights below:
“Hello, this is Hashimoto. This time, I’ll talk a bit about the appearing characters.
I have been asked, “How do you decide on the characters in Rune Factory”, so I think I’ll try relay the sort of process that goes on in my head.
Firstly, I jot down the personalities and visuals of characters I want to appear, and fun things that only work because this is a game. Then, next when the theme of the game is decided, the characters are shaped to fit within the theme, and after asking the staff what they want to create, the cast is finally gathered.
When I try moving around the entire cast in my head, there are some that move quite a bit, and some that don’t really move at all. I swap out the parts that don’t move, and after doing this several times, they start taking on a life of their own, walking around town. It’s something like that.
As for an example of “something that can only be done because it’s a game”…
“…What a pain.
(Thanks for coming.)”
Dialogue like this that show the character’s true thoughts at the same time as what they’re saying is one of them. Something like this that only the player knows makes people happy, and so after I add in these sorts of elements, the character is finally complete. I then show the character details to Iwasaki-san [the character designer], and the art is made, with me sometimes adding some extra elements to the image of the character in the art provided by Iwasaki-san.
For Rune Factory 4, the monsters you defeat become marriage candidates. During early development, there were no problems during the creation of the horse (Dylas), but for the butterfly (Amber), the staff were like, “Hashimoto-san, the marriage candidate is an insect… Is this really okay?”, and this went on until I showed them the character details and design. Now it’s all good memories.
Apart from them, the De Sainte-Coquille family, the heroes and heroines, and all the townsfolk have really helped color in the world of this Rune Factory game. The De Sainte-Coquille family has been appearing since Rune Factory 1, so please check out the differences in the members across the series if you have the chance.”
Rune Factory 4 Special releases for Nintendo Switch in Japan on July 25, 2019. It’ll come Westward later in 2019. You can check out details on Another Episode mode in our livestream recap here.