Siliconera sat down with Danganronpa series writer Kodaka Kazutaka to talk about the future of Spike Chunsoft’s murder mystery series. After two visual novels, Danganronpa Another Episode takes the series into a new direction as a third person shooter where you play as Makoto’s sister, Komaru Naegi. It sounds like the next game will bring the series back to its roots.
How do you plan and create a Danganronpa story?
Kodaka Kazutaka, Writer: My writing process is kind of spur of the moment. I start by creating a list of points I want to hit and points that will make a player surprised. After that I reread what I’ve written from the viewpoint of the player and try to decide whether this will be an interesting or surprising event for them. I go through this process several times when creating the stories.
Everything I wanted to put in the [first two games] I was able to put in. I didn’t have to cut any ideas. When the process is finished and the game is done, there are times where I think “ah, maybe I should have put that in there!” But, while I’m writing it that doesn’t happen, that only comes afterwards.
The lead characters in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair are quite different from each other. What kind of protagonist would you like to have in Danganronpa 3?
The two protagonists are very different and they go through twists and turns different way. For me, Danganronpa is all about those twists. Right now, I’m thinking about what to do next. I don’t know if I want to make a story set in the past or a story set in between or a sci-fi story set in the future. Once I come up with the setting that will dictate the kind of main character I come up with.
I have this kind of personality where if I watch a movie or play a game that inspires me, I’ll throw out an idea and start from scratch.
You painted three different ideas. Do you think you’ll go back to the murder mystery games from Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2 style or create another spinoff?
Danganronpa, for me, is about mysteries and puzzle solving. There is a murder committed and players have to figure out who did it. After creating Danganronpa Another Episode, I feel I got the feeling of wanting to create something different out of my system. Now, I’m back in the mood to make another mystery game.
What ideas do you have for a sci-fi Danganronpa game set in the future?
Well for Danganronpa 3 here’s what I’m thinking, but you know with my personality I could change my mind. [Laughs] The current plan I have in mind is something like Back to the Future: Part III.
If I were to do something sci-fi, the rules of nature could change. In present day, you can’t go through walls and these laws of nature can’t be broken. But, maybe with a future setting those laws can be bent or altered. Then I could develop murders and tricks based on what technology could be possible in the future.
When you mentioned Back to the Future are you thinking of a story that is set in the past?
I said Back to the Future just because I like the movies, but I guess to think more about it… Do you remember Back to the Future: Part III? Even though they go to the Wild West the story ends up being a story about the future. I like that idea of being able to play with timelines as a narrative idea.