Two of the more prominent Japanese-developed VR titles are Tokyo Chronos and Spice & Wolf VR, both Kickstarter successes and promising a step forward in the possibilities of VR. During Tokyo Chronos’ pre-launch event today, just a day before its release tomorrow, Spice & Wolf writer Isuna Hasekura appeared as a special guest, and both MyDearest and Hasekura talked about the makings of their games. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]
Here are the highlights:
- Tokyo Chronos started off when director Kento Kishigami brought the game’s concept to producer Kazuma Miki. Apparently, Kishigami’s determination was enough to win over Miki, and Kishigami was able to explain the appeal of the game with VR.
- Writer Kou Segawa is a young mystery novelist who had an interest in VR, and jumped at the chance. Originally, Miki envisioned a 1-2 hour story for the VR game, but at Kishigami’s suggestion, it became a visual novel around the same length as regular ones. The amount of text is enough to make 3-4 light novels by itself.
- Kishigami was very proactive, and the staff detailed several stories about how passionate he was about the project.
- While Tokyo Chronos was completed in time, according to Miki, “The schedule was too tight.” Miki had to drop other things in order to prioritize Tokyo Chronos, to the point of putting down scripts for his other projects like Sword Art Online anime.
Spice & Wolf VR
- Hasekura was a surprise guest for the event, and he talked about his experiences with a successful Kickstarter VR game campaign. While the staff and cast of Spice & Wolf’s anime are part of the project, Hasekura has needed to be more hands-on, with the direction on the smaller details and contacting the talent agencies done himself. It’s more stress and responsibility, but you could also say you’ll be able to feel the author’s presence in the content more clearly.
- The project started off when he received an advertisement email from an overseas motion capture studio. It turned out that the contact was in Japan, and the person convinced Hasekura that Spice & Wolf would be popular even overseas. However, that studio was a big name studio that took work for AAA games and Hollywood, and they ended up not working together.
- Spice & Wolf VR is around 1 hour long, and yet is taking quite a lot of work and costs. Hasekura talked about his disbelief over how Tokyo Chronos managed to have 15 hours of playtime. Furthermore, he praised MyDearest for being able to show many different characters in VR at once while keeping models detailed.
- Will Tokyo Chronos and Spice & Wolf VR have some sort of crossover? Nothing’s confirmed, but Hasekura and Kishigami want to work together.
Tokyo Chronos comes to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on March 20, 2019 and the PlayStation VR in July 2019.