Tales of Arise Producer Interview Uncovers Details on Development
An open book is putting it lightly.
06.14.19 - 12:29 PM
Following the reveal of Tales of Arise at E3, Famitsu has published the first interview with series director Yuusuke Tomizawa detailing the development process of the game. He had quite a lot to discuss regarding insight behind the scenes along with what to expect when it comes to the visuals and gameplay.
Starting off at the beginning, Tomizawa revealed that the Tales of Arise project was underway long before Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition was announced at last year's E3. The team's goal was "succession and evolution" while retaining several classic Tales series traditions. Tomizawa acknowledged that there was a need for the series to expand it's base and appeal to younger players by evolving over time while turning away from some of the old series tropes.
Moving on to the graphics, Tomizawa confirmed that the previous engine was swapped out for Unreal Engine 4, allowing the team to use rich lighting and atmosphere, while using their own shaders. Creating an immersive experience is another goal the team is aiming for with this upcoming installment. Environments and characters are depicted in a watercolor style, while body sizes will be proportioned to resemble realistic human proportions. Movements will also be more realistic, such as a character twisting before they turn around, compared to a sudden turn.
Taking the role of character designer and head of art direction is Minoru Iwamoto who previously worked as character designer for Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Zestiria, and Tales of Berseria. This is the first time both roles will be filled by a single person, leading to more cohesiveness in the game's art.
Development will be done entirely by Bandai Namco Studios; among the staff include those who worked on Tales of Berseria and even some who were on the development team for Tales of Phantasia decades ago, leading to a variety of staff on board for Arise's development. The composer's identity is being kept secret for now, but will be revealed at a later date.
The protagonist is from a planet called Dahna, a world that is rich in resources, but is culturally similar to the Middle Ages. His armor and helmet is attached to his physical features, though he will have other costumes for various situations.
Floating above Dahna is another world titled Rena, which is highly developed and advanced in magical arts and science. Rena invaded and easily conquered Dahna 300 years ago, later enslaving the people of Dahna. The story begins 300 years after this event.
The heroine is from Rena and is a confident and attractive woman. She and the protagonist initially do not have a great relationship due to the fact that those from Rena discriminate against Dahna residents and the protagonist's mission is to overcome the oppression under Rena.
Battles will be action based as in previous Tales games. The team is aiming to make combat quicker, more intuitive and have it appear to be fun in order to draw in those unfamiliar with the franchise. There will be certain actions that can be performed depending on the situation. Elements are powered up based on usage, raising the character's skill level with that element the more it is used.
Enemies will be designed to look more intimidating than those in previous titles in order to provide a greater sense of accomplishment when defeating them. That said, there are still "cute type" enemies present, while a character similar to a mascot will appear but further details are still a secret.
Skits are going to remain in Tales of Arise, but Tomizawa hinted that they will be evolving alongside other elements of the game.
Tomizawa revealed that the name "Tales of Arise" came from the codeword of the project being "Arise". It came from the desire to revitalize the series and while there were other names discussed, "Arise" ended up being chosen. While this notably shares the "ToA" abbreviation with Tales of the Abyss, the team has decided that the abbreviation will be "Arise" or "ToArise". The game's title not only stems from the rebirth of the series, but also ties into the story, as the protagonist is fighting against an oppressive environment.
Lastly, Tomizawa announced that a blog for the series has launched to bring the series together and have a centralized site for everything Tales. The team also plans to deliver updates on the game's progress through social media. In addition, Tomizawa would like more opportunities for fans to get hands-on with the game prior to release.
Stay tuned to RPGFan for updates on the Tales series!