Daemon X Machina producer on the gameplay, graphics, world setting, more
Japanese website 4Gamer was recently about to speak with Daemon X Machina producer Kenichiro Tsukuda. The Switch exclusive was announced during E3 last month.
As the two sides chatted, Tsukuda spoke about the gameplay, graphics, world setting, and more. Find our full translation below.
Thank you so much for meeting with us today! So, E3 was the grand debut of Daemon X Machina – you know, the tag-team of you and Mr. Kawamori is creating quite a storm on the internet. It’s reminding people of the Armored Core series. What kind of game is this project going to be?
Tsukuda: Daemon X Machina’s biggest feature is definitely going to be its real-time equipment acquisition system: you can take equipment from your enemies and take your favorite pieces from battle. Even if your equipment doesn’t initially suit you, you can find equipment that better suits your needs in your immediate surroundings. If something catches your eye while playing and you think “Hmm, I want that!” you can just take it! It’s quite an interesting game.
About the “equipment” you can steal, is it just going to consist of weapons?
Tsukuda: No, actually – not only can you steal weapons, but parts for your mecha as well. This is all happening in the middle of battle, so naturally things are going to be destroyed. If you use the parts you steal from enemies, however, you may be able to fix the damaged parts of your own mecha.
How many types of parts are going to be available in your mecha – your “Arsenal?”
Tsukuda: Well, you have parts for the head, the chest, and the legs. You also have one weapon for each hand, as well as one on the shoulder; and on the mecha’s back there are two more replacement weapons, one for each hand. There’s also one additional part, but it’s a bit special, so we’ll talk more about it when we release more info in the future.
So basically, you can carry five weapons onto the battlefield at once?
Tsukuda: Yes – your Arsenal is essentially your armory.
An absolutely massive enemy appeared during the game’s preview. Could you even take parts from something like that?
Tsukuda: As for that, you’ll have to wait and see!
The preview showed Arsenals engaged in a mid-air battle; is the player going to be able to fly?
Tsukuda: You can fight both on the ground and in the air, yes.
This game is going to be focused around using mechas, can you tell us about the direction you went in, in terms of the game’s action and the mecha’s ease-of-use?
Tsukuda: Going into it, I thought “I want this to be able to play as smoothly as possible.” Your Arsenal isn’t necessarily a robot, per se, it’s something more akin to like a suit of armor, or “outer gear” – it moves in-time with the movements of the passenger. Because it’s a mecha, it won’t really rely on “hard” directions or movement – rather, its behavior is going to be dictated entirely by how the pilot (and by extension, the player) operates it. For example, when you fire a gun, or have the mecha’s arms open up to take in parts, the player will be able to see how it directly mimics the player’s movements.
So, Shōji Kawamori is responsible for the mechas’ designs, Yusuke Kozaki is doing the character designs, and Bandai Namco’s Junichi Nakazu and Rio Hamamoto are responsible for the music… How exactly did you decide on these members?
Tsukuda: Kawamori-san is a fantastic mecha artist, so I felt like it was necessary that he join the team! Kozaki-san has been deeply involved in Marvelous Inc.’s games – No More Heroes, for instance. I felt that Kozaki-san’s character designs would work well in this game too, so I requested that he join us. As for Nakazu-san and Hamamoto-san: they both write great music, so we consulted with them to ask if they would join us!
The game’s graphics… They’re a bit unusual for a project like this; they’re almost comic book-ésque. What made you decide on that kind of art direction?
Tsukuda: When drawing mechas for games, one generally goes in a more photorealistic direction; we’ve become pretty familiar with a lot of mechas from things like anime and comics, I think. This time we wanted to challenge ourselves with something like that by expressing that kind of art style through the game, and it suited the game pretty well, in fact! It was pretty interesting, actually: with this style, the range of what we were able to express expanded considerably. For example, we tried shading using the color black: it didn’t look out of place at all in fact, rather, the game looked like an illustration out of a comic book! Thanks to that, no matter where the player is in-game, their Arsenal will still look cool.
Can you tell us a bit about the game’s world? From the preview it all looked kind of abandoned.
Tsukuda: In the game’s world, the moon is crumbling and half of it has fallen to earth – humanity is facing its own extinction. Moreover, through the fall of the moon, humanity discovered a new kind of energy called “Femto.” Femto’s influence caused the robots with built-in AI to attack humans, of whom the last have built a wall around where they live. On the other hand, Femto is an incredibly rare resource that has opened up an incredible amount of possibilities for humanity. The player character is a mercenary who fights for that Femto.
What kind of weapon is the mercenary’s Arsenal, exactly?
Tsukuda: The player is a part of a group of people – called the “Outers” – given special abilities through Femto. Those same abilities “take away these peoples’ humanity.” These “Outers” are the only ones who can pilot the Arsenals. The Arsenals move by utilizing the energy that the Outers have and amplifying it.
Ahhh, so the Outers treat them as external armor. In the Treehouse Live presentation, we got to see a little bit of what gameplay looked like, including characters voiced by Mr. Tōru Furuya and Mr. Shūichi Ikeda manning their own Arsenals. I can’t help but bring that up, as somebody who loves the genre!
Tsukuda: We really admired them as voice actors, and absolutely had to have them do some work for the game! Their performances suit their characters notably well. Over the course of the game you’ll meet plenty of other mercenaries – some friends, some enemies – that will play an active role in the story.
Since the game is on a console like the Nintendo Switch, will it be possible to get together with friends and play? Will there be any multiplayer functionality?
Tsukuda: There will be multiplayer; right now, we’re considering how we want to implement it, though.
To wrap things up, do you have anything you’d like to say to the mecha fans that are eagerly awaiting the release of the game?
Tsukuda: We’re still working and focusing on various aspects of the game, but in the end, I think it’ll definitely be something that meets your expectations. I hope you all enjoy it! So far, we have another update for you all in the works, and it isn’t too far off in the future, so please stay tuned. We’re doing our best to work towards a 2019 release.
Again, thank you very much for today.
Translation by provided by Nico Thaxton on behalf of Nintendo Everything
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