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[Interview] Mother 3 and Mana dev on new Switch game EGGLIA Rebirth

Posted on February 13, 2022 by (@NE_Brian) in Interviews, Switch eShop

EGGLIA Rebirth interview

Shinichi Kameoka has had a pretty distinguished career. One of his most notable achievements was Mother 3, of which he worked on the game as a producer. He was also a system designer, character designer, and scenario writer for the original Mana series, including Secret of Mana and SaGa Frontier.

Kameoka’s studio Brownies just put out a new title on Switch in the form of EGGLIA Rebirth. We were recently given the chance to speak with him about releasing the game on Nintendo’s console as well as a few other topics.

You can check out our full discussion below. 

For EGGLIA Rebirth, what was the major turning point in deciding to bring the game to Switch?

I started as a console game developer, so I did find it difficult to make the mobile version of Egglia when we were still in the stages of development. I’ve been wanting to make a Switch version since the development of the mobile version, so I’m very happy that we were able to make it happen, even though it took a while. So the transition process was a lot of fun for all of us. The main reason why we wanted to release the Switch version was because we wanted to make the game more accessible to younger players.

Were there any challenges in putting the game on this console?

I wouldn’t say that it was the most challenging part, but the biggest change was that the mobile version had touch controls, so players didn’t manually have to control the main character in the town. The console version, however, has key controls so that players can freely roam around in their town!

Along with the major changes in the control system, we also revamped the UI to make it easier to play. This took a lot of time to develop and modify, as well.

What led to the team including new content for the Switch release?

Unlike the mobile version, the Switch version can be played on a large TV monitor – this meant that the animations and other details that were not so noticeable on the smartphone screen were now visible. We had to modify and finesse what was being shown to make sure that everything would look great on a bigger screen.

We also wanted to add characters and events that we couldn’t include in the mobile version due to schedule constraints, so we added them at this time for our console version.

For EGGLIA Rebirth, we can see a lot of the art direction of games like the Mana titles and SaGa at play. Where did your team draw the most inspiration from for the game’s art assets?

It’s Brownies’ mission statement to create storybook-like games that look and feel gentle, so the art direction for Egglia kept this in mind.

Egglia’s art style is owed to the originality and uniqueness of our art director’s personal style, so we wanted to utilize that uniqueness to its fullest. We designed and devised an art style for the characters, to fit the feel and atmosphere of the world.

For a fledgling developer at a small or indie studio, what words of advice would you say helped you the most?

It’s difficult for me to give advice, because I wouldn’t consider Egglia to be a “successful indie game”, but I think it’s great for developers to have something they want to make and to work towards making it happen.

I think the increase in the number of indie games is a great thing for the future of gaming in general.

In your thirty years of being involved in the gaming industry, which accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?

I think I’m most thankful for the opportunities that allowed me to meet such wonderful people in the industry.

The people I have worked with, the people who have given me the environment to create, and the people who have helped me.

A game can never be made by one person, so it is only with the help of wonderful people that I have been able to make and present the games I have been involved in.

Which musical track is your favorite from the projects you’ve worked on?

The sound composer I’ve worked with the most is Yoko Shimomura, and I love all of her songs, so it’s very difficult to choose just one. Right now, I’d have to say the theme song for Egglia.

After seeing the industry grow and evolve over time, what challenges do new systems and software bring to game development?

As the hardware becomes more and more high-spec, it becomes inevitable to provide high-quality data to accommodate the hardware. This means that the development cost also rises. I believe that we are entering a difficult era for gaming development, unless tools that can solve these problems in terms of work cost and speed are released in a timely manner.

If you could go back and make a change to a project you’ve released, which project would that be? Bonus, can you tell us what you would change?

I don’t have a particular desire to revise the works I released in the past, because they are the product of doing the best work I could at that time. If I really were to go back and make changes, I think I would put so much work into modifying them that they would become completely different works.

Instead of doing that, I would prefer to create something entirely new.

EGGLIA Rebirth is now available on the Switch eShop. You can also see what Kameoka told us regarding Mother 3 and his interest in a worldwide release here.

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