Fire Emblem: Three Houses devs on Cindered Shadows, user feedback, increased save slots, new outfits, Nintendo’s requests, creating houses and students, more
Q: While developing The Abyss, did user feedback influence any adjustments you made?
Yokota: Well, I’d hazard a guess at Gatekeeper’s popularity being the reason that Koei Tecmo included the Abysskeeper character. (laughs)
Kusakihara: We included the underground library as a way to introduce things we had to cut from the main game, and the Wayseer exists for people who want to see the endings for specific pairings.
Yokota: It doesn’t exactly offer the player complete freedom in that regard, though – you can only get one pairing together.
Kusakihara: It’s basically a way to make sure you get the one pairing you absolutely want to be together. I feel like that’s pretty valuable in and of itself, though.
Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to share about the DLC and the free updates?
Yokota: The increase in the number of save slots was pretty impressive. The proposal originally came from Koei Tecmo, actually; messing around with save data can be incredibly scary due to bugs, though, so generally we wouldn’t increase the number by that much. Despite that, I was grateful that so many people had played through the game, and I definitely understood players wanting to be able to keep saves so they could watch their favorite scenes later on. It was a challenge, but we decided to face it – I was grateful that Koei Tecmo had suggested it in the first place. In the end there ended up not really being any problems! (laughs)
Kusakihara: In the past you couldn’t really have that many save slots due to memory limitations; having worked on games for so long made us a little more careful. In the DS games, for instance, you could only have up to three save files.
Yokota: The increase in the number of files all at once took me by surprise!
Kusakihara: In the end the players were happy, so I’m glad we took the challenge head on. I think it’ll depend on how much content there is, but I think next time we’d like to start with a lot of files from the beginning. (laughs)
Q: What made you decide to include additional outfits as part of the add-on content? Do either of you have a favorite?
Yokota: Well, we had already decided on the Abyss and the inclusion of a fourth house. We knew that it’d be quite a while before we’d actually be able to release that content, so we tried coming up with something that we could release pretty consistently. While we were puzzling over that, I concluded that adding other outfits to the game would be relatively easy. As for the outfit lineup itself, we met with the development team and we all passed some ideas around – as a whole we all ended up coming up with some pretty unique motifs! As it turns out, we all realized we don’t hate how loungewear looks. (laughs) I personally prefer the summer wear; I think it looks good. The color scheme also changes pretty drastically, so I put them on the protagonist for a nice change of pace.
Kusakihara: Hmmm… Which outfit would I recommend? I have my own memories for all of them…
Yokota: It’s the servants’ attire, isn’t it?
Kusakihara: The servants’ attire was originally going to be for the knights, so the designs are relatively unobtrusive. Looking back over the screenshots, though, they look good on everyone. I’m just happy people ended up liking them!
Yokota: The cloth over the arm in the male version of the costume was all your doing.
Kusakihara: I’ve heard that that’s something real butlers don’t actually do, but I couldn’t get the image out of my head, so I included it as a symbolic gesture. The clothes themselves have a simple silhouette, so I included a part that flutters in the wind as the character moves around – it looks nice.