Fantasian, the brand new journey from Hironobu Sakaguchi’s studio Mistwalker, is a traditional Japanese role-playing recreation at coronary heart. Fantasian has all of it: turn-based battles, an amnesiac hero, a solid of fairly protagonists on interweaving adventures, and, after all, an airship.
However Fantasian stands out for one design determination that has garnered consideration. Mistwalker’s RPG was constructed utilizing greater than 150 handcrafted bodily dioramas. The sport’s 3D characters are overlaid on high of them. The miniatures-based environments give the sport a singular sense of attraction and heat, Sakaguchi mentioned in an interview with Polygon, and helped inform Fantasian’s recreation mechanics.
Fantasian encompasses a system that twists how gamers cope with random monster encounters. In contrast to the traditional Remaining Fantasy video games that Sakaguchi created, the place a battle with a gaggle of enemies may arrive unexpectedly, Fantasian lets gamers cope with random encounters … later. Mistwalker calls it the Dimengeon system — a mashup of dimension and dungeon — and it sends the monsters that gamers encounter to an alternate dimension. Gamers can then soar right into a Dimengeon when they need and benefit from the satisfaction of wiping all of them out without delay.
Sakaguchi mentioned Fantasian was partially impressed by his personal work on Remaining Fantasy 6. He and a few of his colleagues who labored on that recreation replayed it on Nintendo’s Tremendous NES Basic a couple of years in the past. “That actually renewed my curiosity and love on this traditional JRPG style, and gave me a chance to return to my roots,” Sakaguchi mentioned by means of a translator.
Fantasian has many acquainted Remaining Fantasy components, Sakaguchi mentioned, together with “accumulating data in numerous cities, speaking to NPCs, traversing dungeons, random encounters and turn-based fight.”
“However within the spirit of Remaining Fantasy improvement on the time, we all the time needed to problem the established order, push the boundaries and produce some innovation to the style,” he mentioned. The Dimengeon system was born from that, he mentioned, and on account of the sport’s platforms. Fantasian is being launched by way of Apple Arcade, and is designed with touchscreen controls in thoughts. Sakaguchi mentioned the builders discovered it enjoyable to discover Fantasian’s diorama environments by putting pins on the map and swiftly shifting round, however that being interrupted by random encounters altered the sport’s movement.
The sport’s dioramas had been constructed by a staff of 150 artists. Mistwalker itself is a staff of lower than 20, but it surely usually works with exterior studios. Sakaguchi mentioned that the choice to construct bodily environments had its advantages, letting the designers see new alternatives in recreation design. Nevertheless it additionally got here with its personal challenges. When you design a bodily object, he mentioned, you’ll be able to’t alter the atmosphere so as to add a brand new highway or exit, as one may with a computer-generated 3D house.
“As soon as you start constructing it, you’ve dedicated to your degree design,” Sakaguchi mentioned. “You actually should be very intentional and know what you’re in search of on the conception part. As soon as the artisans get to work, that’s going to be your stage.”
The story of Fantasian is each grandiose and acquainted. Gamers tackle the position of Leo, who, within the seek for his lacking father, finds himself in an alternate dimension referred to as the Machine Realm. After an accident, Leo awakens on this unfamiliar realm with however one remaining reminiscence, that of a lady named Kina who brings him again to the Human Realm. Leo embarks on a quest to reclaim his reminiscence, unraveling “the mysteries of the weird mechanical an infection slowly engulfing all that’s identified to mankind.” Alongside the best way, Leo enlists others for his mission, together with a pair of robots, a magic-wielding princess, and the captain of the luxurious airship Uzra.
Sakaguchi wrote Fantasian’s story. He’s joined on the challenge by famed Remaining Fantasy composer and longtime collaborator Nobuo Uematsu, who wrote the rating for Fantasian.
Mistwalker plans to launch Fantasian someday in 2021. The sport is coming to Apple Arcade, the subscription service that launched in 2019, and will likely be playable on Apple TV, Mac computer systems, iPhone, and iPad.