Hello, everyone. It's Kou from FHW.
Interview list is available here→
I would now like to ask you about RTA (known as Real Time Attack in Japan, a speedrun event) challenges.
While playing the game many times, there’s a sense that there is an adjustment to pay attention to the finer details of the system features.
I was surprised when I first found out that the game can be cleared without obtaining the main weapon, the bat, and rocket boots.
Were speedrun challenges considered during game development?
I did think about speedrunning when I was making the game. I had a mental map of developer-intended speed running "secrets" I would allow. During development, I had the Phoenotopia FLASH game RTA videos as reference, so I was aware of which tricks people had used previously. One trick I didn't like in the FLASH game was how you could move a door if you stacked 2 boxes against it - so I made sure to fix that in Awakening. However, I did like the trick people used where they put a bomb on a door to weigh it down. This would prevent the door from closing. So I kept that trick in from the FLASH game.
Ochoko A crucial technique used during RTA is called the *“Ouroboros Skip,” but I wonder if this technique was considered in development beforehand?
There’s a part in which Gail has to make sure that the bomb is stuck into the wall to use it as a platform to jump on (Haha).
I heard that you like watching RTA.
Can you tell me if a particular speedrun video stood out or left a lasting impression on you?
Also, from the developer’s perspective, is there anything that can be done to save time during a speedrun?
Ultimately, the RTA community completely surprised me, and RTA did not unfold the way I imagined! Haha.
For example, in Sand Drift Ruins, there is a tower that is out of reach. I intended that if the player could stack 3 boxes, they would be able to enter the tower and this would let them skip the "Forlorn Ruins" area. Instead, RTA players found a better shortcut that allowed them to skip the entire Ouroboros section. Haha, that was way more skipping than I wanted. So all those techniques you described (bridge skipping, no main weapon, no rocket boots) were really not expected.
I like to watch speed run videos however! So once those tricks were discovered I figured it was okay to leave them in, since I know the RTA community likes them. So long as a speedrun trick doesn't break the game in a bad way, I think it's fine to leave it in.
The last RTA speedrun I saw was the competition held in Japan in August of last year. I really enjoyed it! I was really surprised by all the tricks the players could do. My favorite tricks are the ones involving setup with bombs and switches - especially in the megalith fields and scorchlands. When I see those sections performed so skillfully, I think, "Wow! This game looks COOL!", haha. There are times speedrunners have to slow down because of the Stamina system, so that's something I'll think about more deeply for future games.
As for whether or not there is anything else that could be done to save time during a speedrun... I have no idea! The RTA community has completely surpassed my expectations and abilities, haha. They know more than me at this point.
Ochoko Recently, there has been an increase of people attempting the RTA speedrun challenges again, so from now on, I look forward to seeing them.
This is an RTA of a indie game masterpiece. This masterpiece of a game at a volume can take about 20 - 30 hours to reach the ending, but many techiniques can reduce the clear time to【1 hour 37 minutes and 42 seconds】. This is an introduction part which features the first 5 minutes of the game. This introduction was made with love and should not be missed! pic.twitter.com/cA0WPTjTJB— ゲームやりこみ学会 (@game_yarikomi) 2022年3月29日
Ochoko I’m changing the subject just a bit…
Previously, I exchanged mail with an overseas American fan. I was surprised by what they said: “I’m jealous that there’s a lot of fan art from Japan! I wonder if there are more Japanese players than American ones”. So may I ask about the regional sales? I specifically want to know about the ratio of American sales compared to the Japanese ones.
Quang Sure! Perhaps a good place to compare is Steam, since the game had a simultaneous release worldwide there. On Steam, USA vs JPN is 3:2. So I think it's quite impressive, considering the USA's population is nearly 3x Japan's. Proportionally, Japan has a greater ratio when population is considered. Both USA and Japan are two of the game's strongest territories at spots #2 and #3 respectively (#1 in terms of units sold is China).
(To be continued in #8)