[Q7] Why did you choose to make Toriko and the Robot silent throughout the game?
We felt that if we made Toriko speak, players might develop certain biases toward her; and if the robot were to speak, the player might experience a disconnect from immersing themselves into the robot’s shoes, so to speak.
[Q6] Do the robots take on human roles because humans no longer exist? Or is this commentary on how far AI will advance in the future?
In Japan, many jobs have already been replaced by robots, including caretaking, due to population decline and age imbalance. Since the player takes the role of a caretaker robot, to make Toriko even more pitiful, we made her the last survivor of humanity.
[Q5] What is your favorite new mechanic that you utilized in Void Terrarium to help it stand out from other roguelikes?
That would probably be the system of getting random skills when you level up. I often get tired of the skill trees and character builds in large-scale RPGs; you have to play upwards of 100 hours to figure out which builds are the best, or which ones are fun for you. In response to that, I felt like this system would allow people to try out a variety of builds within a short period of time. We started development with that in mind, and when faced with the problem that the rouge-like level reset might curb the desire of replaying the game, I realized this system could solve that problem.
[Q4] Both htoL#NiQ and A Rose in the Twilight are a great mix of cute characters in a dark and macabre world. How did you refine this style going into Void Terrarium?
For the previous title, A Rose in the Twilight, I focused on mortality and the different ways one could die. Although there were players who enjoyed it, there are many reasons I couldn’t recommend it to everyone. Since I was aiming to gain a wider audience, I felt that it had been a little too direct in its message. This time, instead of showing death itself, I tried a more indirect approach that highlights the suspense and progression of death.
[Q3] Your previous games, htoL#NiQ and A Rose in the Twilight, following a similar side-scroller design, how did you make the decision to focus on a roguelike dungeon-crawler for Void Terrarium?
There were no other team members aside from myself who worked on htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary or A Rose in the Twilight, so it didn’t really make sense to reuse the previous game engine or game design. Instead, we went with the roguelike genre with the sole reason that it fits well with the atmosphere of the game.
[Q2] What were some of the challenges that came with using 2D sprites to achieve a 3D look in the dungeons?
The key is making sure that you do not outline individual parts with a line, as well as changing the colors in phases for each layer. By doing this, the border of each piece becomes ambiguous, and the eye will register it as a complete object, creating the three-dimensional look.
[Q1] There’s quite a number of illnesses that Toriko can fall victim to including liquefaction, bird flu, bug infestations, and even sadness. What were some of the inspirations for a few of the diseases and how to deal with them in Void Terrarium?
It depends on the illness, but essentially, I created them by changing Toriko’s appearance so that she would look pitiful. I also thought it would be more fun if diseases could be cute and not just pitiful, as with the bird flu and sadness.
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