Famitsu Interview: Yuusha 30’s (aka Half-Minute Hero) Flash Origin & Development Process

Yuusha 30

Marvelous’ recent PSP release Yuusha 30 (to be published as Half-Minute Hero by Xseed in US) gains a lot of attention in Japan due to its seemingly crazy concept, four different game modes and the amount of artists collaborating for the title. The latest issue of Famitsu PSP

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PS3 catch up with the main guys behind the title, Director Kotaro Yoshida (aka UUE) and Producer Kenichiro Takaki, to tell us the origin of the title and how the development process was like.

30 Seconds HeroYoshida is actually the father of Yuusha 30, he created a Flash game called “30 Seconds Hero” (left) during his free time at his current employer Over Studio and it became the basis of Yuusha. It actually took him only a day to make the game as he doesn’t really play games and hope to create something that won’t take too long to play. Takaki, who was a former employee at the same company, suggested that they should make a retro game for PSP since the system is selling hot at that time. After ruling out a bunch of ideas, Takaki found Yoshida’s game to be the most appealing one because he think office workers won’t have enough time to play games that take a while to finish these days and Yuusha fits perfectly here.

Yuusha 30

Yuusha’s 2d pixelated graphics is very much like games in Famicom era and Famitsu asks if this is also because the game is targeted at office workers. Takaki agrees but stresses that the game is suitable for all ages and the original Flash game, which no longer available for download, is done in this art style too. He says there are a lot more interesting games in those days because of the hardware constraints and think Yuusha is exactly like that too. He believes even those who don’t normally play games will play Yuusha just to get a feeling of nostalgia.

The original Flash game only has one level with high level of difficulty, so how does the conversion to PSP works? Although the Flash game is interesting, Takaki felt it won’t fit in home consoles due to its difficulty and not very user friendly. During the PSP conversion, not only they have to tune down the difficulty level, but also make it a more accessible game. Yoshida says one such example is players will get notified when their levels are higher than the Devil King. Another example is time will stop counting down when players are in town, which is not so in the Flash game (Yoshida reminds us that it will still counting down if you choose to play in Hard mode). They also make sure every level feels unique and not recycling from previous levels.

Yuusha 30

Famitsu want to know how long does the development takes. Takaki says planning started in August last year and production began in September. Famitsu notes that it’s a fairly short development time. Takaki says that’s because he knows the people in Over Studio quite well and was not afraid to make suggestions. Although it’s Yoshida’s first experience as director but thanks to guidance from Takaki, who is a former director himself, development process went smoothly.

The interviewer says he didn’t get the concept of the game until he check out the demos (note: four demos were released, one for each mode), which apparently received plenty of positive feedbacks. Takaki says plans for the demos were included in the planning stage as he think it’s crucial for players to know what kind of game it is. There were worries that the game might be short in content but Famitsu says it isn’t so. Takaki think this is because there are four different modes and even after all four were cleared, there are hidden modes to enjoy too.

Yoshida says there are different ways of clearing the stages in all four modes too. However, this is only possible if you think differently and take the unlikely paths, you can clear certain stages in less than 20 seconds while the normal and more obvious way will takes 2-3 minutes. Your time will be uploaded to the official website and it’s also here where players can compare their skills. Takaki adds that there are multiple endings for the game too and it depends on the actions players have taken in the earlier stages.

Yuusha 30

Players were encouraged to provide opinions and suggestions after playing the demos, which started in mid February, only three months before the official release. Famitsu asks if there is any scheduling issues when trying to implement users’ suggestions. Yoshida reveals that the aforementioned online ranking feature is one of the users’ suggestions and it was quite tough having to set up an exclusive server for that. However, Takaki think that since it’s a highly requested feature, there’s no reasons to not implement it. There are also plenty of other adjustments that players will noticed if they compare the final product with the demos.

As mentioned before, the game is a collaboration with several designers and musicians. Toshihiko Takamizawa of The Alfee is the creator of the theme song and apparently he is a big gamer and a friend of Marvelous’ boss. The game’s original soundtrack will be out July 22nd in Japan.

Both were asked to give their final words. Yoshida says he make sure the loading time is reduced to almost none at all and it’s a game that’s very suitable for those who don’t have much time playing games with longer story. The single player and multiplayer modes will give players two entirely different enjoyment. As for Takaki, he think the game is suitable for everyone and they also make sure the game is launched with reasonable price (the game is at Play-Asia, slightly lower than the usual Japanese games). However, he would be thankful even if you just check out the demos and tease that there are plenty of hidden modes that he cant reveal at the moment.

2 Responses to “Famitsu Interview: Yuusha 30’s (aka Half-Minute Hero) Flash Origin & Development Process

  1. Lucian (GER)

    Easy money for Marvelous xo

    June 29th, 2009 at 8:01 pm
  2. Johna374

    An interesting dialogue is worth comment. I feel that you must write more on this topic, it won’t be a taboo subject but typically people are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers edeekafaebke

    May 5th, 2014 at 3:56 am

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