The developers of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 weighed in on the massive amount of content the RPG offers. Monolith Soft’s Tetsuya Takahashi and Koh Kojima, as well as Nintendo’s Genki Yokota, weighed in on the topic.
Yokota said at one point that “the amount of content exceeds that of the first and second titles”. Additionally, Kojima mentioned that “the total walkable area of this game is more than five times larger than in the second title.”
The Xenoblade Chronicles series seems to have a lot of content. So you decide that to some extent at the beginning, and then you start making the product.
Takahashi: I think the feeling of “having a lot of content” differs from person to person, but ultimately I like having an abundance of content.
Yokota: I also like having a large volume of content!
Takahashi: Kojima-san always asks me to turn the volume down. (Laughs)
Yokota: I also had to find the happy medium from my position.
Takahashi: As a genre, RPGs require a certain volume of content, and there is a minimum amount of content required to play. I think it’s the result of first ensuring that minimum volume and then adding “I want to do this” and “I want to do that”.
So you’re saying that the development team at MONOLITHSOFT is receptive to increasing the volume of content?
Kojima: No… I don’t think that’s the case… (Laughs)
Kojima: However, because of my stance, I would say, “Please turn the volume down”, but in the end, I also like to have an abundance of content. Additionally, those of us in charge of landscapes and quests also like to have a lot of content. In other words, the volume of content inevitably increases because the people making the game are all about volume. However, the volume is not increased indiscriminately, but rather out of necessity. In order to create the world that Takahashi-san wanted to portray and make it compelling, we had to incorporate a certain amount of content. If it were a movie, you could condense it into two hours and depict a fascinating world. But with a game, you can freely explore the world to some extent. The areas the characters traverse must be large, and if there is a war there, it is necessary to incorporate a setting that includes the type of people who normally live there and how they go about their daily lives. That’s why when we create all these things, the volume naturally increases.
So everyone at MONOLITHSOFT likes to have an abundance of content, right?
Takahashi: I believe that to be true. (Laughs) However, even if we say “abundance of content”, it covers a lot of things, and I would say that the volume of content created in the Xenoblade Chronicles series is the volume of “idea content”. We sift through the content to determine what volume is deemed essential for an RPG that can also be delivered easily to our players. For example, let’s say we focus on the details of a map and character, and create many context-specific variations or animations. I think gamers would still appreciate it, but eventually they wouldn’t notice it after, say, 30 minutes of play. We’re still wondering if there are other ways to achieve greater gamer satisfaction. , and after exploring and designing many ideas, we finally decide on the appropriate amount of content.
Kojima: …Well, I think Takahashi-san would love to have countless card and character variations, to be honest. (Laughs)
Yokota: It’s about where you set your priorities, right? As this title bridges the worlds of the first two titles in the series – even though we couldn’t have as much content as those combined – we understood that a commensurate amount of content would be needed as the third iteration of the series. As a result… I think the amount of content exceeds that of the first and second titles. (Laughs) Even for the storyline, I was planning to do a little less than the second title, but I wanted to include different types of gameplay, not only in the main story but also during detours. So, I wrapped up what I wanted to do, and as a result, it ended up having a bit more content.
Kojima: Well… I wish this third post was the last with such a large volume of content!
But didn’t you think that also for the second title?
Kojima: Well, yes… It’s true. (Laughs) Come to think of it, we were just talking about it yesterday at the office. That the world would go crazy for this title. So I did the math, and it turns out that the total walkable area in this game is more than five times larger than in the second title. It was like… “Yikes!” (Laughs)
Kojima: We mentioned the variety of maps and characters earlier, but to be able to naturally create such a large area with limited variation in landscapes, I think MONOLITHSOFT has accumulated expertise in creating maps. For example, it would be easy to create variations in the landscape by preparing a myriad of textures, but we tried to be creative in a different way. In fact, there are many settlements where you can explore and enjoy questing, and if we tried too hard to add a lot of detailed variations such as wall patterns, I think we wouldn’t have been able to provide as much gameplay as we did. .
Yokota: We discussed wanting to increase the number of cities early on, so I’m glad we were able to work together to achieve that.
Takahashi: Additionally, having to voice huge colonies called Ferronis and having “Ouroboros” – five to six meter tall figures – fighting simultaneously required a certain amount of space.
Yokota: Ferronis are really huge, so I hope players will look at them when exploring. Sometimes I wonder where the Ferronis is, and I look up and still think, “Wow! It’s so huge!” It still surprises me. (Laughs)
Takahashi: You can see the settlements, with the Ferronis at their center, from far away. And it’s quite beautiful, isn’t it?
Yokota: This is exactly where the meaning of “Xenoblade-ness” comes in, so I hope everyone checks it out.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will launch on Switch tomorrow, July 29.