Yotsuba (Crimzon Clover)
Translated by rancor.
—When did you start programming this title?
Yotsuba: I began working on this game as a result of finishing my formal university schooling. From that point, Crimzon Clover took me 5 years to complete.
—Was it your intention from the beginning to make a shmup title?
Yotsuba: Without a doubt. I suffered a setback in learning programming while I was a college student. It was very difficult to learn in theory without practice, and I just didn't have the time to dedicate to learn it properly. After I graduated and started working in the programming industry I had a chance to code as a part of my job. Doing it everyday and being around people that could answer any questions I had, I leaned how I could finally make the game I was seeing in my head. I started making games with the intention of creating what I believed to be the "Ultimate Shooting Game", but couldn't because of the sense of failure I had experienced during my college years.
—One can totally feel that you love the STG genre from your game. And it can also be felt that you really had gamers in mind while creating the game. I think it is a game in which the player can vividly feel that they get better as they progress.
Yotsuba: I'm really happy to hear that it is the impression on the game. I made sure that the game players can choose either 1UPs or a higher score at the conclusion of each level. For example, upon seeing the "Game Over" screen, I want players to think: "It was my own fault that the game is over because I didn't take the 1UP that last time." Even in the shop system, I attempted to include the concept that "lives can be purchased by your own will" has more impact on the playability than "automatically increased lives."
—What was the reason for being able to choose either a bonus score or a 1UP after clearing a stage?
Yotsuba: With arcade games, it is usually the case that more skilled players get scores faster than those who are not so skilled - however - since I could now write the rules in my own game, I wanted to make it faster to get lives for those who are less skilled. Therefore more skilled players can throw away 1UPs and gain a high score, while less skilled players can choose 1UPs. That is the logic.
—That's a new idea! What are some other points you want people to pay attention to, and take care to notice?
Yotsuba: For better or worse I aimed for a game that doesn' t evoke a sense of being a "doujin title". One example of me attempting to achieve that goal was that all of the graphics for the ground-based gun turrets were basically done in perspective. Because rotating perspective graphics look unnatural when they lose their rotation functionality, I had to draw many frames of animation. If I say that there are 32 animations for each tank, it means that I have put in 32 times the effort of other games that also have a sprite rotation functionality in them. Moreover, if you'll notice, bullets from the enemy come out from the tip of the gun, not the center of the tank as many other titles do. This is a very lazy approach to animation because where the bullets come out changes as the gun barrel rotates. Doing those menial tasks without becoming overwhelmed was my motto during creation of this game because I believe that the image of quality as a concept is deep-seated in the nature of the game. You can't take short cuts here and there and expect to be a groundbreaking title. As far as adjusting levels of difficulties goes, I asked a lady friend of mine who likes shooting games to help me with play-testing. Since I'm on the developing side of the game, I would have not made too many adjustments as a result of my numbed senses from getting used to the character of the game so much, but I became sure that the game would work because the girl helping me finally cleared the original mode - barely. Should any complaint that the game is too easy arise, I could simply say, "forgive me for that, the game is designed so that even a female player can clear (laugh)."
—I see (laugh), What kinds of reactions to the game have you been getting since it's been released?
Yotsuba: Thankfully I have been receiving mostly positive responses. I've been quite surprised by reactions from overseas. Even at the Comic Market event in Odaiba, foreign people were buying my game - I even received e-mails asking whether I would sell my game online or not.
—Any final thoughts for the readers?
Yotsuba: Until now, since I had only been on the playing side of doujin gaming, I didn't realize how rewarding it is to have my game played by so many people. The game was made with the goal that "this is the ULTIMATE shooting game!" I sincerely hope everyone out there enjoys my creation!