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Octopath Traveler released last Friday to rave reviews and near universal acclaim (stay tuned for our own coming soon), and now director Keisuke Miyauchi of Acquire and producer Masashi Takahashi of Square Enix have been interviewed in a brief Q&A video posted to Nintendo’s social media. Here’s a brief rundown of what they discussed:

  • The title of the game references the eight characters/paths the player can embark on, but was also chosen to be easy to remember for Japanese ears — “Octopath” transliterated to Japanese sounds a lot like how they would say the English word “octopus,” which is distinct and memorable.
  • As a result of working on Bravely Default and Bravely Second, the dev team realized that the demand for JRPGs was much greater than many, including themselves. So with Octopath they aimed for a simultaneous worldwide release.
  • The game started off with a traditional battle system. The Boost and Break mechanics were added in order to give the player a greater sense of resource management and control of their actions, as well as to diversify battles from becoming stale and boring.
  • Since this was a new IP, they needed an enticing hook to pique people’s interests — thus, they decided on having eight individual stories rather than one grand narrative, as that was a simple concept to sell and explain. They also felt that this method would increase the player’s enjoyment and freedom in the world.
  • Path Actions came about because the developers wanted the player to have more choices in how they interacted with NPCs and the story. In a similar vein, the split between Rogue and Noble actions allows players to role play or otherwise adapt their preferences to their liking.
  • In order to more accurately convey the sensation of going on a journey, the team paid very careful attention to environments and the way they were lit and colored to make each one distinct and different enough to convey the passage of space.
  • The game’s unique pixel art style is borne by the dev team’s ages — most members, including Miyauchi and Takahashi, grew up in the golden age of SNES RPGs, and thus have a fondness for the style.
  • In similar fashion, composer Yasunori Nishiki is also of that era, and was asked to create music with that epoch’s attention to memorable tunes and catchy themes alongside modern sound design.
  • Last September’s demo and survey was extremely helpful to the dev team, as it allowed outside opinions of greater objectivity to point out the game’s issues and help streamline the development time.

You can check out the full video below, and pick up Octopath Traveler for yourself right now on the eShop or elsewhere.



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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.