After a successful demo, the beautiful Nintendo Switch JRPG Project Octopath Traveller is getting a bunch of updates based on player feedback!
A new video released today on the Official Nintendo YouTube channel gives us an update from the developers at Square Enix. To start with, Producer Masashi Takahashi notes the phenomenal success of the demo that released on September 13th 2017; it has been downloaded over one million times! Within that, it received 45,500 player responses through the survey which asked about the experience people had. See, demos are still worthwhile, everyone!
The video goes on to explain some features and improvements that will be introduced as a result of the feedback. To start with, Lead Programmer Satoshi Hasegawa says that one issue “… was that it was a hassle to get around.” Now, instead of increasing movement speed with a press of the B button, the distinction is made by how far you push the analogue stick. Holding the B button now adds a further speed boost, instead – however, the likelihood of encountering enemies increases whilst at your fastest. Hasegawa notes that this was done to “… maintain game balance,” which makes sense. Finally, Project Octopath Traveler will be getting a fast travel option for manoeuvring around the map.
Next, Lead Artist Mika Iizuka talks about criticisms of visibility whilst playing. Here, it is a case of small details – to make it clearer which parts of the environment are available, they have “… adjusted walls and floor colors, and added visible landmarks, among other changes.” Brightness, and the 2D-HD visuals that are a signature of Project Octopath Traveler, can be altered too. Furthermore, a new radar feature has been included, which will point out important places such as entrances and exits.
The subject of user interface is then brought up by Lead Programmer Yutaka Watanabe. He explains that the cursor on the save menu has been looked at. This is because, in the demo, the layout meant that you could easily save over old files without meaning too. As well as this, the amount of save slots has risen to 9, plus one space for autosave. Oh, and one for you typography fans (that’s me, too) – the help text has been made bigger, so that it is easier to read.
Watanabe then progresses on to discuss the event scenes (another term for cutscenes). Those who have played many a JRPG know that when you are defeated, it can be demoralising to have to face a whole chunk of conversation again; Project Octopath Traveler now has a skip option to fast-forward through these sections if desired. Alternatively, if you adore these parts of the game, replay functionality means you can play them all over again. The text speed in these scenes has been refined, too, with a faster default (this can be changed in the settings).
The last topic is the battle system. Lead Game Designer Kota Oosaki states that there aren’t many major changes happening to the core systems here – the developers are “… continuing to refine game balance… ” as Oosaki puts it. With that comes the last specific update we are told about. Other additions are hinted at, but we’ll have to wait until a Nintendo Direct, or maybe E3, to here more.
Project Octopath Traveler (not the final name at this time) is coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch in 2018.