Interview: Scorpion (February 2017)

Interview: Scorpion
This month our interview features the cricle Scorpion, creator of a big hit full 3D RPG "Princess Quest"!! We hope you enjoy the read!

1. Thank you so much for this interview! To start things off, could you please introduce yourself to the DLsite.com users?

We are a small group of computer geeks!! No, really, we all have work which is related to the cursed machine: graphics design, programming and animation. The work we do on DLSite is done partly because we like making things.

2. How did you come up with your Circle's name "Scorpion?

If you are interested in graphic design, sooner or later you will discover the art of Ancient Egypt. Their hieroglyph of a scorpion (and many others) looks as though it was designed to be used as a logo. So we used it as one.

3. What led to becoming a professional creator? Was there something that specifically triggered your desire to begin as a creator?

See answer 1 - but also:

Doctor Johnson: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money."

4. Why did you select DLsite.com to market your product?

It's a good site - easy to use and accessible, and it had a high number of registered users on both the Japanese and English versions. We like the wide range of "interests" represented there - and we hope these will never be restricted.

5. Have you ever purchased any products from DLsite.com? If so, who is your favorite artist/creator and what are your favorite products?

Yes, we have. We (obviously) like the 3D works best, but also admire the drawing and painting skills so often found on the sites. Our favourites are Yosino, Rascou, Cauldron and the "middle period" of Umemaro - but there are many talented Circles out there.

Also - you may have noticed - we love anything about Jessica, Chun-Li - and Tifa! We are planning to include these ladies in future games...

6. So far, you have 4 products released on DLsite.com. Prior to your success on DLsite.com, were you involved as a contributor to other Game/Anime?

No. But we all wanted to create our own animation works, and this is what brought us together.

7. "Princess Quest" is a big hit; many users are enjoying it. For those who have not yet played it, please tell us about what they will see and can expect on this product?

Princess Quest is a 3D third-person role-playing adventure. That is, the player controls a character (Jessica) within a full 3D world: walking, running, jumping, falling - and swooning! There are different regions within this world of Albia: forest, jungle, desert, rivers, and a small village. A Fire Wizard is trying to cause the eruption of a nearby volcano to destroy Albia, and it is Jessica's mission to prevent this by collecting seven jewels and using their magic power to defeat the Wizard. To collect the jewels she must encounter some of the creatures and animals of Albia - some hostile, and some very friendly! These meetings are shown through video cutscenes within the game, all fully controlled by the player.

Princess Quest is not a large-scale game. It can be completed in less than an hour (that is the mission time limit), depending on how long the player spends watching the videos! But we hope that the player will also enjoy exploring the world and collecting treasure as well as the intimate encounters with the inhabitants of Albia!

We have included many magic effects, sounds, voices, and music for some of the videos, adding to the fantasy atmosphere of the game.

8. "Princess Quest" is your first game product on DLsite.com. Was there something that specifically triggered your desire to create a game product?

Interactivity. In all our works there is some level of viewer control - and a role-playing game puts the player within a world where, to some degree, their own actions decide what happens in that world. In Princess Quest we decided on a low- to medium-level of interaction between Jessica and the world around her (most of the interactions happen with the other game characters...): but we are learning, and we will include higher levels of exchange between character and environment - destructible buildings and landscape objects, for example, in our future games.

9. Comparing with creating a game product and an anime product, which did you better enjoy? Are there any difficulties to create a game over an animation? If there are, please tell us about it.

We enjoy both: Princess Quest includes both RPG and anime sequences. There are two main areas where a game will be more difficult to create than an animation. Firstly, an animation is created on the maker's machine then played as a media file on the viewer's machine through a static player - whereas a game is literally re-created frame by frame on the viewer's machine through its application file. That is, a game is real-time - you must always be aware of how much CPU and GPU resources you may be using. Secondly, it is our experience that an original and interesting game could hardly be created without using programming scripts. You may be able to use game templates, models, effects, etc, bought from other creators and "plugged in" to your game - but to make your game behave in exactly the way that you need, almost always the best way is to attach a script and program that behaviour.*

*I know - I'm the programmer so I would say that... But we think it's true... However, you don't need to be a maths or language expert to learn enough coding for games.

10. The reviews by users highly praise the smoothness of the movement of characters. Also, you have a very unique style specific to characters' figure. When you were developing your products, did you put a lot of focus on the aspects of these?

We use the Unity game engine, and honor must go to the brilliant Unity 5 animation system. With this system, many separate animations may be blended as the character moves: for example, you have animations for jump, fall and land - and Unity will do most of the blending between them.

We love Jessica, and feel that she deserved a richly voluptuous figure! As the player's character, we spent a lot of time on her...

11. Your information tells that you reside in UK. Is DLsite.com well-known among the fans of Japanese pop-culture? Please tell us the awareness of DLsite.com in UK.

That is difficult to answer. The reviews and ratings on the English DLSite, for example, do not say if they are coming from the UK or not, so the proportion of UK users is not clear. If we can help to raise awareness, please let us know!

12. From where do you draw your greatest inspiration to create your products?

See Answer 5! Dragon Quest VIII, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy... But also from other Circles, who show what it is possible to create.

13. What is the most important consideration when you are developing your products? What element is the most important to you?

Never to be boring or static. Always to be exciting and interesting.

14. What tools or software do you use when you are creating your products?

Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, Photoshop for animation and graphics. Wavelab and Audacity for audio. Unity 5 for game creation and scripting.

15. How do you enjoy spending your time when you are not working? Do you have any hobbies or special interests?

Anything that will get us away from a computer screen for a while... Cycling, guitar, and listening to audiobooks are some of the answers I'm getting!

16. So many users are enjoying your products, and they are curious what you have in the works for your next project. Can you provide a preview of what you are working on now for future release? Also, please let us know your goals for your future.?

We are working on a Jessica anime, at the start of her first mission before the story of P*ncess Quest. She lets us into the secret source of her magical power, as she takes on five (non-human) level guardians...

As mentioned above, we are also preparing a new game which (at the moment) will have Tifa Lock*art as its main character. We intend this to be a large and immersive game with more playable characters, a more interactive world and more "enemies"...

Also, as I write (February 2017), we are building a new web-site. Please check this now and then for new images, links and work-in-progress.

17. You have been so very successful in this field. Do you have any advice for new developers to help inspire them?

As for making games, you may hear "experts" implying that games programming is difficult, but at the same time say that you can create a game in no time at all. We found that the opposite is true: it's quite easy to learn but you should accept that a lot of work is needed. Ask yourself: "what animation or CGs or game would I definitely buy?" - then go and create it!

18. Any message for your fans?

A huge "thank you", of course - your support keeps us going. Stay with us - we will get better! CS
You haven't tried their works yet? Then check them out now!
Scorpion
Title Princess Quest
Circle Scorpion
Genre
Price : 1,620 JPY
$14.43 / €13.68
(estimation)
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