After almost two years, four PAX showings (as well as GDC, E3, etc) it’s almost bittersweet to be finally announcing this. It was just over a year ago that we first announced this game was coming to PSN. But you can’t understand why that is until you look at what really went into this game…
Dragon Fantasy Book II’s origin is a long tale, going back almost 20 years to when myself and Adam Rippon, the game’s writer and creative director were just teenagers. Knowing nothing about what it takes to make games, we looked at the JRPGs we loved at the time and wanted to make our own. Over a dozen failures later we eventually gave up and went on with life, ending up in the game industry and working together at a number of companies. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that the passing of Adam’s father brought back the desire to make Dragon Fantasy (now titled Dragon Fantasy Book I). As far as generic 8-bit style JRPGs go, we had a great response and added a ton of content until it became the game we eventually released on PSN earlier this year.
Our goal with Book I was to make a game that we knew we could actually release. The plans for Book II were much more lofty. We came into this saying let’s make the absolute best 16-bit style JRPG that can be made. We looked back over the games that inspired us and picked out the best features from each of them:
- No Random Battles – the monsters roam the world freely. This means you always have the chance to run away before you even enter combat. While the combat is turn-based, the other creatures on the world are alive. They can at any point wander over and join in the middle of battle!
- SMAAAAAASH! When encountering a vastly weaker enemy, you’ll instantly smash them and continue on.
- Side content galore. Along with the main story, there are dozens of side quests (we call then Bounty Hunts), and a number of optional side-dungeons to explore.
- Ship Battles. A few times throughout the game you’ll find yourself attacked on the high-seas. But beware, you never know what you’ll have to resort to using for ammo!
- Monster capturing. You can capture most enemies in the world using handy Capture Nets (or the Woodman’s Capture spell). Your party can include up to four members, with excess monsters found at the local tavern in the nearest major town!
We strived to take everything we’ve done before and do it bigger and better, from the much more action-filled combat system, to the spell effects, all wrapped up with our normal sense of humor. There’s a bigger story, more monsters, more maps, and yes, even more explosions!
The game’s main storyline is a bit more serious than the humble beginnings of Dragon Fantasy Book I, but we made sure we stayed true to the fun one-liners and JRPG (and TV/movie) references that so many fans loved.
And yes, it has a Platinum. :)