October 24, 2008 // 1:03 am
- Associate Producer Christopher Kaminski
from Sega of America shared the following today via PS Blog:
I'm Christopher Kaminski, the US Producer on Valkyria Chronicles, here to update you on a couple of things. First of all, we've released a few new trailers recently that showcase some of the main characters: Squad 7, Welkin and Alicia. As we approach launch, we'll be showing off more of the key units who appear in the game's imminent release!
Now let's dig into the meat of this post. I'd like to tell you how the pre-launch event we had at the Sony PlayStation Store in San Francisco last month went!
Eager fans lined up to meet and get an autograph from our most-esteemed Producer from SEGA Studios Japan, Ryutaro Nonaka. Each person walked away with a limited edition autographed box sleeve, a handy item to have when they pick up a copy of Valkyria when it comes out in less than two weeks (November 4th!).
We even had Alicia Melchiott to greet the fans!
This was a great opportunity for everyone that attended the event to get a little sneak preview hands-on with the demo before anyone else. For those of you curious about how Valkyria Chronicles plays, it's been available on Qore for the past 2 weeks, and hits the wider PSN today.
We raffled off some very cool items such as the official soundtrack from the game, toy figures Nonaka-san brought with him from Japan, signed art pieces from the game and of course the Sony PLAYSTATION 3! Pictured below are some of our lucky winners!
This was Nonaka-san's first trip to San Francisco. He really didn't know what to expect from this visit. Afterwards, he told us how genuinely overwhelmed he was by everyone's enthusiasm for the game. He really was really excited to meet all the Valkyria Chronicles and SEGA fans and appreciates everyone coming out to support the game. Just look at that face in the picture above. He really hopes that everyone will enjoy playing Valkyria Chronicles as much as he enjoyed working on it!
He also took time to answer some of your questions, sent in by readers of PlayStation.Blog:
1. What games or other materials would you say were inspiration for this game?? What inspired you to put Vyse and Aika in Valkyria Chronicles?
The game's fundamental story wasn't really influenced by any other games. The reason for the "Skies of Arcadia" characters appearing had to do with staff like Chief Director Tanaka and Chief Artist Kanazawa and other folks who had worked on "Arcadia" as well. Since we had around 50 soldiers to create for the game, we decided to add them. "Valkyria Chronicles" and "Skies of Arcadia" take place in different worlds, but try not to overthink that too much. Besides, for players unfamiliar with "Arcadia," they won't even realize that these characters aren't just other random soldiers.
2. Why did the team choose the watercolor painting art style for this game?
We wanted to show the triumph of the human spirit, even amidst the hardship of war; to do this, we felt it necessary to show not just the reality of the battlefield, but of real, human characters and emotional drama. This led to us creating the CANVAS system, our new graphic engine, to really show a sort of warmth and caring touch by creating imagery that looks like hand-drawn watercolors. To generate this real-time, hand-painted look takes quite a lot of processing power, and I think that we've accomplished what we set out to do.
3. Without spoiling anything what can you tell us about the storyline?
There's an Empire, and there's the small country of Gallia, which is a member of a confederation of smaller states. The Empire invades this small country, and so the heroes, including Welkin, who's just this normal guy, along with Alicia and her military comrades, get wrapped up in this war. There are also legends of something known as "Valkyria," and that's something that plays a big part in this battle that these people get caught up in. You'll have to play the game to find out more, though.
4. Is this game friendly to newcomers of the genre?
The user has a lot of freedom in this game (like the ability to select what units to bring into battle and how to set up their squad, how to utilize their squad on the field), and the fundamental gameplay mechanic is rather simple. I think that even beginners should be able to have a fun time with this game, and that they'll get used to how it all works very quickly.
5. Are there any plans for downloadable content, expansion packs?? Any other unusual additions?
In Japan, on 8/8, our first batch of download content was released. This includes a new side-episode that centers on some of the side-characters, as well as a new extra-hard difficult. At the end of October, we hope to have our second content set released. (This will center on the Imperial Army's Selveria squad fighting against the Gallian army in another additional episode).
Plans for download content for the overseas releases are still to be determined.
All in all, the event went well and we were very happy to see everyone playing and enjoying the game. It was great to meet everyone and thank you for taking the time to come out to support Valkyria Chronicles.
For more information on the game, visit www.valkyrichroniclesgame.com.