Harvestella: We asked Square Enix how this quirky rural JRPG was born

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Harvestella is one of those games you’ve been waiting for in part. Square Enixnot partially. With its mix of JRPG and farming simulator, the publisher’s approach was ostensibly cautious, but the experience of producer Daisuke Taka and director Hiroto Furuya made Harvestella a successful experiment. Knowing that we found a cheerful and extroverted personality especially in Taka, we had the opportunity to ask them a few questions. Taka’s story goes into JRPGs, some of which are quite experimental, and so it’s not strange to comment on his recent arrival at Square-Enix. Aware of the essence of JRPG, it is clear how the Japanese publisher feels about various aspects; It doesn’t matter if it’s action, online, turn-based, real-time or strategic.

The truth is, as time goes by, it seems to us to realize that the land of the rising sun has returned to itself either. perpendicularity, otherwise the ticket to the future won’t be empty for long. In any case, Harvestella came out and we quite liked it for its plot features that could convey a beautiful environmental theme. Inside’Interview with Harvestella producer Daisuke Taka we will try to tell you about the birth of the project.

A name that smells of Italy

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With beautiful artworks like this one, Harvestella instantly directs us to floral and environmental themes.

With beautiful artworks like this one, Harvestella instantly directs us to floral and environmental themes.

The most curious thing is definitely first nameharvestella A word that makes Italians smile, to other people it’s probably just a weird nursery rhyme. In any case, we pointed out to Daisuke Taka that the word Harvestella for us Italians is a combination of Harvest and okay, also Stella. Why this very special name? Who invented it?

“You were so smart! We thought of many different names, some of them quite daring, but since it’s a new IP, we tried to present a title as simple as possible. History of the game”

As you may have seen in the demo, at some point the aliens are coming! Of course, it quickly becomes clear that the Omen are not tentacled monsters from another planet, but humans, but between these unknown figures and Quietus, the joy and sweetness of the Harvestella environment almost seems like an outer vault that hides darker colors inside. we asked Hiroto Furuyadirector and screenwriter, if that’s really the case.

“I’ve never intentionally thought of writing anything particularly dark. RPGs by definition need a ‘crisis’, so I can imagine how the beginning looks particularly bleak (laughs). This certainly refers to the title, but one of the themes is exactly fusion of people. , stars and the planet.”

environmental problems

The atmosphere and feel of Harvestella references the great classics of Square-Enix's past, notably Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles.

The atmosphere and feel of Harvestella references the great classics of Square-Enix’s past, notably Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles.

The environmental theme is very prominent, that’s true. From the beginning, Harvestella presents a semi-ideal model of the world connected with the earth and nature. confusion, somehow unnatural, stimulated. But at the end of the day, there are many models of gameplay and Harvestella that should be able to move us forward in the narrative. We asked Taka how he found the balance between the many game inspirations, elements and mechanics applied to it.

“When you create a game with many features, each of these systems tends to live its own life, almost disconnecting from the others. This time, we focused our resources on time and money management (Grilla), trying to adapt and work in an almost natural way. It balances the mechanics of the game. Numbers And that’s the result of bringing together team members who are very good at math.”

The curiosity to see a Japanese role-playing titan like Square Enix try his hand at a farming simulator was overwhelming, as the publisher simply didn’t have this massive portfolio of similar titles or features that could somehow be attributed to Harvestella. That’s why we asked Saka exactly when he came up with the idea to create a deep JRPG, but with such distinctly simulative elements. But with a publisher like Square, imagine the hassle of getting the green light to move forward.

“The idea came to me when I joined Square Enix four years ago. Square Enix is ​​particularly strong in JPRGs, so I thought it wasn’t enough to offer a traditional JRPG to stay competitive to a male audience (although the reality has changed a lot in recent years, ed. ), I suggested that we try to make ourselves interesting at school as well, while life simulations are also liked by girls. gamer girlsfor the good of the company for the next ten to twenty years, both now and in the future.

Stories and field hoes

Harvestella's game world isn't an open world for obvious reasons, but we think it's the right choice.

Harvestella’s game world isn’t an open world for obvious reasons, but we think it’s the right choice.

For this reason, Harvestella tries to struggle with distinctive elements and distinctive features. This time we ask Furuya what part of Harvestella she expects to be appreciated the most, and perhaps even her favourite!

“Because it’s a real-life simulation game, we tried to make the stories of the characters particularly deep and captivating. connection with the player. I hope this more social part will be the part where players will spend the most time!”

While the two faces questioned here have some experience, it felt natural to ask ourselves how young the Harvestella team was, also in light of the work evolutions imposed by COVID over the past two years. We imagined a team that is quite dynamic but perhaps passionate about the countryside, nature, crops and socializing.

“While most designers are young, many artists and programmers have some experience. I don’t know if anyone on the team is passionate about friendship and agriculture, but there are a lot of people growing on the team. kitchen garden

Having said that Japanese developers have always taken care of green and environmental dynamics, we believe Harvestella can build its own fan base. Therefore, we end this conversation with Taka and Furuya, to whom we both thank and ask them if we can expect them in the future through other projects like Square Enix’s Harvestella, perhaps through DLC or sequels.

Taka responds in closing: “We don’t have any plans for DLC, but I’d love to do some. sequel Wish Harvestella was still with us ten or twenty years later, so please buy it! (Laughs)”

Source: Multiplayer

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