Interview: Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown Producer Takeuchi discusses the upcoming entry within the fashionable sequence

Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown was introduced earlier this yr for iOS and Android. It’ll rejoice the anime’s tenth anniversary and supply a number of recreation modes to maintain gamers entertained. We just lately had an opportunity to talk with Producer Takeuchi about Variant Showdown. Collectively we mentioned the sport modes on supply, how SAOVS differs from earlier entries within the sequence and much more.

Are you able to please introduce your self and your position on Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown for our readers?

Hiya, I’m Takeuchi from Bandai Namco Leisure Inc. I’ve beforehand labored on quite a few cell video games reminiscent of SAO Integral Issue. At present, I’m working because the producer of Variant Showdown. Because the producer, I’m concerned within the decision-making behind the event course of, state of affairs, designs, promotional supplies, and extra.

First up, there are fairly a number of SAO video games on the market. How is Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown completely different from the remaining?

In an effort to make this an easy-to-enjoy motion recreation, I’ve tried to make distinctions between present video games and this one.

Specifically, I needed to create a recreation system that emphasizes the points of SAO battles that depart a powerful impression on the viewer—specifically, Sword Expertise and the Change motion. Simply as Kirito and Asuna fought the ground boss in episode 2 of the anime sequence, you need to use Change to alter the character you’re controlling, and use Sword Expertise repeatedly to deal giant quantities of injury. After all, there are many different options added to the sport to provide it that distinctive SAO-like essence, however these actions are what make up the necessities.

We’ve additionally paid particular consideration to the facial expressions this time, evaluating them to what was the norm in earlier video games up to now. For instance, Variant Showdown will newly characteristic animations with particular interactions between the characters, in addition to playable characters in quite a lot of outfits.

The sport is being launched to rejoice the 10-year anniversary of the anime. However in addition to that, what had been your targets with this undertaking?

Not solely does 2022 mark the tenth anniversary of the SAO anime, however it’s additionally the yr wherein the sport of Sword Artwork On-line was introduced within the unique work. Simply as Kirito set off on his first journey into the world of Sword Artwork On-line within the yr 2022, we’re hoping all of you gamers in the true world will be capable to expertise a brand new iteration of the world of SAO this yr.

What recreation modes can gamers anticipate finding in Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown?

We plan to have 2 predominant gameplay modes in the course of the preliminary launch. First, there’s an “Occasion PvE,” the place you possibly can tackle limited-time bosses solo. Second, there are “Quests” the place you learn by a narrative to proceed and unlock additional story chapters. Within the Occasion PvE, you’ll problem a boss with the objective of acquiring occasion rewards that change with every occasion. The boss may also change with every new occasion, so that you’ll have to alter your battle technique every time, together with your social gathering set-up. With it being the tenth anniversary, we’d prefer to make the expertise pleasing for as many individuals as attainable, so there shall be a number of modes of problem to select from. Whether or not you’re new to motion video games or a veteran, you’ll be capable to select a mode that fits your wants.

Quickly after launch (as soon as everybody’s had an opportunity to get used to the sport), we plan so as to add 2 extra gameplay modes. The primary of those is a “PvP” mode, the place 4 gamers face off in a battle royal. The second is “Restricted Battles,” a solo mode the place you possibly can set your individual battle circumstances, irrespective of how strict, for dealing with off towards bosses. Anybody will be capable to take part in these battles, however the mode has been designed to provide the sport extra depth to gamers in search of a problem. I’ll be wanting ahead to seeing what strategies you give you to beat these challenges.


Does the sport have any connection to SAO’s unique story or some other entries within the sequence?

SAOVS shall be that includes an unique story in order that those that have solely seen bits and items of the anime will nonetheless be capable to take pleasure in it. The story is ready to happen someday after the occasions of the Alicization arc. Not solely will characters from the anime sequence be showing, however unique characters distinctive to SAOVS may also be becoming a member of the story, so hold a watch out for them.

There are a number of playable characters in Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown. Which characters can gamers count on to see and launch? And do you intend so as to add extra at a later date?

Kirito, Asuna, Leafa, Silica, and Lisbeth, who had been featured within the closed beta check, are assured to be within the last recreation. We’re contemplating including memorable characters from the GGO and Alicization arcs as effectively.
Additionally, whereas we’ve at the moment solely introduced character outfits featured within the anime sequence, we plan so as to add new outfits solely present in SAOVS, in addition to variations of outfits that have an effect on battle fashion.

In addition to playable character options, there may also be “Means Playing cards.” These are playing cards that you just equip to a playable character, important to powering up their skills. Illustrations on the playing cards will characteristic a big number of characters, not solely these which are at the moment playable.

What would your message be to any gamers who’re anxious about Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown being a cell recreation?

As beforehand talked about, for the anime’s 10 anniversary, we’ve made it a objective to make this recreation accessible to a wider viewers. Slightly than making a PC or console recreation, a cell recreation was the pure selection in order that gamers may immediately begin taking part in.

Whether or not you play the sport casually throughout your downtime, or get along with your mates for an intense PvP session, it’s a recreation that may at all times be straightforward to succeed in for.

If I am right, you ran a closed beta check in June. What did you study from that and has it led to many modifications?

The closed beta check targeted on permitting gamers to expertise the fundamentals of the sport, that being boss battles taken on solo. I used to be relieved to see that we largely obtained optimistic suggestions on the battles. Gamers additionally had good issues to say concerning the character expressions, so I feel we’ll be continuing with the identical method for each battles and expressions from right here on out.

That being mentioned, the sport does have some points, and our improvement staff is engaged on enhancing the expertise. Controls and ease of use are some examples of issues I’d prefer to see extra refined. To enter extra element, button response points, loading instances, and several other onerous to make use of options are at the moment being tackled.

Nonetheless, I notice that the sport expertise is a bit subjective, and what one participant feels will differ from one other. With the loading instances particularly, a participant’s gameplay setting is a big issue, so it isn’t straightforward to make the expertise excellent for all customers proper off the bat. Regardless of all of this, I’m hoping to maintain engaged on optimizing gamers’ experiences.

Are you able to inform us something about Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown’s monetisation mannequin?

Together with the Scout system, we’re planning to introduce a Battle Cross to be obtainable for buy.
By buying a Battle Cross, you will get much more rewards when taking part in the sport. You can even get playable characters and customise their look with quite a lot of equipment. Extra intense gamers would possibly particularly discover this characteristic interesting. As for the Scouts, you’ll be capable to pull from them with unique tickets. Tickets shall be obtainable as occasion rewards and extra.

In the event you’re desirous about Sword Artwork On-line Variant Showdown, you possibly can pre-register for the sport on its official website. Moreover, comply with the sport’s Twitter and Facebook accounts to remain up-to-date with the most recent developments. 

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