This is an interview with Yoshihisa Tomita from Sting Co., Ltd, director of the Sega Dreamcast RPG Evolution: The World of Sacred Device. It was originally published on the game's official US website, and a small portion of the interview can be found in the game's manual.
When did you first start working on Evolution?
The original Evolution was planned two or three years ago. It was set to be an RPG for the Sega Saturn. In the end, the settings and the game system were much different from the Evolution we originally planned.
Is everyone on the team a big fan of adventure/RPG games?
We have our favorites, but yes, most of us play RPGs often.
Tell us about the concept behind Evolution's theme, the premise.
Basically, even when there is adversity to endure, never back down and always think positive.
What inspired the development of the Evolution characters? Do you have a favorite?
We developed the story line then decided on each character's personality and role. We chose cheerful friendly characters because it gives life to the story. My favorite character is Chain, she's cute. She has a crush on Mag, but cannot express her mind. A problem a lot of us experience.
Why did you choose an anime-type look for Evolution characters and environments instead of a more realistic approach?
Everyone goes for realistic 3D graphics now. With evolution, we wanted to show that it is possible to create unique and cute anime-style characters. However, we also wanted to demonstrate the technique of high quality textures, even though it is anime.
Why did you decide to use the name of weapons for the character names?
The person in charge of the Evolution setting, Mr. Matsumura, loves the military. It was his idea to use the different type of weapons as character names. The names are not in accordance with the image of the weapons. We selected each name by the sound image which Japanese people hear.
Why did you decide to go with randomly generated dungeons?
We always intended to make good use of what we started in Baroque.
Are there multiple towns or just the main town near the ruins?
Several countries and towns are part of the story, but only one town, named Pannam actively appears in the game. Mag's house is here, which is his base of operation.
Are the dungeons the only location that combat takes place in?
Ah-ha! Basically yes… but there are special exceptions. You will see!
What kind of enemies are included in the dungeons?
Most of them are huge insects and great beasts native to the world. There are, however, extremely powerful and bizarre boss monsters at the end of every dungeon.
Explain the combat in Evolution? Are you introducing an all-new system?
Combat is the typical 'choosing command' style, but you actively put your party in 3x3 squares. The action takes and movement order, as well as each parameters changes depending on the position of the characters, so you will have to consider strategies in battle.
How did you take advantage of the Sega Dreamcast hardware?
By virtue of the GD - ROM, it became possible to handle large capacity data at high speed. Only on the Dreamcast can we make an RPG game with characters using thousands of polygons along with high quality textures. You can see these advantages in the game. In the past, there was a large discrepancy between the quality of a game and a movie. With the Dreamcast the difference is negligible.
Any final thoughts?
We created Evolution with enthusiasm and passion over. We hope you recognize this passion and enthusiasm even more than the 3D design and new technical aspects.
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