Following is a discussion we had way back on July 2nd, 2010 where we were discussing what our next project should be while we were in the middle of making Cthulhu Saves the World. Here you can see some of the first hints of what would later become Cosmic Star Heroine.
Note, the following discussion has been edited & abridged for clarity (cleaned up the grammar & spelling, removed some off-topic discussions).
Robert: Are you leaning towards anything for our next project?
Bill: Not yet no, what about you? Oh quick question – are all the alien cats in Cthulhu green? What color should the boss alien cat be?
Robert: Yeah, probably make them all the same color.
Bill: Okay, so green?
Robert: As for our next project, I don’t know. Part of me is leaning towards “Hey, lets try to go XBLA!” And part of me is leaning towards “XBLIG is pretty nice and let’s us do stuff fast.”
Bill: Well.. I think it’s too early to go XBLA
Robert: Yeah, you’re probably right.
Robert: On actual game ideas… I’m tempted to make a Phantasy Star-esque RPG next. Space Opera with magic.
Bill: Sounds good. I’m on board with it already.
Robert: Alternatively a cyberpunk RPG could go over well.
Bill: Phantasy Star style RPGs… have there been many recently?
Robert: Good ones? No.
Bill: Well there you go. I think Phantasy Star style gameplay is still relatively untapped.
Bill: Hey I was thinking the other day… it seems that 99% of RPGs are either “Fantasy” (swords, wizards, warriors, princesses, castles, kings), or they are Sci-Fi (guns, aliens, space ships, etc). There has got to be more settings that are not fully explored…
Robert: True, true.
Bill: …and post-apoc Western RPGs.
Robert: I played one RPG in Chinese… that was a mermaid RPG
[Note: Heroine Anthem 1 & 2]
Bill: Well anyway, I guess I was just wondering… with so many Sword/Fantasy and Spaceship/SciFi and Post-Apoc “modern” RPGs you’d think there would be more in other settings.
Robert: Well, a modern day RPG would potentially be good.
Robert: Earthbound has a very devoted fanbase. As do the Persona games.
Robert: And other than those, there’s pretty much nothing in a real world setting. TWEWY.
Bill: Hahaha. Nice. Couldn’t remember the name.
Robert: Yeah, that one too. Hehe. I’ve had like 5 ideas for less used ideas for RPG settings and then I immediately think of a game that used that. Like I was going to say, Detective RPG! But then you have the PA games & the later SMT: Devil Summoner games. Or greek RPG!
[Note: Soon after this discussion, PA contacted us to finish their RPG series. The results were our third & fourth RPGs: Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 & 4]
Robert: But Nintendo just released Glory of Heracles on the DS.
Bill: It doesn’t have to be the first time the setting has been used, just something that is underserved
Bill: Like… when people see another RPG in the sword/castle setting, it takes a little extra something to keep their interest because there has been so many of those.
Robert: I told you about my idea for a movie RPG, right?
Robert: Where you’re a movie director. And each movie you make is its own little mini-RPG scenario. With actors & actresses being your playable characters.
Bill: Oh right.
Robert: And as you “beat” each scenario, depending on how you do, your director gets XP and gains the ability to make more movies.
Bill: Yeah, I remember this.
Robert: Hm… one idea I had that I thought would be kind of cool. Would be that you have an RPG set in a very small location. Like a small rural mountain town where supernatural occurences start to occur. But I guess that’s kind of like Persona.
Robert: But whereas Persona has a very distinct difference between the natural and the supernatural with this, I would have the entire town start getting bizarre and crazy and evil.
Robert: On another note, sports RPGs are pretty popular in Japan, but never show up here. I’ve seen RPGs for soccer as well as baseball. We could do a basketball RPG. 5 players on a team makes for a good party size.
Robert: Hm… dinosaur RPG? Can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything like that.
Bill: Sweet. Yeah, something like that.
Robert: Other than that Chrono Trigger segment.
Bill: Eh, it was only a segment.
Robert: Anyway, just a bunch of random suggestions.
Bill: Yeah. Well anyway, the best thing is to just go with whatever you feel would make for a good design and a good story.
Robert: I will say that although I’ve been pushing for a zombie apocalypse RPG, seeing as how our first two games have both been horror themed, I think a change of pace would be good.
Bill: Yeah good point.
Robert: Yep. Hm… Ninja RPG!
Robert: I can’t think of any of those other than Inindo and that’s OLD. Or the Naruto RPGs.
Bill: Yeah and sorta kinda Muramasa.
Bill: We might potentially change art style a little as in instead of 16×16 characters, maybe something like 32×16 characters or I don’t know something so that it doesn’t always look like Dragon Quest.
[Note: We meant 16x32. 32x16 would make for very fat characters]
Robert: I’m still leaning towards Space Opera RPG for our next game.