Robert here, recently returned from E3!
The Playstation Press Conference was first up on the itinerary (day before the show floor opened) and was great. I was on one of the far sides so I couldn’t see half the side screens, but on the plus side, I could read the teleprompter. Audience reaction for The Last Guardian and the FF7 Remake was something to behold. Like many people, Horizon was my favorite new game announced there. During the conference, there was a moment where they had a collage of several indie game screens running simultaneously on one of the side screens – it was pretty trippy to see Cosmic Star Heroine up there. I don’t think you can see it on any of the recordings though (they focused on the main screen then).
Since I had an exhibitor badge, I was able to get in the hall earlier than most people so I took advantage of the time to scope out the place. Our booth was on one of the edges of Sony’s area, near Nintendo’s booth & close to the Atlus/NIS booth (it was mostly Atlus with a tiny corner for NIS). Atlus had a stage where you could dance with Atlus staff & a Teddie mascot in order to win prizes – always a long line there. XSeed Games had a really nice booth a little further away where they were showing off a bunch of games. Was great chatting with various XSeed staff, both at their booth and ours.
Sony had a nice cafeteria area hidden towards the back of the hall, free for everybody associated with them. Besides a breakfast and lunch buffet, it also included a soft serve ice cream machine with an assortment of topping choices. Was also great for grabbing water bottles throughout the day.
Didn’t have much time to play games but I did play Yarn Yoshi, Mario Maker, Heart Forth Alicia, the Amplitude Remake, and Trails of Cold Steel. All were fantastic and are definitely games I’ll be sure to grab when they come out.
Met a lot of backers which was great! Also met tons of developers (both indie and otherwise) and general fans of RPGs. I was very pleased to meet Hitoshi Sakimoto, one of my favorite composers behind the soundtracks of such great games as Final Fantasy Tactics, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, and Gradius V. Vic Ireland (Working Designs, Gaijinworks) stopped by and we talked about CSH, Summon Night 5 (their current project), and RPGs in general.
Was surprised to have David Jaffe stop by the booth and to discover that he’s a huge RPG fan. We talked RPG mechanics (he was very pleased to find out that we’re trying to build upon the classics rather than just copy them) while he watched somebody play the demo and then he played it himself. Afterwards, he raved about the game on twitter and even went so far as to say it was his favorite game at E3.
Kat Bailey from USGamer stopped by the booth to say hi and try out the demo and then later write some very positive words about the game, “Cosmic Star Heroine is their magnum opus, though. It is miles beyond anything they’ve done before, with lovingly crafted cutscenes and an atmospheric soundtrack; and in terms of presentation, it stands with anything I’ve seen on the SNES.” You can read the full article here. She also told her colleagues that they had to be sure to check out the demo, with positive results.
A team from RPGamer stopped by the booth and had some very positive impressions and also shot a video of the game. Jesse Woo from RPGFan also stopped by and wrote about the demo. And Kylevito from RelyOnHorror loved the demo: “I was immensely impressed by the game. The art, the UI, the music, how skills and battle work–it was outstanding.”
Overall, E3 was very tiring, but it was great to meet so many people and to see a lot of enthusiasm for our game. We would definitely like to thank Sony – not only did they cover our E3 & hotel expenses (and since I live close to LA, travel expenses were minimal) but they also had several awesome people on the floor to help out and to cover the booth during breaks.
We got some good feedback watching people play the demo. Because of this, we’re going to be changing how the desperation system works in the game.
If a character has at least 50 style points when they would take a fatal blow, they lose 50 style, their HP can go negative, and desperation mode is activated.
Characters in desperation mode die at the end of their next turn if their HP is still negative.
Certain abilities and equipment give additional bonuses to characters in desperation mode (generally more damage).
Basically, desperation mode gives characters a last ditch chance to defeat an enemy or heal themselves before perishing. And in fact, I even saw one person at E3 win a battle with 1 desperate character and everybody else dead – a great moment indeed.
Here are the changes we’re planning on implementing:
Desperation cost & requirement is 100 style, not 50.
Desperate characters regain HP slower than normal (i.e. healing effects are less effective on them).
Characters have an innate 50% bonus to damage when desperate (in addition to any other damage bonus effects they may have).
We feel these changes will help reduce the potential for abuse, better create those awesome last minute win and last minute save situations, and just generally work better in the context of the combat system.
That’s it for E3! Now back to finishing the game!