MAGES.’s special interview with ex-KID employees

On 2020/08/20, MAGES had an interview with staff that had been part of KID, the company that created Remember11. Ichikawa Hisayoshi (producer), Shibata Tarou (director of Memories Off and Never7), and Abo Takeshi (composer) talked about all the games they’d worked on. When they reached Remember11, they initially started talking about music before switching gears.

Original

市川:
「Remember11」は完全な続編として最初から作っていて、これも結構事件が発生してるんですよね。これはね、別にネタバレしてもいいんでしょうけど、もともと全3章からなってたんですよ。で、時間がなくてどうしても3章目が作れなかったんですよ。そこで断腸の思いで未完のままの状態で売ることになったんです。

—それはユーザーは気づいていらっしゃったのでしょうか?

市川:
激バレですね。その後、一生懸命頑張って続編を作ろうとしてたんですけども、いろいろあってできなくなって。

柴田:
でも、2章で一応終わる形にしたおかげで、その後に続く3章の部分、元のネタ自体が割と使えなくなってて。やるとしたら大きく作り変えになっちゃう。

市川:
ユーザーが自由にね、終わりを考えてくれるんですよ。いろんな人が解釈、たぶんこうだろうというのがバーッといっぱい。こっちのほうが面白いかもってなって。

市川:
この後これよりつまんないもの出したらカッコ悪いしなって、だんだん(作品が) 出しづらくなっちゃったんですよ。

—「Remember11」は、社内的にはどう見えてたんですか?

柴田:
要はプロジェクト外の人間からは、まだ終わらないかなというところ、ですよね?

阿保:
かなり大きなプロジェクトでしたね。

柴田:
KIDの制作スパンというか、制作速度から考えると、他のタイトルよりすごく延びてたんですよね。

市川:
今まで1年で作ってたのが、2年になりましたなんて、そんなレベルですよ。

柴田:
いや、それこそ冷静に考えれば倍なんですよ。

市川:
大体10か月とか8か月とかで作ってましたよ、どのタイトルも。でも、これだけは前回売れたからもうちょっと頑張ろうってやって、それでもできなかったから、結局販売しちゃいましたけど。

阿保:
いろいろ足してって、オープニングなんかも最後の最後に足したりとかしてましたもんね。

阿保:
輿水さんが原画描いて、アニメを足してって。

市川:
社内のアニメーターが。

柴田:
だから、アニメ塗りじゃなくてどっちかというとCGっぽい、イラスト塗りのテイストで動いてましたね。

Translation

Ichikawa: Remember11 from the onset was made as a complete sequel, and this led to quite a few incidents. And this one, I guess it isn’t a huge deal to spoil, but there were originally three chapters in all. And because we didn’t have enough time, we didn’t make chapter 3. So, much to our heartbreak, we had to sell the game in its incomplete state.

—Do you think players were aware of that?

Ichikawa: Pretty evidently. After that, we gave it our all to make a sequel, but many reasons made it impossible.

Shibata: And thanks to the game ending in chapter 2, the original material that was part of chapter 3 became sort of unusable. If we were to make this, it would need massive changes.

Ichikawa: Players are free to ponder the ending. There’s a wide variety of interpretations that people have thought of. Maybe it’s more interesting like this.

Ichikawa: If we released something later that was more boring, it would be uncool, so gradually, release (of the product) became more difficult.

—What did “Remember11” look like from an internal perspective?

Shibata: The point is, from someone outside the project, I’m not sure it’s over yet, right?

Abo: It was a pretty big project.

Shibata: Yeah. Considering the production span of KID, or rather the speed of production, it took much longer than the other titles.

Ichikawa: Until then, everything before took one year to make, but we were on the second year.

Shibata: That’s exactly twice as much if you think about it calmly.

Ichikawa: We worked on it in about 10 or 8 months, no matter which title it was. But the last title (Ever17) sold really well last time, so we decided to try a little harder, but we still couldn’t do it, so we ended up selling it.

Abo: We added a lot of things, like adding the opening scene at the very end.

Abo: Yeah. Koshimizu-san drew the original picture and added the animation.

Ichikawa: Yeah. The in-house animators.

Shibata: That’s why we used a CG-esque, illustration-painting style, rather than an animation-painting style.

Discussion

It looks like nobody wanted to release the game in its current state, but they felt forced to release it since they were taking so long. Once it was released, they wanted to release the sequel but the material needed to be rewritten to stand on its own. If I had to speculate, an executive might have wanted to make the sequel appealing to new players without playing the original game. All this meant the game wasn’t as captivating and would have had a hard time competing with fan expectations.

This whole bit was revealed by Ichikawa completely randomly, so it’s clear this is a sticking point for them even now. To everyone that helped make the game and is still passionate about it to this day, thank you.

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