Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE Kodaka Interview — Imagination, Development & Ambition
Ahead of Spike Chunsoft launching the mystery adventure Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE this Summer, we had the opportunity to speak to one of the game’s writers, Kazutaka Kodaka, also of Danganronpa fame.
Our website’s founder, Azario Lopez, discussed this title’s development process, Kodaka’s unburdened creativity, and what gameplay elements fans can anticipate.
Azario Lopez: You established Tookyo Games with other creators. Looking back, what are some of the trials that you had to overcome in this new development environment?
Kazutaka Kodaka: So Tookyo Games doesn’t have a development team. So we work with a lot of different developers, which has been a little bit challenging since I have to work with different companies.
AL: Do you feel that it’s allowed you to be more creative in the field?
KK: Yes, the core members enjoy creating new things, and they’re working hard to deliver good experiences.
AL: When did the development of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE begin? And since its beginning, has the story or gameplay mechanics changed much through development?
KK: Development started after Danganronpa V3 was released. But for that game, we were creating the game as if it was a novel, but we approached the development of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE as if it were an anime or movie.
Now, because the game is in 3D, we had to take our time, which ended up being six years.
AL: What was the inspiration behind the detective names, which don’t really roll up in Japanese?
KK: So for the characters and also the setting, the Kanai Ward, I wanted to create names where they don’t exist, like these names don’t exist in the world. So I intentionally made the name to be fictional.
AL: I don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but Halara looks a lot like Chiaki. Is there a reason for this?
KK: We didn’t do this intentionally and just ended up being that. But I will say that there’s no character who is similar to Chiaki.
AL: Yea, she can never be released.
KK: I agree.
AL: Looking through Famitsu, there was a certain mini-game in Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE that has Shinigami on a beach inside of a barrel. Could you explain more about this and its inclusion in the game?
KK: It’s similar to the Danganronpa mini-game, where you chose the letters to find the correct word. Once you find this word, Shinigami will come out of the barrel and make a pose.
AL: Are these mini-games used to progress the game’s plot?
KK: So, for example, in a dungeon called. Mystery Labyrinth, the mini-games are used in order to advance through the dungeon, but I won’t spoil anything.
AL: So, I’d like to talk about working with Takekuni Kitayama on the script. What elements of the game did you work on together?
KK: So we brought out individual skills to the script. Kitayama-san is a mystery novelist, so he knows the knowledge of those types of cases, how the mysteries work, and how the problems are solved. And while I think about the plot, Kitayama-san produces those mysteries that blend well with it.
AL: As I get older, I find it harder to connect with my imagination. And I guess it’s why I play video games. But as a creator, do you find it tougher as you get older to kind of tap into that imaginative side of your brain?
KK: I like to think but to ignite that process, I’ll watch movies and play games. But I’ve never struggled with holding onto my imagination.
The reason why I became independent was to force myself out of my comfort zone. By not having a development team, I could think more creatively, and they could do more of those things I want to without having that development team.
AL: I would like I wanted to know if there are certain aspects of Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE that you find difficult to convey to fans through trailers, and perhaps they will need to play to find out.
KK: Because the game is in 3D, it’s very difficult to show that in trailers where players will play around, freely roaming and also solving those mysteries in the dungeons.
I’m playing the final stage of the game now. And I feel that compared to my past work, Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is very good. I hope players will have that same experience when they play.
AL: What was the reason you chose to develop Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE as a Nintendo Switch exclusive?
KK: This was the decision by Spike Chunsoft. Also, since Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is an adventure game, it’s very compatible with handheld consoles.
AL: Do you get to take a vacation after Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE releases?
KK: After Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE releases, I’m still going to be busy with other projects.
AL: Oh, I’m excited to see what those are.
KK: I feel this excitement inside when one of my games releases, especially one that took like six years to develop. So it’s very satisfying, and I really like to work.
AL: Is there anything that you can tease?
KK: Not yet, but I’m creating a surprise.
AL: Is there anything you’d like to share with fans awaiting Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE?
KK: Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is similar to Danganronpa but also has new elements that are very different from Danganronpa. The scenario is very bold and well-developed, so players will be surprised by it. I hope that players will play this game before receiving any spoilers.
Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE will launch for Nintendo Switch on June 30, 2023. Check out our latest coverage.
Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE has players control an amnesiac detective who is followed by a Shinigami and solves cases by examining evidence. The Shinigami will create a realm connecting the crime scene to the truth. Mystery Phantoms will try to impede your progress, and defeating them by utilizing the truth is the only way to go.
More elements of the gameplay comprise exploration throughout the Kanai Ward, which is entirely 3D. Players will have to examine several crime scenes and other locations alongside interviewing involved parties. Hidden clues are emphasized as being hidden via specific camera angles.
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