Most gamers know the Puzzle & Dragons series, the game first released in 2012 and is still going strong today on mobile devices. One thing developer GungHo Online Entertainment has been successful at is bringing interesting collaborations to the game and keeping its systems freash. Well, it seems that through these partnerships and dedicated game support, developer Capcom has taken noticed and the two have developed what is known as Teppen.
Developed as an action card battle RPG, Teppen brings iconic characters from Capcom’s IP and has players battle with them in new ways. In order to know more, Noisy Pixel had the chance to sit down with GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita and Capcom Executive Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto to talk about how this all came to be.
GungHo Online Entertainment is well known for their collaborations especially when it comes to Puzzle & Dragons, most recently they did a collaboration with Monster Hunter on the title, did working on this collaboration lead to developing a game together?
Ryozo Tsujimot: So it didn’t come from that collaboration. I was a huge fan of Puzzle & Dragons when it came out so I used my contacts to get me introduced to GungHo and that’s where it all started. After a while, we decided that if we can get along and find something that works we should attempt to create something together and that’s when we created Teppen.
It’s not just the relationship between the two of us that worked well. After introducing the teams to each other, we learned that this is something that could really happen because of how well everyone got along through collaboration.
Kazuki Morishita: Maybe we got too close laughs.
So from there, how did you end up creating this game together?
KM: Once we decided to do this with Capcom, we immediately went into talks about finding the right systems for the game. We came up with the idea of a card game, but we didn’t want this to be just a normal card game. So that’s where we put a blend of strategy and action into the game to make it unique.
Would you say that Capcom really enjoys bringing all of their IPs together because we’ve seen it plenty of times before like with Project X Zone?
RT: We understand that it takes more than just bringing those characters together to make a game. During development, we always look for what makes these games not only fun but also unique. When it came to Teppen, we wanted it to appeal globally to players. This brought with it a lot of trial and error, but we came up with this unique action card game that uses the IPs in a new way that works well with these characters.
How long has Teppen been in development?
KM: A little over a year and a half for the actual development, but before that, we were a discussion about the game so it came to be almost two years.
Being that Teppen is new and unique, what is it about the game that excites you both personally?
KM: I find that I enjoy the real-time strategy aspect of it, but it also has these card mechanics that we call Active Response which adds a new level of strategy to the game through a head-to-head battle. This requires some thought to break the opponent’s strategy.
Even if players have the same deck, the playstyle of the player will differ. This depends on the cards they put out and how they line up their combos. I think this game is more approachable to players who don’t find themselves typically playing card games because of how satisfying this feels during gameplay. So don’t think of this as only a card game, but more as its own genre.
RT: I think the rhythm of finding a strategy and blending that with the active response system creates a nice experience for the player. Each match lasts around 5 minutes, but it’s satisfying enough to want to jump right back in and play again. I think this gives it that casual arcade-like experience.
How did you figure out that this system was satisfying during the game’s development?
KM: During the game’s prototype, about half a year into development. We wanted to know how we can create a fun experience by blending real-time strategy and this Active Response system. It took a lot of testing with the staff, but the most important thing that we discovered early on was that it works, it was just about finding balance.
There’s a lot of characters between the two companies here, how did you decide on this line-up for Teppen?
RT: I think we mostly go with what’s popular, but another reason is the color scheme of Teppen really goes well with the characters that are available right now.
So since Teppen is a collaboration game, will we see GungHo IP make an appearance in the game?
KM: Interestingly, when I play our game Puzzle & Dragons, I have only been playing with Monster Hunter characters because they are so strong in the game. So I hope that GungHo IP can come in strong with Teppen in the future. The characters who are in Teppen right now were made specifically for this game in terms of design and mechanics. So if we’re going to introduce GungHo IP to the game, we’d have to do some testing so it doesn’t look weird in the world.
How do you balance a game like Teppen with so many different characters?
KM: We did a lot of balance testing with Teppen including bringing in some more experienced players.
Do you have plans to support the game post-launch before you roll out updates?
KM: We are definitely planning to introduce new heroes and card packs, but who that is will be a secret.
For players just getting into Teppen, is there anything you’d like to tell them?
RT: This is a mobile game so everyone can have access to it and it’s not created just for Trading Card Game players. I’d really like to see new players try this game and over time develop their own strategy by seeing other player’s decks and strategies. When I’m playing, I’m constantly creating new decks as a response to other decks I’ve seen, but I should probably be working instead of doing that.
KM: I hope that people see this as more than a card game because it is. This is coming from someone like me who doesn’t consider themselves the biggest card game fan, but that’s why this game is so appealing because we created it as a way for players, like myself, to enjoy the card game genre in a unique way. I also hope Justin Beiber plays our game and posts about it.
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