Panzer Dragoon Legacy Interviews Benjamin Anseaume about the Panzer Dragoon Remake!

Panzer Dragoon Legacy Interviews Benjamin Anseaume about the Panzer Dragoon Remake!
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Published by Draikin in News

We recently had a chance to get a few of our questions about the Panzer Dragoon: Remake answered by the game’s producer Benjamin Anseaume of TA Publishing! Our thanks to him for answering the questions and to Monika & Kamila from the Forever Entertainment PR team for arranging the interview! You can find our questions and Benjamin’s answers below!

1) Can you tell us a bit more about how TA publishing, Forever Entertainment and MegaPixel Studio ended up working together on the Panzer Dragoon: Remake?

Forever Entertainment is a Polish publisher, based in Gdansk and it is in the process of becoming a group. Currently the company holds 3 other companies, including TA Publishing (producing company - based in France) and Megapixel (development studio - based in Poland). The group has been built with the idea to gather talented people from all over Europe to work together on Panzer Dragoon and many other games, including existing IPs and new projects.

2) While a co-publisher and IP owner, SEGA hasn’t communicated much about the remakes. We know they’re overseeing the project, but can you tell us more about what aspects of development they’re involved in?

Sega is basically helping us on a daily basis: providing feedback, providing original material, ensuring that the game is respectful to the original one. We are communicating every day and their involvement in the project is extremely high and important.

3) At Tokyo Game Show you got to meet Yukio Futatsugi and other members of the original Team Andromeda. Can you tell us a bit more about what you talked about and what they thought of the remake? And moving forward, will they be involved in the project in any way?

We had the chance to meet a few key people from the original team, it was a pleasure and an honor. We showed them the build of the game, and we were extremely excited, but also stressed. At the end of the day, they really enjoyed their experience and provided some crucial feedback that we implemented in the game as soon as we could.

We have no plan to involve them more in the project as they are themselves working hard on their own projects, but for sure, we’d like to show them another build closer to the release, and hopefully get some important feedback before the last line!

4) Did you receive any documentation from SEGA regarding the game’s backstory and the level design, and are there any dedicated translators on board to translate what is likely predominantly Japanese content?

We had a lot of story-wise / artistic elements and it helped us a lot capture the essence of the game. Fortunately, there are still a lot of different elements still at Sega HQ, and of course, former team Andromeda members. It’s an honour to know that people who made such a masterpiece are playing and enjoying our work!

5) Some changes were made to the setting of the game’s first episode (an ancient city submerged in a lake). While we understand the idea is to make the games graphically more appealing, there’s concern that such changes won’t make sense in the context of the areas the game takes place in. Should we expect to see similar changes to the other levels, and if so, can you give us some examples of what these might look like?

We received this feedback on social media and on our Discord server, it’s great because it shows that the game is awaited and fans are loyal and involved in the development process, which is exactly what we wanted. For this first level precisely, they were some discussions and several propositions have been made, some closer to the original, others more targeted towards younger players and a larger audience. At the end, this design was chosen, it’s a new take but very respectful from the original and the vision of the former team, we are very happy with the look of this first level, and most of the fans are too, so it’s perfect.

We can’t wait to show you more screenshots, but we can’t now. But for sure, you can expect changes compared to the original. I understand the disappointment old players may have and it’s something very typical when speaking about a licence as strong as Panzer Dragoon, but for sure, we can’t make the same design, the vision of the original team was limited by device limitations we don’t have anymore, and that’s great, so we have to reinvent a part of the project. But as long as the vision of the team is preserved, I am confident that most of the players will like our direction.

6) Do you have any update on the game potentially using some of the unique features of the Switch (such as joycon motion controls)?

Not yet, but that’s a request we’ve received very often on the Discord server so we are carefully writing it down, and when the game will be complete, probably soon, we’ll be able to add some features depending on the time we have left before the release! We are listening to all fans’ ideas and we will make our best to add as many features as possible.

7) Rez: Infinite made a big impression on PlayStation VR, showing that classic rail-shooter gameplay translates very well to VR. While a PS4 or PC version hasn’t been confirmed, is VR support something you’ve discussed internally?

That’s not a discussion we’re having today, but for sure it’s a great idea and we’d love to do that. Megapixel Studio already released a few VR games, so technically it’s possible, but we have no plans yet!

8) The game’s FMV video sequences were impressive at the time, but the very low resolution means that - even using advanced upscaling algorithms - their quality leaves something to be desired on today’s Full HD and 4K TV’s. Have you decided on how these will be remade (for example, will they run in-engine)?

Cutscenes are being remade from scratch and pre-calculated to offer the best result possible. because, as you say, it was an important and impressive part of the game.

9) Have the resolution and framerate in docked and undocked mode been locked down at this point in development?

Not yet, the game was publicly playable on the Nintendo boot during Gamescom in handheld mode and the feedback was excellent, the game is smooth and really playable today, but we still have to polish the optimization part. It’s a huge task that awaits us in the upcoming months!

10) You asked fans for feedback on Twitter about the game’s music (if they preferred original, remastered or entirely new). Has any decision been made regarding that? As you know, there’s one particular video game composer that people would like to see involved with the project.

There was some progress but I can’t talk about it today, unfortunately. I hope we’ll be able to give you more details very soon, though!

11) The first remaster of Panzer Dragoon on PS2 included a Pandora’s Box (also named Pandra’s Box), a feature that was also included in Zwei and Orta. It contains things like a level select, dragon type, documentation on the enemies and levels, artwork slides, trailers and commercials for the previous games, and more. Do you plan to add a Pandora’s Box to the remake?

We have some similar ideas, not exactly that but more content about the original game and its development is definitely an option. Our goal being spreading the game and enlarging its audience. It definitely makes sense, but we’ll see! We also need to know if it’s a priority for the fans, because we won’t be able to add all the great features they suggested, so we have to make a choice, and the choice will be made depending on fans’ preferences.

12) Nowadays video games often include a photo mode (where we can pause, remove the HUD and change the camera angles) and online leaderboards. Are you planning on adding such features to the remake?

It’s also something we are considering and we may be able to add at the end of the development as a new feature, but we have to be sure that it is something really requested by a large part of the community, and the only way to tell us that is speaking about it on social network, or on the Discord server.

13) You’ve received a lot of feedback from the demo build shown at Gamescom and Tokyo Game Show. One thing I’ve seen mentioned several times by people who played the demo is that it still seems to be a very early build of the game, and a lot of work still needs to be done. Would you say you’re still on track for the winter release date, or could we see a delay to ensure the quality of the game?

We are definitely on track for this winter, as we plan. During our presentation of the game at Gamescom, we gathered a lot of feedback, and in Tokyo, we only show the game to few people, including most of the original team. They all said that the game was impressive and enjoyed the experience. It was something for us to get such a feedback from legends. We also got some modifications suggestions and we added it as soon as we were able.

14) Thanks for answering our questions! Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Panzer Dragoon community?

Thank you for your interest, please tell us what you think on the official social channels: the Steam page, Twitter, Facebook or even directly on my personal Twitter account!

Please support the game as it is the best way to see more Panzer Dragoon in the future!