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  1. #1

    Default Dengeki Online released an Interview with Hiro Arai about NGS development process.

    # Interview in Japanese #

    Part 1

    Part 2


    #Translated by Deepl AI # Interview Part 1

    It has been about two months since the launch of the popular "NGS". In an online interview with Hiro Arai, the official navigator of NGS, we asked him about the development process, the current situation, the management policy, and other topics of interest. The interview will be published in two parts.

    Dengeki - What kind of person is Hiro Arai ? Since this is your first interview, could you please introduce yourself?
    Hiro - My name is Hiro Arai, and I am the official navigator of NGS. It's nice to meet you. My main responsibilities include producing and appearing in "NGS Headlines," as well as working on the Rappy.commu (@rappy_commu) community Twitter account.

    In addition to the preparation of the content, I am also involved in the planning of social networking campaigns and the preparation of various PR measures.

    Dengeki - Please tell us what you are particular about and what you have difficulty with in your work.
    Hiro - First of all, you have to know the game. I play "NGS" every day, and I make a special effort to take the user's point of view.

    I think the difficult part is...... making assumptions. In the past, I thought I was looking at things from the same perspective as the users, but there were times when my feelings were different from theirs.

    Dengeki - What exactly is that?
    Hito - For example, if there is a lack of meseta, I think that's something you actually experience when you try it. If it's a loud request, I think, "Yeah, that's true," because I've experienced it myself, but if it's a minor request, I have a hard time picking it up.

    Dengeki - Do you play games in your private life as well?
    Hiro - I've been playing games since I was a child, and I've been playing for about 30 years, mainly action games.

    I've also played "PSO2", and I've played "NGS" for about 500 hours, though not privately.

    Dengeki - I don't mean to be rude, but the "NGS Headline" program is a bit tacky, and you don't really get a sense of what you're playing...
    Hiro - I see (laughs). To be honest, I'm still not very good at free talk, so I'm too busy reading the script.

    Also, "NGS Headline" has an image of a news program, and I think it would be better to avoid that kind of thing as much as possible. The key to the program is that it can be watched in a short time, but I hope to show my own colors little by little in the future.

    Dengeki - In that vein, I'd like to start by talking about the distribution program. Until the service launch, you had been distributing "PSO2 NEW GENESIS Prologue", but what was the purpose of changing the performers and structure from "PSO2 STATION! +"?
    Hiro - We felt that it would be difficult to attract new and returning users to "NGS" with the same format as "PSO2 STATION! The reason for this was that we wanted to give everyone the same perspective on "NGS" by renewing the program.

    Dengeki - Why did you choose Yuki Iwai (From the comedy duo Haraichi) as the MC and the three women as the sub MCs?
    Hiro - Since everyone loves games, we assigned people who have a high affinity for games. One of the reasons is that Mr. Iwai has been playing the series since "Phantasy Star Universe".

    As for the female members of the team, we wanted to appeal to people who had never heard of "PSO2" before.

    Dengeki - I felt that there were a lot of measures aimed at a new demographic in "NGS," but you were aiming for that, weren't you?
    Hiro - Yes, we did. It may seem strange to current Arks players, but we put a lot of effort into cultivating new players because of the timing of the switch to "NGS".

    Dengeki - Did you get the number of new users you were aiming for?
    Hiro - Thanks to this, the number of new users has increased on a larger scale than when the PS Vita and PS4 versions of "PSO2" were released.

    Dengeki - After the service was launched, "NGS Headlines" was launched.
    Hiro - In addition to new information, "PSO2 STATION!+" had a lot of free talk and variety-style corners. It was designed not only for announcements, but also so that people could enjoy it as part of the "PSO2" content.

    On the other hand, there were many users who only wanted to know the information, and as the recent trend in video distribution, shorter videos are preferred, hence this format.

    As for fun broadcasts, we're trying to get influencers (official streamers "Team NGS") to broadcast their playthroughs.

    Dengeki - So, will Hiro-san continue to run "NGS Headline" by himself?
    Hiro - Yes, I am basically in charge of the project by myself.

    Dengeki - We are currently streaming pre-recorded programs, but do you have any plans to go to a live broadcast format once the Corona disaster is over?
    Hiro - In fact, the pre-recording is not a measure against the Corona disaster. It was done with the intention of sending out information to users of the domestic and global versions of NGS at the same time.

    We will continue to use the pre-recorded format as we work on the translation and optimize the length of the program for easy viewing. We will continue to use the pre-recorded format as we work on translation and optimizing the length to make it easier to watch, but we would like to make the program even better by adding information on operations in addition to update information.

    Dengeki - Are you planning to make an expanded program at the timing of a major update or other events?
    Hiro - It may be longer than usual depending on the amount of information, but I plan to keep it as compact as possible.

    Dengeki - Since you mentioned the global version earlier, I'd like to ask you how it is doing outside of Japan.
    Hiro - Although I'm not in charge of the global version, I've been communicating with people about information and announcements to ensure that there are no discrepancies in information. Just like the domestic version, the global version has been played by the largest number of users ever.

    However, the opinions about the lack of volume and many problems at the time of service launch seem to be more severe than in Japan.

    Dengeki - What is the access ratio between PC and consumer for the global version?
    Hiro - There is a big difference between the domestic and global versions in terms of platform, and PC users are overwhelmingly represented. For the domestic version, it's about 50/50, but I have the impression that the number of PC users is increasing, partly due to the recent popularity of FPS and PC games.

    Dengeki - When did you start planning for NGS?
    Hiro - As for development and other matters, I will answer based on what I heard from the development team beforehand. The planning started in 2017, before I was still involved in "NGS".

    Dengeki - How did you decide to make it an update of "PSO2" rather than a new title?
    Hiro - We wanted to keep the avatar items and equipment of the users who had been playing for nine long years as much as possible intact. Also, we thought that running two parallel services, like "PSO2" and "PSO3", might cause users to disperse, so we decided to develop the service as a major update.

    Dengeki - What were the most important factors in the development of NGS?
    Hiro - There are two things that I would like to do. One is to make use of the assets of the users over the past 9 years, which is a duplicate of my previous answer. The other is to create a kind of plaza where everyone can gather. The other was to create a kind of plaza where everyone can gather, and this was incorporated into the Open Field stage.

    Dengeki - What did you have in mind when creating the open field?
    Hiro - In the past, the series had a traditional matching system where you had to create a room and enter it, but we've just changed that to a seamless system. The system of automatically matching and changing rooms while you're moving around the field is a new form that combines the best parts of MO and MMO.

    Dengeki - The exploration section matches up to 32 people, but is it possible to make it larger?
    Hiro - The maximum number of players is 32 because of the heavy network load in action games and the fact that individual battles become more complicated as the number of players increases.

    Dengeki - Overall, there must have been a lot of twists and turns before you got to where you are now, but what was the most difficult part?
    Hiro- The biggest difference between "PSO2" and "NGS" is the different graphics engine. It was difficult to make it look good in both, and they had a particularly hard time adjusting the "PSO2" side.

    Dengeki - I get the impression that many people are still playing "PSO2" after the start of "NGS".
    Hiro - There are many people who gather in the "PSO2" lobby for gatherings, and we have received requests for more "PSO2" blocks. Also, since the global version of "PSO2" was delivered up to EPISODE 6 in a short period of about a year, there are many users who want to play more "PSO2".

    The development team was happy to see so many people playing "PSO2" after the start of "NGS" and was pleased that it was worth the hard work to keep "PSO2".

    Dengeki - Is there any possibility of adding more blocks for PSO2?
    Hiro - They would like to monitor the trend for a while and make adjustments if necessary.

    Dengeki - You mentioned this a little earlier, but how did you draw the line when deciding what elements could be carried over from "PSO2" to "NGS"?
    Hiro - First of all, it was immediately decided that avatar items that do not affect the balance of the game would be carried over unconditionally. As for battles, there were different opinions among the team, but since the game is set 1,000 years after PSO2, we decided that all users would start off with the same level and other growth elements.

    Dengeki - What decisions were made about weapons, armor, special abilities, etc.?
    Hiro - In particular, many people are attached to their weapons as much or more than they are to their avatar items, so we thought it would be impossible to simply reset them. In "PSO2", when new equipment was released, people gradually shifted to it, so we decided to set abilities that would serve as a bridge until the equipment was released in "NGS".

    Dengeki - It's been about two months since the launch of "NGS", what has been the response from users?
    Hiro - The beautiful graphics of the field, the open field and the exhilaration of the action have been well received. The new multi-weapon system has also been well received as it allows players to enjoy more freedom of action.

    Dengeki - On the other hand, what are the areas that you have requests for?
    Hiro - I'd like to talk about the volume, the number of bugs, and the lag. First of all, we apologize for the inconvenience caused by the bugs and lag. We will continue to work on preventing recurrence and correcting the issues.

    As for the volume, as per the roadmap announced before the launch, there will be a major update in winter.

    Dengeki - Does this mean that the volume aspect will remain the same for a while?
    Hiro - This is something that I regret that I should have communicated more thoroughly, but the update policy is a little different between "PSO2" and "NGS".

    PSO2" has been updated every two weeks with the concept that there would be something to look forward to every week. In "NGS", our policy is to take the time to create a large volume of content and release it every six months, so the amount of content will fluctuate.

    Dengeki - I see.
    Hiro - I guess you could say that the game cycle is different. The development team understands that there are users who stop playing after they've had their fill of the game, and we strive to make a good product so that they will come back for every major update.

    Dengeki - Will the main focus be on minor fixes until the big update?
    Hiro - Of course, this doesn't mean that there will be no updates at all; we will be updating the game every two to three months, focusing on quests and system-related expansions. We will also be holding seasonal events and delivering new items to keep you entertained until the next region is released.

    Dengeki - At what pace do you plan to update the main story?
    Hiro - The main story will be updated at the same time as regions are added. As for the side stories, we plan to release them about once every two to four months.

    Dengeki - Compared to "PSO2", it will be released at a slower pace.
    Hiro - That's right. In "NGS", all users will always play the story, so the volume of the story will not be as large as in "PSO2".

    Dengeki - Since we've been talking about the management policy, I'd like to ask why the SG scratch lineup is now in an additional format.
    Hiro - First of all, I would like to apologize for the lack of prior notice. We regret that we should have explained that the update method is different from that of the SG Scratch in PSO2 before the distribution.

    The reason for the change is that SG Scratch items, which are currency that can be obtained without paying, cannot be traded as a measure against fraud, and we wanted to preserve the opportunity to obtain them.

    Also, while in "PSO2" the pace was about once every six months, in "NGS" we plan to update the game every one to two months. For those reasons, new items will continue to be added to the format.

    Dengeki - Back to the story, among the NPCs that appeared in the story, who was the character that got the biggest response?
    Hiro - In addition to Aina and Manon, Dozer, Garoa, and Liu Lin are also popular. Dozer, in particular, seems to be popular partly because he looks like that and is 17 years old.

    Dengeki - Why did you choose to have Aina and Manon as the double heroines?
    Hiro - In "PSO2", we had Matoi as the heroine, but people have their own preferences, so we wanted to broaden the range.

    Dengeki - When I think of double heroines, I have the image of having to choose one of them in the end.
    Hiro - Ahahahahaha (laughs). I don't think it's like I'm going to marry either of them.

    Dengeki - One thing that I personally noticed is that the Fuwan and Daityl Sword seem to have inherited the enemy design from PSU. Is there some kind of intention behind this?
    Hiro - It seems that some people felt that they looked similar, but they were not aware of the enemy design in PSU, and it has nothing to do with the story or setting. Enemy designs from past series can be used as an indicator, so the similarities may have been the result.
    Last edited by Maulcun; Aug 21, 2021 at 09:27 AM.

  2. #2


    It would have been nice to have known much earlier they changed the times they are deciding to pump out content. Though this is a bit eye-opening to how they have shifted the development process in NGS. Pretty disappointed to hear we won't get anything like PSO2 Station again though but with major content updates only happening within 6 month gaps I guess it makes sense.

    Regardless, I just hope whatever the updates are in December are substantial enough to keep me entertained. There isn't much reason to log on even with the new EQ and not much to do for limit testing or progression.

  3. #3


    Was my post deleted or did I forget to hit "Post"?
    Fan Art of my Character & Matoi Defending a City

  4. #4


    I've got mixed feelings on NGS headline,while it's true a ton of people just watched it for the info part each stream was fun because of the staff and such.And the fan festivals were great.

    Also half and half on the devolopment cycle of ngs,base game started cutting content since ep 3 because of tight schedules and lets not mention the hot mess that was ep 5.But even still updates were much more consistant on base game.On one hand I can appreciate the longer development cycle for NGS but the problem is the roadmap is looking real sparse until that winter update.And on the other is the opinion of the community,it's a fun game....but there's not much to do atm.

  5. #5


    man after reading this, this made me incredibly demotivated to continue playing. get on the game every 6 months to run a couple of hours of content then drop it all over again. why even bother playing when it'll just be recycled content for EQs (which btw they said they wanted to get away from this system), 2 regions per year, seasonal content is recycled again with the point system and all to show for "content" every 2 weeks or so is more AC scratches.

    they really have this nailed down, low output of content but high output of AC scratches because its easy money for them. FF14 is looking really good right now after reading this, dam shame man.

    despite what a mess PSO2 was from Ep4 -> Ep6, it's basically the better experience than what NGS is going to go through. idk how theyre going to keep their playbase alive unless the only reason its alive is because of AC scratches every 2 weeks, I'm just fucking bummed about big content droughts in between updates
    Last edited by ArcaneTechs; Aug 20, 2021 at 01:58 AM.
    Cast - Gt 50, Fg 20, Gm 25
    PSO2 NGS
    Quote Originally Posted by the_importer_ View Post
    Tell you what mate, I'll decide when my topic goes into the QQ post or when it needs to be it's own thing, and you can do the same for yours. Alright, cool. Cheers

  6. #6


    Kinda baffles me how they are fully choosing to only make the game relevant every six months AND expect the game to be alive in between these periods

  7. #7


    Content schedule is a big red flag IMHO. Luckily I have other games to tide me over but not much motivation to do a whole lot right now.

  8. #8


    Got very disappointed when I read "new regions' but no sign of new planets or galaxies.

  9. #9


    I like this guy. With that being said, the way he speaks of the development process, it really makes me think of a scene with scientists semi-randomly throwing types of food at laboratory animals and going "oooooh, look! They liked that one I think!". Might be the translation.

    They did not have nearly enough stuff in the base game to support their new content release model, I think we can all agree on that. Now the question is, how big will the winter update really be? Because it's not like other games don't successfully do the six months thing already, but there's a lot in them from release, unlike here. It will also tell us what we can expect from every content drop that follows. There's a lot riding on it.
    Last edited by Cyclon; Aug 21, 2021 at 05:20 AM.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclon View Post
    I like this guy. With that being said, the way he speaks of the development process, it really makes me think of a scene with scientists semi-randomly throwing types of food at laboratory animals and going "oooooh, look! They liked that one I think!". Might be the translation.

    They did not have nearly enough stuff in the base game to support their new content release model, I think we can all agree on that. Now the question is, how big will the winter update really be? Because it's not like other games don't successfully do the six months thing already, but there's a lot in them from release, unlike here. It will also tell us what we can expect from every content drop that follows. There's a lot riding on it.
    Desert, two eqs, story, 35 cap with 5* weapons, and myroom if we're good boys and girls

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