Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 4:38pm
Way back in 1995 when I was fourteen, I decided I wanted to make a JRPG. I really loved Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana games on my Super Nintendo, and I thought hey, if an experienced team of adult Japanese people can make JRPGs, why can't one kid who lives in Montana and knows QBASIC for DOS do it?
Needless to say, it didn't turn out so well. But I didn't give up - over the next 8 years, I tried 13 different times to build the game, enlisting my friend Bryan Sawler to help. We built incomplete versions of the game for DOS, Windows, Game Boy Color, and even Gamecube. And then Bryan and I got jobs in the game industry and started working 80 hour weeks to make the next big movie tie-in games over and over. We were livin' the dream!
Early Ogden and a ninja, because why not a ninja?
The game sat untouched from 2002 to 2010, when my father passed away. Looking at Dad's lifetime of achievement, I realized all I'd done with my career was make a bunch of crappy movie license and mobile games for other people. I decided then to work on the game again early in 2011, enlisting the aid of my coworkers at our indie studio, Muteki. Bryan, Bill, Kevin, and I built the first chapter of Dragon Fantasy in just a few months. We released the first version of the game on August 23rd, 2011, and dedicated it to my Dad - the main character, Ogden, is based on him.
Gamecube version of The Woodsman, when he was going through his Steampunk phase - c’mon, we all did it.
Since then, Dragon Fantasy has evolved quite a lot! Eventually three chapters were made, plus a silly Minecraft-themed intermission, a 16-bit mode, and even a sequel! I have never stopped working on the game, because it is a labor of love, and it is a big part of who I am. Every time I've thought of a feature that I wished the game had, I've added it. It's become bigger and better and taken on a life of its own. And now, thanks to Choice Publishing, it's coming to the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U on July 23rd!
Hatless Jerald and the voidstone, from about 2001
This is a Big Damn Deal for me, because the game was always inspired by RPGs on the NES and SNES. Having the game on two Nintendo consoles just feels super, super rad. And they're not simple ports, either - both platforms support dual screen play (optional on Wii U), I added a bestiary, a quest log, mode 7 3D, and a bunch of other stuff!
An early sketch of Sandheim from about 2002
So, with extremely great joy, I invite you to check out the newly remastered Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria on 3DS and Wii U! Pick either one you want, because it's cross-buy! Have fun slaying monsters!