Kazutaka Kodaka revealed many details behind the game’s development in an interview with Gematsu.
„We were having a few drinks with some friends and colleagues and we got excited talking about an FMV game, so we thought we’d make one ourselves! That’s how it all came about. So we started things after that pretty casual discussion, approaching it like making an independent movie. I’d seen a lot of existing FMV games, but nothing served as inspiration. But as a game creator, I thought I’d try to make something that was more game-like than existing FMV titles,” Kodaka said. So it all came to fruition via a drinking session without much of inspiration behind them.
He also revealed why he seems to be interested in expressing death in his works: „As a consumer, I like games, manga, and anime where people die. So when I create something, death tends to become a feature. But I’m not a big fan of grotesque or overly gory stuff.” Kanata Hongo, the protagonist of the game, also had a role in the Danganronpa stage play, and Kodaka expressed why: „Kanata knew my style from Danganronpa and is knowledgeable about the games, so I figured he’d understand the particular traits of my work and use that in his performance. That’s why I sought him out for the role.”
He expressed that the characters in Death Come True – except for Makoto Karaki, the protagonist – are more grounded than in his other works: „Because this was live-action, I set about creating characters that are more grounded than those in my other works. But I made the main protagonist more of a game-like character than a typical movie lead. My impression is that game protagonists feel more closely linked to players than movie protagonists.”
The protagonist (who wears a gas mask) doesn’t wear it because of the coronavirus global pandemic. The reason behind it is far more humane: „Honestly, we didn’t have the budget for any prosthetic makeup, so we had to make do with the things on-hand to create an atmosphere. That’s why the character ended up looking like that.” He added that the support of ten languages was the publisher’s idea: „Izanagi Games was in charge of localization. These days, most publishers are keen to push for multi-language support, so I imagine that will be the case in the future, too.”
Death Come True has a branching system – Gematsu explains it fairly well: „Makoto restarts a loop each time he dies, but armed with more information each loop to unlock new options.” The director confirmed that it was planned from the get-go: „I’d had the idea about time-leaping upon death from the outset, so when the decision was made to create an FMV game it felt like a good fit, and we decided to go with that mechanic. I wanted to make the choices more thought-provoking than in other FMV titles, so I think the mechanic was pretty useful in that regard.”
The game is somewhat short (~3 hours), and he thinks the length is fine: „I think the length is just right for an FMV game—like watching a long drama. Overall, games are getting longer and longer, but in terms of a market, I think shorter content like this that can be completed fairly quickly is easier for people who are unfamiliar with games to enjoy. From the start, I’ve wanted to get people other than gamers involved, so there was never any question of wanting to make Death Come True longer.” And finally, he confirmed that it’s not meant to get sequels: „As I said earlier, Death Come True as an independent project came about pretty spontaneously, so I haven’t thought about serialization or anything, but the same was true for Danganronpa. Who knows that the future holds. Maybe we’ll see Komaru Karaki one of these days, haha!”
Death Come True is already available on Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, and PC (Steam). The PlayStation 4 version will launch on October 15.
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