Revolve8 is a mobile Real-Time Strategy game quite unlike any other. First of all, you’ll find it on your phone, and matches take no longer than 3 minutes. What’s more, is there’s a whole host of fairytale characters for you to meet and play with. To top it all of, Revolve8 is the brainchild of Game Designer Koji Igarashi and producer Masayoshi Kikuchi, two massive names within the industry.
We’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with Koji Igarashi and Masayoshi Kikuchi to discuss Revolve8, as well as a chance to play the title for ourselves. For those who might not be familiar, Masayoshi Kikuchi is best-known for his work producing the Yakuza series and Directing Jet Set Radio, while Koji Igarashi is the well-known producer of the Castlevania series.
Revolve8 has been in development for a while now, with the game in its final form stemming from the pair meeting for the first time. “3 years ago at an industry creator party, I met with Koji Igarashi for the first time,” Masayoshi Kikuchi Told us “Koji Igarashi showed me the original design document for Revolve8. I instantly saw potential in the game and spoke with Igarashi about teaming up with Sega to build the game.”
With how saturated the mobile market is, it’s important to stand out. Obviously, being a mobile Real-Time Strategy title, it’s already separating itself from the masses. Revolve8’s focus on characters also separates the title from its competition, as producer Masayoshi Kikuchi told us.
“There are a couple of differences that set Revolve8 apart from other Real-Time Strategy titles on the mobile market. One is that we focused very much on character background. Secondly, each character has their own skills. The player can start these skills at any time they want. It’s a very unique skill system. It’s become more in-depth than any other mobile Real-Time Strategy title since we implemented the skill system.”
“we wanted to expand Revolve8 to the casual gamer”
Koji Igarashi expanded upon this, mentioning the features implemented into Revolve 8 to ensure that it is fun and approachable for more casual players, as well as the more ‘core’ player base that Real-Time Strategy titles tend to attract.
“Real-Time Strategy is usually more of a ‘core gamer’ style of game. However, we wanted to expand Revolve8 to the casual gamer also. We implemented a game feature called story mode. In the story mode (or main quest mode) the casual gamer can learn the basic functionality of each character, their weaknesses, and their strengths. This game is aimed not just at the core gamer but at more casual players as well.”
With such a focus on characters within Revolve 8, we wanted to know how the idea’s developed. From the offset, Koji Igarashi wanted to take the fairytale theme, and give it his own twist. “When I first developed the idea for Revolve8, I wanted to do make some kind of mobile title around the theme of fairytales because anyone would know these fairytales.” Koji Igarashi explained. “I wanted to use the very famous fairytale characters, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood etc. I wanted to add some style to it, so everyone could play.”
“However, there are so many fairytale-themed mobile games on the market right now, but I didn’t want to use the traditional fairytale storylines. I made them more unique to the title itself, using aspects of the fairytale when I designed each character.”
Revolve8 takes characters from fairytales well-known and more abstract and puts them into scenarios and groups you’d never expect to see. There’s a certain charm to be found in their interaction, in watching how they work together on the playing field, and how their stories develop, with and without each other.
naturally, when developing a story with such bold and varied characters it’s hard not to become attached to one, and unsurprisingly, both grew attached to vastly different characters for vastly different reasons.
“I wanted to add some style to it, so everyone could play”
“My favorite character is Rapunzel” Masayoshi Kikuchi told us. “In Japan, we have a lot of people who don’t go outside and play games a lot. The story behind Rapunzel is that she was imprisoned inside a tower, so the original story and these Japanese characteristics are similar.”
“Firstly the story of Rapunzel, and secondly, since she likes a lot of games and likes to game, if you look closely at her character, she’s holding a controller from a very famous SEGA game system. Thirdly, her skill is very strong, and that’s why she’s my favorite.”
“The emperor is my favorite” chuckled Koji Igarashi. “I thought that the Emperor was a very famous fairytale in the western market, but when we showed the title to a western audience, it turned out that the story is not really famous at all in the western market, which was kind of a shock.”
“When I designed the emperor, I thought ‘why does the Emperor not wear any clothes?’ He must be showing off his body to the user, that’s why he wears no clothes. So in the game, the Emperor is constantly doing bodybuilding poses while walking into the opponent’s tower. One of the characteristics of the emperor is that his role is a tank, and his special skill has a very unique look I like a lot. I want everyone to see the Emperor’s movement and special skill come the game’s release onto the global market.”
“we wanted to do a lot of game balance adjustment to maximize the positive gaming experience for people”
Even on mobile, games need to be balanced, especially when they offer a competitive element as Revolve8 does. When the game had it’s ‘soft launch’ into testing, Masayoshi Kikuchi tells us that game balance was the biggest challenge the team had to face.
“One of the biggest challenges was the constant balance adjustments while testing the game. Many of the users are playing this game already in testing, there was a lot of people who used X character because Y character needed to be adjusted, and we have to face a lot of adjustments from here on.”
“We wanted to do a lot of game balance adjustment to maximize the positive gaming experience for people, that’s why we put such a focus on it.”
With Revolve8 now available on IOS and Android, we asked the pair for any closing comments on why we should all be rushing to download their latest creation onto our smartphones. “It’s a new Real-Time Strategy game from a Japanese development team,” Masayoshi Kikuchi started off. “We want to play with people worldwide, and that’s why we made this title on only one server. Anyone in any country can play anyone else, playing altogether. Lastly, since we would like to expand this title to other coutries, the game has 5 different languages, English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and traditional chinese. This means that people from around the world could play this new title from SEGA.”
“We want to play with people worldwide”
Koji Igarashi echoed this sentiment, also wanting the game to be enjoyed by the global audience. “We have a revolve8 official Facebook page” Koji Igarashi explained. “There’s a lot of fairytale and folklore characters already in the game, however, we thought some of them were famous in the western market when they are not. We want the audience to comment and reply over on the official Facebook with their terretories’ famous folklore and fairytales so that we can take a look at them and if they’re good enough, we might be able to impliment them into Revolve8! We want for all the audience to maximise this game globably.”
A huge thank you to both Koji Igarashi and Masayoshi Kikuchi for taking the time to speak with us about their latest title. Revolve8 is now available worldwide on IOS and Android.