The first in a series of Hatsune Miku Project Diva F trial-play sessions was held in Akihabara earlier today.
Fans who attended the trial-play session were treated to a new demo version of the game that featured Odds&Ends (by Supercell’s Ryo) and Weekender Girl (Kz and Hachiouji-P) – the two original tracks written specially for Project Diva F that Sega revealed on Thursday – as well as Melancholic (Junky) and World’s End Dancehall (Wowaka).
Also at the event were Seiji Hayashi and Makoto Osaki, the respective lead producers for Project Diva F (PS Vita) and Project Diva Arcade. 4Gamer’s Naohiko Misuno caught up with both producers at the event, and asked a few pertinent questions.
Interview with Seiji Hayashi, producer for Project Diva F
— First things first, what are your thoughts on the trial-play session that was held today?
Hayashi: If anything, we’re just glad that the event turned out to be a huge success. Being able to see so many of the game’s fans turn up for the trial-play session really gave us a very rewarding sense of encouragement, and now more than ever, since we’re heading into the final leg of development work on Hatsune Miku Project Diva F.
— The Project Diva series has already seen three entries on the PSP. Now that it’s on the PS Vita, which of the new features in this version do you think fans will look forward to?
Hayashi: Naturally, the graphics has been given a boost. This time around we were able to do a lot of graphical effects that we couldn’t before due to the PSP’s hardware limitations. In a way you could say that, compared to the performances or PVs in past games, the ones here are more intense.
As for Project Diva F’s rhythm-action gameplay, we’ve kept all of the elements that existing players are already familiar with, but added a new “Scratch” element that’s exclusive to the PS Vita version. A scratch in the game requires the player to perform a sliding motion on the touchscreen with his finger in sync with the beat. Please look forward to trying it out when the game’s released.
— What does the “F” in Hatsune Miku Project Diva F stand for?
Hayashi: We first announced the game under its working title, Next Hatsune Miku Project Diva. When it came time to decide on a finalised title, we had a lot of ideas and differing opinions. Personally, I just wanted the title to not be too long. I wanted the name to be short and simple.
And so, from the pool of ideas we had, we found that the letter “F” on its own fit the bill. A lot of the words that we wanted to associate with this game, such as “forte” and “future” begin with the letter F. As a means of embodying everything we wanted the game to stand for, we decided to go with “Project Diva F” as the final title.
— With regards to Project Diva F-related merchandise, is there anything we can look forward to?
Hayashi: Tie-ups between Project Diva F and the “Sega Hatsune Miku Project” line of merchandise is still under discussion at this point. We’re still brainstorming on ideas for goods that’ll be made available to fans at events in the future, so please look forward to future announcements on that.
— Volume-wise, how much content can we expect to see in Hatsune Miku Project Diva F?
Hayashi: The game will ship with over 30 songs, and roughly 80 modules (character skins). Every single module has been created from scratch, so we hope that fans will look forward to seeing all the fine detail.
— Lastly, a message for Hatsune Miku Project Diva fans please.
Hayshi: It’s all thanks to the fans’ support that we were able to go this far with the Hatsune Miku series. We hope to receive your continued support. The development staff remains devoted, and we’ll work hard to put out a game that’s truly compelling.
Interview with Makoto Osaki, producer for Project Diva Arcade
— What’s changed in Version B of Project Diva Arcade
Osaki: The biggest additions to the game are “Rival Mode” and “PV Appreiciation Mode”. Although we’ve had PV Apprciation mode since the very beginning, in Version B you can finally snap screenshots during this mode. These screenshots can then be uploaded/downloaded from Diva.Net, so please give it a try.
We’ve also added an “Excellent” rating to the game’s scoring system. The arcade cabinet’s design itself has also been refreshed. There are also many fine tweaks.
— Although currently Version B is still on location-testing [note: players cannot use their existing Project Diva data cards during the location-testing period], the machine has been seeing a lot of plays from fans, even on weekdays.
Osaki: Part of that has to do with the revamped scoring system, I believe, which has prompted players to try and beat their previous high scores [to attain the “Excellent” rating]. Also there were many folks who wanted to take advantage of the screenshot feature.
Since Hatsune Miku Project Diva Arcade was released, there’s been loads of requests from fans in terms of things they’d like to see added to the game. We’d like to fulfill as many of those requests as possible, so please look forward to future developments.
— It’s been two years since Hatsune Miku Project Diva Arcade was first released. What are your thoughts on crossing the two-year anniversary milestone?
Osaki: It’s been that long already? (Laughs) Initially we were quite worried, to be frank. Many times throughout development we wondered: “Is it really a good idea to come out with an arcade version of Project Diva?” But when we finally started running location tests for the game, we were surprised by an unexpectedly large base of users coming to play the game. I remember proclaiming “ah, what a relief!” After the first location tests, we began implementing Diva.Net, which is the other main element in Project Diva Arcade, received feedback from players at more location tests, and refined a great deal of the game.
So for us to come this far, it really is all thanks to Project Diva Arcade players. We hope to receive their continued support. And we’ll continue our efforts to add new songs to the game, please look forward to that.
— Can we expect to see songs from Project Diva F to make it into Diva Arcade someday?
Osaki: Yes, that’s a matter of course.
That said, there are quite a few aspects in Project Diva F’s engine that exceeds Diva Arcade’s capabilities. For instance, the expressions found in Project Diva F are more fluid. As a result there will be certain things in F that we’ll never be able to port over in Diva Arcade.
Besides, there are so many other great Hatsune Miku songs we can choose from, including genres that thus far have not yet been featured in Diva Arcade. This is something we’d definitely like to follow up on [as opposed to simply porting over Project Diva F songs].
Read more Hatsune Miku stories here on SGCafe!