ONE PIECE ODYSSEY turns the popular manga into a rousing RPG adventure as a celebration of its 25th anniversary
Why did it make sense for ONE PIECE ODYSSEY to be a turn-based RPG?Tsuzuki:
We’re using the familiar command battle system in this game so that more people can enjoy it. But it’s not just there as a basic feature: a command battle system is also a good fit for conveying the sensation of a Straw Hat Crew encounter, thus fleshing out the game’s concept of adventuring in the ONE PIECE world. An action game ends up having to focus on the actions of only one character, but the appeal of a turn-based command battle is in the ease of portraying multiple characters’ actions all at once. In that sense, turn-based command battles are ideal for experiencing the adventures of the Straw Hat Crew.
However, while creating a standard command battle system, someone mentioned that it wasn’t very ONE PIECE-like to have your allies lined up facing the enemy, attacking over and over. That led us to come up with a handful of features for this game’s original battle system that give the player a better sense of battle as a member of the Straw Hat Crew.
ODYSSEY has four Memoria Arcs where players revisit past arcs in the ONE PIECE universe. How did the team decide on those four arcs?
Tsuzuki: I find drama and experiencing the world to be extremely important in an RPG. To my mind, drama is when a game can make its themes resonate with the player and gives them a real sense of satisfaction when they make it to the end.
That’s why the basic story in this game involves the Straw Hat Crew adventuring through a legendary island called Waford. When thinking about experiencing ONE PIECE though, we knew we had to use engaging settings from the manga and anime, so we made it so the crew could visit Alabasta and Water Seven.
Since an RPG with familiar stories that have known endings takes all the fun out of wondering what will happen next, this one explores what happens when the Straw Hat Crew revisits past adventures two years later. And because keeping those experiences separate from each other is no way to build an RPG plot, we had to trim each one down to one thematic story. We chose these four arcs as stories that best fit the one theme we went with this time around.
Grand Logs are animated sequences that retell the past history of the ONE PIECE series, while sticking to the art style of ODYSSEY. Can you explain why the team added these to the game?
Tsuzuki: We added the Grand Logs as a refresher on the Straw Hat Crew’s experiences from the manga and anime, conveying them as only this game can. ONE PIECE is beloved by fans the world over, and not everyone can be expected to have the same knowledge about the series. The Grand Logs help those players who aren’t familiar with the source material to relax and enjoy themselves, while inspiring fans to go back and revisit the manga or anime once they’ve completed the game.
Source: Unreal Engine Blog