Edge Of Eternity Is A French J-RPG? It’s Ambitious

By John Walker on September 27th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

It’s kind of weird that J-RPG has become a genre, rather than meaning it’s actually from Japan. Edge Of Eternity, describing itself as such, despite being developed in France, by indies Midgar Studio. It’s an extremely ambitious project, a young indie studio looking to create a massive original RPG, with orchestrated live music, turn-based combat, and fire coming out of the developers’ heads. But they’re asking for $200,000. Cripes.

Offering both steampunk and Medieval themes, set on another planet invaded by aliens, there seems to have been quite a bit of work done already. The video is apparently taken from the mobile version of the game, but they’re promising you’ll be able to cloud save and continue progress made on PC, mobile, XBox One, Vita, PS4 or Ouya on any other device. (The next gen options only kick in if they reach $600,000, which they won’t, because WHAT?)

I hope they’re spending most of the $200k on fixing the running animations.

I post this mostly because I’m fascinated to learn just how much demand there is for a Western “JRPG”. I really have no concept of whether the goal is as madly high as I instinctively think it is, or whether there’s so many out there craving games like this that I’ll look a fool for scoffing at their outrageous stretch goal levels. Midgar don’t exactly carry weight in the department, with their previous releases being mobile platform games.

, , , , .

53 Comments »

  1. dannyroth says:

    I have to agree. 200,000 for an indie studio that really don’t have a good collection of games behind them seems a bit ambitious.

    • ScsiOverdrive says:

      Their team has 14 people, and they plan to work for one year. Even if they got to keep the entire 200k, ignoring kickstarter fees, reward costs, etc., this would mean each team member would make roughly $14k in a year.

      To be honest, I worry that $200k is not enough.

      • evengle015 says:

        my neighbor’s sister-in-law makes $81/hour on the internet. She has been laid off for eight months but last month her pay was $21701 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read Full Article =-=-=-=- http://goo.gl/G40gh3

    • Frank says:

      Yeah, maybe it’s ambitious to ask for that much. But it’s even more ambitious to attempt to do so much with so little.

    • MarieHarris says:

      my classmate’s aunt makes $76 an hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her pay check was $17072 just working on the laptop for a few hours. my link…. http://www.works25.com

  2. aliksy says:

    Random encounters when walking across the map? No thank you.

    Combat system doesn’t look that exciting.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      Why is it so hard for developers to drop that style of random encounter? I think it’s a lot better than it used to be, though.

      Now, here’s a short list of damned good JRPGs that do not have this exact style of encounters, so maybe someone will learn:

      Chrono Trigger (SNES, PS1, PSN, DS [best version])
      Chrono Cross (PS1, PSN)
      Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3)
      Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS)
      Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

      • Kitsunin says:

        Seriously. The turn based combat, separated from the open world is totally fine with me, but good god is it so annoying when the screen randomly fades into a battle. It makes walking around amazingly tedious, when doing it just a little different is totally enjoyable!

        To add a few to that:
        Dragon Quest IX (DS)
        Radiant Historia (DS)
        Persona 3&4 (PS2/Vita)
        OtRSPoD 3&4 (PC)

        I do think Chrono Trigger, great of a game as it is, still could have done encounters better. It was cool thematically at least, and still far less annoying than pre-XII Final Fantasys though.

        • belgand says:

          And let’s not forget Paper Mario. They did an excellent job there of not only letting you see the enemies on the field, but attack them in different ways that actually mattered (e.g. don’t jump on a spiky enemy unless you have spike-proof shoes on, use the hammer).

          • Drinking with Skeletons says:

            How did I forget that!? A million times yes!

      • InternetBatman says:

        Absolutely this. JRPGs are much, much better when you can see and avoid your enemies.

      • Viroso says:

        I like random encounters. Just chiming in. They are random, which is what’s good about them. Not that they’re better or worse, it’s all about getting that sweet spot on the encounter rate.

        Here’s the disadvantage to not random encounters:
        You have to represent enemies on the map somehow, more resources gone to creating walking animations for the monsters. They’re barely doing it for their main characters.

        You have to design dungeons taking enemy positioning into consideration. That can be both an opportunity to improve the dungeon or a hassle.

        This last one can be avoided: If you want to make battles happen on the same setting as the exploration, that likely means less enemy variety. When there’s that shift from dungeon to battle map, it’s easier to just cram in however many enemies they want in the battle scene. When there’s no separation, all of the enemies have to be represented on the map, just like the player, and that means even more walking animations.

        Now, the core of the game is exploring dungeons and fighting enemies. I don’t think the actual problem is that people don’t like having to fight enemies. They’ll have to, in every game like that, including the ones without random encounters.

        I think the problem is the perceived lack of choice because the encounter comes with no warning and it pulls you from what you were doing and into a battle. When battles happen in the same field as the exploration, that problem isn’t so apparent and people are more willing to accept that they’re being attacked by monsters. It also gives them the chance to occasionally evade enemies.

        I think those two problems can be avoided while still keeping random encounters. Random encounters provide flexibility, specially flexibility in the face of limited resources. That’s why old games adopted them in the first place I suppose.

        • Drinking with Skeletons says:

          For me the problem is that the variety of enemies within a given dungeon is usually very low, which means that you quickly get into a groove where you’re doing the same thing over and over without interruption. It’s hard to pace well.

          Shin Megami Tensei IV is a good example, as you can see the enemies on the map (sort-of), but they are very densely packed and aggressive, so you still do a lot of combat. Fortunately battles are over quickly, but unfortunately you still get sick of them due to the sheer quantity. Being able to avoid at least some encounters without having to enter battle and then run away cuts down on the tedium.

          • Viroso says:

            Since the PS2 days it’s been really low. Not only in a dungeon but across the entire game thanks to the ton of reskins. I don’t know why. Maybe they thought people wouldn’t care, maybe they need to spend too much on graphics, maybe they use half the disc space on voice tracks.

            But before that, on the PS1 and SNES, there was huge variety. In FFIX you don’t find a single repeated enemy and there were around 100 completely unique enemies in the entire game, not a single reskin. There were enemies that could be found on a single room in a single dungeon and nowhere else, regular enemies, not special optional bosses nor anything.

            On the SNES there used to be tons of palette swapping but at the same time tons of enemies, absurdly huge bestiary and even when they were palette swaps they still had very varied behavior.

            Nowadays it’s like you fight a wolf, two dungeons later inside a volcano you fight a fire theme version of that wolf, later on you fight an ice version of it, and all wolves behave more or less the same, have about as much HP proportional to how hard you hit, etc.

            So there’s that. These Edge of Fantasy people need to not make the same mistakes that newer JRPGs make, and they need to find clever ways to work the random encounters. IMO, given the limited resources I think trying to do a JRPG that looks like a PS2 game is the wrong way to go.

            What people need to do is a JRPG more like the ones in the PS1 and SNES days. Fixed camera, pre-rendered settings if possible, top down view, maybe even some ugly “retro” 3D models with color gradient for textures. You save up on the graphics and reels in the nostalgia bait.

        • aliksy says:

          One of my problems with random encounters is they often turn into “hold down A until it’s over”. They’re often not challenging or interesting, but they take up a lot of time. One of my rules for game design is “If your game is more enjoyable at double speed, you’ve fucked up.” Random encounters often lead to games that are more fun at double speed.

          • Viroso says:

            I wouldn’t blame randomness of encounters though, that’s just boring battles where “attack” is the one and most efficient action.

        • bill says:

          You are probably right, but that doesn’t stop them being really annoying. As you said, they are basically in-your-face interruptions of whatever the player was trying to do.

          I quit Final Fantasy 6 (i think) when I was trying to walk down a corridor (that looked about 10m long) and I got interrupted by 4 or 5 random encounters. I never reached the end of the corridor and I never continued the game.

        • Premium User Badge

          Rizlar says:

          I like random encounters too. Just saying.

  3. db1331 says:

    I could see myself surrendering a lot of time to this.

    /I’m sorry

  4. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Makes sense. France is Europe’s Japan.

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      Quoi ?! *drops his slice of brie in his glass of red wine*
      Explain yourself, monsieur.

      • Ringwraith says:

        A lot of French animation styles are heavily Japanese-influenced.
        Go look up the French MMOSRPGs Dofus and Wakfu for a couple of examples of this.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          Factoid: The impressionist painter “school” was enormously influenced by Japanese block prints.

        • Premium User Badge

          felisc says:

          Erm, I work as a sound designer for french animation and I can assure you I haven’t worked on that many manga influenced stuff :)

      • bill says:

        Plus france seems pretty obsessed with Japan, Anime, Manga, Cosplay, etc…

        Weren’t Dogtanian, Cities of Gold, etc.. all joint French/Japanese anime?

        • Catox says:

          Google quickly informed me that Dogtanian is actually japan/spain produced.

    • The Random One says:

      No, Britain is Europe’s Japan, as Rooster Teeth once pointed out: the isolated island with all the weird television.

      • bill says:

        Yes and no. there are a lot of similarities in terms of island culture and beig separated from their neighbors.

        But British TV is nothing like Japanese TV (thank god). I wouldn’t say british tv was weird. Japanese TV may be weird, but it’s also incredibly dull. Actually, Japanese TV seems closer to the god-awful french/spanish TV that I remember from when I was on holiday as a kid.

  5. InternetBatman says:

    There’s a crapton of good kickstarters coming up, including the beautiful claymation adventure Knite and the Ghost Lites:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2011341880/knite-and-the-ghost-lights

    All the more reason to have a katchup.

  6. Grayvern says:

    Seems like a pitch designed for the FF7 and FF8 boom kids rather than someone who knows what the press turn system is, or suffered through the pain of PSN downloading for NI No Kuni.

  7. Viroso says:

    What if you buy French fries in England? Are they still that? Do Brits even call French fries French fries? That’d be silly, going to a restaurant and ordering three French fries French fries. But you know, there’s ice lollies and all that so I wouldn’t be surprised. Is it true that in England Texas sandwiches are called Hamburgers?

    • airmikee99 says:

      “What if you buy French fries in England? Are they still that? Do Brits even call French fries French fries?”

      I believe they’re called chips, as in ‘Fish and Chips’.

      • Viroso says:

        And what do they call French Fries in France?

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          A waste of potatoes

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          Pommes de terre frites (lit. fried potatoes), often shortened to pommes frites (lit. fried apples), often shortened to frites (lit. frieds), often shortened to a grunt and a rude gesture (lit. “roots of the potato plant cut into long strips and placed in a container of boiling oil until golden and crispy”).

          • Viroso says:

            I was hoping for Le French Fries.

            Also I just realized, pommes de terre. Is that something like earth apples or ground apples?

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Yup. Apples of the earth, more or less.

          • Koozer says:

            In Germany and Austria, who also use ‘pommes frittes,’ it is more often abbreviated to ‘pommes.’

            example: Ein schnitzel mit pommes bitte, und einmal große Puntegamer!

      • Grayvern says:

        The taxonomy of cut fried potatoes is a matter of girth and judgement. Fries still exist in England.

      • Premium User Badge

        Chaz says:

        We have fries as well; McDonalds, Burger King et al. They only get called french fries in chain restaurants or in the frozen department at the supermarket.

    • Premium User Badge

      Chaz says:

      A Texas sandwich? Sounds like something that would get performed in a porno movie.

  8. rpsKman says:

    JRPG has always been a genre.

  9. Epicedion says:

    Other than the hilariously terrible English description and the fact that the lead female is named ‘Salvia,’ this doesn’t appear to have much going for it.

  10. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    Oh, I’d love a Western JRPG. The biggest problem I have with JRPGs is the anime tropes they utilize almost without exception, the generally asinine writing (however it plays in Japanese, it’s often extraordinarily expository and one-dimensional in English), and the lack of player freedom. A Western JRPG would hopefully remedy these issues.

    Not backing this, though, because it’s got flop written all over it.

    • bill says:

      “extraordinarily expository and one-dimensional ” sums up most Japanese drama perfectly. But then all japanese drama is derived from manga, so the actors* are usually required to act like a cartoon character.

      *Note, japan has a grand total of 3 actors, all other roles will be filled by girl/boy band members with the acting ability of a plank. Imagine if all tv drama was a highschool superhero comic adaption starring S-club 7 or Boyzone. Then despair.

      Also, I’d assume most western JRPG fans are into the whole anime tropes, lack of freedom and writing, so I wouldn’t expect a western JRPG to skip them. If anything it’ll probably emphasise them.

      What most western JRPG fans often fail to realise is that modern JRPGs are designed to be played by bored salaryman on the train with one hand, that’s why combat tends to consist of either clicking attack repeatedly or scrolling through vertical menus and selecting options just like MS Office at the office.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Someone’s being a bit prejudiced. I’m not gonna defend games like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, though I can at least say I thought the DQ games I’ve played had pretty entertaining stories – because they didn’t take themselves particularly seriously or use the stupid humor some Japanese stuff uses. I will however say that there have been some damn good JRPGs that break free from all of your gripes, mostly aside from the lack of freedom in the story…
        Radiant Historia and Rogue Galaxy are two great ones that I’ve played as far as having stories that don’t scream “Anime” and gameplay that isn’t braindead, I would even argue that Shin Megami Tensei games avoid the linearity to an decent extent.
        If we step into Tactical RPGs we’ve got Disgaea (Somewhat “Anime” but brilliantly written) and Fire Emblem too (Not “Anime”).

        I really disagree with your stereotyping of anime though, okay, 90% of it is trash – like any TV, but I have without a doubt seen some more original stories in anime than ever on American TV or movies, though perhaps not quite as original as some western books or indie story-based games. Yeah the Japanese like making singers do voice-acting instead of actual actors, yeah, that’s stupid, but no, it doesn’t matter if you’re not watching/playing something in Japanese.

      • drvoke says:

        This troll attempt gets points for volume and effort, but loses more for lack of originality and crass xenophobia. So, not the worst troll I’ve seen, but far from the best.

        6/10

  11. noodlecake says:

    I don’t think they will reach their goal but at the same time I think there is a big demand for a FFVII-like game.

    The scale and richness of the worlds in the psone Final Fantasy games hasn’t really been matched by any other JRPGs. Making something as huge in scale as Final Fantasy VII but also matching the graphical fidelity of a modern AAA title and providing voice acting for all the dialogue is probably impossible… or would take so much time and money that it wouldn’t really be worth attempting.

    I think $200 000 is nowhere near enough money to make something on the scale that they probably want to attempt, but they do have the advantage of being able to aim somewhere between psone quality graphics and modern day AAA title graphics, which any big studio wouldn’t be able to get away with.

    The character and world design displayed in the video lacks the visual charm of a FF game so this isn’t really for me, as a FF fan.

  12. DrollRemark says:

    They really need to hire a better English writer.

  13. TheManko says:

    “It’s kind of weird that J-RPG has become a genre, rather than meaning it’s actually from Japan.”

    Who decided to make this change, and when? Seems like it happened in the last 6 months. Never heard of non-japanese games being called japanese role playing games until Child of Light was announced. I didn’t think JRPG was that narrowly defined, because Ys, Dinosaur Resurrection and Final Fantasy are all JRPGs, yet are all extremely different titles. They’re RPGs from Japan, so the stamp “JRPG” fits perfectly. Suddenly making JRPG a narrowly defined genre makes things confusing, because now you have to say monumentally stupid things like “Ys is a JRPG from Japan, and not actually a JRPG as you think it’s defined, but more of an action RPG with no random encounters, light story and fast real-time gameplay”. “RPG” by itself isn’t a narrowly defined genre either. Adding “J” to it denotes country of origin, not the genre. If we were to decide that a single game was this game worthy of being the only definition of RPG, what would it be? Wizardry? Then Witcher wouldn’t be a RPG anymore, it would be something else with RPG elements. This sudden nonsensical change to narrow down “JRPG” like this drives me crazy.

  14. RProxyOnly says:

    The whole ‘medieval’ thing in fantasy is completely played out.

    For such an avenue of creative thought as ‘FANTASY’.. it’s become so generic and common place to point of boredom.

    C’mon devs, start using your imagination a bit, instead of falling back on dull and samey. I simply don’t buy ‘medieval’ fantasy anymore.. if I never see another wattle and daub building it’ll still be too soon.
    Why has fantasy been allowed to become so boring? By it’s very definition it has the entire field of human creativity and imagination to draw from… but what we get is the same ol’ same ol’ every-bloody-time.