Interview | Killaware Talks Lux-Pain on Nintendo DS, Wants Sequels

By Jorge Ba-oh 22.04.2009 5

Lux-Pain may seem like a traditional adventure game, but this new Nintendo DS release has a far darker side than the likes of Capcom's Ace Attorney series or Nintendo's Hotel Dusk, focusing on inner turmoil and anguish amongst youths across Japan, as well as touching upon subjects such as ritual suicide. Cubed3's Adam Riley recently got the chance to talk to the game's Producer, Mr. Kazuhiro Yamao to find out more about the title, as well as whether or not Lux-Pain has a future. Thanks go to Yen Hau of Rising Star Games for setting up the interview...
Cubed3's Adam Riley: How long did it take to create Lux Pain, and how large was the team that worked on it?

Image for Interview | Killaware Talks Lux-Pain on Nintendo DS, Wants SequelsMr. Kazuhiro Yamao, Producer at Killaware: It was in development for 14 months, from the very start to completion. Our main team stretched to around 10 people but there were many staff from other companies involved. I advise you check them all in the end credits after completing the game! *laughs*

AR: What was the main inspiration behind idea of the game? And can you talk about the storyline, please?

KY: I think this game is a kind of "antithesis" against the distortion of the current education or the recent crimes that occur amongst young people. It's not as if the "Silent" described in the game, corrupting our minds, is a fictitious thing. It might well be a part of our everyday life and we may well find that accidents are happening because of our own "Silent".

AR: Why did you bring it to DS instead or a different system, and what sort of audience do you think will be attracted to it?

KY: The DS was chosen because the action of players reading the minds of others by means of the Sigma process was perfectly suited to the touch- and dual-screen functionality. I believe anybody who has previously enjoyed their youth will like Lux-Pain and will definitely be able to have fun it.

Image for Interview | Killaware Talks Lux-Pain on Nintendo DS, Wants SequelsAR: Please can you explain how the game makes use of the various DS features?

KY: As I explained above, I think we are utilising the DS features to express the tension of the game's fear, especially by having the unique system of reading the other people's minds by scratching the touch-screen, as well as showing the expression of people's internal thoughts or mental condition on the upper screen. In addition to this there is also the battle system that is like a touch-action puzzle.

AR: Can you talk about how the game has sold in Japan so far? And if specific sales cannot be given, are you at least allowed to say whether it has met or exceeded both company and personal expectations?

KY: So many consumers have enjoyed this game in Japan but I want many more people to enjoy this game. I hope people around the rest of the whole world will find this game equally as enjoyable!

Image for Interview | Killaware Talks Lux-Pain on Nintendo DS, Wants SequelsAR: Do you think that Capcom's Gyakuten Saiban series helps games like Lux-Pain by expanding the audience for adventure games on DS? Or does Capcom have a monopoly over the genre on DS, making it harder for anything other than the GS games to be successful?

KY: Lux-Pain is completely different from the Gyakuten Saibai series, in terms of both the game overview and its aim. Besides, we shouldn't define the genre of "Adventure" as just one category, because "Adventure" is not a genre which just one game can dominate. Conversely, I think the more success Gyakuten Saiban achieves, the more opportunities there will be for the Lux-Pain series to expand.

AR: How long, approximately, do you it would take an average gamer to complete the game?

KY: About 20 hours to get to the first ending, I suppose.

Yen Hau, Rising Star Games: As the game relies greatly on relations with Non-Playable Characters, it does mean that you will get different answers/feedback from them depending on their reaction to you. This means there are different endings depending on your actions throughout the game.

AR: Did you ever consider any Wi-Fi aspects, such as downloadable content to maintain user interest after the game is completed? (If not, please explain why)

KY: We intentionally decided not to have it this time. We designed this game so you can play again and again even without those functions and I wanted to deliver this game to the consumers as quickly as I could.

Image for Interview | Killaware Talks Lux-Pain on Nintendo DS, Wants SequelsAR: Will there be multiple paths through the game to achieve different endings and increase replayability?

KY: We have indeed prepared a number of endings and there are so many extra factors that you can enjoy this game again and again.

AR: What are your future plans, as far as this classic brand of adventure gaming is concerned? Is there any plan to make more games under the Lux Pain name on DS?

KY: Our next game "Another Time Another Leaf" is going to be released in Japan soon. And I do hope everybody in the UK will enjoy Lux-Pain too so that we can develop the sequels we have planned.

AR: And do you want to make a 'Lux Pain' on Wii or WiiWare in the future?

KY: We currently have no idea whether or not to port or develop this title on platforms other than DS.

AR: Can you tell us anything about your other DS project 'Another Time, Another Leaf'? How does it differ from Lux-Pain? And when will it be released?

KY: This is the school detective game with a pop culture and cute style atmosphere. The high school girl lead character solves various mysteries with "another self" seen in the mirror, one that dates back to the past. The theme and system in this game is totally different from Lux-Pain but you will still be able to taste the original "KILLAWARE" flavour in this game. This is going to be released in April in Japan.

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I've been really getting into the game, despite the rough translation from Ignition USA, and would love to see the team expand on the idea. It seems quite clear from what he's saying that the team has plans for a sequel, but it all rests on how successful the first outing is worldwide.

I also think something like this could work well on DSiWare, perhaps being slightly more palatable for some gamers (as it can be quite intense in places).

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

And the DS adventure game library gets even stronger!

I'm hoping that Another Time, Another Leaf also gets the Western treatment. Sadly it didn't sell anywhere near as well as Lux-Pain in Japan on its first week of didn't even make the Top 50 Media Create chart. But with any luck Ignition, XSEED, Aksys or Atlus will give it a chance in the US.

I wonder how much was riding on the Western release in order to greenlight a sequel? From what I've heard from the publishers, it was a VERY limited release in both the US and Europe, so I very much doubt the ~20,000-30,000 units sold in Japan will have been considerably added to.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I finished the game just the other day and I have to say that it was very interesting. Finding the Shinen always made me get a rush because of the time limit and fighting the Silent sometimes grossed me out because sometimes they looked really...well, ugly. Sorry, but its true, they kinda freaked me out. Never what I was expecting. I liked that they way to beat it was different. Smilie

It was full of surprises and kept me guessing. I was honestly not expecting that guy [hehe, no spoiler from me! ;D] to be the one behind everything. The game all in all took me about 21 hours to beat.

But to be completely honest, the ending made me sad and the grammar could use a look over. I was hoping that it would end very differently. but I'm hoping for a second game, I know that if there was one that came out today I would definably buy it. I think I'll also buy 'Another Time Another Leaf' if it get translated.

I hear that there are two endings so I'm working hard to get the other one, but something tells me I won't. Smilie I've also gotten one of my friends into the game. ^^ I'm most certainty looking forward to a Lux pain 2! Smilie

natasha (guest) 29.06.2010#5

it toke me 3 days but each day i spent 12 or more hours on it im so sad tht its other my heart fell at the end lol i dearly hope tht they will make a sequel tht would be so amazing really im praying 4 one

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