Penny Blood Creators Radio 03

M: Good evening. We just tried some different things, but it seems like Watanabe-san won’t be able to join us tonight, so we’re going to invite one of our other creators, Hanya Nobutaka, to talk about the monsters and fusion monsters. Hanya-san, can you send me a request? Where is it… Okay, there it is. Now I just have to add you as a speaker, and it should work. You should be able to talk now.

H: Can you hear me?

M: Yes. Everyone else, can you hear him too? Please give us a reaction. Okay, thank you. Looks like we’re okay. Now, I’d like to begin Penny Blood Creators Radio 03. Good evening, everyone! I’m Machida Matsuzo.

H: And I’m Nobu-chan! Can you hear me?

M: Yes, we started with another total failure of a joke. We always start by giving our creators a taste of hell. Honestly, our lack of experience with Twitter Space caused a lot of trouble for everyone. We were supposed to start at 9, but that turned out to be a mess, so we practiced twice… And we even had the listeners help us out while we were practicing, so we could get used to it all. It’s all quite pathetic, but we’re doing what we can, so we hope you’ll go easy on us.

Now, without further ado, instead of Watanabe-san, who draws our image boards, we have here Hanya-san, from Studio WildRose. As I mentioned earlier, Hanya-san joined us in Spring, and immediately got to work. You’re a veteran, so it wasn’t a problem at all. After you played Shadow Hearts 2, we had you start working on the monster designs, and now you’re handling the fusion monsters. First, let’s start with the design for Atam, which sent ripples through the world. What did you think when I first sent you the design materials for Atam?

H: When I first saw them, my impression was: “Are we really allowed to go this far with a JRPG?” I asked you several times if it was okay to make things grotesque, and you always said it was, so personally, I feel like I made it really grotesque.

M: It’s definitely grotesque.

H: Gathering the materials comes first, and that tends to be pretty chaotic itself.

M: You gathered your own materials?

H: Yes. My screen was pretty chaotic.

M: I see. Can you give us a simple introduction, going over how you got into this industry?

H: A self-introduction?

M: Just what you’re allowed to say.

H: I’m Hanya Nobutaka. Up until now I’ve worked at mainly online game companies, where I’ve studied illustrations and general 3D design. I met Machida-san and Kato-san on the development for Gottamazeiya.

M: A game released by LINE.

H: Yes. We worked on character design there, which is what led me to join this project. I think that’s it. Thank you. Was I allowed to say that?

M: No, that was a good game, but keeping it afloat was difficult, and I think it ended after about half a year or a year. It was a really cute game. Kato-san and Hanya-san designed the characters, and there were a lot of cute ones. It was a fun game. Completely different kind of game from Penny Blood.

With Penny Blood, you started from Atam, but you designed other monsters as well, such as Domovoy and Kaleido Echidna, one of which has appeared in the community game. I think you did about 6.

H: Yes, I think about that many.

M: That includes some that haven’t been revealed yet, and some of them might surprise you. So, out of the six that you’ve done, which is your favorite?

H: Based on the Twitter reaction, probably Atam.

M: You didn’t think it would garner such attention, did you?

H: Personally, I thought people would just say it was gross, but looking at the reactions… Some people think it’s cute.

M: Yeah, some people say that grotesque monster is actually cute.

H: And the backstory you created for Atam was really amazing, so some people cried after seeing it.

M: That’s the best reaction any creator could want, and I think that goes not just for you, but for me, the person who thought up the details. We were so happy to hear such words from people around the world.

K: Yes.

M: But Atam isn’t where it will end. You’re going to draw even more grotesque monsters for Penny Blood, I think. And not just grotesque… I want you to create other monsters with their own unique characteristics. Speaking of the monsters, you’ve been creating enemy monsters on one hand, but you’ve also been working on the fusion monsters that Matthew transforms into.

When design first began, there was a lot of trouble. My order was to make them knight-esque. Kato-san designed Demna first, and even that was very difficult in itself. The motif was ‘spectral knight,’ so figuring out how to express that was hard. Did you awaken to any specific direction or method during that time?

K: The theme was spectral knights, so I had to make them ghostly. At first, I thought about going with a skull, or undead-esque, but that felt pretty cliched. So I went with a white robe to make it ghostly that way. At first, it didn’t have a mask. Well, that isn’t a mask.

M: You’re talking about the face, right? Yeah, at first there was no helmet, it was just a face. But when we were saw Moon Knight on Disney+, our eyes turned to dots, and we said “But we thought of that first! They just released it faster! This is bad!” That’s when we added the helmet. But now that it’s all said and done, I feel like it was the right move.

So that was Demna’s design. Then, we had Hanya-san start to think about the designs for the different elemental fusion monsters. I told you to make their forms look completely different from Demna, then had you create two more.

H: Yes.

M: One was Macdeva, the fire-elemental monster, and the other was a water-elemental one which will be released soon. I had you draw them so their forms didn’t look anything alike. Is there anything you can tell us about what it was like to draw Macdeva?

H: At first, it was really hard because I couldn’t come up with an image. I’m pretty sure you told me to make it look creepy. I felt like I was supposed to draw a hero, but they actually weren’t supposed to be like that. It’s supposed to be creepy x creepy. Figuring out how far to go with that was really difficult.

M: True. It’s a search for the breakthrough point with the fusion monsters. For Macdeva, I actually sent Hanya-san a weird photo. Well, not exactly weird, but… Macdeva has a long sword in his right hand and a dagger in his left. And I told him to draw a picture where Macdeva’s licking the dagger with its long tongue. Which makes you think ‘Geez, what kind of fusion monster is this thing going to be?’ But the photo I sent him to show him what I meant was from Magic Hour, a film by Mitani Koki. Sato Koichi appears in that film as an assassin and licks a knife in one scene. I really love the expression he makes, so I sent that photo to him and told him to make a fusion monster that looks like that. A crazy request to top all crazy requests. But apparently Hanya-san stared at that as he drew Macdeva. While crying.

H: True, all I had was that it was wearing armor and then sticking its tongue out as in the Sato Koichi photo, so I was like ‘Huh. I have to put these together somehow.’

M: While searching for the breakthrough point, we had some crazy discussions, and he worked on the fusion monster. But when Macdeva was finally finished, it looked so cool. I made a ‘guts pose.’ The other one looks completely different from Macdeva, but this one ended up pretty awesome as well, and I think it’ll be revealed two updates from now. So I hope you’re all excited for it.

H: The water elemental one, right?

M: Right. How did you feel when you were drawing that one? Was it easier to draw than Macdeva?

H: Well, not exactly. I had my own struggle with it, and I think I got a lot of advice from Kato-san. That really helped me find the direction. Honestly, at first, it was really hard. Super hard.

K: But it looks so cool now.

M: Yeah. Originally I wanted to do Hanya-san’s episode of the Creator Radio after that one was revealed, but today was an emergency, so I had him come in early as a pinch hitter. But I hope everyone’s excited to see that one too. He’s also going to draw some more fusion monsters, and I think he’s working on a new one right now.

H: Yes.

M: Hopefully he can finish it before the campaign ends, so everyone can see it. Every design has a lot of thought and care put into it. Since everyone’s listening now, if there’s anything you want to talk about, Hanya-san, you can do that now.

K: (LOL)

M: I’m not trying to give you a hard time here!

H: Oh, from me? You want me to talk?

M: Yes, from you. Since everyone’s listening now, if you have some primal scream from the bottom of your soul that you want people to hear, now’s your chance. If you want them to understand how much you’ve suffered as a creator.

H: Hmm. Well, I draw the monsters, so I would be grateful if people really took the time to look closely at the monsters.

M: True. Some of the explanations for the monsters were added after they were created. When I first had you draw them, I had one image, but once the designs were complete, they stimulated me in new ways to add on additional details. That’s one way where we really complement each other and make both aspects better until the design’s finally complete. I think in that regard, Penny Blood’s got a very good flow to it.

H: I sort of feel like everyone really is looking forward to the gross monsters.

M: Yeah. Not just gross, but also cool ones. You’re only drawing the monsters and fusion monsters for now, but there’s a large possibility I’ll have you design more stuff in the future. Once we get into proper production, we’ll be able to expand out into different genres. There’s a possibility you’ll be able to branch out from simply working on one part of the game.

Right now, this is sort of a spoiler, but Kato-san is designing the villain characters. The main enemies. They’re going to be pretty unique as well, as you may expect. And they’ll be revealed eventually too, so I hope people check them out.

Since you’re both illustrators, or artists, do you sense anything unique about this project from that POV? Something that sets it aside from other projects you’ve worked on.

H: Most of the other projects I’ve worked on didn’t have a general director like you. I feel like as long as I’m able to express the world you’re imagining in your mind, it’ll end up as something good.

K: Wow.

H: But my direction and the way I think about this project, if I had to say, is that I’m more focused on trying to express what you’re imagining, rather than expressing myself.

M: Wow. I’m very grateful for that. But that really seems to have been the case from the very start, with Atam. The fact that you were able to draw something that we’d imagined on our side. I made my own design documents and passed them over to you, but you created something even better, which really surprised me. The fact that there’s a general director like me here, in one way, means there’s a tyrant. And it all comes down to how well you can deal with the crazy orders and suffer through them. It takes an incredible amount of effort.

H: I’ve been learning a lot.

M: I understand you saying that, but Kato-san’s so used to me that she never says anything like that.

H: How does she usually work?

M: “Okay, okay, I know what you want.”

H: Oh.

M: And she does.

K: I want to be more like Hanya-san.

M: But I’m pretty sure that when we’re done with Penny Blood, I’ll go over to Hanya-san as usual and say “No, no, I want you to do it more like this!” and he’ll say “Alright, alright, this is the way you want it, right?”

K: You think so? I hope he stays the way he is now.

M: That’s how much, as a creator, I hope he can go on enjoying what he draws.

K: Yes.

M: In a way, we’re trying a lot of different things during this campaign. As all three of us work on Penny Blood, we’re doing things like this radio program to get a chance of pace. And I think it’s turning into a good place for us to communicate with our fans. I hope that Hanya-san can use this energy on his next creation, even if it’s just on one sheet of paper. See, I’m trying to say something nice as a way of wrapping things up here. That’s how I feel!

On 9/15, which is very close, on Thursday, late night on Thursday, right after midnight, a new character will be revealed. Here’s a little news tidbit for everyone who was able to come today. We’ll be running a character color scheme vote. I’m a bit worried as to whether people will be excited to vote for a color scheme. But we’re going to do it, so… I hope everyone takes part.

Next time on Thursday, we’ll be re-inviting Watanabe-san, who had trouble joining us today. We’ll create a practice room on Twitter Space that no one can find, I think, to make sure we can do it properly this time. We’ll also be releasing the Creators Desktop, which we talked about last time, on Wednesdays and Sundays. It’ll let you see what sort of environment Hirota-san, Kato-san, Kaida-san, Hanya-san, Watanabe-san, and I work in.

Since Hanya-san’s the main guest today, is there anything you’d like to tell everyone before we end?

H: Let’s see. The Kickstarter has how many days left?

M: Less than three weeks.

H: About 18 days? We’re going to keep working hard, so please give us your support. It’d make us really happy. Thank you.

M: Thank you. Today was a mess, but I want to thank all our fans, listeners, and backers, for sticking around.

All: Thank you.

M: And I hope you’re all excited for our next Creators Radio! Bye bye!

K: Good night.

H: Good night.