Today, the hit JRPG, Alchemy Stars, is celebrating its first anniversary, and they are starting off with a bang, including a huge update that will bring new gameplay, characters, and in-game prizes!
Developed by Tourdog Studio and published by Level Infinite, Alchemy Stars is a mobile JRPG with rave reviews for Android. The game is known for its expansive story, paired with exciting RPG combat and anime-inspired art. After a successful year on mobile, developers of the game look forward to a bright future for Alchemy Stars.
To kick off the anniversary, we sat down with Art Director, Tourdog, and Lead Designer, 577, to talk about what makes Alchemy Stars stand out. But first, here is a look at a brand-new video from Tourdog Studio and Level Infinite to celebrate Alchemy Stars’ first anniversary:
CGMagazine: What has made Alchemy Stars such an engaging game for people to jump into?
577, Lead designer: I think all the team members on this project have been doing their jobs with heart and soul. Our entire team encourages and emphasizes personal expression. No one in the team likes things that lack originality. We firmly believe that only when developers are fully dedicated and pay more attention to thinking and personal expression in their design, can they convey their message to the players and create a product that resonates with them.
CGMagazine: How does Alchemy Stars differ from many other games like it currently on mobile?
577: We do not deliberately seek to be different. We just refused to use second-hand content, and we hoped to add the self-expression of the team to the design. That will quite naturally make the game unique and personalized. Everyone will get a new experience from the game, whether it’s the art style, gameplay, or storytelling.
CGMagazine: What are some big things planned for Alchemy Stars now that it is an established mobile IP?
Tourdog, Art Director: It’s still not good enough for what I’d like to present to everyone. It could be my greed as a creator (laughs), but we’ll continue to work hard on both in and out of the game.
CGMagazine: Are there any crossovers planned for the franchise fans can be excited about?
Tourdog: We’ve found an IP that is a good match for Alchemy Stars, and I believe everyone will get to see it for themselves very soon!
CGMagazine: How did you come up with the unique visual look of the game?
Tourdog: We came up with the visuals based on my and my fellow team members’ preferences!
The characters were all outlined and put together by several creators of the studio. In fact, the earliest concept we came up with was the “Colossus”. After conceiving this huge flying creature that’s both mechanical and organic, we thought that there should also be an earthbound colossus like Lepidoz. And step by step we conceived the world of Alchemy Stars and its various factions.
When the overall setting of the Factions was gradually established, and the geographical, political, and human characteristics of each Faction became clearer, the group of characters belonging to each Faction also emerged naturally, and all that remained was to determine typical and atypical characters. For example, if Illumina is full of warriors who place high importance on military discipline and honour, then it’s bound to have leaders who are highly passionate and charismatic, as well as combat fanatics and rebels who are highly resistant towards discipline.
Another example would be Rediesel Wrench which consists of a bunch of bandits who are lawless, simple and unrefined, yet more humane. While thinking of this, the image of Sinsa came to me immediately. At the same time, sensitive and considerate characters were also included to make Rediesel Wrench an interesting Faction.
The early conceptual design of the Eclipsites was handed to a designer I really liked. The part I really like is that it’s beyond both humans and creatures, yet uniquely beautiful, which was what I wanted to convey to everyone through the Eclipse and Eclipsites. While designing them later on, we wanted to add something fresh and exciting to the Eclipsites, so we did our best to leave a strong impression with high-level Eclipsites.
CGMagazine: The game’s story was penned by Tadashi Satomi, known for the Persona Series. How has that story evolved as the game changes year to year?
577: To clarify, Tadashi Satomi is not our editor.
It mainly focuses on the balance between the hot-blooded story and the unconventional details, hoping to meet everyone’s expectations for the main plot as much as possible. We have also paid attention to shaping the main characters in each chapter, and to better create empathy between players and game characters. The last focus is on the connection between the main story and the worldview, as well as the content of some event activities, in the hope that game content can complement one another.
CGMagazine: What does the team behind Alchemy Stars do to ensure they keep the series fresh with so many people playing daily?
577: The no. 1 development challenge for each event is to bring the best experience to the players. Under this premise, we often set a theme for version activities at the earliest stage and use it as the focus of our overall design. The theme affects all aspects of the campaign, including art style, plot style, campaign design, and combat design. The design of different game mechanisms and elements needs to be based on the premise of ensuring fun. In order to better express this intention, we strive to fully explain and unify the theme in all aspects.