Today I am very excited, and proud, to talk to you all about our collaboration with Studio TRIGGER and the legendary Yoh Yoshinari for this game. Yoh Yoshinari worked on such anime as Evangelion, Gurren Lagann and Kill La Kill.
For this game, set in the Little Witch Academia universe, APLUS Co., Ltd – our game studio – truly worked hand-in-hand with the animation studio who created this brand.
We felt incredibly lucky to have TRIGGER create some original animation for the cutscenes of the game – Chamber of Time can be considered as an extra season of the series in many aspects.
Below you will find a storyboard showcasing one of our cutscenes with Akko trying to catch a running skeleton (it’s a long story).
The game is set during the summer holidays at Luna Nova where Akko, Lotte and Sucy discover a room that seems to manipulate time. They will investigate the Seven Wonders of Luna Nova to try and get out of a time loop.
For the player, the real wonder is that each discovery of a new mystery is animated by TRIGGER, and fully voiced by the talented Seiyū cast of the anime.
Let’s now take a closer look at how we made the game.
TRIGGER’s Animation is amongst the most respected in the anime industry and we needed the game to be able to match the virtuoso art style and smoothness of LWA. That was a real challenge at first, as you can imagine.
In order to pull it off, we developed the Visual Harmony System. It allowed our characters to act just as they would in the original work, breathing more life into the game and giving a very distinct anime feel to the experience.
Once we defined the visual aspects and the story direction we wanted to follow (no spoilers!), we started crafting more details of the world of Little Witch. In an anime you only see what the director wants to show you, but in a game we need to give the players the freedom to explore. That meant recreating Luna Nova in all its glory and crafting rooms the viewers might only have heard of in passing.
In addition to all the main beloved cast, we had to create a lot more extra students since the player would be able to roam freely in the Luna Nova Academy and interact with all of them. That meant a lot of dedication to making sure that they fit in this world. We also had to imagine their relationships with Akko and how they would interact with each other.
Characters in Little Witch Academia are so full of life we had to make sure this transcribed well within our game, creating entire backstories for students the players might not even interact with (but please do if possible!).
Since this is a game, we also imagined a lot of enemies that the player would have to face. These creatures had to be scary and magical… and yet full of quirks!
Working on a game based on an existing universe can be very challenging since we have to satisfy fans, offering them something new and exciting, whilst serving as an entry point for newcomers to this world. Never an easy task. Our team had a lot of fun imaging secret rooms for the Luna Nova academy, as well as new spells for the witches.
This game really is a passion project for all of us at Bandai Namco Entertainment, so hopefully you enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes post, and I hope you will be excited to discover more on this title. Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time will be available on 15th May, and if you pre-order now you’ll receive an exclusive Grand Charion mini-game.
Visit the official Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time site to learn more about the game.