Happy New Year 2023! An interview with the producer Pupuya
Little Witch Nobeta is coming to Nintendo Switch & PlayStation 4 (EU/US) on the 7th of March 2023, the publisher Idea Factory International, Inc. is here with some questions for the dev team. The producer Pupuya will be answering these questions and sharing his experience in making 《Little Witch Nobeta》over the years.
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An interview with the producer Pupuya
Little Witch Nobeta is often compared to other 「Soul-Like」games by fans, but the game also contains third person shooter element. By fusing the shooter play style and spell casting system, Little Witch Nobeta becomes a unique genre of its own.
How did you develop this concept? Was the shooter element always there or was it more melee focused during the early development phase? And how did the spell casting system affect combat design?
The protagonist is a witch, so the design was always focused on shooter & magic from the very beginning.
However, we realised it would be plain to just do the shooting part, so we added the mana bar and melee mechanic for recovering mana.
So is the spell casting mechanic, the channelling time feels boring, so we added the melee part which helps accelerate the process.
Regarding the soul-like part, I suppose I’m overly accustomed to the game so I couldn’t tell whether it is difficult for players new to the game and the game might feel a bit difficult for some, that’s probably why people call it soul-like.
I will admit however, part of the game is soul-inspired (Dark Soul).
How did you design the game’s difficulties?
In recent years players tend to prefer high difficulty-high reward design, and in LWN there are 「Standard（Easy）」和「Advance（Normal）」mode. Are you planning on releasing harder difficulties?
We never meant to design a highly difficult game, and that’s why we have Standard Mode for people who are unfamiliar with action games.
About Hard Mode we are still discussing it, it’s undecided.
In Elden Ring there is a guide NPC – Melina and she provides help to players throughout their journey. Why is it a black cat that guides Nobeta on her journey?
The first story writer thought during the adventure it needs a person to talk to the protagonist, so the black cat was added as Nobeta’s company.
What were you trying to convey or make player feel when you were designing these unique bosses in the game? (For example, did you want the boss to be big, difficult, or cute?)
The initial plan was to give all bosses fearsome feature and to give player pressure when they engage in combat just like the first boss, after some discussion with the co-developer SimonCreative we decided to adapt cute characters.
About stories that happened before the game or historic event like in Tania’s chapter, Monica’s chapter, and Vanessa’s chapter, they are all rather dark.
Will we see more story in the future besides all content present in the game?
The story before Little Witch Nobeta and Nobeta’s adventure with black cat were published here in Taiwan in October 2022 by Tong Li Publishing. The official novel – Little Witch Nobeta (whole) tells the untold bits of their adventure. We are also talking with publisher oversea regarding oversea publication.
We are also planning to release comic chapter for black cat as well as animated comic by first half of 2023. As the key character who accompanied the players, her past is about to reveal.
How were the voice actors/actresses chosen?
In the first half of the game the protagonist personality is naïve and clumsy, while in the second half she becomes a girl who speaks like an adult, and so we chose Ms Konomi Kohara who were good at playing different characters.
As for the black cat, we have considered inviting other actresses but due to the way the story was written, we decided it would be better for Ms Konomi to play the role as well, I wonder how many players recognized her voice when they were playing the game.
How were the actors/actresses chosen for the bosses? Did you have a picture in mind of how each boss would sound like?
Also, we noticed that the first boss (Spector Armor) was voiced by two actors, that is unusual.
About voice role for the bosses, at the time we happened to be in contact with COVER Corp. So, in 2020, we decided to invite their Vtuber talents to voice some of the bosses. The collaboration was settled very quickly, and they provided a surprisingly wide range of artist for us to choose from. In the end we invited two artists who were experienced in the work and one new to the field, based on their Vtuber character setting and how they match the bosses.
Usually a production company would provide recording studio & sound supervisor that they are partner with. However, during the collaboration with COVER Corp., we had to arrange all the resources for the recording sessions ourselves including location and personnel. Fortunately, we’ve been staying in touch with our past partners in Japan, so we contacted the studio and supervisor. Thanks to the supervisor who spent considerable time on making sure the work is ideal and completing the work.
For the male characters we requested professional VA production company Aoni Production Co. Ltd, to find fitting artist for the role, it was special how the boss’s war cry and dialogue were performed by different person, and we were content with the result.
A few new bosses were added to LWN’s full release. Is there a plan for releasing more?
There probably won’t be more bosses.
But we are discussing about making new mode like Boss Rush, and if we do decide to do that, we would like to adjust the behaviour/AI for certain bosses.
Is there a story behind the name 「Nobeta」? Names like Monica, Tania and Vanessa are rather common. About the naming, is there more to it for the players to discover?
The story is set in a world of fantasy closer to the western background, so we chose western names for these characters. As for the three bosses we picked names that are more memorable.
In Little Witch Nobeta there are many cute characters, however in the game’s setting, they all live in the castle which is a harsh environment but so is the outside world. Was this strong contrast in the initial concept? Or did it occur naturally during the development progress? How is this design finalized?
It happened during development.
The concept of dungeon-like adventure was decided in the beginning, we added cute characters into the game, and it became a strong contrast.
Some of the background story in LWN can be learned from collectable items, was this in the original design? We get to learn about the Church and Nobeta’s past through collecting the items, when you created these items, how did it affect the game’s story ?
After Early Access, we received much feedback that the story is difficult to understand, while we had considered adding NPC, we worried that it may conflict the main story also it will take more time to develop. The team was determined to complete the game as soon as possible so we decided to use item as story telling fragments, when a set of items is collected it reveals the story within the soul essence, the player will then be able to view the story in the main menu.
Will there be a sequel?
We are discussing about it, it’s yet to be decided, our primary goal right now is to refine the game.
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Title : Little Witch Nobeta
Genre : Action adventure
Platforms : Nintendo Switch/ PlayStation®4/Steam
Release Date : 29th September 2022
Dub : Japanese
Language : English , Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, French, German, Russian, Thai, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean
Player : 1
Developer : Pupuya Games
Co-developer : 希萌創意（SimonCreative）
Publisher : 傑仕登（JUSTDAN）
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Little Witch Nobeta : Konomi Kohara
Ribbon Loving Soul Doll – Tania : Omaru Polka
Doll Hugging Soul Doll – Monica : Shirakami Fubuki
Soul Doll of The Throne – Vanessa : Shirogane Noel
Mai Kadowaki / Kaori Nazuka
akahiro Yoshimizu / Nishimura Toshiki / Gomi Koichi / Katagai Nao / Imakawa Nozomi
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《Little Witch Nobeta》STEAM：