A couple of weeks ago, we helped unveil the first look at the upcoming expansion for Eye of Judgment, Biolith Rebellion 2. Since then, Sony has been slowly unveiling more and more juicy details about the new cards on their official blog. Today, we are happy to present an interview with the creator of Eye of Judgment, Yusuke Watanabe.
How did you originally come up with the idea for The Eye of Judgment? Was it always planned as a PS3 game?
The trigger was a demo of the CyberCode's image recognition technology, originally developed for use on PC. We transplanted CyberCode to PlayStation format so I could share my surprise with as many users as possible. We worked with CyberCode based on the technical information of PlayStation 3 that, at the time, had just started becoming open, and based on the findings, we found that PS3 was the best console to maximize the potential and appeal of The Eye of Judgment in terms of the specifications.
Has Sony thought about releasing a higher quality gameboard? The fabric one is nice but is lacking for people who play on the ground or uneven surfaces.
Through a trial and error process using many kinds of materials, the fabric material was the only mat that cleared our standards for endurance, storability, design, and cost. However, we are very interested in creating a high quality luxury mat or board to encourage heated matches.
When people found out that it was possible to copy EoJ cards, there was a bit of an uproar. Have you seen any actual problems in regards to card 'piracy' with the online community?
Yes, initially there was an uproar, but from what we've seen and read on our forums, the player community is supportive on using real cards – and in the end, it's the players skill in deck building and playing we watch, not the cards.
How do you make sure that the new abilities introduced in expansions won't harm the balance of the game?
We first confirm the concept of a new set, and then design the abilities on top of that. We then create decks with all cards and spend a long time just playing out the game, which helps us to balance each ability and compatibility with other cards. During this stage, we have been fortunate to gain input and insight from our partners, Hasbro Games and Wizards of the Coast, and we believe that it added another dimension and depth to the framework we already had.
How will the software side of the expansion be handled? Is it a download via PSN? Free "patch" style update? Retail disc? Also, if the software update is not free, do you have an estimate for about how much it will cost?
The Set 2 data will be a purchased download on the PSN and players will have to buy cards separately at select retail outlets. Regarding the download, each region will have different pricing based on their market – a US announcement should be made soon. There will be a patch for people who don't buy Set 2 so they can still play against Set 2 owners. Unfortunately, there are no retail disc plans for Set 2, yet.
Any plans for official Sony-sanctioned tournaments of some kind? Tournament play is a huge part of many CCGs, and would definitely be welcomed by the EoJ fanset.
We're working to get more community oriented efforts in place, both on the internet and in-game. You should hear more announcements in the near future.
Will the upcoming expansion add any kind of single-player storyline (sort of like Puzzle Quest)? The story booklets included with the pre-made decks show that there is an expansive story built into the mythos of the EoJ universe, but it's a shame that is never showcased by the game itself.
Unfortunately, a "campaign" mode will not be added to SET2. Although as a development team, we really would like to implement the campaign mode based on the vast world of The Eye of Judgment that we've created, but our priority is to create a TCG game that will become recognized and approved by our players.
Will there ever be cards based on other Sony-owned and/or third party video game franchises? Nothing would make us happier than Nariko cutting into some Twin Goblins.
Unfortunately, we don't have any plans for this, but as CyberCode is a very versatile technology, we'd definitely be interested in developing something that incorporate other characters.
Will you be working on any other titles that utilize the PS Eye in a special way?
Our team is only developing The Eye of Judgment at the moment, though other teams within the Worldwide Studios continues to study and develop new possibilities for the PS Eye.