At Gamescom 2023 in Cologne, we chatted with producer Makoto Shioda and scenario writer Honoka Moriwak of Marvelous Japan about their upcoming game, Silent Hope.
Shioda has been with Marvelous for ten years and oversees the entire project as a producer. Moriwak is the lead scenario writer and has been a part of Marvelous for eight years now. Together, they worked on Silent Hope, which will be released on October 3rd on the Nintendo Switch and on Steam, so it’s getting close.
No Words Needed
Without having hands-on experience myself, I must say the story behind Silent Hope reads like a fantasy novel:
In a world without words, what hope is there for humanity? Silent Hope takes place in a once-peaceful land, silenced by the former King who stole people’s speech before escaping into the endless chasm known as The Abyss. Following these events, the Princess mourned her father’s actions and wept until her own crystallized tears entombed her. Now, years after these events faded from memory, seven heroes find themselves drawn towards the Princess. To break her free from her luminous prison, they must brave the depths of The Abyss to find the long-lost King and reunite the royal family.
So what are we looking at? Silent Hope features seven heroes, all different from each other, all with their own speciality and a strong will to help the Princess. Meanwhile, they can’t talk! This raises the question of whether we can connect with each of them. Moriwak and Shioda tell us not to worry; they prepared for that. During the course of the game, we will find ways to understand each character’s personality and will probably develop a preference for one of them purely based on the role they play in the team.
Rune Factory World
When you look at the screenshots, you might notice something familiar. Shioda tells us that they used the game world of Rune Factory as a basis. You will see the same kind of cute graphics, or Kawai as he describes it. But this is not another Rune Factory game; it’s an entirely different story, and the emphasis is on the action side and the growth of the characters, separately and as a group.
When asked, Shioda says Silent Hope is aimed at a wide audience:
Silent Hope is tagged as an action RPG but this game is meant to be easily played. Whether you’re good at battles, whether you are young, or old no matter your gender.
He also mentioned that the difficulty can be adjusted and that levelling up and the right equipment means that everyone can complete the game. As I’m always apprehensive about action battles, I must say there are elements added to it that are just my cup of tea: there are going to be battles, of course, but when your seven heroes come back to Basecamp, they will also be busy cooking and crafting with the materials they collected on their adventure.
Game Producer and Scenario Writer
Shioda mentions that it took three years and a team of about 40 people to make the game. Working with a team of mostly young people means encouraging them to bring ideas to the table. His role as a producer is to merge these ideas into a good game.
When asked what the most important part of being a game producer is, he adds:
To me, as a producer, the most important thing is to gauge what the audience thinks about the game. I try different things and am sensitive to any new information the audience brings me. Even if I might not like it myself, I try to understand why they like it and how it will work in the game.
Of course, we also asked Moriwak what the most important part of being a scenario writer is. Three scenario writers worked on the game, and Moriwak tells us there is a difference between writing a novel or for a movie or writing for a game.
When you are a writer for games or films or books, it’s your job to absorb the enjoyment and element of those games (or books or films). Then you digest and let the creative process start. Writing for games is different from writing novels: it’s not just about receiving information or emotion, you also participate yourself.
We are looking forward to exploring Silent Hope together with the seven heroes! Thank you for your time, Makoto Shioda and Honoka Moriwak. And by the way, love your nails, Honoka!
Thank you, they are in the style of Silent Hope!