Famitsu’s 8/22-29 2019 includes a special interview with Fate series creator and Fate/Grand Order main writer Nasu Kinoko to commemorate FGO’s fourth anniversary.
- Fate/Grand Order 4th Anniversary Interview (Part 1)
- Fate/Grand Order 4th Anniversary Interview (Part 2)
- Fate/Grand Order 4th Anniversary Interview (Part 3)
The next topic to be discussed is the process of creating a new servant, which Nasu describes in detail.
When they decide to make a new servant, they first have to decide on a writer to be in charge. The writer then spends 1-2 weeks researching the servant, and comes up with their profile for Fate. Once this profile is approved by Nasu, they get an illustrator appropriate for the character and have them come up with a rough design, which takes about a month. Type-Moon representative Takeuchi, who is in charge of designs and visuals, then examines the draft, and decides whether to continue with it or change the course, and if he approves the design another month is spent finishing it. Altogether, the process from conception to completion of visuals takes 3-4 months, though it may take as short as 2 months in cases where everything goes smoothly. The completed profile and design are next sent to the developers at Delight Works, who take roughly three months to make the battle graphics, and 1-2 months to animate them. Voice recordings are conducted in the meantime. Altogether it takes 6-9 months to complete a single servant.
Nasu is asked what servants were hard to create, and he says that from a visual standpoint, he thought Osakabe-hime was problematic because illustrator Moriyama Daisuke worked fast and and kept sending them new designs. He started by sending in four fantastic designs that they liked and could not choose from, and when they were about to decide he sent them a fifth. Meanwhile, from a profile/setting standpoint, Minamoto Raikou was problematic as they had not intended on making the character female, but Takeuchi insisted on it. However the writer in charge came across the Ushi-gozen story while conducting research, and they ultimately decided that going with the story that Raikou and Ushi-gozen were the same person in the Fate universe, and that Raikou’s father wanted the Genji to be lead by a male, would make a female Raikou acceptable to the players.
The interviewer points out how Raikou was not the only servant who was a male historical or mythological figure turned into a female character, and to this Nasu says that as the majority of characters would be male if they went by the source material, they try to balance this out by making it so that any characters with even the slightest possibility of being female are made so. That being said, they originally had no intention of making Raikou female.
The servants in the spinoff comic Manga de Wakaru! FGO are brought up, and Nasu says that as the comic takes place in a completely different setting, the characters would not be suitable for FGO at all: No matter how interesting they might be, he would have to pass the judgement that they do not belong in FGO’s universe. If he were to be put in charge of the comic, however, it would end up the same as the game, so he turns a blind eye to the contents and leaves it to the creator Riyo. Adding Paul Bunyan from the comic to FGO was an exception, where the character’s profile was softened to fit the game, which is why the personalities between the two versions are so different.
Next, the interviewer points out that most smartphone games have a narrative wall in how playable characters that a player can obtain from gacha cannot die in the story, which does not apply to FGO due to the nature of the setting. Nasu acknowledges that while the servants who die in the story and the servants summoned by the player may be technically separate, they are still the same servant, meaning that farewells never last forever. He reveals, however, that they have a rule in FGO regarding deaths: Servants on Chaldea’s side who die in the main story are in most cases not allowed to appear in future main story chapters. On the other hand, events are left entirely up to the individual writers, who may bring back such characters if they want. Nasu says however that event stories are “if” scenarios, and that depending on the player, it is possible that they might never meet that servant again.
With the end of part 2 approaching, Nasu is also thinking about what comes after the completion of the story. He says that part 2 of FGO is akin to a full course dinner, with Type-Moon pulling all of their effort into its completion, and that what comes next depends entirely on the players, and whether they say that they cannot eat anymore, or want seconds. He feels that if there are people who want to play more after the story is completed, then as the creators it is their duty to put more work into having players enjoy the game, and so they came up with two possible directions to go in after the story is completed: One which is a direct continuation to the story from after part 2, and one where Chaldea’s story is completely ended with part 2, and a different story begins. Nasu has come up with drafts, but says that ultimately it will be the players who decide what happens in the end.
The interview concludes with Nasu saying that they intend to maintain the quality of the game and increase player satisfaction, and that fufilling player expectations and curiosity are a goal for FGO’s fifth anniversary.