Unofficial Chrono Trigger 2 Interview

by ZeaLitY, 19:52, 22 Jan 2005 (CST)

Unofficial Chrono Trigger II was one of the first fan projects I had the pleasure of coming across; several times afterwards I'd try to remember what it was called, and find it again. I was happy to see it command a spot in the Fan Projects page, as it is one of the must unique efforts out there -- it plans to use an original engine programmed in C++ to continue the plot of Chrono Trigger. As part of our fan project interview series, I contacted Gangis, producer of UCT2, and he generously responded to my questions. Enjoy this rare insight into the project!

1. What inspired you to create UCT2?

UCT2 was actually the brainchild of a friend of mine, who five years ago was aiming to create a 2D sequel of Chrono Trigger as a Visual C++ 6.0 application. Many things have happened since then and I've taken control of the project while trying to achieve his original goals at the same time.

2. Exactly what engine will UCT2 use, or how will it work?

Toku is writing a complete engine suite in C++, which includes the core game engine, texture materials editor, 3D model editor, among other tools to complement the various commercial software we use to develop resources for the game.

*Editor Screenshot

The screenshot is of the in-house HazardEngine editor in an early alpha stage--as you can see, it is of the End of Time. We decided to go with it since it was pretty simplistic in design and would be great for testing out new additions to the graphics rendering engine. We're aiming for total compliance with PS (Pixel Shader) 3.0 standards. I have Toku to thank for all of his hard work getting the engine together basically from scratch.

3. How will it be similar to Chrono Trigger? Which aspects will it drop, and which can it expand upon?

We intend to pay homage to the traditions of the original CT, while breaking new ground at the same time, in virtually all aspects. This ncludes fighting systems, character art, settings, and storyline. So, to put it simply, we want to expand on all aspects while still maintaining a nostalgic sort of feeling for the original project and now all residential areas will be blesed with bathroom facilities.

4. Just for clarification, is this a solid remake or will it build on the plot of Chrono Trigger in new ways?

Well, as the title suggests, this is a direct sequel to CT. We intend to continue the plot, yet without constantly regurgitating preexisting plot points (a la Gundam). There will be themes present from the last game, new themes that may have logically evolved, and one "counter-theme" that will play dominant in the story. Even a few of the plot holes and inconstencies of the first game will be used. Of course, we're not going to reveal any of these important points at this time. We hope that CT fans and newbies alike will be satisfied with the story, and will play through it over and over again.

5. What has been the hardest challenge in developing UCT2?

The hardest part would probably be coordination between the different aspects of production (plot, programming, modeling, et al). Reasons range from the personal lives of the staff members to the general inexperience of the team. However, over the past few months, these coordination problems have been steadily decreasing as the project has begun to take on its own identity, and the staff members a responsibility in its completion.

6. The most fun and enjoyable part?

Gangis to Kenji: I would have to say working closely with you on the script, and seeing our ideas come to fruition. It has been a learning experience and I'm thankful for the opportunity to be working with everybody else on the team.

Kenji to Gangis: I'd say, personally, the most fun has been in interacting with you and the rest of the staff, as well as creating all of these wonderful (hopefully realistic) worlds, most of which haven't totally abandoned the realm of possibility...

7. Who's on the UCT2 team, and how are they assisting?

DevNall - Creator
Gangis - Project manager
Kenji - Storywriter and sketch artist
Toku - Programmer
Ray - Humanoid 3D modeler
Joseph - Environmental modeler
Zalai - Composer

8. Did the C&D order for CT: Resurrection affect UCT2 in any way?

No. We feel that Square sent a C&D order to CT: Resurrection because of their target platform, and the fact that it was a complete remake. The CT:R team wanted to release it for the XBox and Gamecube, which I believe would have implied (although not necessarily true) that it would be a commercial venture. Also, since it would've been a complete remake, it would have 100% of Square's IP (Intellectual Property.) The real reasaon that Square had it shut down is anybody's guess, but we still have the same goals as before.


9. The artwork of Crono on the frontpage is great. Will it and other fanart be incorporated into the game somehow?

Gangis: I put that as part of the site design before we had Kenji come on board, of course with permission from Akisakura. That was before I realized what her other hobby was... *groans* But anyway, Kenji is also our primary sketch artist and has been providing excellent sketches for Ray to use as reference material for his modeling.

Kenji: My vision of UCT2's visual style pays homage to Akira Toriyama and the conventions he established while, at the same time, strikes in new artistic directions that better serve the new themes that emerged from the plot. In many ways, the character designs and plot go hand-in-hand.

10. What's the greatest ambition of the project?

First and foremost on our agenda is to pay homage to one of the greatest RPGs of all time by expanding upon its incredible worlds and vast potential. However, behind this, we also hope to form a strong team of ambitious young designers who will go on to tackle other projects, in the future. As a bonus, if through playing this game, the player starts or continues to think deeply about the world around them, as well as the infinite possibilities it presents, then we will be very pleased.

11. If everything goes well, when can fans expect some progress, or even the full game?

Mum's the word, but expect it before Duke Nukem Forever. ;-)

Very interesting, as information about UCT2 was previously hard to come by. I hope you've enjoyed this installment, and that it's raised your interests in UCT2; the site is at http://www.uct2.net, so stop by sometime and visit their new forums. The project is truly pioneering its own brand of expanding upon the Chrono series and keeping it fresh and alive for its fans and newcomers. Next week comes a feature that'll become a regular in the Compendium arsenal, in which editorialists spotlight two favorite remixes that they feel should be listened and considered by fans. Until then, ZeaLitY out!

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