In preparation for the release of Chrono Trigger: Apocalypse Episode V we conducted an interview with project creator Neo-Fusion. If you've seen the previous episodes of this Newgrounds Flash project you can check out Episode V here. If this is the first time you've heard of CT:A, check out the previous episodes linked in Neo-Fusion's project news thread.
1. What inspired you to begin this series? When did you first start planning it out, and how much time passed between the project's inception and the release of the first episode?
The whole idea of the Chrono Trigger characters just basically all being left out of Chrono Cross. They basically gave everyone the cold shoulder when they made these new characters in my opinion. I started planning it out 2 years ago, but I knew that I had to get a program and practice. 2 Years later and a setback that I didn't expect caused the project to almost die. I was going to try to do everything by drawing it and animating. Drawing with a mouse is EXTREMELY difficult and almost impossible with the way I like to do things. So in December of last year, I began gathering my resources and Chrono Trigger sprites.
2. Can you give us a run-down of the basic scenario CT:A portrays? How does it relate to Chrono canon?
I am not really sure if I can give a basic scenario, it's always adapting. I had every episode mapped out, but I always get new ideas. I would have to say that this could be an alternate timeline in the Chrono Trigger world.
3. What programs and/or programming languages are you using to create CT:A?
I basically use Macromedia Flash 8 as the animation tool, Audacity to edit music, and just get a lot of different help from people on the web. As for programming language, I use Actionscript 2.0, which is standard with flash 8. I hear that it is most like C++ programming. I am only a novice in it though, it's all used for making a menu with the things like “scene selection“.
4. Were any custom or from-scratch media (sprites, art, music/remixes) made especially for CT:A?
There have been, I have requested music from several popular Newgrounds Artists and they have delivered perfectly. There is also a sprite set that will be making its first appearance in CT:A V. I must credit that to a good friend. R1665 made it, it’s more of a recolor if anything. You can check him out at Newgrounds.
5. How has the viewer/player interaction developed throughout the course of the project so far? What's the Fusion Battle System, and how is it implemented in CT:A?
I have been wanting to make the series more like a game, I want the user to feel like it is old times and this is an actual Chrono Trigger game. The Fusion Battle System, is going to be basically a tribute to the old CT system. It is far from finished, and version 0.5, as seen in CT: A IV, is an extremely simple system built entirely upon everything already being pre-choreographed. I think it turned out well for a first try. I would need someone who is an EXPERT with action script 2.0 to be able to help me make the FBS be what I want it to be.
6. Did the C&D issued against Crimson Echoes affect your presentation of CT:A in any way?
Ah, the C&D… sad how that turned out. Yes, it actually has affected my presentation. I want to add a few CE quotes in and out now. I want the people to see the references I have to it. I plan to add more influence from CE as time goes on and hopefully people will appreciate it, rather than abhor it.
7. About how long would you say it takes to make an episode? Any advice for Flash beginners if they're thinking about embarking on something like this?
When it came to episode 1, I was extremely excited. It took me a total of 3 days to make and it reflects in the quality. Episode 2, took about the same amount of time I believe. Then on Episode 3 and 4 I decided it was time to make a mark, so those episode took A LONG TIME TO DO. I would say 1-2 months for a good solid episode. Now some may be wondering why it took so long to complete episode 4. Well the truth is, during the summer my computer crashed and the hard drive failed. It took us the entire summer to get it back and during that time I could have done so much more work. At this point, if that wouldn’t have happened, I would say that I would almost surely be working on Episode VI getting ready to release it.
As for beginners… Make sure you practice. Nobody wants to see a poorly made flash. Try making a few practice flashes first to get experienced. You can always learn something new and I am learning new things all the time. You have to take your time and be patient. Flash is a tough program to learn, but once you learn it, it is fun to work with.